Last week, Congressman Steve King shared his latest contribution to this nation's major and pressing debate on immigration by arguing that the vast majority of undocumented immigrants are, in fact, mass drug traffickers.And in case we were tempted to believe that he might have exaggerated those figures just for effect, Mr. King helpfully explained that he is standing by his numbers:
"So the question is—is it 100? Is it 100 drug smugglers for every valedictorian DREAMer? Or is the number above or below? Nobody's challenging that. Nobody's saying, 'He's wrong, it's 50,' nor, 'He underestimated that.'"
Given that there is not a single peer-reviewed study to support Mr. King's ridiculous assertion, what possesses an elected representative to say such a thing? What prompts him to reduce a discussion about immigration to the imbecilic level most often deployed by bloviating dullards?We have to assume that Mr. King is worried, and with good reason: First, he's worried that his own constituency is changing. According to the latest research, Iowa's undocumented population has grown from 55,000 in 2007 to 75,000 in just three years.But worse than the changing demographics are the changing views of his constituents. A recent poll reveals that a whopping 68% of voters in Iowa's 4th congressional district support an earned pathway to legal status, and 65% support an earned pathway to citizenship.Mr. King is now entirely out of step with his own constituents—and he's also apparently out of touch with his own party because, according to the GOP's post-election coroner's report, this is not the kind of language that the Republican Party wants to be associated with:"If Hispanic Americans perceive that a GOP nominee or candidate does not want them in the United States, they will not pay attention to our next sentence."So given that Mr. King no longer represents his constituents nor his party, who does he represent?