Updated: Jan 6
Nikki Haley, the former South Carolina governor and United Nations ambassador, has mailed a fundraising letter that is at once hypocritical and, in my view, blatantly racist.
Haley, born in Bamberg, SC to Sikh immigrants in 1972, should know better than to use photos of Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) on the cover of her envelope with the tagline: "Will you help me save our country from the threat of radical career-politicians?"
The mailing is actually an appeal to raise money for her "Stand for America" term limits campaign, and she purportedly used the photos of Omar, AOC and Tlaib as examples of Democrats who represent districts dominated by Democratic voters, warning that without term limits they could remain in office for as long as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (32 years), or Reps. Maxine Waters (29 years) and Adam Schiff (28 years).
I have no way of knowing how widespread her "Dear Fellow Conservative" missive was distributed, but we live in South Carolina and received it, as I am certain many other households in red states did as well. I had to laugh, however, because neither I, nor my wife, Jackie, could be considered "conservative!"
So, my conclusion is that she used those photos of Omar, AOC and Tlaib to play on the worst racist and anti-Muslim instincts of her targeted audience, as well as to their hatred of "radicals" and "liberals" as whipped up by her old boss, and their hero, Donald Trump.
Here's a quote from her letter: "You know, it's too late to stop the damage done by the decades Pelosi, Waters, Schiff, and others have spent in office. But it's not too late to stop this new class of radicals from inflicting several more decades of damage."
Putting racial overtones aside, Haley's fundraising pitch was hypocritical as well. She called out Pelosi, Waters and Schiff for their years in office and used them as examples as to why term limits are needed.
So, out of curiosity I did a little check of Republicans in the Senate. Guess what I found?
Trump's would-be savior and political henchman, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has been in the Senate for 35 years.
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) has served for 39 years.
Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) has held her seat for 33 years, as has Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL).
Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) has been there for 26 years, Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY) for 23 years, as has Sen. Pat Roberts (R_KS).
So, Ambassador Haley, here's what I say:
"You know, it's too late to stop the damage done by the decades McConnell, Grassley, Collins, Inhofe and others have spent in office. But it's not too late to stop this new class of right wing radicals from inflicting several more decades of damage. So, the next election should put the limit on their terms.
You also said in your letter that President Trump supports term limits in order to "drain the swamp" in Washington?"
First, Trump has filled the Washington "swamp" with a myriad of cheaters, criminals and corporate stooges. So that "drain the swamp" line in your letter is silly.
But if you're really serious about seeking term limits, why don't you join forces with Democratic presidential candidate Tom Steyer, who is making that a cornerstone of his campaign?
Or is this campaign of yours just a stepping stone in your long game of trying to reach the White House yourself?