Monday, May 24, 2010


I'm starting to think I've been wildly off base for believing that the establishment and teabag elements of the GOP will just settle down after their primaries and dance hand in hand around the fireside, reciting Ronald Reagan's 11th Commandment instead of singing "Kumbaya," united by their shared hatred of Barack Obama and Keith Olbermann and ACORN and whatnot. First there was the surprising non-wagon-circling in the case of Rand Paul. Now there's this:

South Carolina state Rep. Nikki Haley denied an allegation by a conservative blogger that the two had engaged in an affair several years ago, insisting that the charge was aimed at derailing her rapidly-rising campaign for governor....

Haley, a one-time protege of disgraced Gov. Mark Sanford, had been riding high of late -- benefiting from endorsements from South Carolina First Lady Jenny Sanford and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin....

"Several years ago, prior to my marriage, I had an inappropriate physical relationship with Nikki," [Will] Folks wrote on his blog. "That's it." ...

Haley's denying it, and National Review's Jim Geraghty says he "didn't find any sense" that there's any truth to Folks's claim that he made this announcement because the affair was about to be revealed by The State, the top newspaper in South Carolina. Then there's this from Erick Erickson:

Last week I was tipped off to the panic in the South Carolina House and Senate Republican Caucuses. The leadership had a private meeting to see what could be done to take out Nikki Haley. She spent her years in the legislature fighting the good old boys, even within her own party.

She demanded transparency and won. They don't like her.

Well, with Rasmussen now having her significantly in the lead, we see what the good old boys are doing -- skipping all the oppo research and going straight to the sleaze....

I'm overlooking Erickson's theory that this can't be true because "hot women do not have affairs with ugly guys unless those guys are rich." I'm even taking with a few large dollops of salt the assertion that Haley had to be stopped because she's such an iconoclastic maverick.

If an affair happened, I would have expected the Republicans to avoid sandbagging one of their own. If there was no affair, I certainly didn't expect sleazy lying. That's what Republicans do to Democrats. They don't have circular firing squads.

Or maybe they do now. Maybe it's a kind of Hurt Locker thing: they've engaged in 24/7 total war with Democrats for so long that they've forgotten how not to fight to the death -- and now they're doing it even among themselves.

Maybe this is what saves the Republic: these guys can't turn it off anymore, even when they're fragging their own.


AND: yes, I realize there was fragging in that NY-23 race. But I thought Republicans were quick learners with political self-preservation at stake. Guess not.

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