Nikki Haley spoke from her heart. Everyone could hear the conviction and compassion in her speech. It was the polar opposite of President Obama’s cynical hypocrisy. Then she touched the third rail: “the siren call of the angriest voices,” which everyone took to mean Donald Trump.
And it did.
“Mr. Trump has definitely contributed to what I think is just irresponsible talk,” Haley said on the Today show. This is familiar territory. Criticize Trump and you get what’s coming to you. I know Erick sympathizes with Haley in several ways: first, because they are friends; and second, because Erick was one of the first to walk through that baptism of fire.
Death threats, voice mails full of cursing and ugly invective, calls to his hotel room at 3 a.m. Frightening his wife and children so badly that they had to leave the RedState gathering early–it was all part of the experience, the backlash, of criticizing Trump. It’s the angry voices being angry because you called them out. Donald Trump never repudiates the angry voices that defend him, and for that, he should rightly be condemned.
Haley was absolutely right in every way to call him out.
The smear campaign is one that the South Carolina governor probably expected, but not the way it’s come. “I have no doubt Democrats are preparing a smear campaign against her,” Erick wrote today. “She’s been through worse in South Carolina politics than the Democrats could ever throw at her.”
But the Democrats were subtle. They sat back and heaped praise on her.
“She was willing to do something that a lot of other Republicans, leading Republicans, have been unwilling to do,” said White House press secretary Josh Earnest. “Her willingness to stand up and speak out against [Mr. Trump’s rhetoric] took some courage.”
And more praise.
“I have a lot of admiration for the governor,” [White House Chief of Staff] Denis McDonough told reporters at a Washington, D.C. breakfast on Wednesday. “I think some of the things that she’s done over the course of the last year were remarkable.”
I have heard from friends that the praise from top Democrats was not purposely done to hurt Haley–that they actually agree with her. To a large degree, yes, they do. But they also know that when a red state conservative touches the third rail, it’s more than helpful to their cause to kick her back onto the tracks.
The White House managed to take a great speech, possibly one of the most inspiring we will hear in this entire campaign (not given by a candidate, to boot), and ruin it by making the context about Donald Trump’s anger, not the miracle that happened after last summer’s Charleston shootings. It’s unconscionable and dirty.
Right now, we would love to see God send His spirit down again and calm the savages, silence the demons, and bring unity where the seeds of hate were planted. A miracle would be perfect. Maybe the angry voices could hear themselves excoriating one of their own–calling her the most vile names. Perhaps those who are so quick to yell epithets at a governor who focused on what’s good, what’s right, and what’s Godly about our country would see that they are advancing the ball toward their own end zone, and helping the other team.
Failing that, those of us who are real conservatives, not angry mobs looking for retribution and a human savior to lead them, will have to hang on and pray that indeed, this too shall pass.
The left and the Democrats got their smear campaign against Nikki Haley, and they managed to get Republicans to do all the smearing. And that’s a dirty shame.