Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Haley Watch: The Governor's star turn

As reported yesterday, our fashionable governor took the podium at the Republican National Convention last night, camera-ready for her big close-up, and the reviews are in.

How'd she do?

For those of you lucky enough to miss it, SC Governor Nikki Haley read Barack Obama the riot act:

Haley then accused the Obama administration of launching an all-out assault on her state.

"The hardest part of my job continues to be this federal government, this administration and this president," Haley said, going on to say that "Obama will do everything he can to stand in your way," even if you play by the rules.

According to Haley, her state had attempted to implement "one of the most innovative illegal immigration laws in the country," bring jobs to South Carolina through a deal with Boeing and enact a voter ID measure, only to have the Obama administration bring lawsuits against them.

The Justice Department has sued South Carolina over its immigration law and voter ID measure over concerns that the legislation put the state in violation of various civil and voting rights acts. Obama's National Labor Relations Board eventually dismissed a union lawsuit against Boeing, which Haley suggested was a response to the state getting "loud."

Haley got a standing ovation for her support of voter ID laws, saying that it was a natural step when identifications were required to pass through airport security or purchase Sudafed from a drug store.

And here we thought it was just her overall incompetence that made her...totally incompetent. Instead, she blames her incompetence on the president. Good work if you can get it, and this song-and-dance has obviously taken Nikki all the way to the podium in Tampa.

Actually, the "hardest part of her job" appears to be the job itself, which she seems patently unable to do. As the Charleston City Paper correctly pointed out, she can't even talk to the South Carolina press, and prefers to model clothing for Vogue magazine instead:
Nikki Haley has refused to speak with members of the press, both those of the state's two largest and most influential dailies, the Post and Courier and The State, as well as the state's two alt-weeklies, The Free Times and the Charleston City Paper. On one occasion, Haley even ran away from reporter Renee Dudley.
How is this habitual scampering away from reporters, the fault of President Obama?

Hard-core conservatives like Will Folks, however, weren't having any. He ably picked apart the fine points of Nikki's speech. Folks gives away his Ron Paul-partisanship, when pointing out that:
[The] fight over Boeing was clouded by the fact that the company relies extensively on billions of dollars in taxpayer-funded subsidies doled out from both the state and federal governments.
Aside: It's a sad day when it's up to libertarians to do the job of (snort) "liberals," pointing out how working-class taxpayers regularly foot the bills for big business. This might be why Democrats do so poorly around here. It's usually been up to the Paulites to highlight CORPORATE welfare, while the rank-and-file Repubs natter on about "government handouts." I still remember our counter-demonstration at the local Republican debate, when Ron Paul supporters were the only ones to applaud one protester's sign, "Drug testing for corporate welfare recipients!" They loved it, as Will Folks would probably love it. The regular Republicans rolled their eyes and ignored us. (Same as they do with corporate welfare.)

Nikki Haley initially marketed herself as a Tea Party Republican, all ready to challenge the status quo, and she has instead rolled her eyes and ignored the malcontents, just like the rest of the big-money Repubs. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss. One hopes the Tea Party-affiliated Republicans in this state will not sit back and simply allow her to shit all over them, in her breakneck-climb to the cover of Newsweek, her fashion spread in Vogue, and the Conservative Book Club bestseller's lists.

At left: Governor Haley's photo from The New York Times Magazine. (Since she is afraid to talk to the South Carolina press, we have to go to national media to find pictures of her.)

The Charleston Post and Courier reports:
Haley’s star status has been on display here for days. Monday morning, she won a standing ovation from Florida’s GOP delegation. Georgetown County GOP Chair Jim Jerow, who is at his first convention, was there and noted Haley “is growing in her job.”

U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, the South Carolina Republican who had the biggest moment at the GOP convention four years ago, said Haley’s speech would be a good honor for the state and for her as an individual.

He said she needed to make the home team proud, please the “chattering class” in the media and make a personal connection. “I think she’s going to do really good,” he predicted.

Rep. Jeff Duncan, R-S.C., agreed with Graham’s prediction. “She’s going to showcase the state well. She always does,” he said. “It’s got to help her. I’m focused on how it helps us as a party. She’s going to be the face of the party.”
World-class stupidity as the "face of the party"! Well, they didn't mind hosting Dubya for eight years, so this isn't too surprising.

Growing in her job? WHAT, pray tell, does that mean? Sounds like an internship, rather than an elected office.

NPR says it's all about being a minority female. They are pushing her out front because they feel they have no choice:
It's become a perennial problem for Republicans, but not one that the party yet knows how to solve.

Recent polls show GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney taking a drubbing among minority groups, badly trailing President Obama among Hispanics, Asians and single women.

One recent poll showed Romney's support among African-Americans at 0 (yes, zero) percent.

In a sense, this is nothing new. As long ago as 2001, Rich Bond, a former head of the Republican National Committee, told The Washington Post: "We've taken white guys about as far as that group can go. We are in need of diversity, women, Latino, African-American, Asian."

What has changed is that minority voters now make up a large and growing share of the electorate. Between 1992 and 2008, the non-Anglo portion of the electorate doubled, to 26 percent from 13 percent, as measured by exit polls.

According to a recent National Journal analysis, Romney will need the percentage of white voters to remain at 74 percent nationwide — and he'll have to take 61 percent of that white vote — in order to win.

"This year or 2016 will be the last time Republicans can do as well as they've done in recent decades with [just] a strong showing among white voters," says Henry Olsen, vice president of the conservative American Enterprise Institute. "At some point in the not so distant future, Republicans have to start doing better among minorities or they will not win elections."

One way the party is hoping to speak to minority voters is by having minority officeholders speak to them. The GOP's convention lineup this week is loaded with high-profile minorities, including Florida Sen. Marco Rubio (Thursday), former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice (Wednesday) and Govs. Nikki Haley of South Carolina and Brian Sandoval of Nevada (who spoke Tuesday) and Susana Martinez of New Mexico (Wednesday).
Haley claims to be all about bringing minorities and women into the Republican Party. Um, since when?

Well, since she was elected and they gave her the script, of course:
"It's offensive to me as a woman and as a minority that Democrats can go and say, 'That party hates you,' and can get away with that," Haley told an editorial board from Gannett and USA Today on Tuesday.

Haley suggested that her party offers a welcoming home to many minority voters and is a good fit for them on issues such as the economy and jobs.
The "We Built It" theme of the Republican Convention, actually tramples all over minority people, who built most of the South, where the convention is. It tramples all over the maids and janitors who are cleaning up all the balloons and streamers and vodka-puke that the Republicans leave behind. Ann Romney's maids and assistants, the overworked-seamstresses who sew Nikki Haley's designer wardrobe, the lighting technicians and the retail/fast-food grunts and the hotel clerks and secretaries, THESE ARE THE PEOPLE who keep everything going. And they/we built it too.

And if you persist in NOT seeing this, Republicans, you will fail.

Your cartoon-convention, scrambling to find minorities and women to put on stage and on camera, is just that, a cartoon.


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