Rep. Steve King (R-IA) has been circulating a letter to his House Republican colleagues, asking them to sign onto a petition in defense of Rep. Joe “You Lie!” Wilson (R-SC). Over on the Wonk Room, Andrea Nill notes that King is going so far in his defense of Wilson that he’s defending the South Carolina congressman’s vote in favor of keeping the Confederate flag waving above the state capitol. Here’s what King said this morning on Fox News:
[Wilson] is an officer and a gentleman and everyone who knows him knows that. … Being a son of the South puts you in a different position when it comes to the Confederate flag. It means something entirely different to the people who have ancestors who fought in the Civil War on the south side of the Mason-Dixon line.
As a state legislator, Wilson was “one of only seven Republicans to go against their own party and vote to keep the Dixie Rebel flag flying over the South Carolina capitol.” Wilson has also been a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, described as a “source of increasingly virulent pro-Confederate, radical right propaganda.”