On February 9, 2010, Iowa Congressman Steve King tweeted these words: “Mid day, mid blizzard, 15 degrees, Crazy Raccoon chewing and clawing his way into my house. Desert Eagle 1, Crazy Raccoon zero.”
Steve King is the kind of politician who builds his brand on plain, straight-forward talk. In an ironic way, he’s a refreshing public figure, one who puts heart-felt honesty ahead of political correctness. But his greatest strengths are also his most glaring weaknesses, which is exactly why King should not be a politician at all.
In addition to being blunt, King is also dangerous. King’s positions on women and minorities are not only perfectly aligned with the very worst of conservatives, but they seem to imply a type of bitterness one might expect to exist under the skin of a guy who’s simply unhappy with the direction of his country.
Rep. King recently made some interesting remarks about President Obama, claiming that Obama has a preference for blacks over whites. In his remarks, King cited the Henry Louis Gates case, and also inaccurately paraphrased Attorney General Eric Holder, claiming that Holder believes that whites are more cowardly than blacks when it comes to race. Actually, Holder said that we are all cowards when it comes to discussing race, which is a truthful statement.
Of course King’s fellow Republicans ran in the other direction after his remarks about President Obama, since any direct reference to race in America is going to get you marginalized. When Tea Party members consider you to be too radical, then you know you’ve gone over the top. King is the conservative’s conservative: He received a 100 percent rating by the Right to Life committee, and was the only conservative to get a 100 percent score on the Family Research Council Congressional scorecard.
You have to respect Steve King for being steadfast in his beliefs, if nothing else. If there is anyone who can move our country further to the right, it would be individuals like King. He’s the kind of guy who will fight for his beliefs relentlessly, without stopping to wonder if he might be wrong about anything.
What is also true about Steve King is that he has very little respect for the struggles of minorities and women. He opposes affirmative action and was even one of 11 Congressmen to vote against the $52 billion aid package for Katrina victims. So, while King criticizes Barack Obama for supposedly favoring blacks over whites, it is clear that King has done even more of the same thing for the other side.
Believe it or not, I don’t dislike Steve King. He’s a man who means what he says and stands by it, which most Washington politicians don’t do. Unfortunately, his self-righteous demeanor is crippled by his culturally-limited upbringing as a white male in Iowa. In some ways, he reminds me of Malcolm X when he truly believed that all white people were inherently evil and inferior to blacks. Malcolm eventually grew out of his positions, which Steve King will probably never do.
If every politician in America were as stubborn as King, our country would descend into violence and chaos, no different from Iraq, Afghanistan or any other war-torn nation where people are no longer able to work out their differences without holding a Dessert Eagle. So, similar to the way he shot the raccoon on his back porch, King loves to charge forward with his agenda with reckless abandon and very little empathy for the opposition.
Unfortunately for him, King is part of a dying breed that struggles to regain the racial imbalances of yesteryear. He possesses far too much idealism to be a member of Congress, and is fighting a battle he will ultimately lose. King is pushing to keep our country where it was when he was a little white kid in Iowa, and that just isn’t going to work.