Nikki Haley, Still An A-Hole

Former South Carolina GOP Gov. Nikki Haley reminded everyone she still exists Sunday. Maybe she felt a little jealous because Senator Tim Scott is considered a top contender for the GOP vice presidential slot in 2024. She’s not content to just fade into the background as a loyal Donald Trump enabler who casually suggests President Joe Biden is senile. She’s also demonstrating that she’s just as gross as GOP sedition caucus members Marjorie Taylor Greene and Lauren Boebert.

Here’s what Haley tweeted on Sunday, God’s day for watching football:

HALEY: When I was governor, I worked with Democrats who still believed in America. I didn’t share their views on policy, but at least we agreed on some basic principles. Those days are over. The Democratic Party has become the Socialist Party.

Yep, when Haley was elected governor in the distant past of 2010, Democrats still believed in America, that shining city on a hill. Now the Democratic Party is the Socialist Party, led by noted socialist Joe Biden from Stalingrad and his radical Senate accomplices Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema.

Bolsheviks all.

Back in the real world, the Democrats are not a socialist party. Yes, Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar, Cori Bush, and Jamal Bowman are members of the Democratic Socialists of America. That’s five Democrats out of 222 in the House of Representatives. There were also six self-identified DSA members in the Democratic caucus well before 2010. We’re hardly witnessing a socialist takeover of the party that twice rejected Bernie Sanders in favor of Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden, both of whom Republicans still insisted on calling socialists. It’s as if the word doesn’t mean anything, other than as convenient shorthand for “n-word lover."

Meanwhile, 139 out of 213 House Republicans voted to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election and install Trump as the forever president. A clear majority of Republicans is openly opposed to democracy and much of the remainder is at least fascist-curious. And while we’ve often noted that the GOP’s been hot garbage for decades now, this is a far more dramatic shift and an escalating threat.

Haley’s lying, of course, and she’s not alone. GOP Senator Marco Rubio from Florida tweeted that Biden's Build Back Better agenda “isn’t socialism. It’s Marxism.” (It’s possible he doesn’t understand the meaning of either word.) This rhetoric isn’t just standard Lee Atwater/Karl Rove dirty politics where you smear your opponent without shame or regard for the truth. It’s objectively dangerous.

Trump’s MAGA mob stormed the Capitol on January 6. It wasn’t just a riot, but an attempted insurrection against the government. When Haley and other Republican opportunists claim Democrats are fundamentally anti-American and an existential threat to our way of life, they implicitly justify violent resistance. The MAGA thugs already consider themselves “patriots” fighting for their “true” president.

Five years ago, during the GOP primary, Rubio expressed concern that then-candidate Trump was, as Business Insider put it, "feeding civil unrest, leading the country to 'chaos' and 'anarchy.'"

"You wonder if we're headed in a different direction today where we're no longer capable of having differences of opinion but in fact now protests become a license to take up violence and take on your opponents physically," Rubio [said] "This is what happens when a leading presidential candidate goes around feeding into a narrative of bitterness and anger and frustration."

Conservative columnist Josh Barro called out Rubio's hypocrisy. After all, he'd accused President Barack Obama of intentionally "undermining this country" as "part of a plan to weaken America on the global stage.” You have "differences of opinion" at the country club over marginal tax rates and farm subsidies. Ashli Babbitt died because she was fed a steady diet of lies that Biden, Democrats, and Hugo Chavez’s ghost had stolen the presidency.

Haley believes she can appease Trump supporters with this vicious rhetoric, but it’s likely to have the opposite effect. Haley openly criticized Trump after January 6 and said she was “disgusted” by his actions after Election Day. The MAGA faithful will point out that if Haley genuinely believes Democrats are an existential threat, why would she oppose Trump’s efforts to subvert the election?

As Bootsy Collins said, “If you fake the funk, your nose will grow.” Haley can tweet lies about Democrats, but she’ll never convince anyone she’s a true believer. She’ll still end up running from the MAGA mob.

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Stephen Robinson

Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. Once, he wrote a novel called “Mahogany Slade,” which you should read or at least buy. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."


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