Steve King

Right Wing Round-Up - 5/18/16

GOP Rep.: US Going 'Downhill' Thanks To Legal Contraception, LGBT Rights

Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, blasted the Obama administration on Saturday for a new directive on transgender equality in public schools, joking that the administration won’t be satisfied until all students are “transgendered [sic] vegans” and lamenting a “downhill” descent in the United States that includes the Supreme Court rulings recognizing women’s right to access birth control.

King discussed the Obama administration letter to school districts in the “Caffeinated Thoughts Radio” podcast on Saturday, saying that “pranksters” in their last week of high school are probably “lined up right now” to take advantage of transgender rights to get into girls’ bathrooms.

Think of this: This is the last week of school for a lot of high school seniors. Some of these boys, especially, are a little rowdy when they’ve got their grades already in the bank and are just kind of waiting to go down and accept their diploma. … But, think of this, all over America, they’ve got to be lined up right now, the pranksters, going, ‘I’m going to go into the girls’ room,’ ‘I’m going,’ ‘I dare you,’ ‘Well, the two of us will go,’ ‘The three of us will go.’ There’s a line-up in some school right now and no school can discipline them because the federal government will come in with the Justice Department and jerk their No Child Left Behind funding.

He half-joked that the government would next announce that “‘We’re going to make you all vegans,’ transgendered [sic] vegans would satisfy them.”

“It’s the unhumorous humorous reality of how perverse our society has gotten under Barack Obama,” he added.

When asked if schools would resist the administration’s directive, King was pessimistic, saying that he had seen society “capitulate” to Supreme Court rulings on prayer in schools, abortion rights, and same-sex marriage, along with the court’s rulings in Griswold v. Connecticut and Eisenstaedt v. Baird, which established the right of married and unmarried people, respectively, to access birth control.

With all of these developments, King said, the U.S. has gone “downhill fast” as society has allowed the courts to “change the protocol of the civilization that goes back to Adam and Eve.”

Well, I was sitting [as] a freshman in high school when Murray vs. Curlett came down that ordered that there be no more prayer in the public schools. And I thought then, that was 1963, and I thought then, how are they going to stop us from praying in our schools? They could tape our mouths shut, that doesn’t do it. The only way they could stop us would be to empty the schools out. And in my mind’s eye, I can still see the images that were conjured up: two U.S. Army personnel standing there guarding the doors that were chained shut on our high school. … It was the image that came to mind, the only way to stop us from praying in public schools was to empty the schools out and guard them so we couldn’t sneak in and pray.

And, yet, what happened was, society capitulated to the command of the Supreme Court, and then we saw a watershed that went downhill: Roe v. Wade, Doe v. Bolton, Griswold v. Connecticut, Eisenstadt, on and on and on ... but we went downhill fast. And then you saw, we were all part of the battle against what our Iowa Supreme Court did when they commanded that there be same-sex marriage in Iowa, and then we saw the Supreme Court order, just create a new command in the United States Constitution. So now we’ve got to submit to five members of the Supreme Court and one president and simply let them change the protocol of the civilization that goes back to Adam and Eve? And I’m going to say, society will capitulate because they didn’t fight on marriage.

Listen to the full audio of the interview at Caffeinated Thoughts; the discussion with King begins at around the 3-minute mark.

Steve King Offers To Help Trump With Immigration Policy

Rep. Steve King of Iowa, a key endorser of Sen. Ted Cruz’s presidential run and a leading anti-immigration voice in the house, told an Iowa talk radio program yesterday that although he is not ready to endorse Donald Trump now that he is the presumptive GOP nominee, he is ready to thank Trump for “borrowing” his immigration policy and “help” the candidate solidify his stance on the issue.

King told Iowa radio host Jeff Angelo that he’s not ready to offer a direct endorsement because of the “insults” Trump has hurled at his adversaries: “I’m not a guy who holds a lot of grudges, but I have to be able to remember some things along the way.”

But he seemed ready to work with Trump on crafting a restrictive immigration policy:

I’ve said that we need to support the nominee that’s produced by the rules. I’ve never seen a nominee pour out so many insults on other people as Donald Trump has. This isn’t the day to highlight all of those and grind through all of that, but I’ll just say this, that I think Donald Trump is going to have to do a job of reaching out to conservatives and convincing. You’re a candidate, you’ve got to convince people to come in behind you. We had somewhere between 5 and 8 million conservatives who didn’t come out to vote when Mitt Romney was on the ballot, and he may well be president today if he had been able to mobilize those conservatives.

So I want to hear some things from Donald Trump on how it will be and what he will do. It’s been pretty hard to figure that out over the last few months. And I’m not going to say that I’m going to be a ‘Never Trump’ person, don’t expect that at all out of me. Expect me to say to Donald Trump: ‘Thanks a lot for borrowing my immigration policy, you get to keep it and I’ll help you with that, and let’s see what else we can do, if we can work together to strengthen this.’

And so I’d like to see it put together in a way that we can put the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle together where there’s a whole, coherent policy in the Trump campaign that can stand up and win an election, and something that is so firm that he stands on it and we stand on it and we get to a place where we can stand on it together.

Somehow, we think that King and Trump will be able to make up eventually. Before Trump and Cruz started locking heads, King praised Trump for raising the profile of anti-immigrant policies.

