Iowa Rep. Steve King had a bad week. The problem is that he does not realize it. King made an outrageous statement, followed by another outrageous statement, followed by an even more outrageous statement. When people responded by pointing out his nutty ideas, King responded to them by claiming that his words were being distorted. In the process, he spouted more craziness.
King was first criticized for making an argument that if it is legal for people to fight then animals should be allowed to fight.
“When the legislation that passed in the farm bill that says that it’s a federal crime to watch animals fight or to induce someone else to watch an animal fight but it’s not a federal crime to induce somebody to watch people fighting, there’s something wrong with the priorities of people that think like that,” King said.
To be fair, some King critics said that King was in favor of animal fighting. He never said that. He just made the argument that if watching fights sports among humans are legal then the same should be for animals. King’s purpose in the argument is to show that humans should be a greater priority than animals. Yet if his argument is studied, he is actually making the argument that both should be treated equally and both should be legal or illegal.
The outrage over King’s words is not that he is advocating the legalization of dog fighting. It is that he is making the fallacious argument that two people stepping into the boxing ring willingly is the same as two mistreated pit bulls being thrown into a fight to the death.
King’s reelection Facebook page took a quote from an article in the Ames Tribune about King’s comments last week: “King never said he wanted to legalize, or even support, animal fighting.”
King failed to mention that the Ames Tribune also noted that King “gave changing and bizarre responses to the erroneous charge.”
That is what King is failing to understand. If he is going to make bizarre responses to questions, it makes it easier for some people to carry those responses off track.
King put up a video response to this controversy. He spent four minutes responding to an email question with stories about how much he loves his dogs and a tale about his granddaughter. Overall, it was a good dodge of the question until he came to the part where he mentioned that young girls being raped, kidnapped and hauled across state lines to have a forced abortion was legal.
King knows that stuff isn’t legal. So why did he say it? That is a good question. Unfortunately, it remains unanswered. It should be obvious to King that his concern that his political opponents are distorting his words is not the real problem. The real problem for King is that he is saying things that he knows aren’t true and don’t even make sense. While pointing his finger at his critics, he also needs to point it at himself.
That is not all. King still had more days to go in the week so he jumped into another controversy — birtherism.
King made another video in which he first appeared to regain his sanity by stating that Barack Obama was born in Hawaii and the two newspaper announcements of the President’s birth support that. Perhaps in reaction to the strange feeling of logic and critical thinking that had suddenly overcome his brain’s synapses, King slipped back to a more comfortable mode of crazy thinking. King proceeded to suggest that Obama could have been born in East Africa, and his parents telegramed his birth announcement to the newspapers.
I don’t know what is going on with the voters in Iowa’s Fifth Congressional District, but King has routinely won reelection by blurting out foolishness like this. Even for King, it is rare for him to have a week like last week when he barely let a day go by without making another outrageous comment.
Here is Chris Matthews summarizing a very strange week in Steve King’s life.