Steve King

Right Wing Round-Up - 7/22/14

Anti-Immigrant Protests A Bust: Five Things This Weekend's Rallies Tell Us About The Nativist Right

For weeks now, anti-immigrant groups have been hyping a “National Day of Protesting Against Immigration Reform, Amnesty & Border Surge,” meant to be two days of protests in cities across the country in reaction to the Central American children who are coming to the southern border to flee violence in their home countries.

The protests were a bust. Local news reports and pictures posted on social media show anemic turnout, from about 40 people in front of the United Nations in New York to just three at a McClellan, Texas, border control station who wondered if they had gotten the wrong address.

These small but vitriolic protests, although they didn’t meet the hype of their organizers, tell us everything we need to know about today’s anti-immigrant movement.

1. It’s driven by extremists.

This weekend’s protests were organized by three fringe groups: Make Them Listen, Overpasses for America, and Americans for Legal Immigration PAC.

Make Them Listen is run by activist Paul Arnold, who has close ties to the anti-immigrant front group behind last summer’s rally of extremists on the National Mall .

Overpasses for America is a group led by activist James Neighbors that organizes demonstrations over highway overpasses to call for President Obama’s impeachment. The group went a step further this year when it backed Operation American Spring, an effort meant to flood Washington with protesters and force Obama out of office , which also came up slightly short of expectations .

Overpasses frequently shares images like this on its Facebook page:

The group also uses the platform to share its views on immigrants, including this image and its accompanying caption.

Americans for Legal Immigration is a one-man anti-immigrant hate shop run by North Carolina-based activist William Gheen. Gheen has said that “illegal and violent” means might be necessary to remove President Obama from office and has a long record of virulent anti-immigrant rhetoric . Gheen’s last national action was encouraging his supporters to mail used underwear to undocumented immigrants.

Gheen also has ties to the right-wing militia movement: he personally invited the anti-government group Oath Keepers to join the weekend’s protests.

Other groups listed as “participating organizations” in the event included 2 Million Bikers To DC, whose leader wants to repeal all but the first 10 amendments to the Constitution and which deals in racist Facebook images, and Americans Have Had Enough Coalition, which is led by white supremacist Roan Garcia-Quintana .

The largest recent anti-immigrant protests — the attempts to turn back busses of migrant children in Murrieta, California, and Oracle, Arizona — were also populated by anti-government fringe groups. The Murrieta protest, which was organized by activists tied to the Minutemen and the John Birch Society, drew some of the same people who had recently set up shop at the anti-government standoff at the Bundy Ranch.

2. It relies on xenophobia.

Signs and chants at this weekend’s protests show that the movement draws its energy from Nativism and xenophobia.

A number of signs at the events drew from the ginned-up fears of migrant children carrying diseases. In New York, one protester parodied Emma Lazarus, shouting, “bring us your smallpox, bring us your malaria, your scabies.”

Another woman in New York held a sign calling “illegals” and President Obama “cockroaches.”

At the Raleigh event, attended by Gheen himself, protesters in front of the Mexican consulate held a large sign reading “No Way Jose.”

A protester in Texas held a sign saying, “We are a nation of immigrants, not a nation of welfare .”

Another protester in Florida wrote a sign that read, “Send Them Back with Birth Control.”

3. The fringe and the “mainstream” are closely knit.

The weekend’s protests were organized by fringe extremists, but they were promoted by large national groups that have access and influence in national politics.

The largest anti-immigrant organizing groups, the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) and Numbers USA quietly promoted the events: Numbers sent a notice about the events to its email list and a number of FAIR’s state affiliates directed members to events in their areas.

Prominent GOP-tied activists also promoted the events. The American Family Association’s Sandy Rios urged listeners of her radio show to attend events in their area and advertised the protest on Facebook. The Right’s favorite "constitutional scholar" Mark Levin also advertised the rallies on Facebook.

Rep. Steve King, the leading anti-immigrant voice in Congress, was spoke at a sparsely attended protest in Nebraska, telling his audience that the migrant children at the border represent an “invasion” the size of “Santa Ana’s army.”

4. The movement’s running on fumes.

The small turnout at the weekend’s rallies highlights the truth that the anti-immigrant movement is desperately trying to hide: it just doesn’t have that much support.

Reports from cities across the country show just small handfuls of people showing up to yell about the child migrants to passing cars.

About 12 people turned up on an overpass in Milwaukee. A similar number gathered in Oklahoma City and Placentia, California. An event in Dover, Delaware, seems to have attracted about twenty. About eight appear to have made it out to hang an “Obama Sucks” banner on an overpass in Chattanooga. Three people turned up on an overpass in Oregon. San Diego mustered 25 people. A small group of protesters in Columbus, Ohio, were disappointed that so few people had showed up. About 15 people made it to the parking lot of the Mexican consulate in Little Rock; consulate officials and local police assured local news that they weren’t too concerned about needing additional security.

