Republican leaders may want Rep. Steve King of Iowa to make himself scarce during the 2016 presidential election season, but the vocal far-right congressman made it clear in a speech to the Susan B. Anthony List’s gala last week that he intends to do nothing of the sort. Instead, he said, he would work to pressure the party’s candidates to take strong stances against abortion rights and LGBT equality in order to assure that the next president can “restore the soul of America” that was destroyed by President Obama.
“There are some of the candidates that think if they don’t come to Iowa, they don’t have to deal with Steve King,” the congressman told the anti-choice group. “But tomorrow morning at six o’clock I’m going to get on a plane and go to New Hampshire and next May 9, I’m going to be in South Carolina. And we are going to push full-spectrum constitutional conservatism — life and marriage — all the way through this.”
King told the group that the candidates were “good people” and that Republicans are “going to have a good nominee.” But he said that likeminded conservatives still need to pray “that God raises up a president whom he will use to restore the soul of America” after the country has been “deconstructed from the White House” by “a man who is taking on the pillars of American exceptionalism with…a procedural jackhammer.”
In an interview with Boston Herald Radio at the anti-immigrant Federation for American Immigration Reform’s annual radio row event today, Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, warned that undocumented immigration and “identity politics” will not only “destroy our republic” but will ultimately lead to the collapse of Western Civilization by preventing the U.S. from leading the fight against radical Islam.
“I think that if we don’t enforce immigration law and if we continue down the path of the president’s amnesty and the recruitment of people in foreign countries to come in here illegally and giving them a path to legality and eventually a path to citizenship, I think that destroys our republic,” he said.
He urged the GOP to “stick with” the anti-immigration planks in its platform, saying, “You know, identity politics I think are a mistake too. I’m just no great fan of identity politics.”
He urged the GOP to instead reach out to immigrants and Latino voters by telling them that immigration reform will prevent the U.S. from putting “the pillars of American exceptionalism back together,” thus depriving Western Civilization of a “captain” in the fight against radical Islam.
“If you look at the rest of the free world, Western Europe, for example, Australia, New Zealand, those areas of Western Civilization, they look to us to be the leader. They do not have the capability of saving this world, I should say saving Western Civilization for the world, without America,” he said.
Calling it a “business proposal” based on his experience as in the construction industry when his work was guaranteed by bonds, King asked, “Why can’t we do that with these students and just say bond them into this?”
“Bond them that they’ll come and they’ll follow the law and if their visa expires, we’ll just blame this on the bonding agent,” he said. “That’s how we let people out of jail. There’s a whole system out there, there’s an industry out there, why not let that be the guarantee? And then there’s no sweat on the enforcement, you just happen to have the check and balance in place.”
King also repeated his frustration with the House GOP leadership for bucking a plan he supported to shut down the government over President Obama’s executive actions on immigration.
When asked, “Why can’t we deport people?” King responded, “If we were aggressive on this, that’s how you restore the respect for the rule of law. And instead, it’s the lack of political will.”
Rep. Steve King turned heads over the weekend when he scolded Jewish Democrats for not being sufficiently supportive of Israel. In comments first reported on BuzzFeed, the Iowa congressman said he does not “understand how Jews in America can be Democrats first and Jewish second and support Israel along the line of just following their president.” He later added that “everyone in the discussion knows I’m right.”
King’s suggestion that the vastmajority of Jews in America are somehow bad Jews by voting Democratic is a regular talking point among Christian Right speakers.
Here is a look at other right-wing leaders who have denounced American Jews for daring to vote against the GOP:
1)Bachmann: Jews ‘Sold Out Israel’
Before leaving Congress, Michele Bachmann denounced Jewish voters for having supposedly “sold out Israel” by showing support for President Obama.
She told Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council that she found it “shocking” that many Jews “support the political priority and the political ambitions of the president over the best interests of Israel.”
2)Family Research Council Angry With Jewish Money
Like Bachmann, FRC’s Perkins has said that it’s “ironic” that while “the Democratic Party works against the benefit of Israel in many ways,” many Democratic members of Congress are “mostly aligned with a lot of the Jewish lobby” and “enjoy the money coming from the Jewish community.” He also criticized “liberal Jewish folk” for supporting marriage equality, which he alleged will somehow harm Israel.
Jerry Boykin, the group’s executive vice president, criticized American Jews for believing that Adolf Hitler was a leader of Germany’s far-right.
3)American Jews Are Simply ‘Confused’
Like Boykin, Sandy Rios of the American Family Association thinks that American Jews are simply ignorant or “confused.”
“The Jewish vote in this country is so confused,” Rios said in 2012. “So many of the Jews in this country are atheist and their hearts are with this president, at least their political concerns are with this president. They are with him on all the issues, you know abortion, all the things you might list.” She went on to say that while “most of the Jews in this country are far left, unfortunately,” even more dangerous are “Jewish atheists” who “sometimes turn out to be the worst enemies of the country.”
Rios has also claimed that “Jewish leftists in this country are eager to embrace Islam” and warned that “powerful Jewish forces” are out to suppress freedom.
4)‘Self-Hating Jews’ Run Obama Administration
Conservative legal activist Larry Klayman marked Independence Day last year by blasting the “self-hating” Jews in the Obama administration who “lose no opportunity to distance themselves from their Judeo-Christian heritage in the style of Karl Marx, Leon Trotsky and indeed the evil Fuhrer Adolf Hitler himself, who many historians have concluded had Jewish roots on his father's side of the family.”
“These types of Jews, some of whom are present in the Obama White House to give Obama cover for his anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli acts and practices, are among the greatest enemies of the Jewish people,” he said, claiming that they help those “who are dedicated to [Israel’s] destruction.”
In another column, he went even further in criticizing the supposed “leftist Jewish influence” behind “anti-family institutions like gay marriage” and the “outright criminal behavior of the Obama administration,” writing: “I am more than embarrassed and appalled as a Jew to see my own people at the forefront of a number of scandals now perpetrated by the Muslim-in-Chief, Barack Hussein Obama, and his leftist Jewish government comrades and partners in crime. It is time for the great majority of Jews, who are honest law-abiding citizens, to speak up and play a role in helping to put these felonious liberal Jews in a place where the sun don't shine – meaning prison.”
He said that while the Jews who oppose such liberals are the “true Jews” who “police their own house and [do] not allow criminal behavior to go unaddressed, no matter what the source,” those who do not fight Obama are “more akin to ‘Hitler’s Jews.’”
After the vast majority of Republicans voted to shut down the Department of Homeland Security to oppose President Obama's immigration actions, and with Republicans blocking any hope of real immigration reform this Congress, it seems the anti-immigrant movement has instead decided to refocus its efforts on revoking the constitutional right to birthright citizenship.
Earlier this week, Republican Sen. David Vitter of Louisiana decided to introduce a birthright citizenship amendment to the bipartisan Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act of 2015. The amendment so far has just one cosponsor -- Sen. David Perdue of Georgia -- and it's unlikely that it will be included in the final bill, but this decision to tack an unconstitutional, anti-immigrant measure onto an important bill shows the priorities of Sen. Vitter and the Republican Party.
Sen. Vitter claims that his birthright citizenship amendment would help curb the issue of "birth tourism," recently in the news surrounding Chinese mothers coming to California -- often committing crimes in the process -- so their children can be born in the U.S. It would seem more sensible to tackle this issue through targeting the middlemen who NBC reports "pocketed hundreds of thousands of dollars tax-free," and the visa, tax, and marriage fraud that are often a key part of "birth tourism." Instead, Sen. Vitter and the many Republicans who support ending birthright citizenship are trying to use the issue as cover for their attacks on immigrants and attempts to revoke a core constitutional right.
