Late Night Open Thread: Not What They Were Expecting

The one attendee, actually, was A DEMOCRAT, per the Iowa Starting Line:

It was early Saturday morning, and Jessica Birch didn’t feel like getting out of bed. Hungover and tired, the 21-year-old University of Northern Iowa student could easily have turned off her alarm.

But the night before, she saw a Facebook event for Congressman Steve King’s town hall forum in Grundy County come across her feed, and she felt a civic duty to attend. So, Birch forced herself out of bed and headed 17 miles down the road to the Grundy Center Community Center.

She arrived to peculiar scene: out of the over 12,000 people that live in Grundy County, Birch was the only one to show up to King’s forum.

“It was just odd, because I don’t know what the record was for the world’s smallest town hall is, but one person I think has to be it,” Birch told Starting Line in an interview this morning.

A photo of the near-empty room by a Reuters photographer quickly went viral Saturday afternoon, showing only two people in a room of mostly-empty chairs. However, as Birch explained, the other woman on the left in the photo was an intern for King. Birch, who lives in Dike, Iowa, was the only constituent of King’s not required to attend to show up.

“I was the only person who was not paid to be there,” she said…

King’s trained his constituents out of expecting town halls — or, presumably, any other normal constituent services. Murphy the Trickster God willing, perhaps they will reward him by failing to show up at the polls, if they can’t bring themselves to vote for a not-Republican.

29 replies
  1. 1
    chopper says:

    man that pic of king’s town hall is just fantastic.

  2. 2
    West of the Rockies says:

    I hope it was a blow to his bloated ego.

  3. 3
    Mary G says:

    Hope Jessica gave King hell.I

  4. 4
    ola azul says:

    If this were a deranged game of every-rat-for-itself Clue, I’d put money on Joni Ernst, skulking in the shadows, with sharpened nut-cutters.

  5. 5
    Ruckus says:

    @West of the Rockies:
    I wonder if he even noticed. He’s not the sharpest stick well anywhere. He is one of the most racist though.
    I would bet that most of his constituents don’t necessarily dislike him as a upright animated biological entity but he is all in for trumps trade war with, well the rest of the world and that hasn’t gone so well for a number of them. And if it doesn’t go good for the farmers, it doesn’t go good for probably 95+% of the state population. So his support is probably a mile wide and 1/4 inch deep. And possibly just dried up. People will continue backing someone they know even with the face of Steve King no matter the social issues but you hurt their wallets in an obvious and stupid way and that 1/4 inch dries up fast.

  6. 6
    Yarrow says:

    perhaps they will reward him by failing to show up at the polls, if they can’t bring themselves to vote for a not-Republican.

    I thought he had a primary opponent.

  7. 7
    prostratedragon says:

    OT: Since I watched the 60Minutes segments on plastic pollution in the oceans earlier this evening, this song has been playing in my head:

    “Um Sonho [A Dream],” Gilberto Gil, with subtitles

  8. 8
    Shalimar says:

    Anyone who uses the words “Godless Socialism” has not actually read the gospels, especially Luke. It’s insane.

  9. 9
    ola azul says:


    Oh, I disagree. It’s purty commonplace to read but not understand. Specially when “faith leaders”go all a la carte on their brethren to neuter the message to fit their prerogatives.

    Reminds me of that old saying (paraphrase): “The job of any big-city paper is to separate the wheat from the chaff, and then make damn sure the chaff gets printed!’

  10. 10
    Ruckus says:

    I looked saw a name in one place, I think he does. He also has an opponent on our side. Maybe not looking so good for ole steve. His own buddies in congress have been trying to distance themselves because he is now saying everything, the good parts – which are in his case zero parts, and the bad parts – that’s 100% of steve, very out loud. Hard to believe that he’s been toning it down for all these years but apparently he has. And even the other racists/republicans in congress want him to shut the hell up, but he has no idea how to do that. Once again not the sharpest stick in the fire.

  11. 11
    Yarrow says:

    @Ruckus: I just checked and yes, he does have a primary challenger. That’s probably not good for ol’ Steve, as you said. Might make it harder for the Democrat but who knows.

  12. 12
    ola azul says:


    J. D. Scholten. Last vid in post is his reintro. Ran last time. Came within 3 points of unseating pig-muck Steve “theTrulyScaryOne” King, if mem’ry serves.

  13. 13
    ola azul says:

    @Yarrow: @ola azul

    Whoops. (Speaking of reading and not understanding!) Misread your post, Yarrow. You were talking about a Republican . primary challenger. My mistake, lo siento.