And who can forget when Trump traveled to Iowa to campaign for King in 2014, resulting in a press conference where Trump stood by as King warned of immigrants bringing in Ebola and beheadings and heaped praise on Trump for his "brain" and "character."

"I have this affinity to, I'll just say, get the opportunity to claim as friends a unique individual that has blazed his own trail time and time again," King said at the time, "one who never puts his finger in the wind, but puts his brain to it and his character to it and his work ethic to it and his instincts to it, and time after time, when the hand of Donald Trump reached out and touched something, it turned into something good for America."

Tea Party Group Draws Crowd Of Tens To Protest Supreme Court Confirmation

Today, as thousands of people gathered in front of the Supreme Court to voice their support of President Obama’s executive actions on immigration, a somewhat smaller crowd organized by Tea Party Patriots held forth against the DAPA/DACA actions and urged the Senate not to confirm President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland.

We counted about 20 people at the Tea Party Patriots event at 11 am, shortly before the event’s speeches were scheduled to begin: 

The heavily outnumbered protesters carried signs saying “#NoHearingsNoVotes,” “#TheDecisionIsOurs,” “#LetThePeopleDecide” and “Let The People Have A Voice On The Future Of The Court,” the message that anti-Garland groups have settled on to make their quest to block hearings on a Supreme Court nomination sound like a populist rallying cry. The sign on a podium labeled Garland “Obama’s Rubber Stamp.”

There was a high ratio of Republican and conservative movement speakers to grassroots activists, asRep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas,Rep. Ken Buck, R-Colo.,Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, and the Judicial Crisis Network’s Carrie Severino addressed the small crowd.

Here’s another view of the Tea Party Patriots event:

 

UPDATE: Politico reports:

News concerences sponsored by the Tea Party and FreedomWorks also featured Reps. Ted Yoho (R-Fla.) and Louie Gohmert (R-Texas), as well as other speakers who unsuccessfully tried to lead the crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance and "America the Beautiful." An effort to lead a singalong of the national anthem backfired when the singer forgot the lyrics midway through, drawing jeers.

 

Steve King: GOP Primary Voters Channeling The Spirit Of The Revolutionary War

Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, who has endorsed Texas Sen. Ted Cruz’s presidential run, said in an interview with Breitbart’s Stephen Bannon yesterday that the success of “anti-establishment candidates” like Cruz and Donald Trump in the Republican primary shows that Republican voters are channeling the spirit of the American Revolution.

King attributed the success of Cruz and Trump to frustration that Republican leaders in Congress “haven’t followed through on their promises” to repeal the Affordable Care Act, block executive actions on immigration, or call out the president “on his constitutional violations of all kinds.”

He explained that it all started with the Tea Party, which he described as a Christian conservative movement with an energy that “goes back to the pipes of the Revolutionary War” and that is now reflected by the majority of the Republican electorate.

We have watched this within the Tea Party, and they are full-spectrum, conservative Christian, constitutional conservatives for the most part — and they don’t exclude people who are conservatives that happen to be of another faith or religion at all, they’re very welcoming to all people that would join the cause — but that energy and fervor that goes back to that, let’s say goes back to the pipes of the revolutionary war, that’s something that motivates us, we’re rooted in our history, it’s a common historical experience that we have.

And they know that the Declaration and the Constitution were shaped then, and if we fail to adhere to those values, if this is the time to restore and refurbish the pillars of American exceptionalism, that if we fail, our Constitution will be lost. And that’s the 80 percent out there of the Republicans and that’s about the zero percent of the Democrats.

King also explained that he knew he could count on Cruz in 2013 when he held an all-day press conference in protest of the Gang of Eight immigration bill and “for 45 minutes, [Cruz] delivered chapter and verse of everything that I have fought for and believed in with regard to the immigration issue.”

He said that his respect for Cruz was further cemented when he learned that the Texas senator “was raised with the Bible and the Constitution at the kitchen table, side by side, indexed to each other” and that’s when “I knew that it’s in his bones.”

Steve King Suspects 'A Good Chunk' Of Remittances To Mexico Are 'Laundered Drug Money'

When Donald Trump suggested this week that he would make Mexico pay for a border wall by threatening to cut off all remittance payments sent by American workers to family members in Mexico, he was echoing years of calls from anti-immigrant politicians like former Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann and Louisiana Sen. David Vitter to punish immigrants who send money to their families.

It isn’t exactly a surprise, then, that Rep. Steve King of Iowa, one of the most vocal anti-immigration advocates in Congress, seems fairly supportive of Trump’s plan despite having endorsed Sen. Ted Cruz for president.

Newsmax host Steve Malzberg asked King about Trump’s plan in an interview yesterday, and King said that while he was “torn between a couple of two fires” on the issue, he’d “like to see Donald Trump go a little further with this dialogue and see what we might be able to get done.”

King, who once insisted that most people eligible for the DREAM Act have “calves the size of cantaloupes because they’ve been hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert,” said that he suspected that “a good chunk” of remittances to Mexico and elsewhere in Latin America are “laundered drug money.”

More than 50 Conservative Catholics Back Ted Cruz

The latest announcement in the Ted Cruz presidential campaign’s ongoing rollout of endorsements from right-wing leaders is a group of more than 50 “Catholic influencers” led by Robert George, the intellectual muscle for the Religious Right, and Ken Cuccinelli, former attorney general of Virginia and failed gubernatorial candidate. The campaign announced the endorsement of Robert George yesterday; some others on the list have also been announced previously.

Not surprisingly, the list of Catholics for Cruz is heavy on culture warriors who have been fighting to criminalize abortion and resist legal equality for LGBT people and same-sex couples. Although Cruz is not Catholic, he made a reference to the Year of Mercy announced by Pope Francis, saying “we have an opportunity to protect the most vulnerable and safeguard the truth revealed through Scripture and the tradition of millennia.”

One eyebrow-raising name on the list is Anne Schlafly Cori, president of Missouri Eagle Forum and daughter of Eagle Forum founder Phyllis Schlafly, who endorsed Donald Trump last week

Also on the list:

Courting Extremism: The Week The GOP Admitted Its Supreme Court Blockade Is Based On A Lie

Courting Extremism is a weekly feature on conservative responses to the Supreme Court vacancy.

We are introducing a new series here on Right Wing Watch as the GOP’s obstructionism reaches a new low, with many Republican leaders now claiming that whomever President Obama nominates to the Supreme Court should receive absolutely no consideration from senators, despite their duties as outlined in the Constitution.

In response to the Supreme Court blockade, we will be putting together a weekly update on the Right’s response to the current Supreme Court vacancy.

5) Federalist Society Fine With A Perpetual Vacancy

Originally, Republicans insisted that they were simply upholding a recently-discovered tradition where the Senate refuses to consider Supreme Court nominees in election years.

However, since this tradition doesn’t actually exist, conservatives have become more honest about what’s really going on: they just don’t like the fact that Obama is president.

At the recent Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), Dean Reuter of the Federalist Society, a major right-wing legal group, commended the Senate GOP leadership for refusing to consider whomever Obama nominates to fill the vacancy. When asked if Republicans should continue to block hearings if the next president is a Democrat, Reuter said he is fine leaving the seat open indefinitely:

There’s no time limit in the Constitution. And there’s nothing magical about there being nine justices. The country started out with six justices, we’ve had as many as ten at some point in time. And as recently as 2010, when Justice Elena Kagan came on the Court, she had been solicitor general so she recused herself in over a third of the cases…I don’t see a sense of urgency.

Unless, of course, a Republican is elected president.

4) Ron Johnson Gives Away The Game

Apparently, the fictitious no-appointments-in-an-election-year tradition only applies to Democratic presidents, at least according to Sen. Ron Johnson.

The Wisconsin Republican said in a radio interview yesterday that “it’d be a different situation” if a GOP president was appointing a justice to the bench, saying that the Senate Republicans would show “more accommodation” to a Republican president.

Johnson might be interested in hearing from his voters: A recent poll found that 62 percent of Wisconsinites say the open Supreme Court seat should be filled this year, and 76 percent “think the Senate should at least see who gets put forward before making a decision on whether they should be confirmed.”

3) ‘We Are Setting A Precedent Here Today’

At least one Republican senator is honest enough to admit that the Republicans don’t have Senate history on their side.

Sen. Lindsey Graham told a Judiciary Committee meeting that the GOP is about to create a new precedent by refusing to even consider a nominee from President Obama, as the Huffington Post reports:

One of the Republican Party's most candid senators, Lindsey Graham (S.C.), admitted Thursday a stark fact that the rest of his colleagues have tried their best to avoid: that their blockade of any Supreme Court nominee by President Barack Obama is unprecedented.

And he insisted that he was going to go along with it, even though he predicted it would worsen relations between the parties and the functioning of the Senate.

"We are setting a precedent here today, Republicans are, that in the last year at least of a lame duck eight-year term -- I would say it’s going to be a four-year term -- that you’re not going to fill a vacancy of the Supreme Court based on what we’re doing here today," Graham said in an unusual session of the Judiciary Committee, where members debated not bills or judicial nominees, but Obama's right to carry out his constitutional powers in an election year.

"We're headed to changing the rules, probably in a permanent fashion," he said.

Nonetheless, Graham said that “he still supports Grassley's decision not to hold hearings for Obama's nominee.”

2) ‘It’s A Political Argument’

While Senate Republicans insist that they aren’t inserting partisanship into the Supreme Court fight and are simply following tradition, Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, a member of the House Judiciary Committee, said at CPAC that the fight is all about winning “a political clash.”

In video provided by Democracy Partners and Americans United for Change, King said that he supports the actions of Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley “as long as he’s blocking an Obama appointment.”

1) Who Cares About The Sixth Amendment?

It seems that the GOP is not only ignoring the Constitution’s “advice and consent” requirement but also the heart of the Sixth Amendment.

In a taste of things to come, Carrie Severino of the Judicial Crisis Network took to the National Review to attack a possible Supreme Court nominee, Judge Jane Kelly, for having once worked as a defense attorney.

That’s right, Severino seemed to suggest that it is disqualifying that Kelly worked as a defense attorney because her past clients include people accused of vicious crimes.

Of course, everyone accused of a crime isn’t necessarily guilty, and according to the Sixth Amendment, “the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial” and “to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.”

