Nikki Haley’s comment on the US civil war was no gaffe

‘Of course, the answer is an easy one for any eighth grader.’ Photograph: Christian Monterrosa/AFP/Getty Images Nikki Haley’s feigning of staggering ignorance about the cause of the US civil war unintentionally revealed her quandary in the Republican party. It was not a gaffe. Though it was a stumble, it was not a mistake, but a message she has delivered for years and that has served her well until now. Her carefully crafted and closely memorized garble was a deracinated version of an old lie, which she had used before to attempt to mollify hostile camps in order to skid by. Some in the past praised her evasive formula as governor of South Carolina as her finest moment. It lifted her star. Yet one simple question instantly produced panicky rapid eye movements that are the telltale sign of a person desperately cornered, followed by an unstoppable stream of blather that she hoped would make it all evaporate into a meaningless ether but instead this time slid her into an abyss. Her performance, the most memorable of her entire career, was so devastating that even Ron DeSantis, the paragon of political aphasia, in the most cogent remark of his campaign, indeed his life, commented: “Yikes.” Nikki Haley turned Ron DeSantis woke. “What was the cause of the United States civil war?” a man asked Haley at a campaign town hall in North Conway, New Hampshire. She reacted as if she were being physically threatened. Haley immediately turned her back to the questioner, breathed fast and heavy into the microphone, and walked quickly away. When she swiveled to face the crowd, she did not speak at first. Gaining her composure, she replied with an accusatory edge: “Well, don’t come with an easy question.” Of course, the answer is an easy one for […]

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By Donato