Nikki’s strange perspective on history, and everything else

Nikki oped

I was attracted to reading this by the grammatical error in the headline: “The Media Tries to Divide Republicans.” My plan was to mock it on Twitter.Fz9ZWKUO_400x400 (1)

Of course, it should have said, “the media try,” what with “media” being the plural of “medium.” Duh.

The author continued the error in the piece, with maddening frequency: “But the liberal media doesn’t care about that. It wants to stoke a nonstop Republican civil war… If the media gets its way…” Ow, my head…

Yeah, I know some editors, even at some leading newspapers, have given up on using that word correctly. They’ve just gone along with the stupid, rather than correcting such things. (Sort of the way the Republican Party went along with Trumpism — and the Tea Party and Freedom Caucus. They found it easier.) But the problem may also be related to the fact that, as I found upon calling it up, this piece was written by our own Nikki Haley. Knowing Nikki, I sort of doubt that Latin was her favorite subject in school.

Here’s the lede of the piece:

Where does the Republican Party go from here? The party that abolished slavery, won the right to vote for women, and beat Soviet communism must continue to be strong and principled to move America forward…

Yeah, the GOP was at its founding the anti-slavery party, and for about a generation there all the “woke” people were in that party — Thaddeus Stevens and the rest.

Was enfranchising women a Republican issue? Maybe. (The Fact Checker gave that claim a Geppetto Checkmark!) Not really my period. I should study it more. I do know Republican women like to say that, while you don’t hear it much from the men. I’ll let you figure out why. (Nikki dwells in that little-visited part of the political spectrum where the GOP intersects with the left’s Identity Politics.)

But “beat Soviet communism?” Say what? I was here at the time, and I seem to recall Democrats very much being a part of the liberal consensus that opposed that system most vigorously. Yeah, they got a little ambivalent about that commitment over Vietnam — seeing how our involvement there arose from the zeal of Democrats to contain Leninism. But to so casually wave away the roles of Truman, Kennedy and Johnson in standing up to the Kremlin seems a bit much.

But Nikki tends to grab things on the superficial level, and she grew up in a party in which “Reagan won the Cold War, all by himself” is something not to be questioned. And Nikki doesn’t really go looking for things to question, anyway.

I wanted to stop there, but since I’m posting about the piece, I went ahead and read the rest.

It gets worse.

People feel strongly about Mr. Trump, but we can acknowledge reality. People on the left, if they’re honest, can find Trump accomplishments they like—a coronavirus vaccine in record time, Middle East peace, more accountability from China…..

Did you know we had accomplished Middle East peace? Wow! I didn’t. Did anyone tell the Israelis, or the Palestinians? Is that a fully accepted fact in Gaza? And what’s this bit about “accountability from China?” Does she mean those capricious tariffs? And didn’t Trump do an awesome job on coronavirus? Oh, boy…

But let’s give Nikki some props. The piece has good bits:

If we can’t make judgments beyond whether someone is Republican or Democrat, then America can’t face its biggest challenges. We separate into two camps that always hate each other. We become estranged from family and friends over politics….

Amen, Nikki.

But then she goes back to the nonsense: “Mr. Trump’s legal team failed to prove mass election fraud in court. But election security is still urgently needed.” Really? WHY? What, precisely, is the problem you’re trying to address, beyond voters choosing Democrats? I refer you to the first part of your sentence: Do you have access to evidence Rudy couldn’t find?

Then there’s, “I will gladly defend the bulk of the Trump record and his determination to shake up the corrupt status quo in Washington.” WHAT?!? The guy who openly used his position to advance the fortunes of his businesses, and who kept appointing and elevating and praising and pardoning people who had NO notion of ethics at all? The guy who arrived in the “swamp” and spent four years making it deeper and slimier and adding more alligators? THAT fighter of corruption?

I’ve quoted liberally — someone explain what that word means before Nikki faints — because of the WSJ paywall. But here’s the point, boiled down: Nikki is desperately trying to be the candidate of people who want to see the GOP face up to the horrific mess that was Trump. (Right after that last quote above, she says “I will never defend the indefensible.”)

But she wants to do it while keeping support of the people who will defend the indefensible forever, as long as it was committed by you-know-who. She thinks she’s found a secret formula that will make everybody support her. She thinks she’s being frightfully clever.

This is going to make her sound like she’s babbling nonsense. Because she is. Expect her to continue to do so, as she pursues an absurd ambition…

8 thoughts on “Nikki’s strange perspective on history, and everything else

  1. Bob Amundson

    I spent many years in public administration, and “the swamp” BS is tiring. Politicians are the source of much of the problem: Congress often cannot figure out what it really wants to do in a particular piece of legislation, and then delegates responsibility for fleshing this out either to administrative agencies or to the courts.

    With passage of sweeping legislation during the 1970s such as the Environmental Protection Act or the Occupation Health and Safety Act, bureaucrats themselves became the targets of the ire of many conservatives, who saw them as the unaccountable agents of an ever-expanding administrative state. The hostility of Ronald Reagan, Donald Trump, Nikki Haley et al to the administrative (a.k.a. “deep”) state, THE SWAMP, is simply a continuation of this tradition.

