The symbolic sacrifice of Steve King
The New York Times
Why are Republicans suddenly offended by the racism of Rep. Steve King? asked Frank Bruni. Since he entered the House in 2003, the Iowa Republican couldn’t have been more obvious about his white supremacist views “if he went around in a conical white hood.” He said “white people” had done more for civilization than “any other subgroup of people,” called illegal immigration “a slow-motion holocaust,” and warned that “cultural suicide by demographic transformation must end.” Despite such blatant bigotry, Donald Trump embraced King in 2014, saying their views were so similar that “we don’t even have to compare notes,” while Republicans have remained silent. A few weeks ago, King complained in an interview that “white supremacist” and “white nationalist” had become forbidden terms—and GOP congressional leaders stripped him of his committee assignments. Why now? Obviously, Republicans feel ashamed that they’ve let President Trump make white nationalism the GOP’s brand, and wanted to make some kind of stand. “So they’re taking on King instead of Trump. It’s safer.” It was “the sacrifice of one wretched bigot to atone for the indulgence of another,” and Republicans deserve little credit for it.