Today House Speaker John Boehner (Ohio) let Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) have it — again — for his noxious comments on immigrants:
His admonition — “Earlier this week, Rep. Steve King made comments that were, I think, deeply offensive and wrong. What he said does not reflect the values of the American people, or the Republican Party.”
The number of ferocity of the GOP leadership’s response to King is telling. They want no part of his views, and the last thing they need is for allegations of racism to come raining down on their heads.
It is, moreover, important that Boehner can and will take to task members who go beyond the realm of reasonable dissent. Even if he is generous in allowing minority votes (as he did on the NSA defunding measure), he wants to make clear that members risk public humiliation if they plunge into vile rhetoric. He is playing it close to the vest on his own views on immigration, but he’s surely making it clear that he wants the process to continue and to continue without buffoons like King tossing around anti-immigrant rhetoric.