When I first read that a South Carolina state senator, Jake Knotts, had called gubernatorial candidate (and Palin endorsee) Nikki Haley, who's of Indian descent, a "raghead," I assumed it was just an ignorant slip by an impolitic small-time pol. But then I read this RedState post by Haley fan Erick Erickson:
Well, Andre Bauer's campaign to paint Nikki Haley as a two-timing wh*re ... blew up in his face.
Now he's moved on to her being a raghead.
What's funny is that the same players are involved in both stories, but this time they've roped in CBN's David Brody.
That's a bold statement, I know, but let's treat it as fact whether Brody protests or not. Why? Because it is.
The fact is, a lot of Andre Bauer's core backers run in circles that would give them easy access to David Brody, who is CBN's White House correspondent.
... today David Brody writes about Nikki Haley's religious background and notes that when she first ran for office, the press played up her background as a Sikh and her campaign website did not mention she is a Methodist.
Then we get this curious paragraph:
The fact that the Haley campaigned changed the wording on the website ledThe Brody File to do some digging. The Brody File has uncovered documents and details that show an emphasis on her Sikh faith and traditions in 2004 when she was running for the State Legislature (even though she became a Christian 7 years earlier)
What a load of nonsense. David Brody did not do any digging. Andre Bauer's campaign fed him all the information and he willingly unleashed the hit job....
I'm not trying to say nice things about Erick Erickson, but this has the ring of truth. The Brody piece does read like "journalism" spoon-fed to the reporter by a candidate's opposition research operation.
Brody's point is that Haley now fervently declares her Christianity, though in earlier campaigns she told voters she was in the habit of attending both Sikh and Methodist churches. I assume the Bauer campaign thinks that will be a dealbreaker for a lot of South Carolina voters.
But I also assume the Bauer people thought Brody's retyping of their opposition research might not get the job done. So Knotts was sent out to make the charge in a vivid way. His use of the word "raghead" wasn't a gaffe, it was a calculated headline-grabbing low blow.
Golly, I thought there was no racism left in America. So why is one wing of the South Carolina GOP trying to appeal to something that doesn't exist?
Well, this is the state where John and Cindy McCain's adopted Bangladeshi daughter was turned into a rumored illegitimate black child. That worked, of course. I'm guessing not much has changed in South Carolina in ten years. Certainly that's what the Bauer campaign is thinking.
(On the subject of Haley, Knotts, Brody, and Jesus, Tbogg has more, and certainly more laughs, here.)