Severino’s outrageous article is also an opportunity to point out that her group, the Judicial Crisis Network, was originally named the Judicial Confirmation Network when it was founded during the Bush administration for the purpose of advocating for the smooth confirmation of judges.

Steve King Admits The Supreme Court Blockade Is All About Politics

In comments captured by Americans United for Change at CPAC last week, Rep. Steve King praised Sen. Chuck Grassley’s stance that the Senate should not even consider any jurist nominated by President Obama to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court.

While Grassley, the Iowa Republican who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, has insisted that he is blocking a Supreme Court appointment because he’s abiding by a (nonexistent) tradition that the Senate doesn't confirm justices during an election year, King seemed to give away the game and admit that Senate Republicans are engaging in a political fight to stop Obama.

Video via Democracy Partners / Americans United for Change.

The Iowa Republican congressman said he would support Grassley’s Supreme Court blockade “as long as he’s blocking an Obama appointment.” King dismissed concerns about the Senate’s constitutional obligation to consider Supreme Court nominees and made it clear that the blockade is all about anti-Obama politics.

I’m going to defend Chuck Grassley and whatever he decides to do on this at least as far as — as long as he’s blocking an Obama appointment. And I say that because I’m on the Judiciary Committee in the House, we have a voice but we don't have a vote, that this argument about who should do the nomination and whether there should be the advice and consent of the Senate so that the president can make that appointment, this swings back around.

There will be all kinds of constitutional arguments that are made and they will say “process” and "tradition” and “constitution” and “precedent” are going to guide us all. And then they’ll make up those that support their argument and some of them who are making those arguments will be contradicting their previous arguments the last time these things came up, like Schumer, for example.

But in the end, we should understand that it’s a political argument and a political clash of this will be played out with higher and higher intensity moving forward until November. If Chuck Grassley and Republicans can hold off on a nomination or vote down a nomination until the election, then I think it will be clear that it’s not going to happen until the next president makes that appointment.

After shrugging off the Constitution’s “advice and consent” provision, King said he would only support judicial nominees “who believe and adhere to the principle that the Constitution means what it says and needs to be interpreted to mean what it was understood to mean at the time of ratification.” (That’s code for results-based rulings cheered by conservatives.)

Steve King: Only Ted Cruz Can Save Us From Obama's 'Cultural Suicide' Pills

Rep. Steve King joined conservative Iowa radio host Steve Deace last week to discuss his recent endorsement of Sen. Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign, which he said was motivated by his confidence that Cruz would appoint conservative Supreme Court justices and reverse President Obama’s attempt to commit “cultural suicide” through immigration.

King, an Iowa Republican, said that aside from the Supreme Court’s marriage equality ruling, his main concern was that America is following in Europe’s footsteps in committing “cultural suicide,” with President Obama administering the suicide pills in the form of refugees and other immigrants.

“I see Europe,” he said, “it’s almost past tense, you can almost say they have committed cultural suicide. And Barack Obama has been feeding us the medication that will bring about cultural suicide in the United States. And we need a president who sees that whole picture and knows that it has to be restored and has an understanding of how to restore the American exceptionalism, constitutional underpinnings and the core of our faith.”

King added that he saw such a “transformation of Western Christendom” in recent visits to immigrant communities in Minneapolis and Dearborn, Michigan, which, he said, highlighted the “demographics” that he hoped a President Ted Cruz could reverse in America.

“By the way, I went up to Minnesota, to Little Mogadishu, to see what that’s like up there,” he said, “and I spent a weekend in Dearborn to see what, again, went to a couple of mosques in there to see the transformation of the United States. And I’ve gone into a number of the major cities in Europe and walked into those no-go zones and walked down through the Muslim neighborhoods and I see the transformation of Western Christendom, and it’s very troubling. And when you look at the demographics, we must do something to reverse this, and [Cruz] is the candidate that I believe [can do it].”

Steve King: Syrian Refugees Like Poisonous Grapes

While chatting today with Stephen Bannon of Breitbart News, Rep. Steve King took issue with the claim that the mounting hostility to refugees is undermining American values. The Iowa Republican said that “the argument that ‘that’s not who we are’ is just one of the mantras that they put out, it’s not supported by logic or rationale.”

“Who we are? We should not be a suicidal nation,” King said. “My wife said this morning, ‘If you had 100 grapes and you knew that two of them were fatally poisonous, would you sit there and eat the grapes until one of them killed you? Or would you decide, I’m not going to take that bunch of grapes at all?’ That’s what we’re dealing with here with the Syrian refugees.”

King argued that the U.S. has already done its part to help refugees since “America has done more than any other country in the world has done for refugees and the soil right next door to Syria that are part of Iraq, is sanctified by the blood of our warriors, our patriots. They paid a greater price than any other country in the world and we have a right to protect our borders, and by the way, we have a right to protect our culture and our civilization. I am watching as Europe has committed, it’s almost conclusive now, that they are committing cultural suicide by pouring in millions of migrants who don’t share they’re values.”

He blamed the looming end of European civilization on abortion and contraception: “The mass migration is the end of their culture and civilization and they must know that but they deny it because they’ve denied the reality that if they don’t have their babies, if they abort their babies and decide by contraceptives and abortion not to have enough babies to reproduce themselves, they’re a dying civilization.”

