Other People’s Babies and American Values

Steve King’s dangerous belief that demographics are destiny undermines American exceptionalism and the integrity of conservatives.

.. They think that the influx of Hispanics from Mexico and Central America or immigrants from the Middle East — whether they arrive legally or illegally — is a threat to the fabric of American culture and values.

.. an American culture rooted in ideas about liberty, democracy, and the rule of law not only survived but flourished as the population of the nation was eventually transformed from a WASP majority into one in which the descendants of the Scotch Irish and English settlers became a minority.

.. Irish, German, Italian, and Eastern European Jewish immigrants were each branded in turn as aliens from a culture with no history of supporting democracy. Even as each group took its place in American society, other Americans feared that the newcomers could never assimilate.

.. He might claim he was talking about culture, but the mention of “babies” is a not-so-subtle attempt to say that the survival of Western values requires white children to outnumber those who are not white.

.. By asserting that preserving “our civilization” cannot be accomplished by “other people’s babies,” King is promoting a view of American identity that is at odds with the country’s basic principles. To believe that Hispanic or Muslim immigrants — or those of any other ethnicity or faith — can’t fully accept the values about liberty that King claims to cherish is to ignore two centuries of U.S. history and ideas. “Other people’s babies” have been fighting and dying to defend American values since before Iowa was a state.

.. At the heart of King’s statement is not only a prejudicial mindset but also a profound pessimism about the strength of the values the congressman says he wishes to preserve. The country thrived because those values were not the preserve of a specific ethnic or religious group but could be embraced by anyone regardless of his background or faith. It is not naïve to assert that this hasn’t changed even while the skin color of immigrants is darker today than it was in the past. That is the essence of American exceptionalism.

.. If conservatives wish to continue governing in the future, they must reject talk about “other people’s babies” and promote their ideas with enough confidence that Hispanics and other minorities will eventually embrace them.

White supremacism is ready to roar

“I’ve been to Europe and I’ve spoken on this issue and I’ve said the same thing as far as 10 years ago to the German people and any population of people that is a declining population that isn’t willing to have enough babies to reproduce themselves. I’ve said to them, ‘You can’t rebuild your civilization with somebody else’s babies. You’ve got to keep your birthrate up and you need to teach your children your values.”

.. King told CNN that he is merely “a champion for Western civilization,” which he called “a superior civilization.” Which means, of course, that he considers other civilizations inferior.

.. a guy from Iowa who keeps a Confederate battle flag on his desk is definitely sending some kind of message. He tried unsuccessfully to block the federal government’s plans to remove Andrew Jackson’s image from the $20 bill and replace it with that of Harriet Tubman.

.. today’s white supremacism tends to shy away from overtly racial terminology. Listen instead for words such as “culture” and “civilization.”

.. The idea is that the United States is the land of the free and the home of the brave because its “civilization” is “European” or “Western” — euphemisms, basically, for “white.” According to this view, immigrants have been assets to the country only to the extent that they have fully assimilated into the dominant culture.

.. The first Africans were brought here in bondage in 1619, one year before the Mayflower. Americans have never been a single ethnicity, speaking a single language, bound by the centuries to a single patch of land. We have always been diverse, polyglot and restless, and our greatness has come from our openness to new people and new ideas.

.. King’s distress about birthrates can be read only as modern-day eugenics. If he is worried about the coming day when there is no white majority in the United States, he has remarkably little faith in our remarkable society — or in the Constitution

.. President Trump played footsie with the white supremacist movement during his campaign. His chief strategist, Stephen K. Bannon, waged civilizational war when he ran the Breitbart News site.

Rep. Steve King Draws Rebukes for Immigrant ‘Babies’ Putdown

On Saturday, Mr. King tweeted praise of Geert Wilders, the anti-immigration leader of the Dutch Party of Freedom, running for prime minister, saying on Twitter, “Wilders understands that culture and demographics are our destiny. We can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies.”

.. He said many people who come to the country illegally refuse to “assimilate into the American culture and civilization.”

.. Mr. King said his comments weren’t related to race, but to culture. “It’s the culture, not the blood. If you could go anywhere in the world and adopt these little babies and put them into households that were already assimilated into America, those babies will grow up as American as any other baby,” he told CNN.

