Justin Amash read the words said by Congressman Steve King (R-IA) just as I and many others did. His takeaway? That Steve King is a racist.
I read the quote, which was exactly, ""White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive?" and have to say, King has more than a little "'splainin" to do.
Who is Steve King exactly? We can tell you that he holds a respectable record as a conservative legislator, scoring 74% on his Conservative Review Scorecard. He was an early supporter of the presidential campaign of Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX). He is from an increasingly misleading state in terms of presidential election influence, as President Trump failed to secure a primary victory in IA.
He also has taken up some controversial meetings with international white nationalists from Canada and Austria.
The fact is, Republicans, who have long been the victim of a manufactured narrative of racism, do not need Steve King as they barrel towards potential Border Security progress.
The optics are just not good. I can't say definitively whether Steve King is a racist. I just don't have all the facts. I do know this. His replacement in an eventual primary battle better vote with the same conservative consistency that he has for years and continue the fight for the core values (lower taxes, less regulations, and yes, immigration enforcement) of the hard right.