I continue to find myself baffled by the way rigid ideologues look at the world, particularly those who are chasing the Tea Party vote.
A little while ago I got this release from Nikki Haley’s campaign manager:
February 26th, 2010Friends,
Hope all is well. Things are going great on the campaign front – Nikki’s message of real conservative reform is catching fire all across the state, and your support is a huge part of that.
The Myrtle Beach Sun News recently sat down with both Nikki and Gresham Barrett – and since there’s been some back-and-forth between the two campaigns recently, I thought you might find their take on the two interesting:
“For people who share a party, the stylistic differences between [Haley and Barrett] could hardly be more striking.
Haley, an accountant, presents herself as a far-right reformer, cast in a mold similar to the Mark Sanford of eight years ago. She has two primary claims to conservative fame (both of which may strike some voters as somewhat abstract, as Sanford-style issues often can): a successful but politically costly fight last year to put state legislators’ votes on the record, and her opposition to South Carolina’s use of $700 million in stimulus money to shore up shortfalls in its 2009 and 2010 budgets. …
While Haley shares Sanford’s ideology, however, she seems to lack his idiosyncrasies. The governor’s sometimes-distracted demeanor starkly contrasts with Haley’s fastidious, alert style, and it’s tough to imagine her toting piggies onto the Statehouse floor. ‘The accountant in me doesn’t have time for finger-pointing and fighting,’ she said.
Barrett hails from the high Upstate, the tiny town of Westminster, which he points out is about as far as you can get in South Carolina from Myrtle Beach. He’s cut from mainstream conservative cloth, building a career on core Republican issues: pro-life, pro-gun, pro-business and pro-military.
In fact, in today’s anti-partisan political climate, Barrett’s biggest liability may be his vote for the 2008 bank bailout. …”
You read that right, Congressman Barrett voted FOR the colossal waste of taxpayer dollars that was the bank bailout – and he would do it again, as you can see here (click to play):
That passage is followed by a video clip you can find at the link.
First, Nikki Haley is not a person who, a year ago or more, I would have associated with the term “rigid ideologue.” And yet this is the way she is painting herself now. More remarkable than that, she is going far out of her way to say, Look at me! I am THE Mark Sanford candidate in this race! Doesn’t seem wise to me.
But then, I tend to think of conservatism in old-fashioned ways. In my day, a conservative wanted to be the one who was seen as “pro-life, pro-gun, pro-business and pro-military.” And yet the Haley campaign seems to think it’s a good thing that rival Gresham Barrett is seen that way, while she is seen (they, in defiance of all reason, seem to hope) as the anti-gummint extremist (that is to say, the Sanford candidate).
I mean, is it supposed to be a positive good to be compared to “the Mark Sanford of eight years ago”? Do they actually think that pre-Argentina, the gov was A-OK? That he wasn’t a dangerous flake all along? How do they figure? Do they really not get it that the problem is his world view? Do they truly not see that the selfishness that caused him to spend Father’s Day in Argentina is merely a logical outgrowth of his quirky, self-centered Ayn Randian political philosophy?
I find it all hard to follow. It baffles me. When did the world get this crazy?