Randy Feenstra, a Republican state senator in Iowa, may well prove the beneficiary of outrage generated by the Republican representative for the 4th Congressional District in that state, Steve King.
Rep. King is serving his ninth term in the US House of Representatives. He has made outrageous statements before. In January of this year, he said that he didn’t understand why the terms “white nationalist” and “white supremacy” have such negative connotations. The Republican leadership in the House responded by removing him from all his committee posts.
The latest furor concerns statements about rape and incest. King believes (as do many conservatives) that constitutional protection for abortions should be withdrawn, and that state legislatures should criminalize the procedure. At a recent political gathering he was discussing the common opinion that even should the procedure itself be re-criminalized, there should be exceptions for pregnancies generated by rape or incest.
He said, “What if we went back through all the family trees and just pulled out anyone who was a product of rape or incest? Would there be any population of the world left if we did that?” He seemed to be trying to make an argument that since anyone might be a product of rape or incest through some number of great grandparentage, it is wrong to abort on such a basis.
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Feenstra, also a conservative and a Republican, is challenging King’s renomination to his Congressional seat, hoping to defeat him in a primary next June. King’s latest remarks are shaping up as an early gift to Feenstra’s campaign.