The flaws of the conservative attacks on birthright citizenship have been welldocumented. First, it's blatantly unconstitutional. It's clear that the drafters of the 14th Amendment intended it to guarantee citizenship to everyone born in the U.S. The only exception -- in the words of one of the amendment drafter's, Sen. Jacob Howard -- is for people "who belong to the families of ambassadors or foreign ministers accredited to the Government of the United States," as they are not, as the 14th Amendment requires, "subject to the jurisdiction" of the United States. Conservatives from Michael Gerson, a former George W. Bush adviser, to the anti-immigrant Lou Dobbs have viewed attempts to undermine birthright citizenship as unconstitutional.
It's also a terrible idea. Gerson wrote, "Anti-immigration activists often claim that their real concern is to prevent law breaking, not to exclude Hispanics. But revoking birthright citizenship would turn hundreds of thousands of infants into 'criminals'--arriving, not across a border, but crying in a hospital." The Migration Policy Institute also found that rather than decreasing the number of undocumented immigrants in America, as birthright citizenship activists claim, revoking the right would "likely increase dramatically" the number of people in the country without authorization, leading to the "establishment of a permanent class of unauthorized persons."
Sen. Vitter is not the only Republican promoting anti-immigrant bills instead of trying for real, bipartisan solutions on immigration. In January of this year, Rep. Steve King of Iowa re-introduced a bill aiming to repeal birthright citizenship. Sen. Rand Paul, Sen. Lindsey Graham, Speaker John Boehner, House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, Rep. Mike Coffman, and Rep. Joe Heck have all backed plans to revoke birthright citizenship in the past.
We need immigration reform. From improving the economy while reducing the deficit to ensuring that DREAMers and their families can live and work in the U.S. without fear of deportation, the benefits are endless. Not only have Republicans blocked comprehensive immigration reform when it had a real chance of passing, they're now trying yet again to bring up unconstitutional bills to drive their point home. That's not what responsible governing looks like, and for a party that says they're trying to attract more Latino support, they're certainly not shy about attacking immigrants for short-term political gain.
Rep. Steve King is furious that the U.S. plans to increase the number of refugees from the Syrian Civil War admitted into the U.S. from just 500 to between 1,000 and 2,000, which the Iowa Republican said is actually a plan to resettle “tens of thousands” of “quasi-refugees.”
“The President just appears to have no fear of the consequences of doing stupid things,” King said during an interview today on Newsmax. “You’re not going to get Syria fixed if you take the people out of there that need to be the ones doing that work to fix it and there’s no way to avoid through that network of getting ISIS members and terrorist and future terrorists brought into America. That’s like creating a hole and bringing people through it.”
King, who is one of the GOP’s top anti-immigrant voices, said President Obama “seems to believe that he can pour people into America here that we know are the sources of death and violence.”
Is the government about to ban Christianity and turn it into a criminal offense? According to one documentary, the answer is 'yes' because the gay rights movement is determined to outlaw the practice of Christianity.
As Kyle reported, the “documentary” will include appearances from Sen. Rand Paul and former Gov. Mike Huckabee, both likely presidential candidates.
Reps. Trent Franks, Louie Gohmert, Steve King and Tim Huelskamp also make appearances, joining the likes of creationist leader Ken Ham, discredited pseudo-historian David Barton and even “ex-homosexuals.”
Porter has built quite a reputation for claiming that President Obama is set to literally imprison, starve and murder his political opponents and that the gay rights movement will destroy freedom as we know it.
Update: Porter has also released a trailer featuring Rand Paul and several GOP congressmen.
Today, Faith 2 Action's Janet Porter sent out an email to activists excitedly announcing that she is finishing up editing a new anti-gay documentary that she intends to release at the National Religious Broadcaster's Convention in Nashville at the end of this month.