Meanwhile, Think Progress reporters in McClellan, Texas, ran into a group of three anti-immigrant demonstrators who wondered if they had gotten the wrong address for the protest. They were drowned out by the more than 60 people rallying in support of the refugee children at the border.

The protests this weekend were an attempt to create the illusion of widespread outrage at the children coming to the southern border and at the concept of immigration reform. A number of the protest groups, however small, garnered local news coverage and were able to say that they were part of a large nationwide effort. A look at reports from across the country shows that that was not the case.

The anti-immigrant movement, for all its smoke and mirrors, consists of a small network of closely tied advocacy groups who rely on fringe extremists like Gheen and Neighbors to rally scant amounts of grassroots support.

5. The GOP is still listening.

The anti-immigrant movement may be smoke and mirrors, but it has some very influential people fooled. House Speaker John Boehner still refuses to bring immigration reform up for a vote in the House. Ted Cruz now says that deporting DREAMers is his “top priority.” Republicans in Congress, spooked by the victory of ALIPAC-supported David Brat in Virginia, say that immigration reform is dead — even though an overwhelming percentage of Republicans want Congress to take action to fix the immigration system and a majority of Republicans want that to include a path to citizenship or permanent residency for undocumented immigrants.

The child refugee crisis has brought out the true colors of the anti-immigrant movement. Even as some conservative groups are urging compassion and care for the children fleeing to the southern border, Republican leaders seem to be buying the narrative of the small, Nativist anti-immigrant fringe.

Judicial Watch: Obama 'Engineered' Border Crisis To Force Vote On Immigration Reform

Yet another anti-immigrant activist is claiming that President Obama orchestrated the crisis at the southern border in order to push a vote on immigration reform.

Sean Dunagan of Judicial Watch tells the American Family Association’s OneNewsNow today that Obama “engineered” the influx of families and unaccompanied children in order to “make current immigration law look as cruel and inhumane as they possibly can to possibly build political support for some additional amnesty program”:

Dunagan suggests Obama is opening the floodgates to these young illegal aliens for purely political reasons.

"It seems to be that the administration is trying to make current immigration law look as cruel and inhumane as they possibly can to possibly build political support for some additional amnesty program," he says. "I absolutely believe that it's being engineered and exploited to try force action into bad policy decisions and bad votes on the issue."

Last week, Republican congressmen Steve King and Steve Stockman claimed that the influx of immigrants was part of an Obama administration plot to increase the Democratic vote . Anti-immigrant activist William Gheen has also claimed that the crisis was “orchestrated” by President Obama and George Soros.

On his program last week, Glenn Beck also claimed that the border crisis is part of a plot to pass immigration reform and to ultimately return Arizona to Mexico:

To his credit, Mark Krikorian of the Center for Immigration Studies, one of the anti-immigration reform movement’s most prominent spokespeople, has pushed back on the conspiracy theory.

Steve King And Steve Stockman Warn 'Leninist' Obama Is 'Flooding The Border With Illegals'

Republican congressmen Steve King and Steve Stockman chatted with the far-right website WorldNetDaily yesterday, where they praised Eric Cantor’s GOP primary defeat and blamed President Obama for an increase in border crossings by young people, mainly from Central America.

King and Stockman agreed that Obama is using “a Cloward-Piven maneuver” to “flood” the country with immigrants in order to increase the share of the Democratic vote, particularly in Texas.

Stockman called Obama a “Leninist,” while King said that the U.S. could “send in George Patton and the Third Army” as in “the Battle of the Bulge.”

“I do feel this attempt to flood the border with illegals is a playing out of the Cloward-Piven theory,” said Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa.

“If you don’t see them bring reinforcements down there to seal the border, that means that, yes, it’s a Cloward-Piven maneuver to flood the country until we get to the point where we are an open-borders country that welcomes everybody, legal and illegal,” he told WND.

Rep. Steve Stockman, R-Texas, agreed that Obama – who studied the chaos strategy at Columbia, according to a classmate – “is trying to do a Cloward-Piven thing with the border.”

“Obama follows all the far-left, Leninist, socialist-type stuff,” Stockman told WND.

He said it’s “an open secret Obama is trying to flood Texas with illegals to make it into a blue state,” with a Democrat majority.

“If we lose Texas, and it becomes like California, then the Republicans lose the chance of ever getting a Republican elected president,” the Texas lawmaker warned.

King agreed that one of the aims of the illegal-alien flood is to turn Texas into a Democrat state.

“You or I could shut that thing down in less than a week,” he said. “Instead of busing and flying illegals out of Texas, you fly enforcement people in.”

King said that while the U.S. is spending $7 a mile to defend the border, “we need to take people to plug the leak.”

“It’s the Battle of the Bulge down there, and you send in George Patton and the Third Army to relieve the surrounded 101st Airborne,” King said.



King said the shocking primary defeat Tuesday of House Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor in Virginia was about immigration.

