After Casting Sole No Vote on Slavery Memorial, Rep. King Keeps Digging Deeper

This is one contorted excuse.

Rep. Steve King, a right-wing Republican from Iowa, was the only member of Congress to oppose a measure this week to honor the role slaves played in building the U.S. Capitol in the Capitol Visitors Center. In his initial explanation, he said his vote had something to do with including the phrase "In God We Trust" in the Visitors Center. The connection between the two is clear only to King.

Faiz Shakir reports on the Iowan's second explanation, which King offered during a radio interview:

"[O]f the 645,000 Africans that were brought here to be forcibly put into slavery in the United States, there were over 600,000 people that gave their lives in the Civil War to put an end to slavery. And I don't see the monument to that in the Congressional Visitor Center, and I think it's important that we have a balanced depiction of history."

Let me see if I can explain this to King in a way he'll understand. The Capitol Visitors Center includes information relating to the building itself. That's why the Capitol Visitors Center exists -- to offer visitors information about the Capitol.


Steve Benen is "blogger in chief" of the popular Washington Monthly online blog, Political Animal. His background includes publishing The Carpetbagger Report, and writing for a variety of publications, including Talking Points Memo, The American Prospect, the Huffington Post, and The Guardian. He has also appeared on NPR's "Talk of the Nation," MSNBC's "Rachel Maddow Show," Air America Radio's "Sam Seder Show," and XM Radio's "POTUS '08."