Iowa’s congressperson Steve King is not the stupidest person in the US Congress. That honor belongs to Texas congressperson Louis Gohmert. But King has been saying the most obnoxious things, especially when it comes to race. That King is a stone-cold racist has been well-known for a long time.
And yet for the longest time, conservatives and Republicans have refused to denounce him and he has been winning re-election to his house seat, though the last one was much narrower than in the past, with a margin of just 3%. But his latest musings wondering when and why ‘white supremacism’ and ‘white nationalism’ became offensive terms seems to have finally tipped the scales with at least some Republican elected officials now distancing themselves from him.
But will the party call for him to resign? Will they strip him of his committee assignments that give him a platform for his views? Will they run a candidate against him in the next primary election?
All these are the real tests of how sincere their current distancing from him is. But don’t hold your breath that they will do any of those things. King (and Gohmert) serve useful roles for the party in that the things they say out loud rallies the racists, nativists, misogynists, and xenophobes to the party.