I have good news, and I have bad news

The Iowa primaries were held yesterday. Great news: rabid racist and white supremacist Steve King is out on his ass. Finally!

The bad news: he was defeated for the Republican nomination by Randy Feenstra, who promises to be more of the same, except he just won’t say the quiet parts out loud anymore.

But there have been notable changes of heart in Iowa, too. Among those who backed Feenstra was activist Bob Vander Plaats, a GOP political kingmaker in western Iowa who once was one of King’s staunchest allies. In an ad funded by the Priorities for Iowa super PAC, Vander Plaats said King was “no longer effective” in Washington — echoing Feenstra’s central campaign message.

“He can’t deliver for President Trump, and he can’t advance our conservative values,” he said. “Thankfully, Iowa has a better choice.”

Craig Robinson, who runs the website TheIowaRepublican.com, said Feenstra offered the district everything King did as a conservative, but with no baggage.

New boss same as the old boss, I guess, just with slightly more discretion.


  1. rpjohnston says

    The King is dead, long live the King.

    Except he isn’t dead, he’ll just go to Fox or some lobby gig or something while white libs masturbate in a mushroom haze about the Ultimate Victory of voting someone out

  2. says

    Our last Republican congressman here in Oregon announced he isn’t even running back in December. So long Greg. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

  3. René says

    I cannot be held responsible for my countrymen’s sins (like slavery, for instance), but it hurts seeing two Dutch names appear here.

  4. daved says

    Feenstra is fairly awful — wants to build the wall, against red flag laws, supports Trump’s tax cut. He’s not totally awful, since he’s fine with voting by mail. He’s just mostly awful.

  5. psychomath says

    At this point Republicans hiding their bigotry seems like the most any of us could expect, so I’m going to call it a win.

  6. doubter says

    Resident Canadian here. I like to think that I keep up on things, but I don’t know much about Iowa politics. Except of course that they kept electing this animate pile of excrement, of course.

    Now that the Republicans have nominated a “respectable” candidate, is there any chance of the Dems taking the seat? I dream of a day when the Dems, however much of a compromise they are, take the Senate and Presidency from the Trump death cult.

  7. says

    Random thought: You know how they say “Never attribute to malice what can be attributed to incompetence”? What if the recent actions of the Trump Administration aren’t a cunning, multidimensional plan for a coup but just the flailing of a wildly incompetent president and even more incompetent cronies who are all way out of their depth? Obviously, they’re morally culpable for their actions and inaction either way, But, I think it’s important to keep some perspective here.

  8. monad says

    @8 Susan: I think they’re both. The party has more than proven it has a great deal of malice. They also don’t do multidimensional plans. Instead the scheme they have come up with is to take advantage of situations created by their flailing incompetence, shock doctrine style. It takes advantage of their strengths really well.

  9. stroppy says

    I’ve been thinking it’s both incompetence and a plan for a coup, just not a very cunning one — it only works because of the weight of a combination of naïveté, ignorance, and malevolence in the administration’s support structure and base.

    It’s pretty clear that Trump himself has nothing but contempt and hostility for the complexities of democracy and the people who support it and keep it alive, and that he will do whatever he can get away with, destroy whatever he can destroy, to accumulate as much power as possible for himself. And it has worked.

    So on the news the other night some hack pundit said that Trump had “cracked the code” of using Twitter to garner support and gain power. There is no “cracking;” his feat is learning how to push buttons on his iPhone. That’s it. What he does after that is to mindlessly gibber into cyberspace which coincidentally resonates with large numbers of dupes. There are also plenty in DC and elsewhere who are delighted that they can take advantage of the situation. It’s coup by monstrosity both malicious and incompetent (if we’re talking about governing like an adult). He is however very competent at being a gleefully nasty dumpster fire and getting away with it.

    Nothing stable or genius about it. But it works. And it gets plenty of support from those who work to cement this shit into place.


  10. stroppy says

    Darn. I now see that I could have just typed “ditto” to monad’s concise response @ 9 and saved myself some time.

  11. says

    @Doubter #7,

    Iowan here, King’s district. This makes it LESS likely for a Democrat to take over, because you don’t have the hatred of King driving people to the polls. Sad, but true.

  12. says


    Yeah, that makes sense. Trump & Co. just can’t grasp that what they do and say as government officials have actual consequences and that how you solve today’s problems directly impacts what tomorrow’s problems will be. I don’t think that anyone in the administration are used to working within a system that’s normally one that they can’t change and are dismantling the system only for the sake of their immediate convenience and without any thought of the long-term consequences.

  13. enki23 says

    I grew up in that district. It’s a vast brown wasteland most of the year, smelling of pig shit and evil. The only people who live there are those who inherited property or inherited the fucked cultural justaposition of smug Calvinist shit-eating and insular, far right Lutheran antisemitism and fuckwittery. Shit hole country, basically, full of the sort of MAGAts who feel at home in hell.

  14. Reginald Selkirk says

    When I grew up there, my hometown was almost evenly split between Lutherans and Catholics.

  15. numerobis says

    A government leader who doesn’t spout genocidal language every day is a lot better than a government leader who does.

    Not setting the bar particularly high, it’s true, but hey.

  16. Rich Woods says

    @enki23 #14:

    So for how long have you been running the Iowa State Tourist Board?