You’d think the one thing Republicans would have learned from the 2016 Trump campaign is that voters wanted something completely different from what the GOP had been offering.
For decades, Republicans had run on tax cuts, more military spending to fund the forever wars, and diversity-lite. But Trump proved that what voters wanted was a wall, mass deportations, and a white guy who wasn’t embarrassed about being white. The GOP was like a man who keeps giving his wife Super Bowl tickets for her birthday, when what she wants is a fur coat.
Unfortunately, Trump himself didn’t learn anything from the 2016 campaign, either. Once he got into office, he gave us Super Bowl tickets: tax cuts, more military spending to fund the forever wars, and diversity-lite.
Back when he was talking about Mexican rapists, anchor babies, Kate Steinle, sanctuary cities and a Muslim ban, Trump was a runaway hit with voters! Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz and Jeb! were left lying by the side of the road, mumbling about their immigrant relatives.
After six months of impotent rage as they watched Trump’s poll numbers rise, the Republican Establishment finally took its revenge the night of President Obama’s 2016 State of the Union address.
The instrument of their revenge was Nikki Haley. Appealing to Republicans’ diversity-lite side, Nikki is fairly bristling with implausible stories of racist America treating her and her family racistly in the 1970s (the darkest days of the Jim Crow South!). But the epilogue is that we have “come a long way.” I, for one, am totally relieved that we have finally redeemed ourselves in Haley’s eyes.
Now, she’s running for president, as the perfect establishment candidate, designed to repel voters from coast to coast. Having Haley in the White House would be like having to watch “Roots” every night. (Note to candidates: “Being in the White House” includes being in the vice president’s office.)
At the 2016 State of the Union, President Obama attacked Trump, warning Americans not to listen to “extremist voices,” or “fear the future” because of the “influx of new immigrants.”
Giving the opposing point of view was Haley — who also attacked Trump. For something completely different, she warned Americans not to listen to “the loudest voice in the room.” She then laid out the official Republican position on immigration. (Fling open the border!)
— Anyone who is “willing to work hard, abide by our laws, and love our traditions” is “welcome in our country.”
Anyone “willing to work hard”? That is the definition of open borders. “Abide by our laws”? Seven months of Trump sweeping the polls on an anti-immigration message, and the most the GOP Establishment would give us is, “OK, no more felons.”
— We should welcome all immigrants “just like we have for centuries.”
Has Haley read a history book? Calvin Coolidge shut down immigration for half a century.
— We should “fix our broken immigration system.”
Translation from Establishment Speak: “Amnesty.”
— We should be “welcoming properly vetted legal immigrants, regardless of their race or religion.”
What precisely are we “vetting” if we’re not allowed to look at race or religion? Other than the fact that they were Chechen or Middle Eastern Muslims, there was no reason to reject the immigrants who killed scores of Americans in San Bernardino, Chattanooga and the Boston Marathon. Oh, yeah, also 3,000 of them on 9/11.
— “The best thing we can do,” Haley concluded, “is turn down the volume.”
Which is exactly what the GOP had been saying to voters for decades: You guys need to shut the hell up.
But Haley wasn’t done performing tasks for the Establishment. In February 2016, she joined MSM journalists in their quest to have Trump never stop disavowing the KKK.
Instead of getting tired of winning, Trump supporters were getting tired of condemning.
Thus, shortly before the South Carolina primary, brave Nikki gave a speech, saying, “I will not stop until we fight a man that chooses not to disavow the KKK.”
Headlines all over.
In June of that year, after a mass shooting by a disturbed white man at a black church in Charleston, South Carolina, Haley grandiosely removed the Confederate battle flag from state capitol grounds.
And you know what? Today, black people have as much wealth as other Americans, their SAT scores have risen, and there hasn’t been another mass shooting of black people since then. All thanks to Gov. Haley.
Despite her vow to never stop fighting Trump, he was elected president, whereupon he immediately hired … Nikki Haley.
Even in a completely useless job — ambassador to the United Nations — she managed to screw it up. First, Haley practically invited President Bashar al-Assad of Syria to launch the “worst chemical attack in years” (New York Times) by telling reporters, just weeks earlier, that removing Assad was no longer a U.S. “priority.”
Next, she misstated U.S. policy on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” claiming that Trump was about to issue a new round of sanctions against Russia. (He wasn’t.) With Trump shouting at the TV, the White House said Haley was “confused,” and the State Department asked her to issue a correction.
But Haley got a good I-Am-Woman-Hear-Me-Roar moment out of it: “Haley fires back at White House: ‘I don’t get confused‘”
There were any number of competent Republicans Trump could have hired instead of Haley, even some who didn’t hate him, didn’t hate his supporters, and didn’t oppose everything he (claimed) he stood for.
Obviously, Trump never meant a word he said on the campaign trail.
Ironically, Republican donors are wild about Nikki. As far as I can tell, they’re her biggest supporters. Turns out, they’re just as stupid as Trump is.