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Nikki Haley to Conservative Grassroots: Sit Down and Shut Up

South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley’s tone deaf, anti-conservative, establishment Republican “rebuttal” to Obama’s final State of the Union speech was supposed to be her audition for the Vice Presidential spot on a Rubio, Bush, Christie or Kasich ticket. 

Instead, Governor Haley’s 10 minutes in the national spotlight appears to have done serious damage to her political future, not because her delivery was bad – it wasn’t – but because she picked the wrong side in the Nikki Haleybattle between conservatives and the go-along-get-along Republican establishment. 

Governor Haley’s fall from GOP Super Star to being radioactive with the grassroots was precipitous and inevitable after a speech filled with nothing but the establishment Republican platitudes that voters hate. 

And what substance there was, was not aimed at inspiring the conservative grassroots base of the GOP to continue a principled battle against President Obama, Hillary Clinton and the Democrats on Capitol Hill, it was aimed at the frontrunners for the Republican nomination for President! 

In my 50+ years of being active in the conservative movement at the national level I can’t think of another time when the Republican establishment so blatantly hijacked a national television opportunity to rebut a liberal President and used it to attack the voters they need to win the presidency. 

Haley’s speech – probably written at the Republican Governors Association, the Republican National Committee or Mitch McConnell’s office – was so short on conservative substance that it could have been delivered by Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Eric Cantor, John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, Reince Priebus, or any one of Washington’s other now-discredited Big Government Republicans. 

But in some sense her speech was a perfect metaphor for what’s going on in the GOP today. 

On one side you have the content-free Big Government Republican establishment who were all teed-up to pat themselves and Governor Haley on the back after her remarks. 

And on the other side you have the grassroots conservative base of the Republican Party who said after Haley’s attack on Trump and Cruz, “Hey wait a minute that was an attack on us, because they are carrying our message and we agree with them.” 

Bad as Governor Haley’s not-so-veiled attack on conservatives was, from the perspective of her political future how she has conducted herself after conservatives began to criticize her has been even worse. 

Not only did she clarify she was talking about Trump, thereby doubling down on the cheap shot she took during the speech, she and her team quickly began to adopt the language of the Left in attacking her conservative critics. 

If you are a Republican and can't defend what you say on conservative principle and instead resort to using the language of the Left to criticize your opponents for being “divisive” you're not ready for primetime. 

But to Governor Nikki Haley and the rest of the Republican establishment the problem in DC isn’t that they have caved-in and adopted Obama’s policies and agenda as their own, it is the loud voices of conservatives who object and are demanding that elite attempts to fundamentally change America by dismantling constitutional government be stopped. 

Haley, along with Eric Cantor, John Boehner and the rest of the discredited DC establishment apparently didn’t get the memo that the establishment has lost control of the Republican Party and it no longer has the ability to dictate to the grassroots. 

Nikki Haley did serious damage to her political future when she threw-in with the losing side in the battle between conservatives and the Republican establishment.  

If Governor Haley’s attack on the conservative voters Republicans must have to win the White House was an audition for Vice President on a Bush, Rubio, Kasich or Christie ticket, then it shows a Republican establishment desperate to maintain its power that is out-of-touch, off balance and maybe about to spin out of control. 

For more on my take on Governor Haley’s anti-conservative establishment Republican “rebuttal” to Obama’s State of the Union address see “Nikki Haley Response: White Teeth, But No Bite

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Fred Harden · Johns Hopkins University

As a Bush and Pierce family aficionado [As a tyke and a teenager I occasionally had the honor, pleasure and good fortune to caddy for the late U.S. Senator from CT Prescott Bush the father and the grandfather of Bush 41 and 43 respectively @ The Country Club, Farmington, CT. "Press" purportedly was "Ike" Eisenhower's favorite golfing companion and from my limited interface with Senator Bush I can readily and justifiably understand why. If one were doing a Hollywood casting call for a U.S. Senator "Press" hands down would definitely have been their first choice!] I'm empathetic but not necessarily sympathetic to Jeb's comments. Why?

Jeb is correct when he states that he completely underestimated the current voter anger and angst. But to try to perpetuate RINO GOP principles in my estimation, at least during this GOP primary election process, is a dog that I respectfully believe won't hunt.

