Ricochet is the best place on the internet to discuss the issues of the day, either through commenting on posts or writing your own for our active and dynamic community in a fully moderated environment. In addition, the Ricochet Audio Network offers over 50 original podcasts with new episodes released every day.
… until she gave that divisive speech after Tuesday’s state of the union. Yes, divisive. Who says divisive must be between Republican and Democrat, black and white, poor and rich? It was divisive between establishment loyalists and conservative malcontents. And it was gratuitous.
In 2008, Sen. John McCain — war hero, senator-for-life, and self-appointed Republican strategist — sought to balance his ticket by selecting a governor and hard-core conservative woman as his running mate. It energized the base and the media, though in different ways. It turned out to be a blunder, one of many, that McCain made in his campaign, largely because Sarah Palin was not ready for prime-time and they should have known that.
Haley is a governor, a woman, a somewhat-conservative, and likely to be on the short list for vice-presidential candidates this cycle. But everything changed on Tuesday night. Unlike Palin, Haley is ready for prime time in terms of polish and preparation, but she won’t see it again for a while. Not this cycle anyway.
There are two separate disputes raging between the establishment and the alienated ex-Republicans who feel forced to vote against Democrats each cycle. The first is ideological, and the second is about our approach to strategy and tactics. I contend that this latter dispute is equally intense and important as the ideological debate. And while Haley may be acceptable on the ideology, she’s not with conservatives on strategy and tactics. That matters.
Conservatives are long past the fiction that a Republican candidate has to talk moderate in order to govern conservative. If anything, it’s become the opposite: They tack right in the primaries and govern as moderates and appeasers. In contrast, Democrats, generally talk centrist (wink, wink) and govern as socialists and tribalists.
Republican establishment types have bemoaned this dynamic publicly, to the point where Jeb Bush announced his newfound strategy of “losing the primary to win the general,” thus avoiding the problem of having to pivot on issues when confronted by the media with previous quotes.
Many of us are at our wits end, and near apoplectic at the tendency of our elected officials and candidates to undermine what we see as the winning narrative or — at the very least — a much better one. By conceding the Democrats’ story, our party hands them the argument.
If either Bush, Gov. Chris Christie, or Sen. Marco Rubio get the nomination, he will need to select a running mate who can unify the party and energize the base (good luck with that). Haley has just disqualified herself from that role and, thus, the job.