On WorldNetDaily’s radio show today, Rep. Steve King (R-IA) claimed that all of the protesters were “working Americans” who left their jobs to protest President Obama. King called this “a new thing” in America, asserting that it was only “a lot of non-working Americans” who protested “when George Bush was President”:
COROMBOS: Do you get the sense that Americans are energized more as each of these controversial issues come up or are you sensing some political fatigue out there?
KING: You know, I don’t sense political fatigue. There’s sometimes, there’s physical fatigue and then sometimes a little bit of mental, a mental lapse. It’s not really a lapse, but its mentally, slowly they’ll lose their will a little bit. And then if something happens and it braces them up again.
People’s pocket books are only so deep and they can only take so many days off work. These are the working Americans that are coming out to protest now. That’s a new thing. We’ve seen a lot of non-working Americans protest when George Bush was president, but these are people who have to leave their jobs or their businesses or their families and come to their communities or come to Washington, DC. Their only fatigued because of the limits of their budget and their time, but they’re not fatigued in their conviction.
From denying the influence of astroturf groups to inflating the size of their crowds, conservatives have sought to cast their protests as the true embodiment of “real America.” King’s claim is an arrogant insult aimed at undermining the legitimacy of the hundreds of thousands of Americans, both employed and unemployed, who protested the Bush administration’s policies.