"Steve King is a black mark on the Republican Party," insisted Neil Strauss, the communications director for a group calling itself the "Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC)."
Strauss continued, "He has supported white supremacist candidates and has even told the New York Times that he thinks white nationalism and white supremacy are inoffensive."
The RJC is pushing an off-the-shelf Iowa state senator named Randy Feenstra in the June 2 Republican primary for Iowa's 4th Congressional District against King, a solid, nine-term conservative whose immigration policies helped shape President Trump's own.
The RJC approach, altogether normative in RINO land, is shockingly mendacious and spectacularly self-destructive. It reached its demagogic peak with the RJC claim that King supports "an ideology that says Jews, and other minority groups are inferior."
What makes these comments so outrageous is that King has long been a champion of Israel and has argued publicly in favor of assimilation and interracial marriage.
"I am a person who has stood with Israel from the beginning, and the length of that nation is the length of my life," King forcefully told an audience plant in a 2018 town hall meeting who tried to tie him to the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting.
If there is at least a logic for leftists to accuse the right of anti-Semitism, as they have futilely tried to do to Trump, it makes no sense at all for Republicans to do the same if, in fact, they are Republicans.
The Republican Jewish Committee has no Wikipedia page. If I Google "Republican Jewish Committee" and "Neil Strauss," I come up empty. The last posting on the RJC's publication "Forward" dates to 2016.
The previous posting before that from 2012 has former Minnesota Sen. Norm Coleman reassuring voters that "Mitt won't reverse Roe." The fact that King introduced the first "heartbeat" bill at the federal level may not sit well with whoever reads "Forward."
Yes, there is a Neil Strauss. His LinkedIn page shows a young, overfed PR hack from Alexandria, Virginia. The RJC gig is one of a string of Beltway communications jobs dating back to 2012. Who is paying him to sabotage King's Iowa campaign is not easily discovered.
An unabashed conservative and an unapologetic defender of Western civilization, King has long had a bull's eye on his back. With Trump's election, the target got much bigger.
In January 2019, New York Times reporter Trip Gabriel went in for the kill shot. King made what he calls "the rookie mistake" of agreeing to a phone interview. He compounded the error by failing to tape it.
Gabriel's article was published on Jan. 10. The headline was reasonably straightforward and pretty much what King hoped it would be: "Before Trump, Steve King Set the Agenda for the Wall and Anti-Immigrant Politics."
Gabriel's language was predictably loaded. Trump "demonized immigrants," he wrote, conflating "demonized" with "described."
The president made "demeaning" remarks, inspired "fear" and used "misleading" statistics.
King's behavior was even worse. He used "racist language" in the past, "promoted neo-Nazis" on Twitter and was denounced by one anonymous "Republican leader" as a "white supremacist."
Gabriel's link about racist language led to a Salon article detailing comments King made using the common metaphor "pick of the litter" to describe how America should choose the most productive immigrants seeking to come here regardless of race.
The leftist Salon editors subverted his obviously positive intent and headlined the article, "Rep. Steve King: Immigrants are like dogs." This was all standard media stuff.
Gabriel, a former Styles section editor, made King's life hell with one sentence allegedly said by King but unrecorded by either King or Gabriel.
Gabriel set up the quote with a fairly accurate observation that King supported "immigrants who enter the country legally and fully assimilate because what matters more than race is 'the culture of America' based on values brought to the United States by whites from Europe."
Gabriel quoted King on the phrase, "the culture of America," but not on the phrase, "whites from Europe." King never talked in terms of race when he talked about culture. Gabriel slipped the "whites" reference in on his own.
The next sentence attributed to King proved to be the killer: "White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization – how did that language become offensive."
The following quote should have clarified the sentence that damned him, "Why did I sit in classes teaching me about the merits of our history and our civilization?"
King has clarified that when he said "that language" he was specifically referring to "Western civilization." If he had meant to lump all three of those phrases together he would have said "those words" not "that language."
Besides, no one has ever sat in a class talking about the merits of white nationalism or white supremacism. Gabriel knew what King meant.
In a later taped conversation, King's assistant got Gabriel to admit he was the one who introduced the phrases "white nationalism" and "white supremacism."
In his bold new book, "The Age of Entitlement," Christopher Caldwell observes, "The less [white supremacy] existed, the more it was invoked. By the turn of the century it was being used more frequently than it had ever been in American history." Leftists were inevitably the ones invoking it.
On the day after Gabriel's article, King took to the House floor to make his position clear: "I reject those labels and the evil ideology that they define. Further, I condemn anyone that supports this evil and bigoted ideology which saw in its ultimate expression the systematic murder of 6 million innocent Jewish lives."
You would think that a flat out rejection of these ideologies as "evil" would carry more weight than a twisted misquote, but not in Washington, not if you're a Republican, and especially not if you are a serious conservative.
When the media rushed to find Republicans willing to denounce King, they had no trouble rounding up the usual suspects. Those suspects are still alive and well and playing games in Iowa.
By not disowning their slander, Feenstra shows he has just about the right amount of spine for Washington, which is none.
Jack Cashill's forthcoming book, "Unmasking Obama," is available for pre-order at Amazon.