It's easy to write Rep. Steve King (R-JBS) off as being completely whacko. But he's just so out there, so bizarre, and sells it like a country auctioneer with the fattest steer on the market that it actually sticks sometimes.
This speech of his made me wonder if he was high on deep-fried butter. It also caused me to ask why the Affordable Care Act is viewed by the far right as such an abomination. To hear Steve King talk about it, you'd think Satan himself had decreed from the ninth circle of hell that all Americans should have access to health insurance and so he felt compelled to call all good Christian warriors with the "Repeal Obamacare!" battle cry.
Here's the transcript:
KING: Now, [Obama] also makes Hugo Chavez look like a piker when it comes to nationalizing American business. Three large investment banks, AIG, taken over by the federal government. Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, General Motors, Chrysler, the student loan program, all of that nationalized.
The federal takeover of private sector businesses managed by the White House. And now what else did he have the audacity to do? He likes that word audacity. The single most sovereign thing we have is our soul and we protect it with everything we have and we nurture our children to have the same core faith so that they can protect their sovereign soul as well.
But the second most sovereign thing we have is our health. Our bodies, our health, the management of it has been nationalized by President Obama in Obamacare. He nationalized your skin and everything inside it and he put a 10 percent tax on the outside if you go to the tanning salon.
Obamacare has got to be ripped out by the roots. [applause] Obamacare is a malignant tumor in our culture, our society, and our civilization. It's got to be ripped out by the roots so there's no vestige of it left behind, not one particle of DNA of Obamacare left behind because if we leave it, it will grow, it will regenerate, it will metastasize as this tumor is now. And it feeds on your freedom and liberty.
Obamacare has got to go. [applause]
Now I want that repeal -- the repeal of Obamacare -- to be plank number one in every Presidential campaign so that the next President of the United States, when he stands on the podium in the west portico of the Capitol of the United States January 20, 2013, I want that next President -- he or she -- to swear into office with hand on Bible, pen in hand, and swear "I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will, to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the constitution of the United States so help me God."
And before the next president shakes hands with Chief Justice Roberts, they're going to sign the repeal of Obamacare right there at the inauguration ceremony January 20, 2013. Thank you very much, God bless you all.
We got socialism, my friends. Right here in River City. But King's campaign against it has so many bizarre accusations. A tumor? Metastasis? The idea of an ever-regenerating Obamacare scourge is just apocalyptic gobbledegook. Or, maybe it's John Birch Society emerging from the undercurrents of Republican politics into the mainstream.
It's no secret that the JBS loathes the idea of universal health care. Have a look at their calls to action here during the debate in March, 2010.
Recently a report came out studying the correlation between FreedomWorks and the John Birch Society. As much as Dick Armey denies it, there are official ties between the two.
Since the launch of the site, FreedomWorks staff and the FreedomConnector web team have posted at least fifty-nine different announcements that advertised John Birch Society events across the country. (See list in Appendix). Even a cursory look at this list of meetings, forums and protests demonstrates quite clearly that this is not an isolated incident or simple mistake that can be easily dismissed. FreedomWorks staff and the web team have posted an average of ten Birch events a month since the launch of this site. They have advertised Birch events in California, Florida, Idaho, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, and Texas.
In addition to the fifty-nine added by FreedomWorks team members, another twenty-two Bircher happenings have been posted by FreedomConnector members like Dawn Epson, the Tucson facilitator for the John Birch Society. Epson even has been allowed to create a Tucson Bircher “group”--a hub for area Birchers to gather on the FreedomConnector site. In total, 80 different JBS events were advertised on the FreedomWorks FreedomConnector site between the site launch and June 1, 2011.
Tonya Woodruff, a Michigan activist, provided a perfect example of the problem of the missing firewall when she posted a question on FreedomConnector to a participant in the Ludington Area tea party: “I was at the John Birch Society Meeting last night and the Birchers wanted to know if the tea party was still interested in a presentation? I will send you an e-mail today about this topic.” Opposition to the JBS presence inside the FreedomWorks social network has been virtually non-existent. Instead, these posts have received a warm reception.
Saturday's Iowa straw poll was a victory for the John Birch Society. Michele Bachmann and Ron Paul are poster children for their paranoia. Mix in a little Steve King, some deep-fried butter, and more toxic politics and it's a big win for what appears to now be the mainstream Republican party. No Republican candidate will be able to run for President without wrapping their arms around the Birchers, and letting the Bircher tentacles enfold them. Steve King just articulated it in more stark terms than most.