Steve King just keeps saying crazy stuff. So...

Posted Wednesday, 14 August 2019 ‐ CNN

(CNN)At what point is enough enough? And why hasn't Steve King done enough to get him kicked out of Congress?That's the question all moderately reasonable people -- of all political persuasions -- have to be asking themselves in the wake of the Iowa Republican congressman's latest controversial comments."What if we went back through all the family trees and just pulled those people out that were products of rape and incest? Would there be any population of the world left if we did that?" King said in Urbandale, Iowa, according to video posted online by the Des Moines Register, which was first to report on the remarks Wednesday.Like, WHAT???King appears to be suggesting that without rape and incest, none of us would be here. I think?That's obviously a totally inaccurate and indefensible position. And it's just the latest of those that King has seen fit to share with the world over his time in office representing western Iowa. Among his other greatest misses: * "White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization -- how did that language become offensive? Why did I sit in classes teaching me about the merits of our history and our civilization?"
(January 2019)* "We can't restore our civilization with somebody else's babies." (March 2017)* "They chose to have a Congressional Black Caucus. They chose to have an abortion. I would give you even money that a vast majority of mothers who say they can't afford an abortion have an iPhone, which costs more." (September 2016)There's more -- lots and lots more -- and the Register and The New York Times have comprehensive lists of all the dumb, insensitive, intolerant, xenophobic and racist things King has said over the years. But let me sum it up for you: We know who Steve King is. We've known for a while now. So why is he still in Congress?After King's questioning of when the terms "white supremacist" and "white nationalist" became offensive, he was condemned by House Republican leaders and stripped of his committee assignments. That episode also spurred several Republicans to announce their plans to primary King in 2020. More recently, JD Scholten, a Democrat who lost to King in 2018, announced his plans to run again.One of King's 2020 primary opponents, Republican Iowa State Sen. Randy Feenstra, responded to his latest comments Wednesday by saying: "I am 100% pro-life, but Congressman King's bizarre comments and behavior diminish our message and damage our cause. We can't afford to hand the 4th District to Nancy Pelosi and her allies in Congress. President Trump needs defenders in Congress, not distractions."The question House Republican leaders (likely in consultation with the White House) will have to ask themselves in the wake of these new inflammatory comments by King is whether they can wait until next year's primary to deal with King. (King has made clear on any number of occasions he has no plans to resign or retire.)In the past, House Republicans have resisted more extreme measures to deal with King, noting that he won reelection in 2018 despite that race revolving around his intolerant and impolitic comments. So, who are they to overturn the will of the voters of his district? Perhaps their hope was that King would get beat in the Republican primary and be forced to simply go away. But is that plan operable now? To be clear: There is a simple way that King could be removed from his seat. It's right there in the Constitution -- Article I, Section 5, clause 2. The House can expel one of its own if two-thirds of the members agree to a formal expulsion resolution.To say it doesn't happen all that much would be a gross understatement. Only five times in the history of the republic has the House voted to expel a member -- three times during the Civil War for disloyalty to the Union and two times (Michael Myers and Jim Traficant) when members had been convicted of bribery and other crimes. So the only times a member has been expelled is when that member sided with the Confederacy or had been convicted of a federal crime. King doesn't fit either of those categories, which would make an effort to expel him groundbreaking and, because of the cautious nature of Congress, not terribly likely. And Congress likely also doesn't want to set a precedent of ejecting members for making comments their colleagues disagree with -- when voters get to have a say every two years anyway.There are lesser ways the House could impose its disapproval of King -- most notably censure (more serious) and reprimand (less serious). As recently as 2010, the House has reprimanded one of its own -- then-New York Democratic Rep. Charlie Rangel -- although the "penalty" for censure is to stand in the well of the House while the censure is read aloud. Not great, but not exactly expulsion. The newness of these latest revelations about King means that House Republicans almost certainly haven't decided what they should do about King. The Democratic majority, if they so chose, could force Republicans' hands by putting a censure (or expulsion) resolution on the floor and making House GOPers go on the record as to King's long history of comments.No matter what happens next, Republicans are going to have to find a good answer for this question on King: How much is too much?