“The voters stepped up and supported a candidate who has done an excellent job of articulating how important it is to restore the rule of law as a component of American exceptionalism,” he said, referring to tea-party candidate David Brat.

Cantor has expressed support for the principles of Obama’s proposed DREAM Act, which would grant amnesty to illegal aliens who came to the U.S. as children.

“The establishment will try to spin this, but Cantor’s loss reflects a voter rejection of amnesty, and it should put the brakes on any effort to move amnesty legislation in the House,” King said.

Stockman said the “key to Cantor losing was that the conservatives – including talk radio – united behind one candidate instead of what happened in my race where you had different people on our side supporting different GOP candidates.”

Ted Cruz And Rick Santorum To Join Iowa Pastor Who Predicted Marriage Equality Would Increase The Murder Rate, Destroy America

Ted Cruz and Rick Santorum are slated to appear at a September “American Heritage Summit” in Washington, D.C., hosted by a right-wing Iowa pastor Cary Gordon of Cornerstone World Outreach.

Along with Gordon and the pair of likely presidential candidates, the guests include conservative pseudo-historian David Barton, Iowa-based talk show host Steve Deace and Iowa Republican Rep. Steve King.

Gordon became heavily involved in politics during the 2010 campaign to remove Iowa Supreme Court Justices who ruled in favor of marriage equality, and he endorsed Santorum’s 2012 presidential campaign, helping the former Pennsylvania senator to win the Iowa caucuses.

At an anti-gay marriage rally in 2011, Gordon described marriage equality as a demonic attempt that would bring about America’s destruction, warning that Iowans must “protect the virtue of true Americanism from our own mental barbarians who attack our minds with the God-hating secularism of Europe” or risk being “extinguished from the earth.”

Gordon even predicted that gay marriage would increase the murder rate: “The natural problem that causes is an overt immorality. The crime rates go up, people suffer, people are stealing and murdering and [doing] all the things morality tells you not to do.”

The pastor, insisting that it is a “glaringly obvious fact that being ‘gay’ is a behavior, and has nothing to do with civil rights,” charged in a 2010 blog post that the same-sex marriage ruling put Iowa on the road to Nazism: “True pastors, in the fashion of Christ, will not and cannot bow before the arrogance of Caesar and Herod. We have learned from our past mistakes. We will not repeat the mistake made by Lutheran pastors when confronted with German fascism.”

“[T]o the intelligent religious man, homosexuality will always be un-natural for a myriad of obvious reasons one shouldn’t have to explain,” Gordon wrote. “To the intelligent evolutionist, it will NEVER agree with the doctrine of ‘survival of the fittest.’”

Gordon’s church also released a video asserting that same-sex marriage would legalize incest, pedophilia and bestiality.

'Washington - A Man Of Prayer': Highlights From The Religious Right Prayer Event Inside The US Capitol

Last night, members of Congress and Religious Right activists gathered in Statuary Hall inside the US Capitol for an annual event called "Washington: A Man of Prayer" at which they honored George Washington by collectively praying that God would protect and defend the United States of America.

Hosted by Mike Huckabee, the two hour event featured a variety of elected leaders, such as Rep. Tim Huelskamp and Rep. Steve King, who spoke together from the podium. Huelskamp asserted that God is at the heart of America because there is a small chapel located literally in the very center of the continent in Kansas, while King proclaimed that America was established by God.

"When He moved the Founding Fathers around like men on a chessboard," King said, "it was preordained. He guided them." Asserting that both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were written with "divine guidance," King declared that, as such, Americans must be "very aware of how God brought forth this nation":

Among the other speakers at the event was Jonathan Cahn, author of "The Harbinger" which claims that 9/11 was God's judgment upon America and that rebuilding the Freedom Tower without properly humbling ourselves before God was an act of utter defiance.

During his remarks, Cahn made this same case, saying that America is calling good evil and evil good and passing "laws that war against the laws of the almighty" which is why this nation experienced the wrath of God at Ground Zero just as ancient Israel did:

Cahn was followed by Robert Jeffress, who asserted that while some issues such as taxes or immigration reform ought to be rightly debated by the government, other issues like abortion and gay marriage "are beyond debate, for the judge of the universe has already rendered his opinion":

Jim Garlow made a similar point during his remarks, saying that there is no way that this nation can expect God's blessings is abortion remains legal and gay marriage is accepted.

"Can we actually expect the blessing of God when we violate the ways of God?," Garlow asked. "He's God, we're not. We really need him!"

Steve King Warns 'This Place Will Blow Up And There Will Be A Crisis' If House Takes Up Immigration Reform

Rep. Steve King is threatening to throw the House of Representatives into a crisis if the GOP leadership decides to bring immigration reform legislation up for a vote. Appearing on "The Capitol Hill Show with Tim Constantine" yesterday, the Iowa Republican warned that the “rule of law people” will do whatever it takes to prevent any vote on immigration.