Porter released a separate preview of the film today, featuring a clip in which she blasts the Boy Scouts for having "needlessly caved to a dark sexual agenda" by allowing gay Scouts to join the organization while Knight and Stemberger warn that, as a result, the Boy Scouts will soon face "homosexual scandals" just like Penn State and the Catholic Church:
"Light Wins" reveals the frightening trend not to simply ignore Christian believers, but to rid society of us altogether. This ground breaking, eye opening film will awaken viewers to the fact that being a spectator is no longer an option. One will be part of the solution or part of the problem, and I hope this riveting documentary will cause believers to take notice."
Over the weekend, likely Republican 2016 presidential candidates stepped up to the microphone at two extremist events to throw red meat at their Radical Right base and prove their ultraconservative bona fides in the run up to primary season.
Union-busting Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker won the day with the most well-received speech, in which his biggest applause came when he bragged about his party’s attempts at voter suppression in his state, saying, “we required in our state, by law, a photo ID to vote.”
Former Arkansas Governor and 2008 Iowa Caucus winner Mike Huckabee said states should ignore Supreme Court rulings favorable to marriage equality.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie played up how staunchly anti-choice he is.
Senator Ted Cruz made the case for caucus voters to weed out anyone but extreme right-wing candidates. “Every candidate is going to come to you and say they are the most conservative person that ever lived,” Cruz said. “Talk is cheap.”
And at a separate Religious Right event, hosted by SPLC-designated hate group the American Family Association, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal discussed the need to enshrine discrimination against same-sex couples in the Constitution, promoted Islamophobic conspiracy theories and closed his speech with the statement “our god wins.” That event, titled The Response, perfectly embodied the dangers of mixing religion with politics in the way that the Right so loves to do.
By making political issues – even incredibly important ones, and even ones that are historically divisive – litmus tests for their followers’ religious conviction, they cast their opponents not only as wrong, but as evil and satanic, allowing for no possibility of compromise and making even civil coexistence difficult.
It was a lot of what you’d expect – unfortunately – but that doesn’t make it any less terrifying. These are the people who are setting the agenda for one of America’s two major parties – and the one that right now controls both houses of Congress.
Rep. Steve King got a little mixed up in his remarks at the Iowa Freedom Summit this morning, accidentally remarking that Americans “come from every possible planet.”
The Iowa Republican quickly caught himself and said that the DREAMers protesting the right-wing event are the ones who really come from outer space.
“We’re a great people, we have a vitality that’s unequaled on the planet, we come from every possible planet — every possible continent. There across the street [are] those people that come from the other planet,” he joked. King then returned to criticizing President Obama, alleging that the president is “eroding” America’s foundations of liberty and freedom.
Jan Mickelson, the conservative Iowa-based radio talk show host, is the emcee of today’s Iowa Freedom Summit, where several GOP presidential candidates have joined Rep. Steve King to appeal to voters in the first-in-the-nation caucus state.
Mickelson boasted of King’s anti-immigrant extremism, and made fun of DREAMers, who organized a protest across from the summit, by likening them to people trying to crash a hotel breakfast.
“Nobody from Iowa cares a sliver about immigration. All of us came from somewhere, but what we do care about is illegal gate-crashers, as Steve would say,” Mickelson said. “This is about rule of law.”
“‘We’ve borrowed the keys and we’re not happy about the maid service, the TV doesn’t work and we can’t eat at the continental breakfast,’” he said while imitating DREAMers. “‘That’s unfair, we’re dreamers, we’re dreaming about that breakfast. That’s pretty much the same argument the protesters outside are using. They haven’t checked in, they’re using property not of their own, they’re demanding room service and they say they can’t be evicted now because their kids have been born in that room they busted into.’”
Yesterday, Republican leaders in the House decided to pull a plan to vote on a national ban on abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy after Republican women balked at a provision that would have exempted rape survivors only if they reported their assault to the police. The vote had been planned to coincide with the anniversary of Roe v. Wade and the anti-choice March for Life on the National Mall.
