May 26, 2024

Nikki Haley Shows Her True Colors

There has long been uncertainty as to how much integrity we should attribute to erstwhile U.N. ambassador and presidential primary candidate Nikki Haley.

During her run for the Republican nomination, Haley repeatedly told everyone what a horrible candidate Donald Trump is. After dropping out of the race, she did not discourage people from voting for her in the remaining primaries—as many did—and there was hope in some circles that she might, at the very least, not support Trump’s run for the White House.

Nikki Haley
  Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA 3.0
via Wikimedia Commons

The question of Haley’s integrity, however, has now been resolved. She has revealed herself to be, in the worst sense, a politician and neither a statesperson nor a patriot. Although she has yet to endorse the former president, in the sense of telling others to vote for him, she has declared that she will do so in the contest with Joe Biden.

In a historic understatement, Haley admitted in a recent interview that Trump “has not been perfect” on policies she considers important. Those policies include reducing government debt—something Trump massively increased when he was in office—and supporting freedom—something that Trump proudly took away from American women. Remarkably, Haley declared, “But Biden has been a catastrophe.” 

No doubt, many voters who watch Fox News or Newsmax or other right-wing pseudo-news outlets find Haley’s characterization of President Biden unremarkable. In driving from Clifton Springs to Geneva, I regularly pass a house displaying a sign declaring “Biden Sucks.” And I often see Trump supporters interviewed on television attributing characteristics, policies, and actions to Biden that are provably false. One might have hoped, however, that an intelligent politician who has clearly recognized Donald Trump’s multitudinous faults would be able to acknowledge at least some virtues in a fellow politician who is virtually the opposite of Donald Trump.

What is the nature of the Biden “catastrophe”? Although Trump initiated the quest for a COVID vaccine, it was Biden who orchestrated its successful rollout that halted the mounting death toll. Is saving people from dying a catastrophe?

Infrastructure Week had become a standing joke during the Trump presidency. Under Biden, the country is finally addressing the deferred maintenance of its extensive infrastructure. A catastrophe?

Trump either doesn’t believe in climate change or doesn’t care about it. Under Biden, however, the country is taking steps—possibly small ones—but steps to counter climate change. Well, Haley might find this catastrophic. The environment be damned!

Haley wants a president who will “have the backs of our allies.” Well, Biden is supporting Ukraine as it faces Russian aggression. It has been difficult, however, as Trump wants to sue for peace and, most likely, cede Ukrainian land to Putin. He tried to prevent Congress from supporting Ukraine. Isn’t what Biden has done supporting our allies? Isn’t this opposite to Trump’s inclinations? More catastrophe, I suppose. Biden has supported longtime ally Israel. Is supporting Israel’s defense while trying to restrain Netanyahu a catastrophe?

Haley wants a president who will “secure the border.” But when the Senate reached a bipartisan agreement to do exactly that last February—an agreement Biden was ready to sign— Trump made it clear that Republican legislators needed to kill that initiative so it could be used as a Republican fund-raiser and campaign issue. Another catastrophe on Biden’s watch?

Haley wants a president who will support “capitalism.” Biden has raised tariffs to protect, for example, the electric vehicle industry. Under Biden, the government is subsidizing the revitalization of the computer chip industry. Another catastrophe, I suppose. Better that we have a president who is only interested in enriching himself and his billionaire friends. But surely that would not be a catastrophe! 

Under Biden, inflation and unemployment are down. Another catastrophe, I suppose!

Alas, like so many Republicans, Haley has turned out to be a total hypocrite. Haley’s real catastrophe is that Democrats, not Republicans, are in power. Policy really isn’t the issue. If her favored candidate wins a second term, however, we will see what a real catastrophe looks like.

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