Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) has earned a reputation for divisive, racially provocative rhetoric. Even John Boehner (R-Ohio), before he stepped down as House Speaker, reportedly dismissed the far-right Iowan as an "a**hole."
But the controversies have done little to deter King from using insulting language. Late last week, the GOP congressman added to his greatest-hits collection.
Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) has again flirted with being an open white nationalist. In a tweet Friday, the congressman lashed out at multiculturalism."Diversity is not our strength," the congressman wrote, linking to an article on a deeply dubious anti-immigration website called Voice of Europe, which quotes Hungary's far-right prime minister, Viktor Orban, as saying that "mixing cultures will not lead to a higher quality of life but a lower one."
As the HuffPost's piece added, "diversity is not our strength" is a popular phrase on the right-wing fringe.
The nation's founding creed may be "E pluribus unum," but it appears there are some who take issue with the principle.
My question, however, is less about Steve King and more about what Republican leaders intend to do about Steve King.
For example, the House GOP leadership has put King in charge of the House Judiciary Committee's panel on "the Constitution & Civil Justice."
I'm curious: is there anything the Iowa Republican could say or do that would lead House Republicans to take his gavel away? If not, why not?
Every couple of months, Steve King says something outrageous, prompting outrage from much of the American mainstream. As a result, there's little doubt as to who he is or the kind of values the Iowan brings to his responsibilities. "King disgusts with insulting language" headlines are almost comically routine, to the point that they practically seem unnecessary.
So perhaps it's time to shift the focus away from the congressman and toward those who empower and enable him. Does House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) agree that American "diversity" is a bad thing? Does he believe someone who opposes diversity should oversee a congressional committee on "the Constitution & Civil Justice"?