(I apologize in advance for writing about a different King on the anniversary of Dr. King’s death)
Everyone should have an arch-enemy, right? Someone who is the very antithesis of everything you stand for and believe in? I’ve been looking for just the right candidate in an arch-enemy and a clear frontrunner has emerged: Rep. Steve King of Iowa’s 5th congressional district.
King, a Republican (duh!), was recently in the news for his remarks about Barack Obama. He said if Obama was elected president that al-Qaida “would be dancing in the streets in greater numbers than they did on September 11 because they would declare victory in this war on terror.” King also said of terrorists’ reaction to a potential Obama victory that “he will certainly be viewed as a savior for them.” A savior for terrorists, Congressman? Remarks like this are, sadly, just another day at the office for King.
The latest crusade for Congressman King is voter registration. Does he want to foster participation in the democratic process? Does he want to encourage new voters to get involved? Does he want to streamline the registration process for new voters? Would I have written this diary if the answer was yes?
The state of Iowa had a web site with voting information in Spanish, Laotian, Bosnian and Vietnamese. The site included voter registration forms in these languages. King felt this conflicted with Iowa’s “English Language Reaffirmation Act” regarding state documents that was passed in 2002, which by an amazing coincidence was authored by then- state senator Steve King. The congressman sued the state of Iowa to remove all languages other than English from voter registration forms.
On March 31st Judge Douglas Staskal ruled in favor of King’s suit, and instructed the state to remove any non-English text from the voter registration materials. The state caved in Thursday and took down all the foreign language forms from their web site. Governor Chet Culver meekly responded by saying he would let it up to the state’s attorney general to consider whether the ruling should be appealed.
The congressman was pretty proud of himself:
“This Iowa court ruling upholds our official English law. No one is above Iowa law, not even the Iowa state government. I am thankful for the careful and thorough ruling in this decision. The judge’s decision made clear – the foreign language voter registration forms produced by the secretary of state violated Iowa’s English Language Reaffirmation Act. English is our official language. The English language unites as a state and as a nation.”
Please, Congressman King, can you explain to me what the harm is in having voter registration forms in other languages? Does it threaten my voting rights in the same way that gay marriage threatens to destroy my “traditional” marriage? Is the “threat” that these new voters tend to vote overwhelmingly for Democrats? These people aren’t the Godless illegal immigrants you so often rail against, Congressman King. They are U.S. citizens that want to vote. I would like my state government to be allowed to help them do so.
So the good congressman has a strong case to be my arch-enemy, right? But if you’re not sure, let me add a few closing arguments:
A statement by King concerning Abu-Ghraib:
“The dismembered and charred corpses of American contractors dangling over the Euphrates River in comparison to the abuse committed by a few soldiers at Abu Ghraib are like the crimes of Jeffrey Dahmer compared to those of Heidi Fleiss. What amounts to hazing is not even in the same ballpark as mass murder.
Or this statement about the May 1, 2006 “Day Without an Immigrant” rallies:
“What would that May 1st look like without illegal immigration? There would be no one to smuggle across our southern border the heroin, marijuana, cocaine, and methamphetamines that plague the United States, reducing the U.S. supply of meth that day by 80%. The lives of 12 U.S. citizens would be saved who otherwise die a violent death at the hands of murderous illegal aliens each day. Another 13 Americans would survive who are otherwise killed each day by uninsured drunk driving illegals. Our hospital emergency rooms would not be flooded with everything from gunshot wounds, to anchor babies, to imported diseases to hangnails, giving American citizens the day off from standing in line behind illegals. Eight American children would not suffer the horror as a victim of a sex crime.”
Or King’s legendary sense of humor about killing terrorists like Musab al-Zarqawi:
“There probably are not 72 virgins in the hell he’s at, and if there are, they probably all look like Helen Thomas.”
I rest my case.