Anti-choice activists are, predictably, furious. After all, many saw the rape and incest exception as an unacceptable compromise in the first place. The bill, originally proposed by Rep. Trent Franks last year, included only an exception for abortions that could save the life of the pregnant woman. After Franks claimed in a hearing that “the incidence of rape resulting in pregnancy are very low,” GOP leaders quietly added a rape exception to the bill and picked a Republican woman, Rep. Marsha Blackburn, to handle the vote on the House floor.
Rep. Steve King of Iowa told the National Journal yesterday that he would fix the problem by eliminating the rape exception entirely: "I would not make exceptions for rape and incest, and then the reporting requirement would not be necessary.”
After House leaders decided to pull the bill yesterday, prominent anti-choice blogger Jill Stanek and the group Students for Life announced that they were putting together a last-minute protest at the offices of two Republican women, Reps. Renee Ellmers and Jackie Walorski, who reportedly led the fight against the rape reporting provision:
Conservative pundit Erik Erickson, in a late-night blog post, attacked Ellmers for her “two-faced ploy” and shot off a series of tweets giving her the “abortion Barbie” label he had previously bestowed on Wendy Davis:
Russell Moore, head of the Southern Baptist Convention’s policy arm, responded with a press release saying he was “disgusted” by the House leadership’s “act of moral cowardice” and urged his supporters to call their members of Congress to protest the “breach of trust.”
“I am disgusted by this act of moral cowardice. If the House Republicans cannot pass something as basic as restricting the abortion of five-month, pain-capable unborn children, what can they get done?
“The Republicans in Congress should come and explain this atrocity to the hundreds of thousands of people gathering here in the nation’s capital to march for life. The congressional Republicans seem to think that pro-lifers will be satisfied with Ronald Reagan rhetoric and Nancy Pelosi results. They are quite wrong.”
House Republicans are now scheduled to vote on a bill Thursday that would prohibit federal funding for abortions. This scheduled vote coincides with the annual March for Life event, held in Washington, D.C., on or around the anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision legalizing abortion in the case Roe v. Wade.
Conservative columnist Ross Douthat seemed to capture the feelings of many abortion rights opponents:
The idea that GOP is a party of moneyed interests posing as a culturally conservative party is, um, not always without empirical support.
Steve King appeared on WorldNetDaily’s Radio America yesterday to explain that he made his decision to oppose John Boehner’s re-election as speaker of the House because of concerns that Boehner won’t put up a strong fight against President Obama’s immigration policies.
The Iowa Republican told host Greg Corombos that the nation’s founders would be aghast at Obama, who he said violated his oath of office “as if his word means nothing.”
“It’s been 210 years since Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr fought a duel over honor. Life and death over honor, honor meant that much to our founding fathers and they did not imagine that a president would dishonor his own oath in the fashion that he has done,” King said.
King said that he, on the other hand, is fulfilling his oath by voting against Boehner and insisted that the speaker would be ousted from his position if only other members of Congress took their oaths of office as seriously as he does.
Rep. Steve King took his crusade to block President Obama’s executive action on immigration to “The Steve Deace Show” last night, where the Iowa congressman urged House Republicans to thwart immigration reform even if it results in a government shutdown.
“Let’s throw out the fact that we have a Marxist in the White House and our very way of life is at stake,” Deace explained, “could an argument be made that a smart political move is to actually have a showdown with the president right now?”
After all, the radio host said, “in case it does blow up and the media loses their minds, the next election that matters is not for twenty-three months and a lot of things can change, Jesus could come back in the next twenty-three months, a lot of things can change in twenty-three months so let’s do it now when not much damage can be done [and] not many people are paying attention.”
King said he completely agreed with Deace’s analysis, adding that “there’s probably no better time to fight than now and no better time to risk a government shutdown than now.”
