Content Warning: Direct references to Steve King's racist statements and actions below.
This weekend, a lot of people got to talking about the latest comments from Congress’ very own racist-in-chief Steve King (R-IA) to The New York Times: “White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization -- how did that language become offensive?”
This isn’t surprising. And it was hardly the first time.
❌ Long before Trump took office and shut down the government for the longest period in history over his racist border wall, Steve King took to the House floor with his very own tiny prototype.
❌ In 2013, he called immigrants mostly “evil” marijuana smugglers with “calves the size of cantaloupes,” on the heels of a 2012 town hall with constituents where he compared immigrants to dogs.
❌ When a group of brave DREAMers visited his office to urge his support of the DREAM Act, he tweeted that "20 brazen self-professed illegal aliens" had "invaded" his DC office.
❌ In 2017, he tweeted his support for Dutch bigot Geert Wilders and said, “We can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies.”
❌ Last year, King spoke to an Austrian publication about "the great replacement," or a far right-wing conspiracy theory that claims shadowy elites are working to reduce white populations in their own countries. (If you feel like that replacement language is familiar, that’s because it’s the same battle cry used by the neo-Nazis and white supremacists who marched with torches in Charlottesville.)
❌ Just this past June, King retweeted a British neo-Nazi who has expressed admiration for Adolf Hitler, and stated that AIDS is a “friendly disease because blacks, drug users and gays have it.” The tweet is still up.
This time, a handful of Republicans did their best to look like they were getting tough on King and his brand of racism Trumpism.
Fellow Iowan, Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) tweeted her condemnation (note: she is up for reelection and has never, ever found it necessary to condemn King before. In fact, here she is in 2016, endorsing him).
Ted Cruz (eye roll) went so far as to say, “You know, what I’m going to do is urge everyone to stand for principles that matter” (reminder: Steve King was a national co-chair of Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign).
On ABC’s This Week, House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) got reallllllllly close to saying maybe King was wrong. I mean, he pointed out other members who had offered their condemnation. But then he chose to use the opportunity on national TV to “both sides”-it-up a little and never got around to his own condemnation.
Here’s the thing: Steve King is actually Trumpism, purified. And in 2020, we can take them both out.
The blue wave YOU built in November means two very clear things for Steve King: House Democrats, with a simple majority vote, can (and should) censure him. Censure is one of the mechanisms available in the House of Representatives to punish one of its own members for misbehaving or for putting the integrity of the institution in jeopardy. Once a Representative is censured, they are required to stand before the full body of the House and receive a public rebuke. Even though only a simple majority is needed for censure, it is important to have bipartisan support for it to prevent it being misused (or dismissed) for political purposes. Indeed, censure votes typically receive support much higher than just a simple majority.
We need national amplification to make this happen. We’ve put together this call script for you, your members and your network to demand that your member of Congress publicly condemn Steve King and everything he stands for and publicly support his censure. Click here to make your call now.
But let’s not stop there: in 2020, we can beat him. Yes. Really. Even in his district in Iowa that Trump won by 27 points. See, King only beat his Democratic opponent by three percentage points, or about 10,000 votes. Yes, t-h-r-e-e points -- and we’ve got big plans to make sure we send a Democrat to Washington via Iowa in 2020. How? In 2018, Indivisibles reached out to 45,580 voters in Iowa’s Fourth District -- and next year, we’ve got our sights set on even more (doors and texts and calls).
We need to send Donald Trump and Steve King packing next November, and your activism can make it happen. The first step is to share our call script with your members today, and help shine a spotlight on King’s disgusting racism and hate.
And then? Get ready for the work ahead. We’re gearing up to expand our program to provide the tools, resources and support you need to knock doors, reach voters and turn your power into electoral victories. Our movement made history in 2018. And we’ll do everything we can to go even further in 2020.
The blue tide is rising, and we’re coming for Steve King next.
The Indivisible Team