  14. 14
    ruemara says:

    Did they get too embarrassed to be seen with King? We’re his town halls well attended before? I have questions. So one more day & I swear fealty to the blood god. Oh, wait. America. I saw someone asked if Juicers could come. Sadly, we’re only allowed 1 guest. I’d gladly have every one of you there since I couldn’t have done it without you lovely folks. But a pack of jackals might be considered reprobate shenanigans. Post swearing in, not on – the base? IDK – is ok.

    They also ask very silly questions.
    “Since your interview, have you joined a terrorist organization.”
    No, I was waiting to be sworn in to work for ICE.

    I have been advised by my lawyer friend to not make that joke.

  15. 15
    Amir Khalid says:

    Once they admit that socialism is in fact godly, there goes the whole argument for IGMFY. You don’t want that to happen, now do you?

  16. 16
    ola azul says:


    They also ask very silly questions.
    “Since your interview, have you joined a terrorist organization.”
    No, I was waiting to be sworn in to work for ICE.

    I have been advised by my lawyer friend to not make that joke.

    Shame. It’s choice. (Funny *and* true. Funny *cuz* true.)

  17. 17
    oatler. says:

    @Amir Khalid: How dare you blaspheme the Golden Calf!

  18. 18
    Ruckus says:

    Doesn’t seem like the right time for to much truth that they maybe don’t want to hear. Get in, get out. Easy peasy, lemon whatever.
    Glad to have you as a fellow citizen, sorry about the mess.

  19. 19
    cain says:

    It’s depressing.. the guy is a total racist. There should be a shit ton of his constituents out there fucking plowing him for whatever shit he’s been talking about.

  20. 20
    Gvg says:

    @Shalimar: No, it’s a reference to actual history. The communists were militantly atheist, and forbade religion. Russia jailed Christians. It also is part of why Mark Twain was so popular there. They waged a propaganda war against Christianity. This triggered a reaction on our part, and some Americans found this aspect of the communist threat to be the most frightening. In God we trust and the added words to our pledge, were part of our counter response.
    King is so out of date he is using antique political phrases that worked 50 or more years ago, but I have to explain them on a political blog….I don’t live in his area though, so maybe it has worked there.
    There is a lot of socialism in the Bible, but actual communist governments have been very anti religious. This actually has to do with corrupt churches, but that was too extreme for people to accept.

  21. 21
    satby says:

    @Gvg: adding the “in God we trust” and the “under God” to the pledge happened during the Eisenhower years, so more like 70 years ago. Completely irrelevant to younger generations today, and the church corruption here hasn’t gone unnoticed either.

  22. 22
    Barbara says:

    @ruemara: Hey, congrats! I and I am sure many others here will be with you in spirit!

  23. 23
    Barbara says:

    @Gvg: I knew all that when reminded and I am sure King’s supporters (and Iowans more generally) are older than the “average” American, so it is code they understand.

  24. 24
    jonas says:


    There should be a shit ton of his constituents out there fucking plowing him for whatever shit he’s been talking about.

    I don’t know anything about King’s district personally, but from what people have told me, his constituents are a big part of the problem. They know the shit he says….and agree with it.

  25. 25
    Gelfling 545 says:

    @ruemara: Do they suppose anybody would ever answer yes to that question?

  26. 26
    J R in WV says:

    When the churches are fighting laws against pederasty to keep from bankruptcy, the Godless Socialism looks a lot better from that gawdawful morality perspective. And now it looks like the Southern Baptists and the Boy Scouts are competing with the Catholics for abuse.

    My RWNJ brother is deep into the BSA cult, even though his two sons are way past scouting, one’s an Ensign in the USN and the other is a LEO in TX somewhere. Also caught the gun nut disease from their dad. I’ll call him later this month for his birthday. If he doesn’t call me next winter for my birthday, that will be the last time we talk…

  27. 27
    Gelfling 545 says:

    @Shalimar: I recall Sister Lucella in grade 7 explaining to us that the early Christians lived in communistic communities. This being 1962 we were properly horrified but she patiently explained that sharing of resources was a very godly concept. Just no atheism, please.

  28. 28
    LeftCoastYankee says:

    Without my glasses I thought it said “Goddess Socialism”, which seems more awesome and accurate.

  29. 29
    The Very Reverend Crimson Fire of Compassion says:

    @LeftCoastYankee: I am totally down for some Goddess Socialism

Comments are closed.