Plus, trying to highlight Nikki Haley as a potentially viable GOP Vice Presidential Standard Bearer won't hunt either!

Moreover, I wholeheartedly believe that many in our country are misinformed about the political correctness of Islamophobia. Every American, obviously including Muslims, has an inalienable right to live without fear and intimidation and practice religious ideas without interference.

The issue is the practice of one’s faith that may be incompatible with provisions of the U.S. Constitution, including upholding the laws of the land [Sharia law flies in the face of the U.S. Constitution. (period/exclamation point!)] and expecting citizen compliance with these laws.

Tashfeen Malik and Syed Pizwan Farook who killed 14 of Farook’s co-workers and wounded dozens of others in San Bernardino, California were radicalized in a mosque according to recent reports.

They didn't respect the laws of this land, despite the fact Farook was an American citizen.

Here is the rub. Muslims are free to pursue their faith, but when radicalization occurs that challenges national security and our way of life, censure is appropriate. Let me repeat that again for proper emphasis. Muslims are free to pursue their faith, but when radicalization occurs that challenges national security and our way of life, censure is appropriate.

This isn’t Islamophobia; it's just plain ordinary common sense. The rhetoric must and should be condemnatory.

Free speech isn’t only light and sweet; it represents the harsh dimensions of life.

The concern about Islamophobia is part of cultural degradation.

Several years ago, the philosopher Mortimer Adler said, “A culture is not killed by political conflicts, even when they attain the shattering violence of modern warfare, not by economic revolutions, even when they involve the dislocations of modern mass uprisings.

"A culture dies of diseases which are themselves cultural. It may be born sick, as modern culture was, or it may decay through insufficient vitality to overcome disruptive forces present in every culture, but in any case, cultural disorder is a cause and not an effect of political and economic disturbance which beset the world today.”

If Adler is right, one might ask how can the culture be inoculated against a political correctness that protects potential violence and erodes the foundations especially of our nation?

Fred Harden III AKA GreyHairandGreyMatter [Facetiously a former leader of men and a follower of women!]

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Fred Harden · Johns Hopkins University

The sooner that the American people wake-up to these foregoing realities the better. Fred Harden III AKA GreyHairandGreyMatter

Buh-Bye, Governor Haley

I wish to disagree that her presentation style was acceptable. Her 'deer in the headlights' non-expressive face and speaking through clenched teeth were not of a quality for a public speaker. Yet no one in the media has taken her to task as they did when Marco Rubio just took a drink of water! Go figure.

As to WHAT she said, her GOPe message was lost on any conservative Republican listening. She was worse than the bickering that goes on between the candidates on the debate stage. PERSONAL attacks are NEVER acceptable.

Her speech was supposed to have been a response to the president's message. Instead she chose to attack her own party. Well, I've been a lifelong Republican, and I say enough is enough. It's time to throw out every one of them who believes that 'getting along with the Democrats is the only way to go...NEVER requiring the Dems to get along with us'- what has happened to idea that serving your country meant putting what is best for the COUNTRY first?

Our country is going broke with the most debt ever...did she mention that? Oh no...attack the frontrunner. Our country is being invaded by illegals from every country in the world...did she mention that? Oh no...attack the frontrunner and then the next day, double down and admit it on a liberal-oriented television show. Our military is being decimated from within...did she mention that? And exactly why did she not mention the fact that ten members of our Navy were being held by Iranian forces?

Excuse me while I go barf once again. Her 'deer in the headlights' expression captured so well on this site says it all...she hasn't a CLUE as to what the ordinary American family has been going through for the past seven years. If she did, she would have mentioned it!

Haley's speech

The GOP is just as "tone deaf" as Obama!

If this woman is the VP front runner for some GOP ticket, then then they have obviously given up hope of winning the White House!

Sarah Palin she ain't!

You are correct!

None of us have to wonder if Sarah Palin has conservative values. She says today what she said in 2007/08...and continues to stand by her beliefs.

Governor Haley has not 'walked her talk' since running for office, saying one thing to get elected and then doing the exact opposite after winning the election. NOT a good thing!