Monday, February 20, 2023

No to Nikki Harris

No to Nikki Harris

AP Photo/Meg Kinnard

Wait, did I say Nikki Harris? I meant Nikki Haley, but it's an understandable mistake. After all, as a good friend deep in politics recently pointed out to me, Nikki Haley is the Kamala Harris of the Republican Party. And now Nikki says she wants to be president, announcing her doomed candidacy with hilariously hackneyed and overwrought fanfare ("Now is the time for a strong and proud America!"), though everyone with half a cerebral cortex can see that she's really just trying to position herself as the vice-presidential nominee when either Donald Trump or Ron DeSantis gets the nomination. It's exactly the kind of cynical, shameless move this cynical, shameless striver would make – and that her Democrat doppelganger did make.

Like Kamala, Nikki is everything wrong with her party. Kamala is Hillary Lite, slightly less bitter, a lot dumber, but just as insincere. Nikki is Jeb! in a skirt, temperamentally establishment and soft, but much more ambitious and cunning than the human puffball who begged us to "Please clap" as he awaited what he expected would be a coronation.

Vapid. Overrated. Unaccomplished despite her credentials. Nikki Haley is the Peter Principle personified, a tiresome, empty pantsuit whose pure and shameless ambition compensates for her lack of talent. Both she and Kamala want to be president. An America dumb enough to allow either one to do so deserves the pain that will inevitably follow. Yeah, I'll vote for her in the general if the GOP is nuts enough to nominate her, but observing that her moderate fecklessness is marginally better than whatever chump the communists throw at us is damnation with faint praise.

She's really just our Kamala Harris with a different party label and no Montel Williams baggage. There was a time when Kamala was looked upon as a fearsome up-and-comer, a bright new talent from way out west who could unite disparate parts of the Democrat Party behind her. That was a long time ago. She was the attorney general in California, and she was awful, but luckily for Kamala, the objective consideration of a Democrat's job performance is no longer a thing. Lucky for Pete Buttigieg, too – he's an utterly untalented hack who has screwed up everything he touches – go to Ohio and take a deep breath and understand – yet he's still counted as a first-rank potential nominee and Kamala's main competitor. Anyway, Kamala inherited a Senate seat and simply showed up for a few years, voted for the approved nonsense throughout, and then ran for president. It was only then that the full extent of her mediocrity became known. She floundered, saved by Joe Biden, a man of legendary mediocrity who knows something about the utility of having a half-wit as one's veep.

Kamala is a reliable vote for whatever is in fashion in her party at the moment. When Democrats were pretending to be tough on crime, she locked up potheads – well, I guess she had to get something right sometime. And when crime became cool again, she was there helping bail out thugs, junkies, and looters. She is like a parody of a Democrat, but with more weird rhapsodies about yellow school buses.

Except no one in her own party likes her. No one wants her. Yet there she is in the White House, scheming and plotting, ready to toss aside anyone who gets ahead of her on the ladder. If I was President Badfinger and she sent up a plate of home-baked chocolate chip cookies, I'd test them out on one of my vicious dogs or, better yet, dump them out the window on the way to Delaware. 

Nikki Haley was governor of South Carolina, where she distinguished herself by surrendering to the mob on the state's flag. It's not that the rebel flag is any great shakes – guys flying it burned down the Schlichters' hometown of Chambersburg a couple of times, and we hold grudges – but it was her sanctimonious acceptance of the whole narrative behind the faux outrage that exposed her inner establishment conformist. She also bought the Bubba Wallace noose nonsense because, of course, she did. She cares what the establishment thinks. She cares what the regime media thinks. She cares what her consultants think. And she thinks what you and I, the conservative base, think is scary and frightening. But she'll pretend to be down with it if that is what it takes to win.

If you ever want to know what Nikki Haley will do, you need but put a finger to the breeze and thereby know which way she will go. She is a human windsock, a consultant-driven conventional wisdom advocate who spews tired "Let's build bridges to a better tomorrow"-type dross from circa 2005. She always seems on the verge of demanding that you conservative ruffians keep it down and let the adults talk.  

Even when she is right, which she is simply because she cloaks herself in conservatism, you get the idea her heart is not in it. She got huffy with me when I observed that she was hanging out with that lizard John Brennan as if the problem was me pointing out her collaboration. She was an adequate UN ambassador primarily because she usually just said no to the commies and Third-World potentates. As such, she met our minimal standard, yet what apple cart did she overturn? The krauts are still moaning about Ric Grenell's tenure as ambassador to Deutschland, but does anyone remember anything Nikki did except suck up to Trump?

And suck up she did, until he stopped being useful. Trump is now dropping rumors that she begged him to ditch Mike Pence and put her on the 2020 ticket. I don't know if that's true, but boy, it sure feels true. Who can't see her wheedling and cajoling the president to dump his loyal second and give her the gig? And who is shocked that her promise not to run against Trump got kicked to the curb when it became inconvenient? Hey, if she had to do it to save the country, okay. But Nikki is not going to save anything. She's another of the GOP decline managers from the OOs that we thought we had kicked to the curb.

Despite the fact that the base wants nothing to do with her based on her lack of basedness (there are idiots on the left and alleged conservative ones who attack her name and heritage, and these people should be shunned 1) for being classless and stupid and 2) for making me defend Nikki Haley), she has been laying the groundwork for this campaign for a while. She started one of those PACs with a name like "The Forum for Eagles, Families, America, and Eagles" that duns conservative seniors for donations using pleas like "Help Nikki save America from the threat of badness!" Her Twitter feed is a litany of tiresome, basic declarations along the lines of "We need to empower people to realize their dreams!" "I like America and I don't care who that offends!" and "Now is not the time to hold back—now is the time for a strong and proud America. [fist emoji] [flag emoji]." The last one is, astonishingly and embarrassingly, real.

Her pre-announcement video is absolutely hilarious in how basic it is – it's like she got a bunch of consultants who tried to program her with hardcore America Firstism and ended up with her vomiting out the same kind of painfully awkward faux toughness of Mitt Romney insisting he's "severely conservative." It's an act, an act so phony it would be cringe if it wasn't so funny. If elected, she'll sell us out to the Jeb! wing faster than you can say, "We should all reach across the aisle to grasp a better tomorrow!" And you know she would totally say something like, "We should all reach across the aisle to grasp a better tomorrow!" 

But you have to give Nikki some credit compared to Kamala. At least Nikki's consultants can cobble together coherent hack clich├ęs while Kamala's make absolutely no sense at all. 

The big problem with Nikki Haley for the Republicans is the same as the big problem with Kamala Harris for the Democrats. They are both over-ambitious mediocrities who believe in nothing except the fierce urgency of their own advancement. And the bases of both parties know it. Kamala is, astonishingly, less popular than her senile superior. Nikki Haley is polling at about 2%, and those 2% are drunk. No one wants either one of them to be president – they are both hoping to make up for their unpopularity with the sheer intensity of their wanting it for themselves.

Policy is secondary for both, really. Like liberalism was for Kamala, conservatism is the fake hobby horse Nikki hopes to use to ride into DC and a gig as veep before taking the big step into the Oval Office down the road. But there's no evidence she actually believes in conservatism as we understand it in 2023. It's a consultant-driven act resurrected from 2003. She wilted in front of the SJWs when she could have told them to pound sand. She's awkwardly hawkish in a simulacrum of what she thinks Republicans should be. She has shown none of the contempt for the establishment that Trump has, nor has she built a track record of owning the libs as Ron DeSantis has. But policy is really beside the point for her. She just wants to be president someday, like her double Kamala. And we need to stop them both.

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