Wednesday was a difficult day for The American Independent News Network, which is the larger entity that operates The Iowa Independent. Our chief executive and founder announced two of our sister sites would close and their content would be moved to The American Independent.
King, Bachmann co-opt abortion rights message to attack health reform
SERGEANT BLUFF, Iowa — Co-opting the argument advocates of legal abortion have used for decades, two leading congressional conservatives Saturday said health-care reform is nothing short of a federal intrusion into the bodies of Americans, or at least decisions about them.
At his third-annual Defenders of Freedom dinner in Sergeant Bluff, just south of Sioux City in northwest Iowa, U.S. Rep. Steve King, R-Kiron, said supporters of abortion rights have pinned their case on the belief government shouldn’t tell women what to do with their bodies.
Now, King notes, many of those same liberals are supporting mandatory health insurance, which will force people to get health care plans they may not want for their bodies.
King’s headliner for the event, U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., trained much of the force of her speech on health care as well..
“If government can force you to buy something against your will there is nothing that government can’t force you to do,” she said in blasting the health-care reform passed on a party line vote in Congress last month.
About 500 people — stalwart Republicans, many with ties to business and agriculture — attended the King fundraiser. While the audience may be receptive to some of the same rhetoric, this was no Tea Party.
In her nearly 30 years of involvement in Republican politics, Dorothy Schlitter of Onawa, a county seat town in far western Iowa, says she’s never seen activists so motivated.
“We are losing the sovereignty of our nation,” the retired Schlitter said after she finished her meal at The Bluffs Area Family Center in fertile farm and GOP country.
Jeff Bauer, a co-owner of Viking Construction in Exira, said he’s so frustrated with President Barack Obama that he’s taking it to the local level as well in Audubon County.
“I will never vote for a Democrat,” Bauer said as he was waiting in line for the dinner. “I will not vote for a supervisor.”
Some of King’s toughest language came as the congressman suggested Obama will make the next U.S. Supreme Court appointment based on identity politics or an empathy gauge. King read through a list of candidates mentioned frequency in the media as potential replacements for outgoing U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens — who turns 90 in about a week.
When King referenced Merrick Garland, the U.S. Court of Appeals judge, the congressman made the following observation.
“He is the actually the one on the list who is a white guy,” King said.
In her speech, Bachmann said rural Iowans should be the vetters of presidential candidates in the first-in-the-nation caucuses.
“This is our country,” Bachmann said. “We own this country.”
A former federal tax attorney, Bachmann used some rhetorical devices clearly borrowed from former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. She said unemployment continues to be a problem even after federal stimulus spending.
“How’s that working out for ya?” Bachmann said.
She prompted several standing ovations, with the most sustained applause coming from a line about making President Obama a one-term president, and a prediction that Republicans will take back the U.S. House in the fall.
“In November the whole game changes, everything changes,” Bachmann said.
King said that during some recent sleepless nights (he blamed insomnia) he logged on to the Internet and read through socialist and progressive Web sites. Upon doing so, King drew new conclusions about President Obama.
“The question isn’t whether the president is a socialist,” King said. “It becomes what’s to the left of socialists.”