As a result, King said, “they are replacing themselves with people who do not share their values.”

Extremist Congressman: God Raising Up Ted Cruz To Save America's Soul

Ted Cruz has picked up the endorsement of Iowa Republican Rep. Steve King, who is not only an influential political force in the first-in-the-nation caucus state but also a prominent face of the anti-gay and anti-immigration movements.

“For almost a year now, my regular prayer has been that God would raise up a leader whom he will use to restore the soul of America,” King said in a video message, asking Iowans to “do your duty for God and country, come to caucus, and support Ted Cruz for president of the United States.”

The congressman made waves nationally when he suggested that young immigrants are mostly drug smugglers who’ve “got calves the size of cantaloupes because they’ve been hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert,” but he’s been making similar comments for years, once likening immigrants to livestock while calling for an electrified border fence and depicting immigration as a “slow-motion Holocaust” and “a slow-rolling, slow-motion terrorist attack on the United States.” He has a long record of portraying immigrants as a violent threat that will destroy the country and civilization itself.

King has also been a leader among opponents of LGBT equality, warning that same-sex marriage will usher in socialism, leave children raised in warehouses instead of families and “throw this country into an endless trauma.” The congressman has also baselessly asserted that gay rights laws have legalized man-lawnmower marriage and pedophilia.

While Cruz may be happy that King thinks that God is backing his candidacy, he shouldn’t be complacent: King previously said that a Mitt Romney win in 2012 would be a victory for God.

Steve King: Monarchs 'Lost Their Head' Because Of Behavior Like Boehner's

In an interview with Iowa talk radio host Simon Conway yesterday, Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, compared the power that the speaker of the House wields to “the scenario that brought about the Magna Carta” and caused “many British kings” to “lose their heads.”

Conway asked King about the efforts of Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., to reinstate an Army sergeant who was reportedly discharged for hitting an Afghan police commander who had raped a boy, efforts that he said were being held up by House Speaker John Boehner. King, who has endorsed Dan Webster, the favored speaker candidate of the House’s far-right members, told Conway that there have been “lots of discussions of how to change the rules” in the House “so that it brings out the will of the group.”

“Their job is not to impose their will on the group, as we have seen repeatedly,” he said of the House Republican leadership, “but instead to bring out the will of the group that you represent. And if you don’t do that, if you’re imposing your will on them instead of bringing out the will of them, you’re replicating the scenario that brought about the Magna Carta, for example. And how many British kings lost their head because they didn’t listen to their constituents? They don’t teach that in the history books very well, but I’m sure that heads rolled multiple times throughout history because of that, and that’s of course the big reason why the United States became the United States and separated itself.”

Ann Coulter: Anyone Who Supports Immigration Reform Is Dumb

Immigration reform opponents are furious that Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., who has voiced vague support for immigration reform, is on the verge of becoming speaker of the House.

Ann Coulter, who has been urging conservatives to rally behind Donald Trump and his anti-immigration stance, told religious broadcaster Eric Metaxas yesterday that her first choice for speaker of the House is Rep. Steve King, the Iowa Republican infamous for likening immigrants to livestock and expounding on the size of their calves.

Coulter said that while she also likes Rep. Daniel Webster, R-Fla., the choice of the House Freedom Caucus, King is an “articulate,” “smart” and “incredible” communicator for the anti-immigrant right.

After comparing Trump to Roman senator Cincinnatus, hailing them as ideal citizen-statesmen, Coulter went on to explain how to find out if someone is smart or not: “The shortcut is, where do they stand on immigration? It is the litmus test of our day, it tells you how bright someone is, it tells you whether they care about the country, it separates the mice from the men.”

Far-Right Gets Its Wish: Speaker Boehner Resigning From Congress

During the 2013 government shutdown fight, Rep. David Nunes, R-Calif., referred to the extremist members advocating a shutdown as “lemmings with suicide vests.” But the far-right flank, often called the “Suicide Caucus,” has only grown in power since then and has recently gained momentum in its push to remove John Boehner, who they say hasn't done enough to fight President Obama, from his position as speaker of the House.

The "Suicide Caucus" is particularly angry that the House Republican leadership approved an increase in the debt ceiling and hasn’t successfully defunded Planned Parenthood or the Affordable Care Act. Of course, there was little Boehner could do to accomplish any of these goals, since Republicans could not override an inevitable veto from the president or overcome opposition from Senate Democrats. But the “Suicide Caucus” doesn’t exactly function according to logic.

Many of the most radical members of Congress became more organized with the formation of the House Freedom Caucus, which The Economist described as a group dedicated to making “reckless and unrealistic” demands of Boehner, “consistent with their record of attempting wild, hapless heists against both Mr. Obama and the Republican leadership.”

With Boehner announcing his resignation today, it’s important to remember that the people who have spent years calling for Boehner’s ouster also represent the far-right flank of the party. As Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., put it, “this is a victory for the crazies.”

