Yet Another Apology for Congressman Steve King


When the past merges with the present and at the same time two separate philosophies collide (one political, the other cultural), the result is often a tragic comedy we can’t ignore. This matrimony of politics and culture, as well as past and present, is the reason for my third apology to the nation for my Congressman Steve King.

When I was growing up in the ’50s and ’60s, one of the joys of coming come each weekday from P.S. 75 was watching WPIX-TV and Officer Joe Bolton as they inundated the screen with 15-minute shorts of the Three Stooges. For a youngster of my age and gender, this was a special treat to go along with my milk and cookies.

There were Moe, Larry and Curly in their maniacal splendor gouging each other’s eyes out, tearing out Larry’s hair and just making a complete mess of every situation they confronted.

Moe, if you’ve forgotten, was the snarly leader of the trio. His haircut was the result of having it cut while wearing a three-quart mixing bowl, and his attitude was the result and having to cavort around with two guys who were even more inept then he was. The other two were Curly, the complete idiot, and Larry, who is both observer and participant in all the shenanigans. Nonetheless, they were both recipients of Moe’s physical and verbal abuse. Yet, they prospered for decades as the ultimate portrait of dumbassness.

Now the Iowa Caucuses are upon us, and with that comes the transfer of what was old to what is occurring today. A man much wiser than I once divulged the secret of enjoying any form of national political debate. Many presidents, many of the presidential candidates, as well as, anyone with the country as a stage can be categorized as either a Moe, Larry or Curly.

For example, Bill Clinton was a Moe, George W. Bush was a Curley while Obama is definitely a Larry, judging by his participation in today’s political hi-jinx while somehow maintaining an annoying aloofness to everything happening around him.

So why do I have to apologize for Congressman Steve King for yet another time? It’s kinda simple. Fact is that King and his Iowa cohort, the Family Leader’s Bob Vander Plaats, have thrown their substantial statewide weight behind the Republican Party’s candidate who is more Moe than Moe, himself, Texas US Sen. Ted Cruz.

People might think Donald Trump is the ultimate Moe. The problem is he stops at the water’s edge every time, but he’s simply not serious about anything. So he’ll bop some Curly on the head but it’ll still be a harmless rubber hammer.

Ted Cruz, on the other hand, really means it. In fact he’s getting away with actually gouging you in the eyes with his actual fingers. However, Ted Cruz is not just Moe with Steve King as Curly and Vander Plaats as Larry; he, also, seems to be the reincarnation of the late Sen. Joe McCarthy in both appearance and temperament. Nevertheless, his crusade in Iowa is catching fire as the caucuses loom, and it all has to do with the influence of King/Curly and Vander Plaats/Larry have on the state’s evangelical Christian electorate.

Maybe I shouldn’t be offering an apology since the effect this presidential race has had for my return to childhood has been uplifting. Who wouldn’t be joyful if your most cherished memories came flooding back whenever you tuned into the latest political/cultural tug-of-war.

Unfortunately, watching the Three Stooges then was cathartic while today watching them makes me a little scared. Cruz looks poised to capture Iowa and with that momentum perhaps the nomination. That prospect is a bit frightening since Ted Cruz really means what he says and is willing to take a real frying pan and crash it on all of our heads.

Eric Blumberg is a former radio news reporter and talk show host who now teaches communications and writing at Western Iowa Tech Community College in Sioux City, Iowa.

From The Progressive Populist, February 1, 2016

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