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Saturday, June 27, 2015

Sainthood? Early days, yet

English: South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley
South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Todd Purdom, a very smart writer and political observer, stretches a point in a new Politico article on SC Governor Nikki Haley:
Throughout the long fight to pass the 1964 Civil Rights Act, Lyndon Johnson and his allies kept hoping they might find “a Southern Vandenberg,” that is, a segregationist Democrat who would switch sides and galvanize bipartisan support for the bill, in the way that Republican Sen. Arthur Vandenberg’s conversion from isolationism to internationalism at the end of World War II buoyed the creation of NATO and the Marshall Plan. 
No such paladin emerged 50 years ago. 
But the blinding speed with which Gov. Nikki Haley’s call for removing the Confederate battle flag from the grounds of the South Carolina state capitol has upended the national debate over that stubbornly enduring symbol shows how much political power a conversion of conscience can have.
Haley deserves full marks for what she has done, but before she is either canonized, writes a best-seller, or gets nominated for vice president, her report card must stand with, at best, an "Incomplete."

Haley, like all ambitious SC Republicans, has opposed much substantive civil rights legislation in her time, and has called for restructuring state government- bent into a pretzel to prevent blacks from obtaining power in a 19th century constitution- only to gain more power for her office. Last fall, she argued her election as governor, and that of her protege, Senator Tim Scott- in a Republican-dominated state, who is more heaven-on-earth than getting to vote for a black senator who promises to vote like Jim DeMint?- proved South Carolina as past the whole race thing. In 2012 she declared that minority and women's organizations are "just special interest groups", and that hiring decisions that take any account of diversity are just "political paybacks."

She has made a fetish of building South Carolina into a powerful magnet for companies seeking a supine, marginally-educated work force free of unions, medical benefits, and antidiscrimination laws. She trolls the Wall Street junk bond markets to pay for corporate bribes to build there, leaving huge balloon payments for her successor.

Gay rights? She's against them. All of them.

So- good start, Governor. Long way to go,though. Anthony Kennedy, you're not. Not yet.

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