The Method To Steve King’s Madness

King concedes that the one hundred-to-one claim was an “estimate,” but with a mischievous smile, he points out that he succeeded at shifting the immigration debate. He fueled the conservative antagonism that killed the Senate bill in the House.

.. “I’ll say this about Steve: Most of his controversial comments are the kind that you might say are off the cuff. They’re not. He’s a bright guy,” he says. “He knows what he’s doing when he’s stirring the pot. And he likes that.”

.. During the campaign, he stumbled upon his signature issue in the legislature: English as the official language.


..  “King’s main effect on the immigration reform debate is Overton Window-ish,” invoking a political science term that describes the “window” of policies considered acceptable at a given time, named after Joseph P. Overton. “Very, very few grassroots conservatives or elected Republicans actually agree with him on immigration policy. However, he enables elected Republicans who are more restrictionist or otherwise hardline … to strike a pose that reads as ‘moderate.'”

.. Since King came to Congress, his most over-the-top rhetorical outbursts include comparing immigrants to dogs, calling illegal immigration a “slow-motion terrorist attack” on the United States, claiming Al Qaeda would be “dancing in the streets” if Barack Obama was elected president, and declaring that racial profiling wasn’t an issue in Ferguson, Mo., because protesters were from a single “continental origin.”

..  “I’m more the conscience of the conservative than I am someone looking for consensus.” He wants to elect a president in his image. Journalist Obradovich says, “When Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum come to Iowa, they absolutely want to see and talk to Steve King.”