.. In June 2014, he called former President Barack Obama “Kim Jong POTUS” for supporting canceling the patent for the Washington Redskins logo.

In July 2013, he criticized children brought to the country illegally by saying that “for everyone who’s a valedictorian, there’s another 100 out there who weigh 130 pounds and they’ve got calves the size of cantaloupes because they’re hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert.”

.. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s office tied the comments to recent bomb threats at Jewish Community Centers and the Kansas shooting that targeted two Indian men and called for Speaker Paul Ryan to address the comments.

.. Ms. Pelosi’s spokesman Drew Hammill said. “The GOP Leadership must stop accommodating this garbage, and condemn Congressman Steve King’s statements in the strongest and most unequivocal terms.”

AshLee Strong, House Speaker Paul Ryan’s spokeswoman, said: “The speaker clearly disagrees and believes America’s long history of inclusiveness is one of its great strengths.”

Dave Brat Urges Delay on Speaker Vote; A ‘Better Way’ Did Not Animate This Historic Election

Before lawmakers cast their vote, candidates for GOP leadership ought to identify the specific policy agenda they plan to enact in response to the mandate that the American people gave Congress with the election of President-elect Donald Trump, Brat says.

Brat explained that Speaker Ryan’s “Better Way” agenda is not what “animated this historic insurgent election”.

.. “While I am a fan of much of the ‘Better Way’ agenda, it is not what fueled or animated this historic insurgent election,” Brat added. “’The Better Way’ is a very rational set of policy prescriptions put forward by Speaker Ryan, a policy expert, but our leadership has acknowledged that Trump saw something they missed. The ‘Better Way’ agenda has been in play for a year now– yet Trump saw something new. So what was it?

.. “While I am a fan of much of the ‘Better Way’ agenda, it is not what fueled or animated this historic insurgent election,” Brat added. “’The Better Way’ is a very rational set of policy prescriptions put forward by Speaker Ryan, a policy expert, but our leadership has acknowledged that Trump saw something they missed. The ‘Better Way’ agenda has been in play for a year now– yet Trump saw something new. So what was it?

.. We’re being asked to vote on the Speaker on our first full day back in D.C. And it is absurd to think that we have processed the full meaning and implications of this seismic election in less than a week.”

.. Why the rush? Let’s slow down, think and properly plan this so we get it right. Look at what happened in the last two years when we didn’t make our agenda absolutely clear to the American people. If we rush this Speaker election, the American people will feel manipulated once again. This is no time to undermine morale and do an end-run around them.

.. Conservatives have noted that Ryan’s personal policy agenda was “rejected” on November 8th– particularly his views on immigration, trade and crime. According to polling data, Ryan’s open borders vision on immigration and trade is opposed by roughly 9 in 10 GOP voters.

 .. It is unclear whether members of the House Freedom Caucus and conservative lawmakers—including Jim Jordan, Mark Meadows, Jeff Duncan, Jim Bridenstine, Brian Babin, Steve King, Matt Salmon, Alex Mooney, Gary Palmer, Barry Loudermilk, John Fleming and others—who voted for Ryan last year, will vote to elect him again as House Speaker on Tuesday.

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.”

What, Congressman Steve King Asks, Have Nonwhites Done for Civilization?

“If you’re really optimistic, you can say this was the last time that old white people would command the Republican Party’s attention, its platform, its public face,” Charles P. Pierce, a writer at large at Esquire magazine, said during the panel discussion.

.. In response, Mr. King said: “This whole ‘old white people’ business does get a little tired, Charlie. I’d ask you to go back through history and figure out where are these contributions that have been made by these other categories of people that you are talking about? Where did any other subgroup of people contribute more to civilization?”

“Than white people?” Mr. Hayes asked.

Mr. King responded: “Than Western civilization itself that’s rooted in Western Europe, Eastern Europe and the United States of America, and every place where the footprint of Christianity settled the world. That’s all of Western civilization.”

.. Rep. Steve King shouldn’t be allowed to use any inventions created by people who are not white. No elevators, no microphones, no pacemakers.