If only Steve King would keep his mouth shut.
The Iowa Republican, whose dishonesty and rhetorical stupidity resulted in a congressional reprimand earlier this year, managed to sully the pro-life movement with his latest attempt to defend it.
Speaking to the Westside Conservative Club on Wednesday, King said he supported Alabama’s abortion ban, which does not include exceptions for rape and incest, because humanity might not exist had it not been for … rape and incest.
“What if we went back through all the family trees and just pulled out anyone who was a product of rape or incest? Would there be any population of the world left if we did that?” King said, according to the Des Moines Register. “Considering all the wars and all the rapes and pillages that happened throughout all these different nations, I know that I can’t say that I was not a part of a product of that.”
It’s a good, common pro-life argument to say that an unborn child shouldn’t be punished for the “sin of the father, or of the mother.” But King seems to be going one step further, claiming that humanity’s survival depends upon the evils of rape and incest. Again, here are his words: “Would there be any population of the world left if we [made exceptions for rape and incest]?”
Humanity will never be able to rid itself of its sins. We are bound to live alongside them. But to elevate them as serving some sort of existential purpose is ridiculous.
I certainly hope King doesn’t believe gruesome violence is necessary for the continuation of humanity and that his words were a rhetorical blunder. If that’s the case, he should step up, admit he misspoke, and apologize to the pro-lifers who are now being pressed to answer for his foolishness.
But I wouldn’t hold my breath. King has a long track record of lying or blaming others when confronted. Take, for instance, the time King was pulled from his congressional committee assignments for saying, “White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive?” King claimed the entire quote was a fabrication and part of a hit job to get him kicked out of office.
“People think it was an organic media feeding frenzy, but no, it was orchestrated from the beginning,” he said, according to the Des Moines Register. “They had told me, heads up before Christmas, they’re going to try to drive you out of office and get you to resign. Within 24 hours, you had people saying ‘resign, resign, resign.’ Why? Because the New York Times misquoted me?”
What about the time King claimed the Weekly Standard lied when it reported he had referred to immigrants as “dirt?” The Weekly Standard’s audio recording confirmed its reporter’s story and King’s dishonesty.
King doesn’t seem to understand that words matter or that the pro-life movement will suffer from his carelessness. It may take his losing his primary next year to his challenger, Republican state Sen. Randy Feenstra, an outcome that seems increasingly likely by the day.