Tammy Kobza’s resignation as chair of the Sioux County GOP central committee reveals rifts within the Republican Party. For months we’ve read about the rifts within the Democrat Party, but the truth is there are different camps within the GOP as well.
One of the major issues for Republicans is the fact that the values of major Republican donors don’t often agree with what matters most to grassroots, conservative, Republican activists.
Party unity has long been a rallying cry for Republicans when conservative voters are less-than-thrilled with the Republican nominee. Conservatives are constantly lectured about party unity and how it’s an either/or proposition.
Yet in 2018, when Republicans in the Fourth District didn’t vote for King at the same rate they voted for Reynolds, there was never a lecture given to those Republicans about party unity.
It turns out party unity tends to be a one-way street. And only something that applies in races featuring moderate Republican candidates.
Steve King is not a racist.
The 2018 Republican primary was unlike any other due to absentee voting. More than half of the voters in the GOP primary had not voted at all in the last four primaries or only once in the last four.
That hardly provides a “pulse” of Fourth District Republicans.
King’s defeat, undoubtedly, has been a tough pill to swallow for conservatives. After all, for years King has been Trump before Trump.
Throughout the primary, not a single policy disagreement was highlighted as the reason King should lose his seat.
The entire thing was built around King not being on committees.
Why was he not on committees?
Because he is a “racist, white supremacist.”
But anyone who knows King knows that is completely untrue. As Kobza pointed out, as Christians and as Republicans, when injustice is being done, you stand against it, you do not pile on.
We cannot ask why so few representatives go to Des Moines or to D.C. and leave with the same principles they took with them when things like this happen.
We cannot ask why so few legislators are willing to stand up to the party leadership and be individuals when things like this happen.
We cannot clamor for more politicians to hold to principles like those espoused by Steve King and then be shocked to see fewer willing to do so after what has happened to King.
There is no doubt that Congressman King pulled this district to the right with his ability to articulate the issues AND maintain principled positions on every controversial issue of the day.
He didn’t cave on life. He didn’t cave on marriage. He didn’t cave on the Second Amendment.
Caving simply isn’t in his vocabulary.
I know all three people involved in this story fairly well — Kobza, King and Feenstra.
Here is what I’d like to see happen.
During the Republican primary, every candidate was asked if they believed the New York Times — essentially if they believed that King is a racist, white supremacist.
Jeremy Taylor said he did not believe the New York Times.
Bret Richards said he did not believe the New York Times.
Steve Reeder said he did not believe the New York Times.
Randy Feenstra never answered.
It is a simple question that, in my mind, King supporters deserve to know the answer to. Does Feenstra believe King to be a racist, white supremacist?
Why does it matter? Because it will reveal a lot about his ability to discern fact from fiction, truth from lies. It will reveal whether Feenstra is
someone who will stand up to Party leadership and the mainstream media.
It will expose whether he’ll stand for what is right or standby and allow what is wrong.
The primary is over. Feenstra won, King lost. Now we’re talking about what King’s legacy is going to be.
Will it be that of a conservative stalwart who never reversed course on the things that mattered most? That King stood up not just to radical Democrats, but also to establishment Republicans. That King championed life. He stood for traditional marriage. He defended gun rights. He refused to adapt to the politically correct language police of the time.
Or will his legacy be that he was a long-serving racist, white supremacist?
As King’s successor, Feenstra can play a significant role in how King will be remembered.
If party unity is as valuable as we’re continually told it is, here’s a great opportunity to see it.