Rep. Steve King, of Iowa's 4th Congressional District, speaks at a town hall meeting Jan. 26 at the community building in Primghar.

Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, has purposely avoided holding town hall meetings due to his solid voting record until, that is, his U.S. House peers stripped him from serving on three committees. He’s now on the war path to regain public favor.

It was like a dream I had in which I attended King’s Jan. 26 public forum in Primghar. King asked that I attend three more public forums to be jointly held with his three most ardent supporters. Here’s my envisioned journey.

On Feb. 2 we met Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, at the Sandburg public library. Grassley praised King, stating, “Stevie, do the ‘Full Grassley’ in all 39 counties. Make the voters think you really care. Perception is reality, even if it isn’t the


Grassley continued, “folks, Stevie votes with Republicans 90 percent of the time — party before people. I entered politics in 1959. Golly darn, that means taxpayers have paid my salary and bennies for 60 years. I digress. Stevie, you displayed a Confederate flag in your office until a Confederate flag-waver shot two Iowa police officers. You supported Todd Adkin’s legitimate rape comment and correctly stated video games and lack of prayer in schools are to be blamed for gun violence; here’s a re-election campaign contribution.”

On Feb. 5, Gov. Kim Reynolds and I walked into the Antwan Café and Mexican Food Restaurant in Antwan. King greeted us by stating, “So, whatcha’ think of meeting citizens at a Mexican restaurant? Check the workers for their citizenship papers and cantaloupe-sized calves. Hey, I’m kidding, OK amigo?”

King addressed the audience: “My mother was of Welsh descent, my father was a mix-breed of Irish and German, my grandmother was a German immigrant, and Germans were prejudicial to Jews. Immigrants as dirt? I dunno. I’m an American. How about you?”

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There was dead silence.

Reynolds broke the ice, “Stevie, despite the Washington Post describing you as the congressman most openly affiliated with white nationalism and the unhinged, Iowa Democrats said little about me picking a racist to co-chair my election campaign. You helped me win the rural vote. Kudos.”

Feb. 9 was when Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, Stevie and I met at the Whistler County Library, located in Wonton. Ernst began: “I said in my Senate election campaign I’d make them squeal in D.C. I’ve not done that yet as I’m waiting for President Trump’s swamp to further expand, we get into more financial debt as we’ve only increased it $2 trillion, we see how damaging the trade tariff fiasco really becomes, we build the wall thingy. OK, OK, the Republicans had total control for two years to fund the unnecessary wall and when Stevie gets more radical than he currently is over issues such as gun rights, LGBTQ, women’s rights and climate change, then I’ll ride my Harley into the Senate chambers and make ’em squeal. What’s the question? Oh, wait, there wasn’t a question. Never mind.”

Stevie didn’t like playing second fiddle to Ernst.

“OK, Joni. Now knowing you were sexually assaulted, why didn’t you stand up for Dr. Christine Blasey Ford when she accused Supreme Court Justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct? Oh, like Chuck, I digress. Yes, radicals, I do know I’ve been named the least-effective member of Congress due to my persistent failure to get legislation out of committee. Yes, partisans, I do know the Lugar Center ranks me as the 434th worst representative for bipartisanship. But, despite being ejected for two years from the Judiciary, Small Business and Agriculture Committees, none of those affect Iowans, so it’s no big deal.”

I awoke. That’s what I saw while under anesthesia for hernia surgery. Please tell me these events are fictitious. Meanwhile, that pain in my side is gone, while some politicians’ actions remain a pain.

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Steve Corbin is an emeritus professor of marketing at the University of Northern Iowa. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author, and do not reflect those of the University of Northern



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