“If it happens, this place will blow up,” he said. “If they try to bring some kind of amnesty or a provision that convinces close to a majority of Republicans that it is a sleight of hand amnesty, this place will blow up and there will be a crisis like we have not seen in years in the House of Representatives.”

He also criticized Speaker Boehner: “He keeps taking a shovel and digging himself into a hole a little bit deeper.”

Steve King: Dreamers Joining Military Are 'Mercenaries,' Not 'Patriots'

In an interview with Iowa TV station KIMT last week, Republican Rep. Steve King implied that undocumented immigrants who wish to join the military are “mercenaries” rather than “patriots.”

King falsely stated that those who would be granted a path to citizenship for military service under the DREAM Act or two bills being considered in the House “lied to get into the military.” The proposals would grant a path to citizenship to some undocumented immigrants by allowing them to enlist openly.

“It isn’t that we have to hire mercenaries to put on a uniform,” King said. “We have always had an adequate number of American patriots to step up who are lawfully present in the United States, most of them citizens.”

King also attacked the Justice Department’s new clemency review guidelines that will consider clemency for nonviolent drug offenders serving sentences under laws that have now changed. The uneven application of draconian drug sentencing laws has disproportionately landed African Americans in jail, often for lengthy sentences, although whites and blacks use illegal drugs at roughly the same rates.

But King dismissed the reasoning for the clemency saying, “Now the administration is preparing to let out as many as 200,000 felons out of prison because he thinks that the law has been unfairly applied to certain demographic groups of people.” He also claimed that the move is unconstitutional, even though the Constitution explicitly grants the president the power to issue pardons.

“There will be crimes committed on the streets of this country in multiple ways and multiple times because of this decision,” King warned.

Steve King Wants DREAMers Out Of Schools, In Deportation Buses

During FAIR’s “Hold Their Feet To The Fire” summit this week, Rep. Steve King (R-IA) chatted with conservative talk show host Steve Deace about the need to deport young undocumented immigrants.

Deace, alluding to Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s “heartless” comment, said that people are “infuriated” by politicians who are supposedly burdening young adults by making them “pay for the college education of illegals when you can’t pay for your own student loans or your own kid’s college education.”

King responded with a hypothetical scenario that he said explained the need to deport DREAMers: “Invariably — I’m certain that this has to have happened — that a widow or a widower of someone who lost their spouse in a place like Iraq or Afghanistan defending our freedom, had to go to college to get an education to be able to fund the wellbeing of their family that now don’t have a father — usually without a father and sometimes without a mother — paying out of state tuition to go to UCLA, sitting in a classroom in a desk next to someone who gets a free ride, who if ICE had been delivering that free ride scholarship would have been compelled instead to remove them from the United States.”

“That is an inequity that cannot be reconciled by anybody’s rationale,” he said.

Steve King Criticizes Scholarships For Latino Students

After a caller on Saturday’s edition of Eagle Forum Live complained that “the Hispanics — I don’t know how they’re doing it — but they’re going to school for free,” Rep. Steve King (R-IA) lamented that schools offer scholarships to Latino students.

Host Phyllis Schlafly, the founder of Eagle Forum, also tied discredited birther conspiracies to the conversation: “I wonder if that’s the way Obama got through Columbia and Harvard? He’s never released his records so we don’t know. Maybe as a foreigner he got through free, we don’t know. Why doesn’t he tell us the truth?”

“I do know that there are programs within some of these universities there are diversity programs where they provide scholarships for, among others and in a high degree, Hispanic scholarships that is giving a free ride for—and I don’t know about the legality of these students, you can’t get that found out,” King said.

“But that’s pretty tough when you pay your student loans, you’re competing for a job, you haven’t spent a lot of money paying tuition to learn another language because you want to live and work in America where we have always focused on English as our national language if not our official language yet; there’s just a huge inequality there.”

Steve King Compares Immigration Enforcement To Recreational Fishing

Speaking at today’s “Homeland Threats” national security summit, an alternative to CPAC hosted by Brietbart News and moderated by Frank Gaffney, Rep. Steve King (R-IA) compared immigration enforcement on the southern border to recreational fishing.

He told a story about going out with border patrol agents who would “catch and release” immigrants like a recreational fisher because they “like their jobs” and want to keep them.

Later in the speech, King said that when Reagan signed an immigration reform bill in 1986, he was so angry that he “kicked my filing cabinet.” If immigration reform passes again, King warned, “we won’t be able to restore the rule of law within the lifetime of this republic.”

Steve King: Being Gay Is 'Self-Professed Behavior' That Can't Be 'Independently Verified'

Rep. Steve King of Iowa joined Des Moines’ WHO TV yesterday to discuss Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer’s veto of a bill that would have strengthened the ability of businesses to discriminate against gays and lesbians.

“When you’re in the private sector and you’re an individual entrepreneur with God-given rights that our founding fathers defined in the Declaration, you should be able to make our own decisions on what you do in that private business,” King said.

