Iowa Republican Congressman Steve King, never out of the running for nomination for a foot-in-mouth award, moved to the top of the list over the weekend with an internet meme suggesting the possibility of another Civil War.
The meme, posted on Facebook Saturday evening featured two fighting figures — one red and one blue, each of which was an amalgamation of states based on their statewide political leanings.
“Folks keep talking about another civil war,” the meme read. “One side has about 8 trillion bullets, while the other side doesn’t know which bathroom to use,” the latter widely seen as a reference to Democratic support of gender neutral bathrooms.
King, according to a Washington Post report, annotated the image with a winking emoji and mused, “Wonder who would win…”
The implication was that King was pondering armed conflict — how else to explain the comment about “8 trillion bullets?” — pitting Republicans against Democrats, with the better armed side having the upper hand.
Since Iowa was represented as the bicep of the Democratic-leaning figure, one can only surmise King was serving notice to Iowans, who are otherwise represented in the House by Democrats, that the state’s Republicans are still represented by a powerful (bullet-backed) voice.
According to the Washington Post report, King deleted the post, which he had shared on an official campaign page, Monday. His office did not respond to questions about the picture or his reasons for posting and removing it.
The mere suggestion that political differences be settled with a gun is, in a word, distasteful – more of the swamp mentality that still holds sway in Washington. The fact that the post came just a day after a mass shooting in New Zealand by a white supremacist is even more repugnant.
Unfortunately for the Fourth District Iowans he was elected to represent — and equally unfortunately for the remainder of the state — King has earned a well-deserved reputation for comments, written and spoken, that simply do not reflect the values of Iowans as a whole.
King was recently stripped of his congressional committee assignments over his comments about white supremacy, comments he has lamely tried to blame, emulating the strategy of our Republican president, on faulty reporting. But in this latest instance of poor judgment, his office is not even offering an excuse.
For some, ignorance (and zeal) is bliss. That’s not an excuse for a man elected to represent Iowa. King has obviously not learned from past mistakes.
It’s time for Congress to show him the door.