Nothing will have you praying for the rapture to hurry up and get her ass over here than hearing Iowa congressman Steve King speak.
On Wednesday, the politician who wondered why being called a “white nationalist” was a bad thing told a town hall about a recent visit to a migrant detention camp. Specifically, King shared that he drank out of the now-notorious dual toilet/water fountain. And because he’s Steve King and whatever tastebuds he has left are surely singed from sucking on Satan’s sphincter, he gave the water a stellar Yelp review.
“I actually went into that cell where it was reported that they were advised they had to drink out of the toilet,” King said at the town hall in Eagle Grove. “I took a drink out of there. And actually pretty good!”
King added that he had a video showing him drinking the water and smacking his lips, “But I didn’t send it out because I thought, you know, this subject just needs to be in the rearview mirror,” he shared.
Not content to follow his own advice (because, apparently, not even Steve King listens to Steve King), the toilet-water enthusiast ended up sharing the video on Twitter after NBC’s Maura Barrett shared a transcript of his remarks.
King treated it as a “gotcha” moment, tagging New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in his tweet and saying there was “no way” she was “objectively honest” about conditions at the border. Over the summer, several Democratic members of the House, including Rep. Ocasio-Cortez, visited detention facilities at the U.S./Mexico border and reported back on heinous and unsanitary conditions.
As the Washington Post reports, Ocasio-Cortez said the water fountain wasn’t working in the cell she visited, while Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) said she couldn’t turn on the sink’s faucets. Because the combined fountain/toilet wasn’t working, migrant women “were told they could drink out of the bowl,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted.
King, of course, sidestepped the thrust of Pressley and AOC’s criticism, which had less to do with the commode than its functionality, and how—faced with a broken drinking fountain—border officials reportedly devolved into telling detainees to simply drink from the bowl itself.
Because that is exactly what you would do if you don’t consider the people you are speaking to—the people whom you’ve captured and are responsible for—as people. And it is this characteristic—the quick, thoughtless and routine acts of dehumanization and cruelty—that defines our immigration policy under Donald Trump. On this, the record has been as consistent as it is clear, and no amount of toilet water, potable or not, can flush away the fact. A spotless detention camp is still a detention camp, much like a slave-owner who “treated his slaves well” is still a slave owner. The physical conditions inform the moral dilemma, they do not supersede it.
Of course, a man who embraces bad faith criticism and racist talking points in the manner of King is too busy smacking his lips over water from a toilet to care about that.
AOC, tweeting Wednesday night in response to King’s video noted that the congressman “clearly didn’t read sworn testimony that detention sinks were broken.”
She added, “They’re so anti-immigrant they risk pink eye to show off that they didn’t do the reading.”