He quickly clarified that he saw civil rights laws as an exception to that rule, but one that shouldn’t be expanded to protect LGBT people. “There’s nothing mentioned in [civil rights laws] about self-professed behavior,” he said, “and that’s what they’re trying to protect is special rights for self-professed behavior.”

Asked whether he thought that being gay is a choice, King responded that he didn’t “know whether it’s a choice or not,” that he imagined some type of “continuum or curve.” 

“I don’t know what that curve looks like,” he added. “I think some’s nature and some’s nurture, and some might be purely each. But I think a lot of it is a combination of nature and nurture.”

The congressman went on to imply that LGBT people are making their identities known in order to entrap business owners into discriminating against them.

“The one thing that I reference when I say ‘self-professed,’” he said, “is how do you know who to discriminate against? They have to tell you. And are they then setting up a case? Is this about bringing a grievance or is it actually about a service that they’d like to have?”

He then implied that homosexuality cannot be “independently verified” and can be “willfully changed.”

“If it’s not specifically protected in the Constitution,” he said of civil rights protections, “then it’s got to be an immutable characteristic, that being a characteristic that can be independently verified and cannot be willfully changed.” He added that this is part of why he opposes hate crimes laws.
 

Right Wing Round-Up - 2/26/14

Steve King Claims 'Cantaloupes' Comment Won The DREAM Act Debate

Iowa Republican Rep. Steve King set off a political firestorm last year when he claimed that for every valedictorian who would benefit from the DREAM Act, “there’s another hundred out there who they weigh 130 pounds and they’ve got calves the size of cantaloupes because they’ve been hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert.”

King’s remarks drew heated criticism from progressives, but also from members of his own party, including House Speaker John Boehner, who reportedly called King an “asshole.” This criticism in turn caused King to become hilariously self-righteous, accusing Boehner of making “hateful or ignorant comments” and using “indelicate language.”

In an interview with the Spencer, Iowa, Daily Reporter posted on YouTube today, King continued to lash out at his critics, saying, “they cannot make a point about anything I said that was anything other than true.” He added that his detractors just “call names and criticize the utilization of the language.”

In fact, King claimed that his infamous “cantaloupes” comment was actually an intentional and successful policy move. “Sometimes, I’ve made the point for years and they weren’t listening, so I’ve found another way to get them to pay attention,” he said. “For example, Dick Durbin, as far as I know, no longer describes the DREAMers as ‘valedictorians.’ We’ve corrected that major flaw and sometimes we have to, otherwise it distorts the public’s understand.”

“When they start calling names, they’ve lost the debate,” he said.

King also illustrated his point with a long story about how he doesn’t want the U.S. to be like the Netherlands.

Rep. Steve King Thinks The High Cost of Abortion For Low-Income Women Is Hilarious

At a House subcommittee hearing yesterday on a bill that would severely restrict access to insurance coverage for abortion, Republican Rep. Steve King of Iowa mocked an expert who testified, accurately, that paying out of pocket for an abortion could cost a low-income woman more than a month’s rent.

Susan Wood, a George Washington University professor and former FDA official, told the all-male judiciary subcommittee on the Constitution that HR7 – which would make the Hyde Amendment permanentban federal subsidies for private insurance plans that cover abortion and would permanently block the District of Columbia from spending local tax money on abortion services – could “virtually eliminate abortion coverage from the private insurance market” and would especially hurt low-income women, threatening to push them “deeper into poverty.”

“While it may not seem like a big expense to a Member of Congress, in these tough financial times, for many people, abortion care costs more than their monthly rent, putting it out of reach for their family’s pocketbook,” Wood said.

When it came time to ask questions, Rep. King mocked Wood’s comparison of the cost of abortion to a month’s rent, wondering, “I wonder how many abortions a month does she need to keep up with the monthly rent check.”

CNS News transcribed the exchange, which the anti-choice website LifeSiteNews described as “ humorous” :

Rep. King: “Okay, then your answer, then, would be that, in exceptional cases it may cost a woman more for a single abortion than it does for her one month of rent check. Is that an accurate way to depict what you said?”

Prof. Wood: “That’s correct.”

Rep. King: “Okay, because I wonder how many abortions a month does she need to keep up with the monthly rent check.”

The Guttmacher Institute estimates that the average cost of a first-trimester abortion is between $450 and $500, depending on the method used; Planned Parenthood says a first-trimester abortion can cost up to $950. Later-term abortions, which are more rare, can cost many times that.

Right Wing Round-Up - 1/2/14

The Republican Autopsy Report Revisited: 5 Ways The GOP Got Worse In 2013

With the year coming to a close, we decided to see how the GOP’s “bold” and “radical” autopsy report [PDF] was fairing.

After a devastating loss in 2012, Republicans claimed that they didn’t need to change themselves or their platform, but only cosmetic attributes such as their rhetoric and presentation. Other right-wing activists simply pretended that Republicans actually won the last election.

