Friday, June 4, 2010

Stay Classy, South Carolina Republicans!

South Carolina gubernatorial candidate Nikki Haley

I am going to make a point about the uproar over Nikki Haley in South Carolina, and I am not aware that anyone else has made the same point.

First, some background. Nikki Haley is a Republican running for governor of South Carolina. According to her campaign internet site, she has been endorsed by Sarah Palin, Mitt Romney, and Jenny Sanford, wife of disgraced current South Carolina Republican governor Mark Sanford. She claims also to have been endorsed by several Tea Party organizations. She will face off with three other Republicans in a primary next Tuesday.

The problem for Haley, who has been married for 13 years, is that she has been accused of having two extramarital affairs in the past three years. Lobbyist Larry Marchant claims to have indulged in a one-night stand with Haley in Utah in 2008. This revelation came shortly after Marchant resigned from the campaign of Republican Andre Bauer, who is also running for governor of South Carolina. Political blogger and former spokesman for Gov. Mark Sanford Will Folks claims that he had an affair with Haley in 2007.

Perhaps these allegations are, as Haley has put it, "disgusting politics." Neither Marchant nor Folks have offered any evidence that would support the allegations. Haley has even said that, if elected, she will resign if the allegations are proven true. Perhaps these allegations are made by Republicans who want to outmaneuver Tea Partiers and marginalize them. And South Carolina does have a reputation for dirty politics.  South Carolina gave us the the smears that ended John McCain's campaign for president in 2000. But I don't want to focus on the truth or falsity of these claims; I want to focus on something else.

Though I cannot confirm their affiliations, I think it likely that both Folks and Marchant are Republicans. Haley is obviously a Republican.  Either Haley or Folks and Marchant are lying. Therefore, no matter who is telling the truth, we have another situation in which a Republican is being deceptive for political purposes.

And it doesn't stop there. Republican South Carolina State Senator Jake Knotts just called Haley a "raghead," and said that having a raghead in the White House is enough.  Knotts claims that the comment was made "in jest," which is just the sort of thing a racist usually says when called out. According to Talking Points Memo,
The last we'd heard from Knotts was last September when he accused unnamed forces behind disgraced Governor Mark Sanford of spreading rumors that Knotts' favored candidate for governor, current Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer, is gay.
I guess they don't take too kindly to homosexuals and Indians in the Palmetto State.

What is the moral of all of this? Even if Haley is innocent of adultery, the Republican Party in South Carolina seems to be a haven for low-lifes. That's the real story.

On a tangentially related note, Fox "News," the propaganda arm of the Republican Party, has been accused of treating Kellie Pickler "like a prostitute." On Fox and Friends, host Brian Kilmeade asked Pickler, "Will you do me a favor, and offer your services to Chris Wallace? . . . Excuse me—offer yourself to Chris Wallace?" (Follow the link to find out what Wallace seems to think about women in general.) In spite of all the family values talk from Republicans, they make fine sleaze merchants, don't they?

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
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(This is where Lori Ziganto accuses me of being anti-women.)

(Note: the title of this post was inspired by the title of this Talking Points Memo post.)

Update. Jake Knotts has tried to clarify his remarks about Nikki Haley.  He didn't mean to call her "a raghead."  He actually meant to call her "a fucking raghead."

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It is wrong always, everywhere, and for anyone, to believe anything upon insufficient evidence. ---W.K. Clifford

Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blind-folded fear. ---Thomas Jefferson