Staff Editorial

Even in time of crisis, Steve King distracts and embarrasses

Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, speaks during a House Judiciary Committee on social media filtering practices in July 2018. (Joshua Roberts/Bloomberg/TNS)
Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, speaks during a House Judiciary Committee on social media filtering practices in July 2018. (Joshua Roberts/Bloomberg/TNS)
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Much of Iowa is in crisis with snowmelt and precipitation conspiring to submerge entire communities in floodwater. As Iowans expect, our elected officials are closely monitoring the situation — most of them, anyway.

Gov. Kim Reynolds and Sen. Joni Ernst both made trips to speak with local leaders in the affected areas. Sen. Chuck Grassley and U.S. Reps. Dave Loebsack, Abby Finkenauer and Cindy Axne have promoted resources for disaster response and flood readiness.

Notably absent from the discussion is U.S. Rep. Steve King, even though more than half of the 39 counties in his northwest Iowa district have been affected or are threatened by flooding.

Instead, King continues to embarrass Iowans with inflammatory rhetoric. The Republican from Kiron earned international recognition after his campaign posted a meme on Facebook over the weekend about “another Civil War,” showing a figure made up of red states punching a figure made up of blue states.

“One side has about 8 trillion bullets, while the other side doesn’t know which bathroom to use,” the caption read.

Iowa, which President Donald Trump easily carried in 2016, was grouped with the blue states.

The insinuation is people in conservative states could easily dispose of their counterparts in liberal states if a war broke out. Such ugly speculation is inappropriate for a sitting congressman.

King and his campaign staff are extremely active on social media, and it’s difficult to tell whether he wants to be a congressman or a conspiracy blogger.

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King briefly discussed flooding during a previously scheduled visit to Kossuth County this week, but it was not the focus of his visit.

In the week since Reynolds made her disaster proclamation for flooded communities, King’s campaign Facebook page has made at least 35 posts, none of which mention flooding.

Almost all the posts are politically charged memes taken from conservative media outlets. There are at least four posts mocking 2020 Democratic presidential candidates.

The Facebook page for King’s congressional office is more subdued, with just three posts in the past week, none about the flood.

Neither King’s Twitter page nor congressional website make any mention of how constituents can get disaster assistance.

King’s inattention is all the more frustrating in light of the fact he currently has no committee assignments in Congress, after his duties were stripped by fellow Republicans following other nasty comments earlier this year. What is he doing that’s more important than natural disaster response?

King is either unable or unwilling to perform basic constituent services, reminding us once again he is unfit to represent Iowans in Congress.

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