Tea Party Rep. Steve King (R-IA) fired up the socially conservative crowd at the Values Voters summit today, telling them that God controlled the Founding Fathers “like men on a chess board.” But the arch-conservative congressman seemed to forget his grade-school history when he told the crowd that there was not a single thing he would change in America’s history to make it better:
KING: Could you reverse engineer the United States of America and come up with a better result that what we have here? Could you go back through history and turn us in history in any way where our mortal wisdom could supersede the actual history that we’ve experienced as a country? I say not.
I believe that the Bible was written with divine inspiration. I believe that the declaration was written with divine guidance. I believe that God moved the Founding Fathers around this country and the globe like men on a chess board.
King’s affirmation of the entirety of U.S. history ignores, of course, the country’s dark chapter of legalized slavery. Many of the Founding Fathers, who King believes God micromanaged, were slave owners themselves and enshrined protections for slavery in the original Constitution. Would King really want to repeat this history?
In 2009, King was the only member of Congress to vote against a House resolution to acknowledge the role that slave labor had in constructing the U.S. Capitol building. The resolution would merely authorize the placement of a marker inside the new Capitol Visitor Center, but King opposed it because he said it would not present “a balanced depiction of history.”
Last year, King’s good friend Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) caught flack for erroneously claiming that the Founding Fathers “worked tirelessly” to end slavery.