But if the actions taken this year by Republican leaders are any clue, it looks like Republicans either ignored or outright rejected even the superficial recommendations made in the GOP’s plan to revive the party:

1. Ending Aid To Jobless Americans

The perception, revealed in polling, that the GOP does not care about people is doing great harm to the Party…. To people who are flat on their back, unemployed or disabled and in need of help, they do not care if the help comes from the private sector or the government — they just want help.

Republicans in Congress rejected an extension of unemployment benefits, which will not only hurt approximately 1.3 million Americans during a period when long-term joblessness is still high, but will also result in serious harm to economic growth. If Republicans do not waver from their position, up to 5 million people could be affected by the cuts. The party also passed enormous cuts to the food stamp program under the auspices of preventing the tremendously low rate of fraud in an effort to kick 5 million people off of food assistance.

But the GOP continues to give special benefits to millionaires, as earlier this year Republicans once again rebuffed the “Buffet Rule,” which would have ensured that millionaires don’t end up having a lower tax rate than average Americans.

2. Blocking Immigration Reform

[W]e must embrace and champion comprehensive immigration reform…. On issues like immigration, the RNC needs to carefully craft a tone that takes into consideration the unique perspective of the Hispanic community.

Even though a majority of Americans and House members support immigration reform which includes a pathway to citizenship, the House GOP leadership refused this year to call a vote on reform bills. Speaker John Boehner even said that Republicans “have no intention of ever going to conference on the Senate bill.” But the House did find time to pass Rep. Steve King’s amendment to defund a program that prevents undocumented children being deported.

GOP politicians continue to argue that immigration reform will literally destroy America, and one Republican congressman even used the slur “wetbacks” while describing immigrants. Rep. Louie Gohmert said that Republicans must reject immigration reform to win over Latino voters, while Rep. King dismissed young Latinos as drug smugglers with cantaloupe-sized calves.

3. Rolling Back Reproductive Choice

Republicans should develop a more aggressive response to Democrat rhetoric regarding a so-called “war on women.”

Republicans claim it is unfair that people believe they are behind a “war on women,” but they didn’t do themselves any favors by approving a sweeping anti-abortion bill. Rep. Trent Franks, the chief sponsor of the legislation, defended his bill by channeling Todd Akin when he argued that “the incidence of rape resulting in pregnancy are very low,” and then fundraised off his remarks.

Fellow Republican Rep. Michael Burgess rallied support for the bill by citing masturbating fetuses. But perhaps the biggest steps Republicans took in dismantling Roe v. Wade occurred on the state level, where GOP-controlled state legislatures passed a range of extreme anti-choice bills.

4. Preserving Anti-Gay Views

For the GOP to appeal to younger voters, we do not have to agree on every issue, but we do need to make sure young people do not see the Party as totally intolerant of alternative points of view. Already, there is a generational difference within the conservative movement about issues involving the treatment and the rights of gays — and for many younger voters, these issues are a gateway into whether the Party is a place they want to be.

Even the GOP had to couch its call to be nicer to gay people as a political maneuver to making inroads with the youth vote, which helped secure President Obama’s re-election and is strongly in favor of LGBT equality. But the ties between the GOP and the anti-gay Religious Right remain rock solid, and many GOP leaders and potential presidential candidates addressed this year’s Values Voter Summit, where the event’s anti-gay sponsors and speakers repeatedly denounced gay rights.

Republican elected officials delivered stinging attacks against the Boy Scouts of America for ending its ban on gay members and also laced into the Supreme Court for overturning part of the Defense of Marriage Act, a law defended in court by the House GOP. Republican leaders like Sen. Ted Cruz ardently criticized marriage equality at Religious Right events, and even “libertarian” Republicans like Sen. Rand Paul denounced gay marriage, linking it to non-human marriage.

5. The Shrinking Party

We have become expert in how to provide ideological reinforcement to like-minded people, but devastatingly we have lost the ability to be persuasive with, or welcoming to, those who do not agree with us on every issue.

In case you needed more evidence that Republican politicians take cues from the GOP’s ultraconservative base, look no further than the government shutdown, where the congressional GOP leadership allowed the Tea Party “suicide caucus” to lead an enormously unpopular and economically harmful government shutdown.

Republicans ended up getting nothing from the shutdown, but Rep. Marlin Stutzman did illuminate the GOP’s thinking: “We’re not going to be disrespected. We have to get something out of this. And I don’t know what that even is.”

While we keep hearing talk of Republicans trying to seem more inclusive and “fighting back” against the Tea Party, it isn’t clear that the party is actually presenting any real challenge to Tea Party-aligned politicians. In fact, it seems that the GOP is actively embracing Tea Party’s extremist policies, fervent rhetoric and ideological purity tests.

Nativist Of The Year Award: Eight Of 2013's Worst Xenophobic Leaders

While the vast majority of Americans, including Republicans, back a comprehensive immigration reform plan that includes a pathway to citizenship, the Nativist movement is still trying to scare voters and elected officials into thinking that attempts to fix America’s broken system will actually destroy the country…and all of civilization.

