Fox News personality and racism expert Tucker Carlson
Boarding school graduate Tucker Carlson, whose first job out of college was an editorial position at Policy Review, knows something about the relationship between demographics and destiny. His father was George H.W. Bush’s ambassador to the Seychelles and ran the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, as well as Voice of America. His stepmother is the heir to the Swanson frozen food fortune. From these beginnings, Tucker somehow found his way into broadcasting and conservative politics. Yesterday he interviewed Rep. Steve King (R-IA) in this capacity, discussing the congressman’s controversial tweet from this weekend. And he held King’s feet to the fire in his signature, hard-nosed style. Quote:
Everything you said is, I think defensible, and probably right. The problem with the [other peoples’ babies] tweet was it suggested a racial component of American identity.
Yeah, that was the problem, wasn’t it? Fortunately, the two men talked it over, and they agreed there was nothing racist about King’s tweet. Video after the jump.
Rep. Steve King (R-IA) describes a beautiful sandwich only white people can eat.
For the last year or so, Representative Steve King of Iowa has flirted with white nationalism. It’s the kind of flirting where you drink four cocktails and just start talking, although King was presumably sober in October when he tweeted that “cultural suicide by demographic transformation must end.” That was ominous. “Cultural suicide” and “demographic transformation” are vague terms, but the accompanying photo with European ethno-nationalists Frauke Petry and Geert Wilders offered a hint of what he meant. This weekend, the congressman praised Wilders again and got a little more explicit:
To paraphrase an old joke: What do you mean “we,” white man? The tweet raises some obvious questions. Who are we, again? And which babies aren’t ours? While we’re at it, we should probably figure out what the congressman means by “restore civilization,” considering that he is tweeting this message using a cell phone that distributes his words via a worldwide communication network to people who can read. Mad Max it ain’t. The questions about what King means by “we” and “our civilization” and “somebody else” lie at the heart of this tweet and, increasingly, his whole perspective.
Rep. Steve King (R-IA) with far-right European leaders Frauke Petry and Geert Wilders
This morning finds friend of the blog and all-around badass Gina Patnaik putting it down on Rep. Steve King (R-IA) in the Des Moines Register. Gina is from Denison, in his district, and she is disappointed by King’s decreasingly coded racism:
So when you say that the changing racial demographic of our country is “cultural suicide,” I know what you mean. You mean me.
It’s a great letter, and I urge you to read it. I happened to interact with Rep. King regarding this cultural suicide business last week, when I called him an embarrassment to my home state on Twitter and he retweeted me, for some reason. Behold:
I wondered why he would do that. Did he not understand that it was criticism? Does he automatically retweet anyone who mentions him? Did he see the white sheet in my avatar and assume we were cool? These questions baffled me for about two minutes. Then came the Twitter Nazis.
What an improbable collision of historical trends is this selfie with a homeless person. First, we have to invent camera phones and a culture that encourages us to point them at ourselves. Then, we need an economy strong enough to make personal camera phone ownership nearly universal, but also weak enough that many people have to sleep at Taco Bell. If you can synthesize all that in a lab setting, I’ll give you multi-finger dollar-sign rings. Today is Friday, and it’s so weird that it must be perfect. Won’t you pull up the ladder with me?
At some point on Saturday, the snake that operates Sarah Palin fell in love with a licorice whip and ran away, leaving her host body to deliver a half-hour nonsense speech at the Iowa Freedom summit. Lest you think I am indulging a liberal trope, I want to make it clear that this was not the usual folksy assault on syntax. It was bona fide word salad. I quote from the 26-minute mark:
Things like that: it must change. Things must change for our government. Look at it. It isn’t too big to fail. It’s too big to succeed. It’s too big to succeed, so we can afford no retreads, or nothing will change. With the same people and same policies that got us into the status quo—another that word, status quo, and it stands for man, the middle-class everyday Americans are really getting taken for a ride. That’s status quo. And GOP leaders, by the way—you know, the man can only ride you when your back is bent.
That’s 23 seconds of a speech that lasted a half hour. I urge you to watch as much of the video as you can tolerate, if only for the reaction shots. That is as publicly surly as Iowans get.