Now that Donald Trump has been removed from office and might soon find himself convicted by the Senate after being impeached by the House for inciting the Capitol insurrection, Republicans are struggling to decide how best to navigate his post-presidency.
Full-throated loyalty to the MAGA king is trickier than it was before he tried to overthrow our democracy through force but GOP officials are also generally too spineless to completely abandon Trump given the stranglehold he has over his base. Instead, we find Republicans in a humiliating purgatory where they can neither fully distance themselves nor fully embrace the narcissistic moron who has ruled over their party for the past four years. As some of them begin to position themselves as hopefuls for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, they’ll have to stake out a clear position on Donald Trump.
Nikki Haley, the craven former Governor of South Carolina and Trump’s disastrous Ambassador to the United Nations, clearly envisions herself as a successor to her former boss. During her time working for Donald, she became a point of sore disappointment for moderate Republicans who had hoped that she might form the foundation of a post-Trump, saner version of the GOP.
Instead, she exposed herself as nothing more than a cynical careerist — someone willing to overlook the worst abuses of the Trump years in order to build her profile within the party. She is a woman without integrity or courage and handing her the Oval Office would be a historic mistake.
Of course, no amount of condemnation is going to stop an ambitious psychopath like Haley from pursuing what she wants and so she continues to seek the limelight in the hopes of building a springboard for her inevitable presidential bid. During an appearance on Fox News last night she signaled that she intends to lean in to her MAGA credentials.
Haley gave a shameless defense of Trump and railed against impeachment, claiming that there is no “basis” for it despite the fact that the entire world saw the ex-president harness his mendacious rhetoric to urge his followers to violence. She can say whatever she wants to the gullible Fox audience, she can’t rewrite history.
“I don’t even think there’s a basis for impeachment,” Haley told Laura Ingraham. “I mean the idea that they’re even bringing this up, they didn’t even have a hearing in the House. Now they’re going to turn around and bring about impeachment yet they say they’re for unity,” she added, making a ridiculous implication that bridging the political divide in this country requires that we ignore the crimes of a serial offending president. Refusing to hold Trump accountable wouldn’t encourage “unity,” it would just embolden more Republicans to act like him in the future.
“I mean they beat him up before he got into office, they’re beating him up after he leaves office,” Haley went on. “I mean at some point, I mean give the man a break. I mean move on. If you truly are about moving on, move on. The idea that they’re going to do impeachment, that’s not going to bring our country together that’s only dividing our country.”
The idea that we are supposed to feel sympathy for Donald Trump, a man who intentionally inflamed racial hatreds, looted our treasury, inflicted incredible cruelties on undocumented families, ignored COVID-19 in such a way that it ended up killing 400,000 Americans on his watch, and ultimately tried to destroy our Republic with a mob of insurrectionists is patently absurd. Haley should be ashamed of herself and the rest of us should be determined to ensure she never sees the inside of the White House again except on a guided tour.
Nikki Haley: I don’t even think there’s a basis for impeachment… Now they’re going to turn around and bring about impeachment yet they say they’re for unity… I mean at some point I mean give the man a break. I mean move on… pic.twitter.com/IqnZrIDIY0
— Acyn Torabi (@Acyn) January 26, 2021