Here’s a look at some of 2013’s worst xenophobic leaders, including our choice for “Nativist of the Year”:

8. William Gheen

Americans For Legal Immigration PAC (ALIPAC) leader William Gheen hasn’t changed his tune about using violence to stop immigration reform, warning that his group may soon stop using “nonviolent political means.” According to Gheen, politicians are trying “to demonize whites, Christians, and males” and turn over power to immigrants who are “gang raping, molesting kids, drinking, driving, killing, and joining gangs that try to feed our children cocaine and methamphetamine at the earliest age they can.”

This, he contends, is all part of a scheme to collapse the economy and divide America. Gheen even claims that efforts to reduce gun violence are actually part of Obama’s plan to “disarm American citizens” and arm “illegal alien insurgents.”

7. Cathie Adams

As the leader of the Texas chapter of Eagle Forum and a former chairman of the Texas GOP, Adams has been pleading with her fellow Republicans not to aid immigration reform efforts. Why? She believes that such reform measures are tools of Satan that will lead to the enactment of Sharia law and usher in the End Times.

6. Ann Coulter

Conservative columnist Ann Coulter is angry that America no longer has racist immigration quotas, worrying that America will soon “turn itself into Mexico” and undermine its delicate “ethnic composition.” “The country is over,” she said, if the immigration reform passes. Coulter also seems to be creating figures about the undocumented population out of thin air, suggesting that there are 30 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S.

5. Phyllis Schlafly

The immigration debate in Congress opened the door for some conservative activists to not only oppose reform efforts but also to fight any political outreach to non-white voters. Eagle Forum head Phyllis Schlafly took the lead, urging the GOP to abandon any outreach to people of color and Latinos in particular. She claims Latinos don’t understand the Bill of Rights or American values... because if they did, they would be voting Republican like real Americans do. Instead, explained Schlafly, Republicans should simply try to increase white turnout.

4. Mark Krikorian

Mark Krikorian of the Center for Immigration Studies seems to think that Nativists are the real victims in the immigration debate and is attempting to use a “play the victim” mentality to attack supporters of immigrant rights. He says that Nativists are waging a heroic struggle against “ethnic chauvinist groups” and their allies in “Big Business…Big Labor, all the big donors, Big Government Big Education, Big Media, Big Philanthropy [and] Big Religion.” Krikorian hopes that the GOP stops trying to attract Latino voters, warning that “the future of the republic rests” on whether Speaker Boehner allows immigration reform to come to a vote in the House.

3. Michele Bachmann

Speaking of which, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) and her friends in the Tea Party Caucus are desperately trying to defeat immigration reform by making sure that such legislation doesn’t even come up for a vote. Bachmann believes that immigration reform will literally destroy the future of the country and that Obama won re-election in part because he gave some undocumented immigrants the right to vote (he didn’t). She thinks that Republicans should give Obama a spanking until he hands over his magic wand that unilaterally gives the vote to all undocumented immigrants:

2. Jason Richwine

The Heritage Foundation’s study on the supposedly devastating impacts of immigration reform might have had more credibility if its principal author, Jason Richwine, weren’t a proponent of racist pseudo-science with links to white nationalists. His report was so erroneous and misleading that even many of Richwine’s fellow conservatives didn’t find it credible, but that hasn’t stopped GOP politicians from using the salacious report to justify their anti-immigrant rhetoric.

Nativist of the Year: Steve King

No surprise here. Rep. Steve King (R-IA) remains the face of the GOP’s anti-immigrant wing, as he believes that the survival of America and civilization itself relies on people agreeing with his “reasonable” xenophobic views. Nothing captured King’s outlook more clearly than his tirade against undocumented youth, who he believes are mostly drug mules with cantaloupe-sized calves.

Maybe such extemist rhetoric is a reason why the Nativist movement is beginning to fizzle.

King: Don't Vote On Any Immigration Legislation, Focus On Obamacare Instead

Rep. Steve King (R-IA), in an interview with WorldNetDaily yesterday, urged the House to continue debating the Affordable Care Act — which was signed into law in 2010 — into 2014 and refuse to consider any legislation pertaining to immigration reform.

Steve King: Immigrants Will 'Erode The Law Further' By Voting Democratic

At a panel discussion on immigration policy today, Rep. Steve King of Iowa claimed that Democrats support bipartisan immigration reform because undocumented immigrants would “vote for a more liberal agenda” which in turn, “erodes the law further.”

King suggested to the panel, convened by the right-wing Judicial Watch, that if given a roadmap to citizenship, undocumented immigrants would go on a crime spree: “When people break the law to come here and we reward them with breaking the law, then they think that’s all right to break another law. It breeds disrespect for the law. We cannot be a great nation if we are going to willfully destroy the rule of law, especially for political purposes.”