Rep. Ted Yoho, R-Fla., who organized a failed attempt to topple Boehner earlier this year, blasted Boehner for leading a system that was reminiscent of “China, Cuba or any other communist country.” Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, for whom Boehner had some choice words after he ranted about the size of immigrants' calves, criticized Boehner for how he handled immigration issues, claiming that the speaker was “throwing tantrums” and “taking a shovel and digging himself into a hole a little bit deeper.” Like King, Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Kan., attacked Boehner’s leadership, claiming that he “surrendered to the left” and “let Pelosi and Reid run the House and the Senate.”

And, of course, the "Suicide Caucus" treats Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, as its leader, which Boehner doesn't exactly like.

The anti-Boehner caucus also got help from conservative talk radio. American Family Radio's Sandy Rios dubbed Boehner a “big liar,” AFR's Bryan Fischer compared him to Pontius Pilate and syndicated radio host Michael Savage referred to the speaker as a “deranged drunk.”

One of Boehner’s most vocal opponents was Glenn Beck, who told his listeners that they should consider themselves “done with the Republican Party” if Boehner won re-election to his post as speaker (which he did).

Beck’s choice to replace Boehner? None other than Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, the top conspiracy theorist of the House GOP.

After Gohmert tried, and failed, to win the speakership earlier this year, he explained that Americans would only turn to him to be speaker in a time of war or a similar crisis, when everyone would realize that he was the right choice all along. “The only way a guy like me could ever get elected to be speaker would be is if we were during a time of all-out war and people had figured, ‘Wow, Louie’s been right all along and maybe we should give him a chance,’” he said. “That’s the only — we’re not going to elect me in a time of undeclared war and I know that and I understood that.”

But who could better reflect the Republican Party’s decline into a hotbed of radicalism and conspiracy theories than Gohmert?

Planned Parenthood Vote Shows The GOP Can't Sidestep It's 'Definitional Problem With Rape'

The House today approved a bill that would block federal funds from going to Planned Parenthood for one year, unless the organization certifies that it will no longer perform abortions, something that it does not currently use federal funds for.

The vote, driven by a smear campaign from anti-choice extremists, was divided mostly along party lines, with the notable exception of Iowa Republican Rep. Steve King, who voted “present.” In a video statement, King explained that he didn’t think the House bill went far enough in attacking the “diabolical” Planned Parenthood, taking particular issue with the fact that the bill would allow Planned Parenthood to continue offering abortions for women who have survived rape or incest:

Leading anti-choice groups have been trying desperately to stop anti-abortion lawmakers from talking about abortion rights for rape survivors after disastrous comments by Missouri’s Todd Akin and Indiana’s Richard Mourdock helped to sink their respective 2012 Senate bids.

The Susan B. Anthony List’s Marjorie Dannenfelser, one of the most influential leaders in the anti-choice movement, held trainings to teach Republican politicians how to change the subject when rape comes up. Dannenfelser has been very clear that she opposes rape exceptions in abortion bans, which she has called “abominable,” “regrettable” and “ intellectually dishonest,” but will urge lawmakers to support a bill that has to contain such exceptions for political reasons.

But hard as Dannenfelser and her allies might try to get anti-choice lawmakers to shut up about rape, they face an uphill battle. Although most anti-choice activists oppose rape exceptions, a vocal portion of the movement believes that lawmakers should automatically reject any bill that includes such exceptions.

A 20-week abortion ban that passed in the House earlier this year and will be coming up for a vote in the Senate next week has been mired for years in anti-choice infighting about rape exceptions. Before a version of the bill came up for a House vote in 2013, Republican leaders scrambled at the last minute to add a rape exception to neutralize controversial comments made by the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Trent Franks.

In January of this year, the House was planning to vote on the bill to mark the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, but scrapped the plan after a coalition led by female Republican lawmakers objected to a provision that would have required rape survivors to report the crime to law enforcement. An exasperated Sen. Lindsey Graham told anti-choice activists the next morning, “I’m going to need your help to find a way out of this definitional problem with rape.”

After extensive negotiations, the House finally settled on a bill that includes an exception for rape survivors if they first undergo a 48-hour waiting period.

But, as Steve King’s “present” vote shows, as long as they’re spending time attacking abortion rights, the GOP is going to be stuck with what Graham called “this definitional problem with rape.”

Steve King Warns Of Changing 'Demographics' Of Immigration: 'I Like The America We Had'

In an interview with Iowa talk radio host Jan Mickelson yesterday, Rep. Steve King warned that President Obama is “seeking to change the demographics” of the U.S. through his immigration and refugee resettlement policies, asking, “How long is it before the culture of America is changed?”

Mickelson, who has called for enslaving undocumented immigrants , asked King about the Obama administration’s announcement of a slight uptick in the number of Syrian refugees the country will accept and the fact that refugees are eligible for some public benefits.

King had a simple explanation for the president’s policies: He wants to “change the demographics” of America in order to increase the number of “Democrat voters.”

The Iowa Republican challenged advocates of refugee resettlement to “tell me how you want America to look, because America’s being transformed because of immigration policy and I’m like Ann Coulter, I like the America we had.”

Why would you do this if you were president of the United States? He’s seeking to change the demographics of the United States of America. And changing the demographics changes the politics, they’re going to have Democrat voters at least two-to-one, some numbers go all the way to five-to-one, and I’m not speaking only of Muslims, I’m speaking of the Central American immigrants that come into America too.

