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Establishment Wing Of GOP Works To Reassert Itself With Aid Of (Shockingly) Nikki Haley

January 13, 2016

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.

13 Comments leave one →
  1. January 14, 2016 8:51 PM

    Fascists marry absolute political power with an unlawfully carnal marriage to big industry. Do your homework, Tom… Gregory is spot on and you’re looking at fascism right here in your own backyard. There are tons of examples in recent world history. Don’t be so lazy.

  2. January 14, 2016 5:21 PM

    And when you take the collective points I raised in my comment that Walker and his kind have undertaken it matches with your definition.

  3. tom permalink
    January 14, 2016 5:15 PM

    Fascist: Mirriam Webster Definition:a political philosophy, movement, or regime (as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition.

    It is not a fact that Walker is close to fascist. That is an opinion–a stupid opinion. I thought you valued “facts” so much.

  4. January 14, 2016 12:34 PM

    The fact is unsettling to know that Walker and much of the legislative GOP element is indeed fascist. As a liberal I wish it were not so. But the facts prove the case. Everything from the abuse of elections be it political boundaries or how votes are cast, xenophobic actions and words, the use of police to stop legal protests in the statehouse (Walker even drifted so far down the ladder he linked peaceful protesters in our state to the radical jihadists) etc etc. His use of a skewered sense of what being American means wrapped in his politically driven agenda which is dangerous marks him and his kind as fascists. When one combines all the parts of the past five years the only way to sum up the definition of what has taken place is that fascism has taken hold.

  5. tom permalink
    January 14, 2016 7:54 AM

    If you think the Wi GOP borders on fascist, you have no idea what the word means. Please stop using it.

  6. January 13, 2016 9:32 PM

    Right, right and right. (No pun intended.)

  7. January 13, 2016 7:45 PM

    I agree. Ford was a class act and someone I really respected. Nixon was incredibly smart. Neither one of them could get the party nomination today as the wing-nuts have taken over the party. The GOP keeps trying to sell the idea that the Dems have become so liberal they are out of the ballpark. Obama is more centrist than liberal and the GOP borders on fascist when it comes to WI politics.

  8. January 13, 2016 6:18 PM

    Yeah. Never thought I’d see the day when I’d miss Dick Nixon–although I have always liked Gerald Ford.

  9. January 13, 2016 5:15 PM

    I agree–and that is why in my headline–given her Tea Party past–I add the word shockingly. The GOP is in a world of hurt. On one hand it is a joy to watch but as I have noted in the past the nation can not afford to have a complete wack-a-doodle GOP.

  10. January 13, 2016 5:05 PM

    Bloggers such as Lou Kaye (and less importantly, myself) have pointed out that part of Trump’s appeal is that he laughs at the billionaires trying to buy the Presidency. Nikki Haley is part of that Tea Party mob that is prostrated in front of the potentates. To many Americans, that renders anything she says invalid — and for good reason.

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