King touted Robert Rector’s discredited Heritage Foundation study, which purported to show a devastating economic impact from immigration reform, but which was both deeply methodologically flawed and co-written by someone who believes that Latinos are genetically inferior.

Later in the discussion, King claimed that President Obama’s executive order implementing parts of the DREAM Act had provoked a “constitutional crisis.” He also lamented that immigration proponents have been pushing the “sympathy factor” with the help of “a lot of Christian groups who misread the scripture.”

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Steve King Posts Archive

Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 07/22/2014, 5:34pm
Timothy Johnson @ Media Matters: Idaho American Indian Tribe That Cancelled Nugent Concert Will Miss Out On His Vile Commentary. Jim Redmond @ Towleroad: Anti-Gay Activist John Stemberger Says Fight Against Same-Sex Marriage Is 'Worth Dying For.' David Neiwert @ Hatewatch: Jim Gilchrist Announces Grand Vision for New Minuteman Border Patrols in 2015. Sarah Posner @ Religion Dispatches: No Religious Left “Split” On Anti-LGBT Religious Exemption. Andrew Kaczynski @ BuzzFeed: Republican Congressman: Obama "Not Raised With An American Experience." MORE >
Miranda Blue, Monday 07/21/2014, 12:45pm
For weeks now, anti-immigrant groups have been hyping a “National Day of Protesting Against Immigration Reform, Amnesty & Border Surge,” meant to be two days of protests in cities across the country in reaction to the Central American children who are coming to the southern border to flee violence in their home countries. The protests were a bust. Local news reports and pictures posted on social media show anemic turnout, from about 40 people in front of the United Nations in New York to just three at a McClellan, Texas, border control station who wondered if they had gotten... MORE >
Miranda Blue, Tuesday 06/17/2014, 2:48pm
Yet another anti-immigrant activist is claiming that President Obama orchestrated the crisis at the southern border in order to push a vote on immigration reform. Sean Dunagan of Judicial Watch tells the American Family Association’s OneNewsNow today that Obama “engineered” the influx of families and unaccompanied children in order to “make current immigration law look as cruel and inhumane as they possibly can to possibly build political support for some additional amnesty program”: Dunagan suggests Obama is opening the floodgates to these young illegal... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Thursday 06/12/2014, 11:50am
Republican congressmen Steve King and Steve Stockman chatted with the far-right website WorldNetDaily yesterday, where they praised Eric Cantor’s GOP primary defeat and blamed President Obama for an increase in border crossings by young people, mainly from Central America. King and Stockman agreed that Obama is using “a Cloward-Piven maneuver” to “flood” the country with immigrants in order to increase the share of the Democratic vote, particularly in Texas. Stockman called Obama a “Leninist,” while King said that the U.S. could “send in George... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 06/10/2014, 4:10pm
Ted Cruz and Rick Santorum are slated to appear at a September “American Heritage Summit” in Washington, D.C., hosted by a right-wing Iowa pastor Cary Gordon of Cornerstone World Outreach. Along with Gordon and the pair of likely presidential candidates, the guests include conservative pseudo-historian David Barton, Iowa-based talk show host Steve Deace and Iowa Republican Rep. Steve King. Gordon became heavily involved in politics during the 2010 campaign to remove Iowa Supreme Court Justices who ruled in favor of marriage equality, and he endorsed Santorum’s 2012... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Thursday 05/08/2014, 11:15am
Last night, members of Congress and Religious Right activists gathered in Statuary Hall inside the US Capitol for an annual event called "Washington: A Man of Prayer" at which they honored George Washington by collectively praying that God would protect and defend the United States of America. Hosted by Mike Huckabee, the two hour event featured a variety of elected leaders, such as Rep. Tim Huelskamp and Rep. Steve King, who spoke together from the podium. Huelskamp asserted that God is at the heart of America because there is a small chapel located literally in the very center of... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Friday 05/02/2014, 10:45am
Rep. Steve King is threatening to throw the House of Representatives into a crisis if the GOP leadership decides to bring immigration reform legislation up for a vote. Appearing on "The Capitol Hill Show with Tim Constantine" yesterday, the Iowa Republican warned that the “rule of law people” will do whatever it takes to prevent any vote on immigration. “If it happens, this place will blow up,” he said. “If they try to bring some kind of amnesty or a provision that convinces close to a majority of Republicans that it is a sleight of hand amnesty, this... MORE >
Miranda Blue, Monday 04/28/2014, 11:04am
In an interview with Iowa TV station KIMT last week, Republican Rep. Steve King implied that undocumented immigrants who wish to join the military are “mercenaries” rather than “patriots.” King falsely stated that those who would be granted a path to citizenship for military service under the DREAM Act or two bills being considered in the House “lied to get into the military.” The proposals would grant a path to citizenship to some undocumented immigrants by allowing them to enlist openly. “It isn’t that we have to hire mercenaries to put on a... MORE >