Nikki Haley’s SOTU Response Was Even Worse Than You’ve Heard

Haley’s leadership-approved Republican response to Barack Obama’s State of the Union address has rightly been eviscerated for devoting so much time to attacking a leading Republican candidate rather than the Democrat president she was there to refute, and for condescending to the party’s base that they need to lighten up about their entirely-valid, perpetually-neglected immigration concerns.

Mark Steyn’s takedown of those offenses (as well as her general vagueness on the good positions she did espouse) says it all:

Unfortunately for her, this sentimentalist twaddle is not where the Republican base is. She’s looking at immigration policy from the point of view of the seven billion hard-working soon-to-be-vetted Americans-in-waiting around the planet. But one of the changes this election season is that the party base is considering immigration policy from the point of view of the 300 million Americans who are already here […]

Trump is a monster of the GOP elite’s creation. And their solution to it is to use what’s meant to be a rebuttal to the President as a rebuttal to their own leading candidates and the two-thirds of their voters who support them. Truly this is the dumbest political party on the planet.

So here I’ll focus on a few more than have gone relatively unnoticed amid the uproar, but are also highly indicative of the leadership rot within the GOP.

Barack Obama’s election as president seven years ago broke historic barriers and inspired millions of Americans. As he did when he first ran for office, tonight President Obama spoke eloquently about grand things. He is at his best when he does that.

After nearly a decade of leaving every major policy area in shambles, routinely violating the Constitution he was there to uphold, telling countless lies, and endlessly sowing fear and hatred while posturing as a uniter, Republicans still feel the need to give lip service to Obama’s perceived, superficial positives?

Really?

I’m sure Haley thought this line would make her seem the more mature person, but instead it just softens the message that should have been delivered: that all that idealism and inspiration, all of those grand things, are a fraud.

We removed a symbol that was being used to divide us, and we found a strength that united us against a domestic terrorist and the hate that filled him.

Ah, the obligatory “let’s make it about me and my VP audition instead of the person it’s billed as a response to” segment of Haley’s speech. I am less sympathetic to the Confederate flag than some conservatives, and don’t have a major problem with removing it from government property.

I do, however, have a problem with giving in to the Left’s premise that it, and by extension the society that tolerated its display, was to blame—as if a lunatic marinating in the fever swamps of a fringe, racist subculture was unsure whether murder was okay until he saw the flag flying there. Shouldn’t a leader’s first duty here have been to defend the character of her state’s people against such baseless slander?

Instead, Haley first tried to duck the controversy entirely as something nobody really cared about, then took it down under pressure, giving lip service to how “that flag hurts people” and she “couldn’t look [her] children in the face and justify it staying there.” If this is the example Republicans wanted the entire country to see, it shows they still haven’t a clue how to fight back against leftist aggression in the culture war.

If we held the White House […] We would respect differences in modern families, but we would also insist on respect for religious liberty as a cornerstone of our democracy.

Translation: the Republican Party is fully prepared to surrender on the unconstitutional, anti-democratic redefinition of marriage, and hopes the millions of conservatives it ostensibly represents will be content with the table scraps of not being actively persecuted for disagreeing.

My heroes.

Marriage is not a pet issue for people obsessed with religion. It is a cornerstone of civilization essential for the healthy upbringing of future citizens. Fighting to save it should be non-negotiable. And even if you don’t care about marriage itself, how can any self-respecting lover of the Constitution stand for a party that will stand for judicial activism taking the decision out of the voters’ hands?

Haley said her speech was about the “new direction” Republicans wanted for post-Obama America after. But while it might be new for the presidency, it’s the same way the Republicans have operated for years—contently strolling from one failure to the next.

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