Republican Congressman Steve King used a speech this past week at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, D.C. to complain about “liberal” ideas like low-flush toilets and frisbee-throwing restrictions on California beaches.
“How did a nation born of freedom and liberty lose its freedom and liberty in this way?” King said. “How does a nation that’s blessed by an extraordinary supply of American exceptionalism submit inch-by-creeping-inch to the totalitarian state that’s descending upon us?”
King also suggested former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had directed custodians in the U.S. capitol to act like the secret police in communist East Germany.
“At night the janitors would come through — which were Nancy’s Stasi Troops — and screw out those Edison bulbs and give me every once in a while curly-cue bulbs and so I would send the interns out to get me some of those good Edison light bulbs,” King said, to cheers and applause from the crowd.
King later bought what he described as a “mother lode” of “black-market” light bulbs which he regularly dips into to replace the energy-efficient bulbs in the lamp on his capitol hill desk.
“I screw it in there and I smile. A little bit of my liberty back. A little bit of our freedom back and I want to challenge you to do the same thing,” King said. “Bring back some of that liberty, some of that freedom.”
Here’s a link King’s congressional office provided to video of the speech.
King’s likely November opponent, Democrat Christie Vilsack, criticized King for deciding to speak at the conference on Thursday. The rest of Iowa’s congressional delegation were meeting with military officials who’re considering the closure of the Iowa-based F-16 fighter jet unit. Vilsack says Iowans deserve a representative “who puts Iowa jobs first.”
The light bulb law King referenced was signed by former President George Bush, a Republican, in 2007. It set in motion a series of steps, including the phase out 100-watt “Edison” light bulbs.