    Reply
  2. Sally Huguley

    Brad, you may already have commented on this, but did you read Politico’s piece on Haley? Certainly captured her slick flip flopping but perpetuated the “Myth of the Lowered Flag.” The national media maintains its starry-eyed remembrance of Reince Priebus’ orchestration of a woman of color denouncing the flag of Dixie in deep red South Carolina. National reporters obviously still believe she’s the one who took it down. That her position arose from courage and conviction. Wrong on both counts. Her reason was ambition, and all she did is sign the bill to great national acclaim. If not for the Legislature’s shock over the death of Pinckney, and those who argued that the racist shooting combined with the flag would damage the state’s economic development, the legislation would not have passed. Until Sam Tenenbaum mentioned it, old Strom’s grandson argued for lowering the flag. Now, there’s a good national story, but all outside reporters could see is Haley. Yes, Priebus is quite the master of political productions. In an exchange with Henry Eichel, I questioned why the Politico reporter and others don’t talk to veteran SC political reporters, who can give them the inside perspective. I attribute that to smugness. What could the “locals” know when you can interview GOP consultants?

    Reply
    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Well, I have commented on it a number of times, and I’m afraid I’m going to have to diverge from you a bit on the flag thing.

      That was Nikki’s one, fine moment. And I say that not as a consumer of all the nonsense that national media (blinded by Identity Politics) have pushed out over the years about Nikki, but as a “local” who was deeply and intimately involved with the flag issue for more than 20 years when that moment happened.

      As I said back here:

      At one point during the rally, with people calling for the flag to come down NOW, Aaron — formerly of The State, now with the Atlanta paper — and I got to talking about the fact that the very earliest it could possibly come down would be January 2016, when the Legislature returned.

      Then, I said, “Unless, of course, Nikki calls them back into session just to get the flag down…”

      And we chuckled joylessly at such an absurd idea.

      Yeah, journalists tend toward cynicism, but I generally do not. It’s just that in this case, EVERYTHING we had ever seen suggested that that would never happen.

      That’s why it was such a miracle — such a host of miracles — when she did stand, just two days later, with both Democrats and Republicans to call for the Legislature to get the flag down right away. I will always marvel at what happened that day…

      We snorted at the idea that Nikki might do the right thing. But two days later, she did.

      No one could have been more shocked than I was. After all, look back at what I had written back when Nikki was bowing down before neoConfederate sensibilities back during her first run for governor.

      There was no way she, of all people, would be the only Republican (or for that matter, Democratic) leader we’d ever had to stand up and say, “Let’s do the right thing on this, whatever it takes.” Not a compromise, not a dodge, but the right thing.

      But that’s what she did, and without any of the excuses I’d heard from so many others over the years.

      And I don’t care all that much WHY she did it (if she did it as a political calculation, I still applaud, because it was so wildly different from the political calculations so many others had made). It was still the right thing, and that’s rare and precious in South Carolina.

      Of course, we were in a moment like no other, a horrific moment that changed the political equation on the flag. Still, I’m amazed that she SAW that it was different, and called for a different response.

      Since then, I’ve had many occasions to be critical of Nikki. But the flag thing was her one moment…

      Reply
      1. Ken

        Haley didn’t come out in favor of lowering the flag until after she attended the funerals of the slain. It was the spiritual strength of black folks in general and of the AME Church in particular that drove her to take the step.

        Reply
  3. Brad Warthen Post author

    I was just catching up on my email, and saw Frank Bruni’s latest enewsletter. The headline: “Nikki Haley, queen of the invertebrates”…

    I emailed him some applause on that…

    Reply
    1. Sally Huguley

      I need to read that.

      The good thing about the Politico story is that the reporter (can’t remember his name this minute) really nailed her on her shifting perspectives based on what is the most advantageous to her at the moment. It scares me anytime the nat’l media types automatically include her in the 2024 GOP presidential candidates. Haley has absolutely no experience at the federal level. One year at the UN doesn’t do it. (Of course, that didn’t stop DJT, but look where that got us.) She was a petulant, juvenile governor, and she doesn’t have the depth or experience to run the federal executive branch. She’s basically another Sarah Palin, who was her role model.
      Okay, this is snotty, but as a Republican accountant friend said, Haley’s not even a CPA. Apparently, in the accountancy world, it’s like graduating from law school but not passing the bar.

      Enough out of me. I vowed I would not cuss or be snarky during Lent.

      Reply
      1. Brad Warthen Post author

        Lent is hard. :) By the way, I enjoyed the Holy Father’s Ash Wednesday sermon. Let me share it with you

        Anyway, I didn’t find that particularly snotty. But true, it’s probably not what we’re called to do right now.

        Me, I’m still astounded at the idea of Nikki Haley being my country’s ambassador to the United Nations. I suppose I could walk through Walmart and find a few people less qualified for that position than Nikki (how’s that for snotty?), but I suspect I could find one or two who could do a better job as well…

        Reply

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