Other articles published by CNN

Posted Thursday, 23 January 2020 ‐ CNN

(CNN)This year's song of the year Grammy nominees may seem to mostly be about love, but let's go a little deeper than that.The eight nominees actually have some valuable life lessons if you listen closely.Check it out:"Always Remember Us This...

Posted Thursday, 23 January 2020 ‐ CNN

(CNN)A pediatric healthcare worker in Michigan was ill with tuberculosis and didn't know it while working in several locations over nine months, the state's health department said.The worker was recently diagnosed with pulmonary tuberculosis, and the...

Posted Thursday, 23 January 2020 ‐ CNN

Washington (CNN)House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler on Thursday played a 1999 video of Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham arguing that "high crimes" don't "even need to be a crime," a statement that runs counter to a central Republican talking point in...

Posted Thursday, 23 January 2020 ‐ CNN

David A. Andelman, Executive Director of The RedLines Project, is a contributor to CNN where his columns won the Deadline Club Award for Best Opinion Writing. Author of "A Shattered Peace: Versailles 1919 and the Price We Pay Today," and the forthcoming...

Posted Thursday, 23 January 2020 ‐ CNN

(CNN)Philadelphia Police are investigating a man's claim that Gritty, the mascot of the Philadelphia Flyers hockey team, punched his teenage son in the back.Chris Greenwell, a season ticket holder of more than two decades from Delaware, told CNN the...

Posted Thursday, 23 January 2020 ‐ CNN

January 24, 2020January 2020 marks 75 years since Soviet troops liberated the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp. Today's show features reports on the camp itself and a Holocaust remembrance center in Israel. We're also explaining what it ...

Posted Thursday, 23 January 2020 ‐ CNN

New York (CNN Business)More than two months after announcing a review of his work, The Hill newspaper has yet to complete its promised evaluation of columns written by John Solomon, a former executive at the outlet who during his time at the publication...

Posted Thursday, 23 January 2020 ‐ CNN

Washington (CNN)A Libyan man who acted as a scout for the Islamist militia that stormed the US consulate in Benghazi in 2012 was sentenced to 19 and a half years in prison Thursday by a federal judge in Washington. Mustafa al-Imam was convicted last...

Posted Thursday, 23 January 2020 ‐ CNN

(CNN)One of the stars of NBC's "This Is Us" is headed to the Academy Awards stage.Chrissy Metz is set to be among the musical performers at the upcoming Oscars, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced Thursday. Metz will be performing...

Posted Thursday, 23 January 2020 ‐ CNN

(CNN)White supremacist Christopher Cantwell has been arrested and charged with sending an extortionate and threatening interstate message, according to the FBI office in Boston.Cantwell was one of the organizers of the hate-filled marches through...

Posted Thursday, 23 January 2020 ‐ CNN

Washington, DC (CNN)A bill that would expand voting rights to some immigrants who are not US citizens was introduced Thursday in the New York City Council. City Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez, an immigrant from the Dominican Republic, is sponsoring the...

Posted Thursday, 23 January 2020 ‐ CNN

(CNN)For the fourth time in four years, federal authorities announced they have recovered a stolen copy of a letter that Christopher Columbus wrote describing his voyage to the Americas.The US Attorney's Office of Delaware and Immigration and Customs...

Posted Thursday, 23 January 2020 ‐ CNN

(CNN)Senators and aides in each party say there is an effort in the works to hold a short, morning-only impeachment trial session on Saturday to hear the beginning of the opening arguments from President Donald Trump's defense counsel and then allowing...

Posted Thursday, 23 January 2020 ‐ CNN

(CNN)Advisers to the CDC say a lack of data from China about the Wuhan coronavirus is curtailing international efforts to quell the outbreak. While the advisers commended the Chinese researchers for mapping the virus's genome in just a few weeks, they...

Posted Thursday, 23 January 2020 ‐ CNN

(CNN)World leaders commemorated the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp by warning against a global rise in anti-Semitism. The dignitaries gathered at the Yad Vashem Remembrance Center Thursday for the Fifth World...