KING FEELS HEAT FOR SUICIDE BOMBER SYMPATHIZES…. There was no shortage of over-the-top rhetoric at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) over the weekend, but there was something about Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) comments that stood out.
Commenting on Joe Stack, who flew a plane into an Austin office building because of his grudge against the U.S. government, the right-wing Iowan seemed oddly sympathetic to Stack’s motivation for murdering innocent Americans. One report indicated that King told conservative activists he could “empathize” with the suicide bomber, and encouraged his audience to “implode” other IRS offices.
In general, regular ol’ Americans who talk like this — and defend those who fly planes into buildings — can expect to have a law-enforcement official stop by for a chat. Steve King, however, is a member of Congress.
King is, however, feeling at least some heat over this. Yesterday, House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) took King to task on the House floor.
“The fact of the matter is that the gentleman that lost his life in that building, Vernon Hunter, is from — was from Orangeburg, South Carolina, that I proudly represent in this body,” said Clyburn. “He spent two tours in Vietnam and was about the business of carrying out his duties and responsibilities to this great country of ours. If anybody is a hero, it is this victim. And I find it appalling that a member of this body would call his death a noble happening.”
The National Treasury Employees Union, which represents I.R.S. workers, also called on King to apologize for his remarks, saying the lawmaker showed “an appalling lack of compassion over [Vernon Hunter’s] death, as well as a lack of respect for the lives of federal employees nationwide.”
Representative King should retract and apologize for his ill-conceived statements concerning the tragic event that took place in Austin and pledge, as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, to do everything he can to ensure that the safety of federal employees remains one of our government’s highest priorities.
But in order for King to suffer any real consequences for his sympathies for a suicide bomber, the media is going to have focus some attention on his lunacy. Yesterday, Washington Post journalist Ben Pershing told a reader in an online chat that King’s comments “probably deserve more attention from the media. They are striking remarks.”
To date, the Washington Post has not reported on King’s comments at all.