Rick Crawford stands out on Steve King issue | Arkansas Blog

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Rick Crawford stands out on Steve King issue

Posted By on Wed, Jan 16, 2019 at 7:54 AM

RICK CRAWFORD: Stands out on King issue.
  • RICK CRAWFORD: Stands out on King issue.
The U.S. House Tuesday voted almost unanimously for a resolution that rejected white nationalism and white supremacy without mentioning the historic racist, Republican Rep. Steve King, whose recent comments belatedly forced Republicans to condemn these movements, which Donald Trump has comforted. Arkansans in Congress were heard from, as well, but only Rep. Rick Crawford of Jonesboro really distinguished himself.

The New York Times article linked above raises the question of what took Republicans so long to act on King. Also: Why not Donald Trump, too? Here's a good roundup of 17 years of racist and otherwise incendiary remarks by King.

Illustrative of the political peril Republicans apparently see in directly criticizing a racist is the continuing reaction of Arkansas Republicans in Congress. Frank Lockwood of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, got something from all of them today. All of them duly denounced with varying degrees of enthusiasm white supremacy (even though several of them — French Hill, Steve Womack and Tom Cotton, particularly — have blown the dog whistle in campaigning and advertising themselves.)

The four Republicans in the House endorsed the resolution. The Republicans in the Senate joined others in condemning "white supremacy."

Rep. Bruce Westerman edged into the matter of King himself, saying the Republicans had acted properly in removing him from committees.

But Rep. Rick Crawford of Jonesboro stood out for explicit criticism of King. He said he might support additional disciplinary action. And he gave this statement to Lockwood:

"My colleague Steve King has a history of making controversial comments, but this time, he went too far and made comments that I believe were ignorant and indefensible."
That shouldn't be hard for others to say. But it apparently is.

By the way: I'm something of an outlier on this. King is an odious wretch and I support and encourage all who say so. But offensive speech needs fixing by voters in King's district. There's a lot of it going around in the Capitol and at the White House. A reluctance by my representative, French Hill,  to call him out personally is also odious. But so were Hill's campaign ads invoking racist themes and I've no choice but to accept the vote on that, too.

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