Steve King’s remarks

To the editor:

“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me. “How does this apply to the latest U.S. Congressman Steve King saga?

King stands media-accused of “again” tarnishing Iowa, his remark on Hispanic adolescent drug mules negatively reflecting on our state’s decent and caring citizens. Really, did his utterance demean you and me?

Campaigning in 2008 U.S. Sen. Barack Obama said, “(T)hey cling to guns or religion or antipathy toward people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.” Using the same logic should not the favorite son’s misguided statement have blemished Illinois’ peaceful and benevolent – especially in small towns and rural areas considered backward by him? (Answer: No lawmaker is so omnipotent to wholesale make his scorned look bad.)

In June 2005, Sen. Tom Harkin agreed with his interviewer denigrating Christian broadcasting, “They’re sort of our home grown Taliban,” adding, “they have a direct line to God. And if you don’t tune into their line, you’re obviously on Satan’s line.” Did Harkin’s demeanor lower Iowa’s down-home faithful, including “religious radio” listeners? Doubtfully. When the powerful belittle, enduring shame lands mainly on them.

After a 2008 debate with navy veteran and novice opponent Christopher Reed, an unsettled Harkin was overheard (by moderator David Yepsen) informing Reed in so many words: “You just ruined your political career.”

Then where was the headline, “Tom Harkin has once again degraded Iowa’s reputation as a people born of empathy and clemency?” The highly influential senator’s reasons for Reed’s condemnation aside, did any editor consider his diatribe as self-important thug talk? Here, they definitely should have, that it would be an unforgivable injustice if a voted official for any personal reason had such public power on a single human – hoping now to show it popularly over fellow Iowan King when he and Sen. Durban “pile on” in an upcoming “Dreamer” event in 4th District Iowa.

All this adds up for King’s supporters. They see a progressive herd instinct that grazes on wind blown, politically correct pop culture spin, where its wobbly judging of Steve King (with a nice family and no sexual scandal) would fully dismiss this intrepid legislative watchdog because of his constituent-driven efforts contrary to their immigration philosophy.

Moreover, those intending “to kill the messenger” ought show more class by hurling stones of fact at King’s complete House record, rather than the half-baked, partisan one-liners targeting the congressman’s personality.

Gerald R. Eberle