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Steve King embarrasses Iowa again

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By Joel Stevens, Associate Editor

Oh poor Steve King.

On a weekend when America was celebrating the historic and inspiring inauguration of its first African-American President, what was the honorable representative from Iowa’s Dist. 5 doing?

Sticking his foot in his “provacative” mouth once again and seeking out any media outlet he could to disparage an individual who has achieved the highest office in the land, based not on idealogical or political gamesmanship, but rather, Barack Obama’s middle name, Hussein, which King apparently finds offensive.

Yes, King has once again reduced American discourse on politics to literal name calling. And Iowans are worse for it.

King used a Saturday, Jan. 17 interview, just three days before 500 million people watched Obama’s inauguration, not to apologize for his idiotic, not to mention racist comments about Obama’s heritage and middle name last year, but rather to further his own agenda that he is the ultimate arbiter of what American is.

King said Obama’s decision – like most past presidents – to use his middle name “Hussein” during his inaugural swearing-in was “bizarre.”

Bizarre because he just can’t accept Obama’s middle name, derived from his father’s surname and of Arabic origins meaning “handsome one”? Or because King and his friends on the right, in their attempts to deride Obama’s presidentially suitability were rebuffed after attacking a man’s name rather than specific policies, ideology or beliefs?

Who knows.

King did go on to refer to a double standard he sees in Obama’s objection to Republican critics who routinely spit “Barack Hussein Obama” out as the hatefilled rhetoric it is. Apparently, he doesn’t think Obama should be allowed to use his own middle name if he, King, isn’t allowed to pin it to him as some sort of scarlet letter screaming “Al-Qadia sympathizer.”

He’s right, that is a double standard.

This all comes after King’s March 2008 comments to a Spencer radio station that if Obama were to be elected he surmised Al-Qadia-types would be “dancing in the streets” like Sept. 11 and his reference to Obama last October turning America into a “totalitarian dictatorship.”

Perhaps King missed the lecture during his two years of college (ahem) covering presidential inaugurations that would have revealed its common practice new presidents are sworn into the office with their full name. John Fitzgerald Kennedy, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, George Walker Bush. Ring any bells?

Yes, easy mistake.

If you think this only besmirches King, the hate filled far right wing zealot, or the office of Congressman, think again. This representative besmirches all of District 5 that not only voted for him three times but re-elected him in November, after he revealed himself as the far right wing zealot most fair minded voters knew him to be.

King’s patter on his idea of America is offensive – but like most rhetoric so far in one direction it alienates common sense – but harmless. Sure, his kind of vacuum commentary hurts discourse and reduces discussing real issues of policy decision-making and the questions of what is presidential to playground name calling, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have the right to say them. King can prattle, as it were, for as long as he wants for all I care. There’s two sides to that free speech coin – he can talk all he wants and we can ignore him all we want.

Oh yeah, and what was rarely reported during King’s subsequent interviews with Geraldo Riveria concerning his March “dancing in the streets” comments was the fact he said he would “come and apologize to you and everybody in America” if he’s wrong.

Well, Steve you are. You can reach me at 712-527-3191. Leave a message if I’m not in, I’ll get back to you.