Defending bigotry is unacceptable

U.S. Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, insists his recent remarks to a New York Times reporter have been mis-characterized. Whether that is true or not can be judged best by King’s constituents, who know him better than anyone in the national media or, for that matter, in Congress.

But regardless of what King meant, the effect of the Times report was understandable. It outraged many and led to disciplinary action against him in the House of Representatives. It prompted White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders to refer to King’s remarks as “abhorrent.”

According to the Times, King said this during an interview: “White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive?”

King maintains he was not lumping the three descriptions into one category. Instead, he was talking about various words used to criticize people of all ideological stripes, then mentioned Western civilization. “When I used the word ‘THAT’ it was in reference only to Western Civilization and NOT to any previously stated evil ideology ALL of which I have denounced,” King stated in a press release.

Again, voters in Iowa are qualified best to decide what King meant. It is their verdict that will matter at election time.

But the bottom line, as expressed by U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., is that any defense of bigotry is “unacceptable in America today.”