Columnist shreds GOP for censuring Steve King while ignoring Trump's similar comment
Steve King speaks to CNN (screen grab)

A Washington Post columnist has harsh words for the GOP after the House voted to denounce statements made by Rep. Steve King (R-IA) defending white supremacy.

King has been stripped of all committee assignments and the House is passing a resolution that "rejects white nationalism and white supremacy and hateful expressions of intolerance that’s contradictory to the values that define the people of the United States."

Even King is voting to condemn himself.

But as columnist Greg Sargent points out, King has claimed responsibility for being a forefather of Trumpism.

In the same New York Times article that got him in trouble, King says he told President Donald Trump that “I market-tested your immigration policy for 14 years, and that ought to be worth something.”

"King is absolutely right about this," writes Sargent. "Indeed, not only do both men’s immigration agendas overlap; both are animated by many of the same white-nationalist sentiments."

King's attempt to dodge the white supremacist label are similar to Trump's two-step on the topic, Sargent says.

"In King’s telling, this isn’t white supremacy or white nationalism. After all, he’d happily judge any individual by the content of his character," he writes. "It’s just that if you allow in enough individuals from certain cultures, ours will be slowly rendered unrecognizable, infiltrated and destroyed from within. By sheer coincidence, the groups of individuals he often warns will have that impact — Muslim and Latino immigrants — also happen to be nonwhite. Also by sheer coincidence, King has a history of bigoted remarks about those same groups."

"Trump has called himself a nationalist while noting that the label is controversial.

"The word 'nationalist,' alone, isn’t controversial," Sargent writes. "If he really meant, 'racial or white nationalist,' now that would be controversial. Thus, by expressing mock-contrition in this way, he signaled that this is what he meant without saying so. That’s how the code works."

As Sargent notes, it's hypocritical for Republicans to not condemn Trump at the same time they are allowing the government to be shut down over the border wall that most recognize is not effective beyond being "a symbol of resistance to the country’s ethnic and demographic transformation."

"Now Republicans are all in with Trump’s government shutdown," he writes. "And that shutdown is a last-ditch stand to realize the crowning symbol of the policy agenda of Steve King."

Read the full column here.