King: That Mean Speaker Took Away My Junket!

It seems the juvenile behavior of congressional Republicans is not limited to interactions with the executive branch. Dig this public whine from Rep. Steve King (R-IA), per TPM’s Caitlin MacNeal:

Rep. Steve King (R-IA) claimed on Monday that House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) canceled King’s upcoming diplomatic trip following House Republicans’ battle over funding for the Department of Homeland Security.

King pushed for an amendment to the funding bill that would have restricted President Obama’s executive actions on immigration, but Boehner ultimately proposed legislation that did not address immigration. King claimed Boehner punished those who did not vote for the “clean” funding bill.

“Now we have the Speaker’s retribution. He’s apparently throwing tantrums,” King told radio host Simon Conway in an interview highlighted by Roll Call.

Clearly, King knows a tantrum when he sees it.

King told Conway that “a very important diplomatic mission” he was scheduled to go on was canceled on Monday by Boehner.

“The order came down from the Speaker’s office ‘That shall be rescinded.’ And apparently the people who he most objects to for disagreeing with him are now grounded to the United States of America by order of the Speaker,” he said. “This is retribution on the highest scale I’ve ever heard of.”

First of all, what kind of “very important diplomatic mission” could Steve King possibly be sent to discharge? Yes, I realize Republican Senators now view themselves as authorized to conduct diplomacy for the State of Israel. But where would you send Steve King? By and large nativists don’t make great diplomats, by definition.

But it’s King’s public hissy fit that’s most amazing. It’s “retribution on the highest scale I’ve ever heard of?” Seriously? I’m not sure I’ve seen a display of jejune pique this extreme since Newt Gingrich complained about Bill Clinton making him sit in the back of Air Force One.

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Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.