While it’s hard to say goodbye, it must be comforting to the xenophobic wing of the Republican party to know that Rep. King is only one step away (he will still serve as the Vice-Chairman) from his former throne. Rep. Elton Gallegly (R-CA) is the Republicans’ choice to lead the Immigration Subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee.
According to Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice:
Steve King was dethroned because even the House Republican leadership must realize that comparing immigrants to livestock and suggesting we keep them out with an electric fence is offensive to Latino voters. But, he’s simply been demoted from king to prince, and together, with Lamar Smith and Elton Gallegly, will lead the deportation caucus in the House. Until the Republican Party actually changes position on immigration, their ugly faces will still define them.”
Though some may interpret King’s being passed over as chairperson as a sign that the Republican caucus is beginning to understand the link between immigration extremism and political irrelevance, the choice of Rep. Gallegly does little to confirm this. In fact, Gallegly’s voting record on immigration issues shows that he fits neatly alongside Lamar Smith and Steve King as a mass deportation cheerleader. Not exactly a profile in courage, or in finding serious solutions to our immigration crisis.
Someday soon, the Republican Party will learn that its policies on immigration are the problem, not its spokespeople — the question is whether or not they will have lost the Latino vote for generations by that point, as well as how much damage they are willing to do to the fabric of our nation and our economy in the meantime.
For now, here’s a little parting video for the King: