Time to Log Off is a weekly series documenting the many ways our political figures show their whole asses online.
During his time in office, former Iowa Republican Rep. Steve King had carved out a nice little niche for himself as the most outwardly racist member of Congress. Then, in an all-too-brief respite from his endorsements of White Nationalism and tacit approval of rape and incest, King was booted from office and the world continued to turn without his extremely bigoted voice echoing through the nation's halls of power.
Alas, "all good things...," as they say. And so, unconstrained by Congress's pathetically insufficient facade of civility and respectfulness, King is still out there being as offensive and intolerant as ever — if not more so!
Here is a recent tweet of King's in which he paradoxically attempts to deny his transparent invocation of an egregious antisemitic trope by... being egregiously antisemitic. "Israeli Olympic gold medalist can't marry the love of his life in Israel," he wrote, linking to a news story about Olympian Artem Dolgopyat. "Under Israeli law, he is not a Jew. Even though his father is a Jew, his mother is not. Same for George Soros. Criticizing Soros is NOT antiSemitic."
If it weren't for the fact that there are still people out there who take King and his brand of bigotry seriously, the tweet would be impressive for no other reason than the incredible contortion act it forces the reader to endure. It's a tricky logic pretzel, so let's break this bad boy down:
1) King correctly quotes a Times of Israel report noting that Israeli gold medal Olympian Artem Dolgopyat is being prevented from marrying his girlfriend because, according to the Israeli Rabbinate's strict interpretation of Judaic law regarding matrilineal descent, he's not technically Jewish (Dolgopyat's mother's family isn't Jewish).
This is, obviously, a hugely fraught issue in Israel, and among Jewish communities — particularly those denominations that do honor patrilineal descent, not to mention members of the LGBTQ community who are also barred from marrying in Israel. But King doesn't actually care about the very real debate around the subject. Instead he:
2) Obfuscates about the lineage of perennial conservative boogieman — and well-established font of antisemitic mythology — George Soros, claiming that like Dolgopyat, Soros's mother wasn't Jewish. Therefore:
3) Any invocation of George Soros — no matter how random — must not be antisemitic because, according to the Israeli Rabbinate, he would not technically be considered Jewish.
There's just a feeeeew problems here. Like the part where King is completely wrong about Soros's family tree. As it turns out, Soros's mother was Jewish (she later converted to Catholicism, but for the purposes of establishing matrilineal descent, that doesn't matter), thereby negating King's entire point. But more significantly: Why the hell is King bringing up George Soros in the first place? I mean, I know he does it broadly because he's deeply invested in the antisemitic trope of Soros as some sort of manipulative globalist trying to undermine the good, hardworking (read: white christian) people of the United States. But this is absolutely a case of King protesting a bit too much, and in doing so, tipping his not-all-that-well-hidden hand.
King is basically standing on a chair and shouting, "Look at me! Look at me! I'm SooooOoOooO not antisemitic, see!!???" completely out of the blue and without any sort of preamble or context. It's almost as if he's compulsively fixated on Soros and desperate for any excuse to vilify him — and specifically him — out of all the various left-leaning donors and figures in the world. Kind of makes you wonder, doesn't it?...
Anyway, Steve King isn't a congressman anymore, which is certainly a net positive for, well, everyone who isn't Steve King. But if his recent tweet is any indication, he's still as committed as ever to being a bigoted blowhard desperate for some modicum of respectability. Nice try, Steve. But instead, have you considered the possibility that it's simply time to log off?