“The people would have twenty-three months to forget, presumably, but I would like it rather that they remember that we would have the courage, and I wish they don’t think it takes a lot, to stand on principle,” he said. “When the president violates his oath of office, it’s ever more incumbent upon the rest of us to stand up to our oath.”
As President Obama prepares to announce the steps that he will take to provide temporary deportation relief for some undocumented immigrants, it’s important to remember why he’s taking this step. It’s not because Obama and Democrats refuse to work with Republicans to address pressing immigration problems. It’s because a small but influential segment of the Republican caucus refuses to do anything to fix the immigration system.
Today, we at People For the American Way joined with American Bridge to release a video highlighting the kind of rhetoric from congressional Republicans that has sunk any kind of attempt at bipartisan immigration reform.
In an interview with WorldNetDaily today, Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, compared the congressional GOP’s standoff with President Obama over immigration reform to the fight against ISIS, saying that the Republican caucus should be prepared to “use all the constitutional means at our disposal” and not take a government shutdown or impeachment proceedings off the table.”
“The president is holding a right hostage to an ultimatum,” he said. “We have a right to secure borders, we have a right to demand and expect that our president enforce the law, but he’s giving us an ultimatum that Congress can either pass amnesty or he’s going to commit it by a constitutional violation.”
“I think that we can’t take cutting off funding off the table,” he continued. “It’s about the equivalent of saying in the fight against ISIS that there will be no boots on the ground. Republicans should not make those kind of mistakes that the president has made in his messaging to ISIS. So that means that we should use all the constitutional means at our disposal.”
He added that “I want to do the minimum possible to restore the constitution,” which could include “cutting off the funding,” passing a motion to censure the president, or impeachment, which he called “the last resort, not one that I favor at all.”
Rep. Steve King thinks that if Hillary Clinton decides to run for president, her “fingernails on the chalkboard” voice will make her vulnerable in the Iowa caucuses.
The Iowa Republican told Steve Malzberg today that there is a “lack of excitement” for a Clinton candidacy and that the former secretary of state’s fellow Democrats should challenge her because her “screechy voice” will “play over and over again in Iowa.”
In an interview this week with Rick Santorum, who was guest-hosting Steve Deace’s radio program, Rep. Steve King of Iowa said that if President Obama takes executive action to grant deportation relief to some immigrants, he may push for Congress to shut down the government or impeach President Obama in order to prevent the country from “descending abruptly into an abyss that we have never seen in the history of this country.”
King said that if the president were to issue such an order, he would advocate for Congress to only pass a spending bill funding the government until January “so that we could address this thing by shutting off the funding.”
“I don’t want to go down the path that would bring us to where the confrontation between Congress and Bill Clinton in 1998, but neither would I take it off the table,” King said, referring to impeachment. He then compared his strategy for confronting Obama with the president’s national security policy: “The president has said some things like no boots on the ground and the war in Afghanistan is over at the end of 2014. You don’t make those kinds of predictions and you don’t unilaterally disarm. You use all the constitutional tools at our disposal. ”
“Our constitution will be torn asunder if we let the president do this,” King continued.
“What he’s contemplating doing is the equivalent of standing up in front of America, opening up the Constitution, taking ahold of Article 1 — all of the congressional legislative authority — tearing that out and putting it in his shirt pocket and saying, ‘I’ll do the lawmaking in this country, it’s not your business, Congress.’ If we let that happen, our constitutional republic is descending abruptly into an abyss that we have never seen in the history of this country.”
As the American Immigration Council has documented, every president since Eisenhower has used executive authority to grant “temporary immigration relief to one or more groups in need of assistance.”
In an interview with an Iowa newspaper this week, Rep. Steve King suggested that gay people as well as those who are divorced and cohabiting will have unfavorable prospects in the afterlife, saying, “I’ll just say that what was a sin 2,000 years ago is a sin today, and people that were condemned to hell 2,000 years ago, I don’t expect to meet them should I make it to Heaven.”