“Some in our party wonder why Republicans are constantly accused of racism. It is because of our silence when things like this are said.”–Tim Scott, black Republican senator, on Rep. Steven King
After years of ignoring his racist comments, House Republicans have finally had enough of Rep. Steven King of Iowa.
Republican leaders in the House stripped King of his committee assignments and Rep. Liz Cheney, chair of the House Republican Conference, suggested he resign his seat. A resolution condemning his comments had bi-partisan support in the House.
The GOP leadership apparently had enough of King when he told the New York Times: “White nationalist, white supremacist, western civilization–how did that language become offensive? Why did I sit in classes teaching me about the merits of our history and our civilization?”
Here in western Nevada County, conservatives expressed confusion and hostility toward the House GOP’s action, apparently either oblivious to, or in agreement with, King’s long history of racist comments.
“What exactly did he say (as opposed to what his detractors claim he said) that caused the furor and the Republican leadership to censure him,” asked George Rebane, proprietor of Rebane’s Ruminations, a blog that’s a gathering place for the local conservative intelligentsia.
This apparent ignorance is hard to accept. Rebane is obviously well read, and it stretches credibility to suggest that he is unaware of King’s long history of racist comments. Perhaps he just reads conservative publications that don’t find King’s comments objectionable or worthy of criticism, or maybe Rebane just agrees with him.
He has drawn criticism locally for contending that people want to be with their own kind, and suggesting the U.S. would be better off if it was organized into a “confederacy of like-minded regions.” How you would accomplish this in the country with the world’s more diverse population is hard to fathom, but a lot of people see racism in the proposal. I’ll call it segregation and leave it at that.
Rebane’s bewilderment over the King dust-up was quickly dismissed by two of his regulars. “fish,” the only one of Rebane’s regulars who appears to have a sense of humor, responded: “Oh that hardly matters George…they’re running with the narrative…Mittens Romney wants him primaried. Even McConnell is wobbly! GOPe…craven cowards to the man.”
Todd Juvinall, who’s rude, crude and claims to have never witnessed racial discrimination in Nevada County, chimed in with this: “Yeah the lefty snowflakes can’t deal with that so they have to ban it. God help America.”
Rebane’s fellow travelers seem to be fearful of the encroachment of “those people” into California’s second whitest county. They were particularly aroused recently when some blacks tried to rip-off a local pot dealer, and two groups of blacks robbed the T-Mobile store in Grass Valley.
Rebane regular Walt Branson was particularly upset with this chain of events, referring to one of the invaders as a “city pavement ape” in a post on December 1. Rebane didn’t remove it, and nobody suggested it was out-of-bounds. It’s possible that nobody read the rant. The other possibility is that those who read it didn’t find it objectionable.
As Senator Scott has observed, this is why the GOP has an image problem.