So, any way to win. Bill Clinton accelerated the naturalization of more than a million people before his ’96 re-elect, and we were appalled by that. But this president is pushing, and it turns out to be millions. And we should look at the kind of character that America’s going to be.

As much as I love and appreciate people from any place on the planet, this country has been made up of, is a center-right country, is Christian based, that is our morality, we believe in freedom of religion but if you brought in, say, all the Muslims in the world into the United States, you know it changes the culture.

So if it turns into a few hundred thousand every year, how long is it before the culture of America is changed? And we’re willingly, we’re knowingly and willingly changing the culture of America by government policies driven out of the White House and we aren’t even having a national debate about how that changes our country and is it good or is it bad. I have not seen either the level of assimilation of Muslims into the broader American society, or any place in the world, for that matter. So I’d like to see that model, point to that, tell me how you want America to look, because America’s being transformed because of immigration policy and I’m like Ann Coulter, I like the America we had.

Steve King Claims Obama 'Apologized To Africa For Slavery' When 'There's Nothing To Apologize For'

Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, who has been very impressed with Donald Trump’s candidacy, joined Minnesota talk radio host Dan “Ox” Ochsner earlier this month to discuss Trump’s far-right positions, which he said have “tapped into the emotions of fed-up Americans.”

Americans, King claimed, are “fed up” with President Obama “dismantling our military” and apologizing to “every continent out there” for things like slavery when “there’s nothing for us to apologize for.”

“They’ve delighted in dismantling our military, and it seems as though he’s apologized to every continent out there,” he said, “you know, he apologized to Africa for slavery and genuflects to the Arabic princes and genuflects to the emperor of Japan, and it goes on and on. Americans are tired of apologizing, Ox. We’re a proud people. We’re the vigor of the planet and there’s nothing for us to apologize for until they come and thank us for the things we’ve done.”

Contrary to King’s claim, Obama has not formally “apologized to Africa for slavery” and never went on what the Right has called an “apology tour.”

'What's Wrong With Slavery?' And Jan Mickelson's Other Worst Pro-Confederacy, Anti-Immigrant, Anti-Gay Moments

If you are a presidential candidate, you spend a lot of time talking to people in Iowa. And if you’re a Republican, that means a lot of time on Iowa conservative radio, including popular programs hosted by right-wing activists Steve Deace and Jan Mickelson.

The fact that Deace and Mickelson have long histories of extreme rhetoric has not dissuaded Republican candidates from joining their shows. But Mickelson just upped the ante with comments he made on his program today.

Media Matters caught Mickelson proposing that undocumented immigrants in Iowa become “property of the state” and pressed into hard labor. When a listener called in to point out that Mickelson’s proposal “sounds like slavery,” Mickelson asked, “Well, what’s wrong with slavery?” Undocumented immigrants, he went on to say, are the ones who are enslaving American citizens:

It will be interesting to see if any of the GOP candidates who have been on Mickelson’s radio program recently — which, according to Media Matters’ count, includes Rand Paul, Mike Huckabee, Ted Cruz, Lindsey Graham, Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina, Marco Rubio, Scott Walker, Rick Santorum and Bobby Jindal — repudiate his remarks.

But the fact is that if these candidates were concerned about Mickelson’s rhetoric, they should have stopped going on his show long ago.

When Graham appeared on his program in June, Mickelson declared his allegiance to the Confederacy, as Graham scrambled to distance himself:

Mickelson has also backed Jim Crow-type voting laws.

Today’s comments are hardly Mickelson’s first foray into anti-immigrant extremism either. He has proposed barring undocumented children from public schools and said that if someone has a Hispanic name and is involved with the police, “I assume you’re not here legally.” After an interview with anti-immigrant activist Ann Corcoran, Mickelson promised to press every candidate he had on his show to oppose the U.S. resettlement of refugees from war-torn Muslim countries, which he said was an “act of jihad.” When he asked Rand Paul about it, Paul said the U.S. shouldn’t resettle Iraqi refugees because “we won the war.”

Mickelson’s anti-gay activism includes calling AIDS an “invention” of God to punish homosexuality and agreeing with former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad on the issue of homosexuality.

The Iowa talk radio host also enjoys promoting fringe right-wing conspiracy theories. Mickelson helped to bring the Jade Helm 15 conspiracy theory into the GOP mainstream, asking Paul on his program about the supposed federal plan to take over Texas .

And just last week, Mickelson was getting Rep. Steve King to entertain the conspiracy theory that a botched EPA mine cleanup in Colorado was a deliberate plan to pollute a river to create a Superfund site:

Republican candidates may try to avoid Mickelson’s show after today. But given their track record, we somehow doubt that they will.

Steve King: 'Plausible' That EPA Intentionally Caused Animas River Spill To Get Superfund Money

Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, said last week that he thought it was “plausible” that the Environmental Protection Agency purposefully caused a toxic spill in the Animas River in Colorado in order to establish a Superfund site.

Earlier this month, a crew working for the EPA to clean up an abandoned gold mine accidentally caused three million gallons of contaminated water to spill into the river. The Denver Post reported this weekend that a “theory has been making its way around town that the EPA purposefully caused” the spill in order to ensure that the area is designated as a Superfund site. That theory, based on a letter to the editor of a local paper that some say “predicted” the EPA conspiracy, has begun to get national attention, including from the website of Fox News.

