Steve King the new Wiley Mayne
Rep. Steve King stands with President Trump, and will fall with him.
The Fourth District Republican congressman wasted no time issuing a statement fully supporting the president after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi launched a formal impeachment inquiry.
The spark was Trump’s request to the president of Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden, who did business with a Ukrainian oil company.
That is, the president of the United States asked a foreign government to get dirt on a political rival.
He also asked that the Ukrainian government investigate Hillary Clinton.
He reminded the Ukrainian president of the help that the United States provides, and President Zelensky acknowledged that support and promised to investigate the Bidens.
That’s an abuse of power, which is an impeachable offense.
It was so outrageous that an intelligence official used a whistleblower law to complain to Congress about Trump’s actions, which were deemed urgent and credible by the inspector general for the director of national intelligence.
This after Special Counsel Robert Mueller told Congress that Trump obstructed justice by firing former FBI Director James Comey and for attempting to fire Mueller.
Trump calls it all a “witch hunt” and openly acknowledged that he pressured Zelensky to investigate the Bidens.
He believes he is untouchable.
King is squarely in Trump’s corner.
“It looks to me like the president has not betrayed his oath of office, he’s not betrayed our national security, he’s strengthened our national security in many, many, many ways,” King said last week.
Trump has established himself as a banal liar who will do anything to pursue his interests, including asking leaders of other nations to interfere in our domestic politics.
He has committed any number of impeachable offenses, but compromising our democratic processes stands above them all.
That’s what the people decided with President Richard Nixon, when an impeachment inquiry forced him to resign.
One of the last congressmen to stand with Nixon was Wiley Mayne, a Republican from Sioux City, who had long service in a safe district.
In 1974, on his second try, Berkley Bedell, a Democrat from Spirit Lake, defeated Mayne because of his blind loyalty to Nixon.
Now comes JD Scholten, an amiable Democrat from Sioux City who nearly beat King in 2018. He is mounting a second bid against a congressman who ties himself at the hip to Trump and his contempt for the Constitution and Congress.
King also has distinguished himself for his support for white nationalists and European fascists, for his racist remarks against Latinos, and for his disregard for civil rights by embracing inhumane detention of refugees seeking asylum. His Republican colleagues stripped King of his committee assignments.
King has four Republican primary challengers, including a businessman from Arnolds Park who announced last week, Steve Reeder.
His most prominent opponent, Randy Feenstra, of Hull, also is a vocal supporter of President Trump.
King enjoys wide support among Republican voters in northwest Iowa, especially in the pro-life community. King is likely to win a crowded primary with the necessary 35 percent.
Scholten, meanwhile, is at the wheel of his Winnebago named Sioux City Sue patrolling our 39 counties, calling for impeachment, for affordable health care, for fairness to farmers and rural communities, and for integrity in government. He is making friends everywhere he goes, and is raising funds like no Democrat before him.
King is pandering to a base that is frayed by a president who has open contempt for the other branches of government, who lies to farmers about ethanol and trade, who seeks support from corrupt governments intent on meddling in our elections, and is bent on destroying our most basic freedoms.
In fact, Trump is undermining the very concept of the Republic.
He will be impeached by the House of Representatives — the fourth president (if Nixon is included, who resigned before the actual vote) so notorious.
The Republican Senate no doubt will not remove him from office.
The question will be left to the voters.
Look what they did in 1974.
Bedell and another freshman congressman, Tom Harkin, went on to long and distinguished careers serving Iowa with integrity.
Art Cullen is the Pulitzer Prize-winning editor of The Storm Lake Times.