December 9, 2015

I give Chris Hayes a lot of credit for at least trying to get some honesty out of Steve King, but let's be honest. This is a guy who lives in a white hood when he's not in public. He has no use for anyone who isn't lily-white.

Hayes' first attempt was to ask King if it would be "toxic political correctness" if someone suggested that we ban Jews. King parried, saying it might be warranted if Jews were killing people in the name of their religion.

"But as far as I know," King continued, "There's only one religion that's doing that. The religion of Islam that's doing that."

Hayes tried again, raising today's news about Robert Dear claiming to be a "warrior for the babies," who clearly was influenced by the Christian religion. "That man is a Christian, he's an avowed Christian and he appears to have acted on those Christian beliefs to undertake that act of violence."

Once again, King ducked, but this time he was just so off the reservation it was ridiculous.

"Well, I don't think that he's following Jesus' teachings," King averred.

Hayes shot back, "He says he's a Christian."

"But that's not Jesus' teachings," King replied. "Jesus didn't teach people to kill."

Hayes zeroed in for the point, reminding King that Muslims have been saying the very same thing about Islam, that it doesn't teach people to kill or engage in violence or destruction.

King answered with the vague notion that Mohammed hurt people and Jesus didn't, so there's no equivalence there.

From there, it went to a discussion about Catholicism 100 years ago, and the national hatred directed toward them. King was, once again, unfazed.

It ended badly, with King once again repeating that Shariah law is incompatible with the Constitution, which is something he's been repeating as an accusation against Keith Ellison, who he claims will not renounce Shariah law.

Hayes could have countered this by asking whether Biblical law is compatible with the Constitution, and if not, why King isn't renouncing it. But he didn't.

Here's the problem with these kinds of discussions. Chris Hayes is trying to have a rational discussion with someone who isn't rational about these things. He's also trying to have a discussion about religion when the true issue is race.

The reason Steve King thinks Muslims are fair game isn't because of what they believe. It's because of how they look, which is why this discussion was doomed from the start.

Update: Here's the full transcript, in PDF format.

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