Iowa talk radio host Jan Mickelson, who has a record of getting GOP figures to comment on right-wing conspiracy theories, asked King on Thursday about this “nasty, probably been better than average rumor” that is “past the rumor stage, it’s at the accusation stage, that the EPA may have polluted a river on purpose so that they could collect Superfund money.”

“I only saw the headline on that, so that’s all I know,” King responded, “but when you say this to me, what flashes through my mind is Fast and Furious, how plausible did that sound when it first emerged, and it sounded completely implausible and yet it turned out to be completely true. So I don’t want to make allegations about this particular incident, I certainly want to learn a lot more about it, and I will, but it’s plausible.”

Syndicate content

Steve King Posts Archive

Kyle Mantyla, Wednesday 05/18/2016, 5:33pm
Michael B. Keegan @ Other Words: A Coalition of the Unhinged. Sharona Coutts @ Rewire: Attorney at Center of Scam to Trick Teens out of Abortion Rights Seeks Mississippi Supreme Court Seat. Alan Colmes: Is there a 'shadow government' working in Washington? Erin Fitzgerald @ Media Matters: Don’t Be Fooled By Megyn Kelly’s Laverne Cox Interview. Christopher Massie @ BuzzFeed: Steve King Calls For “Civil Disobedience” On Obama Restroom Guidance. MORE >
Miranda Blue, Monday 05/16/2016, 11:35am
Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, blasted the Obama administration on Saturday for a new directive on transgender equality in public schools, joking that the administration won’t be satisfied until all students are “transgendered [sic] vegans” and lamenting a “downhill” descent in the United States that includes the Supreme Court rulings recognizing women’s right to access birth control. King discussed the Obama administration letter to school districts in the “Caffeinated Thoughts Radio” podcast on Saturday, saying that “pranksters” in their... MORE >
Miranda Blue, Thursday 05/05/2016, 11:08am
Rep. Steve King of Iowa, a key endorser of Sen. Ted Cruz’s presidential run and a leading anti-immigration voice in the house, told an Iowa talk radio program yesterday that although he is not ready to endorse Donald Trump now that he is the presumptive GOP nominee, he is ready to thank Trump for “borrowing” his immigration policy and “help” the candidate solidify his stance on the issue. King told Iowa radio host Jeff Angelo that he’s not ready to offer a direct endorsement because of the “insults” Trump has hurled at his adversaries: “... MORE >
Miranda Blue, Monday 04/18/2016, 1:16pm
Today, as thousands of people gathered in front of the Supreme Court to voice their support of President Obama’s executive actions on immigration, a somewhat smaller crowd organized by Tea Party Patriots held forth against the DAPA/DACA actions and urged the Senate not to confirm President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland. We counted about 20 people at the Tea Party Patriots event at 11 am, shortly before the event’s speeches were scheduled to begin:  The heavily outnumbered protesters carried signs saying “#NoHearingsNoVotes,” “#... MORE >
Miranda Blue, Wednesday 04/06/2016, 5:23pm
Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, who has endorsed Texas Sen. Ted Cruz’s presidential run, said in an interview with Breitbart’s Stephen Bannon yesterday that the success of “anti-establishment candidates” like Cruz and Donald Trump in the Republican primary shows that Republican voters are channeling the spirit of the American Revolution. King attributed the success of Cruz and Trump to frustration that Republican leaders in Congress “haven’t followed through on their promises” to repeal the Affordable Care Act, block executive actions on immigration, or call... MORE >
Miranda Blue, Wednesday 04/06/2016, 11:18am
When Donald Trump suggested this week that he would make Mexico pay for a border wall by threatening to cut off all remittance payments sent by American workers to family members in Mexico, he was echoing years of calls from anti-immigrant politicians like former Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann and Louisiana Sen. David Vitter to punish immigrants who send money to their families. It isn’t exactly a surprise, then, that Rep. Steve King of Iowa, one of the most vocal anti-immigration advocates in Congress, seems fairly supportive of Trump’s plan despite having endorsed Sen.... MORE >
Peter Montgomery, Friday 03/18/2016, 3:13pm
The latest announcement in the Ted Cruz presidential campaign’s ongoing rollout of endorsements from right-wing leaders is a group of more than 50 “Catholic influencers” led by Robert George, the intellectual muscle for the Religious Right, and Ken Cuccinelli, former attorney general of Virginia and failed gubernatorial candidate. The campaign announced the endorsement of Robert George yesterday; some others on the list have also been announced previously. Not surprisingly, the list of Catholics for Cruz is heavy on culture warriors who have been fighting to criminalize... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Friday 03/11/2016, 7:00pm
Courting Extremism is a weekly feature on conservative responses to the Supreme Court vacancy. We are introducing a new series here on Right Wing Watch as the GOP’s obstructionism reaches a new low, with many Republican leaders now claiming that whomever President Obama nominates to the Supreme Court should receive absolutely no consideration from senators, despite their duties as outlined in the Constitution. In response to the Supreme Court blockade, we will be putting together a weekly update on the Right’s response to the current Supreme Court vacancy. 5) Federalist Society... MORE >