Under attack for his comment that undocumented youths are drug mules with cantaloupe-sized calves, Rep. Steve King (R-IA) took to the House floor Thursday afternoon to offer a rambling defense. King recounted a long-ranging history of Western civilization, beginning with a version of Greece in which Aristotle, Plato and Socrates “challenged each other intellectually, like gunslingers did it in the West with guns, they did it with their brains.” Ultimately, he concluded that the U.S. was a bastion of civilization under siege from Mexican drug dealers.
King also seemed to compare himself to Jesus, who was allowed to “face his accusers” so they couldn’t “make allegations behind his back,” gesturing to himself at one point:
As you remember, Mr. Speaker, the high priest said to Jesus, did you really say those things? Did you really preach those things? And Jesus said to the high priest, as the Jews were watching, ask them. They were there, they can tell you. That was, Mr. Speaker, the assertion by Jesus that he had a right to face his accusers. That principle remains today in our law that we have a right to face our accusers. And when he said ‘ask them, they were there, they can tell you,’ he’s facing his accusers and demanding they testify against him rather than make allegations behind his back. And what happened when Jesus said that? They believed and the high priest believed that jesus’ answer was insolent, and the guard struck Jesus. And Jesus said, ‘If I speak wrongly you must prove the wrong. If I speak rightly, why do you punish me?’ He asserted his right to be innocent until proven guilty before a Roman court. Those two principles remain today in our law, a right to face your accuser, innocent until proven guilty, you face that — proven guilty, you face that jury of your peer. you need a quick and speedy trial. they didn’t have that then. the punishment came quickly whether right or wrong.
King was ostensibly addressing his widely-denounced claim that the vast majority of undocumented youths are drug mules trucking marijuana into the U.S., saying, “You can tell by their physical characteristics what they’ve been doing for months.” The congressman has also compared immigrants to dogs and cattle.
King has made a habit of going on impassioned, somewhat nonsensical diatribes to defend offensive comments. After he incited outrage over his apparent support of dog fighting, King went on a rant claiming that rapists can legally rape a young girl, kidnap her, force her to undergo an abortion across state lines, and then “drop her off at the swingset.”