Establishment Wing Of GOP Works To Reassert Itself With Aid Of (Shockingly) Nikki Haley
There are plenty of ways to dissect and examine the speeches last night as President Obama delivered a masterful and important themed State of the Union Address while South Carolina Republican Governor Nikki Haley offered a response that placed the GOP civil war on full display.
It is remarkable that Haley, a product of the right-wing Tea Party movement, felt she needed to stand with the establishment wing of her party when strongly inferring that Donald Trump was out of step when it comes to his position on immigrants and his demeaning people of other faiths. There was no doubt she had Trump and his right-wing cohort Ted Cruz in mind when talking about the “angriest voices”.
This morning on the Today Show Haley took one more step and left no doubt what she meant last night by stating, “Mr. Trump has definitely contributed to what I think is just irresponsible talk.”
While there was the usual blowback from the harsh end of the conservative media and punditry over her response last night what strikes me most is the desire of the more moderate end of the party to reach out in such a visual way to state they are not willing to be a part of Trump’s suicide pact. Everyone knows the demographic face of America is changing. That is a good thing. Everyone also is aware that Trump is literally destroying the future hope of that party with his bigotry and xenophobic language.
The smart politicos from each party are working to incorporate those parts of our richly diverse country into their party. Democrats have been more successful than Republicans in that task, but that is not to say many in the GOP do not understand the urgency of making such moves.
That is why the words of Donald Trump and others such as Cruz are so damaging to the GOP brand and severely annoying to those members of the Republican Party who once thought they could win the White House this election cycle.
So it fell to Haley, who was adroitly selected by the GOP establishment, to present a face of what their party wanted to be seen as representing. In the best of politics she was exactly the face needed to be seen. But unless the Republican rank-and-file stands up and repudiates Trump in the delegate selection contests what was intended last night as another step in the process of broadening the GOP will have failed.
Make no mistake about what is taking place within the GOP. It is very much a civil war.
The ones who rage and rant and work to undermine the operations of government have reached for the populist element by using fear and racism as their tool. Meanwhile the establishment wing are seriously intent on stemming the tide of immigrant bashing and destructive nativism.
Haley took one large step away from her Tea Party roots and we can only hope others of that element will do the same in the weeks to come.