Ten potential Republican presidential candidates attended the Iowa Freedom Summit this weekend hosted by Rep. Steve King, an Iowa congressman who billed the gathering as a cattle call for 2016. It was more like a clown convention: Ben Carson, Rick Perry, Rick Santorum, Ted Cruz, Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee, Gov. Chris Christie, Gov. Scott Walker, Carly Fiorina, Donald Trump. (Jeb Bush, Bobby Jindal, Mitt Romney, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio did not attend.) You look at that lineup & you know the republic is in deep doodoo especially when you consider the alternative is Hillary Clinton or Elizabeth Warren.
Steve King is a real prize package & a glassy-eyed halfwit & one hopes he throws his own hat in the ring just for the burlesque he will provide. He isn’t just right-wing; he’s an idiot who appears quite representative of the right-wing in US politics. He supports a ban on federal funding for abortions except in cases of “forcible rape” & defended the “legitimate rape” comment of a former congressman; introduced an amendment legalizing arsenic in chicken feed & keeping pregnant pigs in small crates; voted against Hurricane Katrina aid; claimed al-Qaeda & Islamic groups would be dancing in the streets at the election of Obama; supports racial profiling in law enforcement as a “common sense indicator”; claims climate change “is more a religion than a science”; campaigned for marriage license residency requirements so “Iowa does not become the gay marriage Mecca”; is viciously anti-immigration & said of undocumented immigrants, “For every one who’s a valedictorian, there’s another 100 out there who weigh 130 pounds & they’ve got calves the size of cantaloupes because they’re hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert.”
We should not allow the box office success of “American Sniper” to mislead us that a majority of Americans are nincompoops like these candidates. They represent the extreme right-wing of privileged rednecks bred at the trough of social hatred. They’re only scary if they are not massively opposed. The emerging civil rights movement & Palestinian solidarity movement speak of another America who reject all forms of social hatred & are willing to fight for justice.