Political Animal


March 29, 2012 3:22 PM A Conspiracy So Immense

By Ed Kilgore

The hot rumor out of South Cackalacky today is that Gov. Nikki Haley could face indictment on federal tax fraud charges related to an ongoing investigation of her family’s handling of funds donated for the construction of a Sikh worship center.

Now I have no idea if the rumors are true, and for all I know, Haley is completely innocent of the allegations.

But I am interested in the heads-exploding reaction we are likely to witness in Palin-Breitbart ConspiracyWorld if indictments do come down.

You may recall that Palin raced to the defense of her surrogate Mama Grizzly in 2010 when gubernatorial candidate Haley was hit with multiple allegations of marital infidelity. Palin confidently asserted that Brave Nikki was the victim of a conspiracy by the old-guard Republican Establishment in the state to destroy the Conservative Reformer (a claim undermined a bit by the fact that the chief accuser, right-wing SC blogger and former Haley aide Will Folks, was about as close to said Establishment as your average under-the-freeway homeless person).

Haley prevailed in 2010. But you can only imagine the reaction if she is now taken down by the Obama administration Justice Department, temporarily distracted from its usual work of confiscating firearms, seeking to tie Haley to a non-Christian religion which she abandoned when she became a Methodist years ago.

Sure looks like Alinsky tactics to me. Bring in the vetters!

Meanwhile, if the hammer does come down on Haley, calmer minds may wonder about South Carolina’s executive succession laws, insofar as the Republican Lt. Gov. was forced to resign under threat of indictment earlier this month after his own issues with the handling of money got him into deep trouble. This is a chronic problem for South Carolina Republicans, dating back at least to the incident when Haley’s mentor, Gov. Mark Sanford, went MIA on an “Appalachian Trail hike” that veered off to an Argentinian love nest.

More generally, it’s worth remembering that the takeover of southern politics by Republicans was materially aided by their claims they would clean up the ethical messes of complacent good-old-boy Democratic regimes. Methinks Palmetto State Democrats deserve a second look.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.


  • kindness on March 29, 2012 3:40 PM:

    Did you say 'bring on the vetters' or 'bring on the bed wetters'?

    When I think of the right wing media, it's the latter, not the former I think of.

  • T2 on March 29, 2012 4:19 PM:

    Ed says "...the takeover of southern politics by Republicans was materially aided by...."
    It actually goes like this: The takeover of southern politics by Republicans was materially aided by the passage of the Civil Rights Act by Democrat Lyndon B. Johnson, which in turn drove the historically Democratic voting South into the hands of Republicans who were happy to make race a major issue. I was there, and ethics was far secondary to race. And still is.

  • Rick B on March 29, 2012 4:20 PM:

    Yeah, they claimed "they would clean up the ethical messes of complacent good-old-boy Democratic regimes." Then they convinced the good-old-boys to convert to the Republican Party. They were crooked swine as conservative Democrats, so putting a new political label on them (Republican) was somehow going to improve the ethical tone of local politicians??

  • MuddyLee on March 29, 2012 4:20 PM:

    Haley has been a disaster for South Carolina. Thank you Sarah Palin and indirectly, John McCain. Some SC republicans did try to oppose Haley by forming the Republicans for Sheheen group in 2010. Vincent Sheheen would have been a good governor and not a joke like Sanford and Haley. Haley was the accountant for her family's business and was routinely late in filing the tax returns, so these allegations don't seem all that wild.

  • David Carlton on March 29, 2012 4:22 PM:

    Er, no real succession problem. When Ard was forced out, his position was taken by the President Pro Tem of the Senate, Glenn McConnell--best known for his ardent passion for the Confederacy. Given the power of the President Pro Tem, there were widespread jokes about his "demotion." Count on more jokes of that sort if he were to wind up as Governor.

  • mallen on March 29, 2012 4:24 PM:

    Maybe the "vetters" comment was a reference to last May when Ms. Palin, who of course was put on the ticket with an absurd and incomprehensible lack of vetting, said:

    "Because look at the tragedy that is happening in America today with us becoming less and less solvent, more and more beholden and shackled to foreign countries and less energy independent, less secure. Because our sitting president was not vetted."

    About the investigation of Nikki? Please oh please bring the bitch down. In a court of law judged by her peers of course.

  • J on March 29, 2012 4:39 PM:

    Methinks those good old southern christians will have to do some research on Sikhs.
    And di anyone see the video & article by the Romney cousin
    Park Romney giving the lowdown on the mormons and calling them a CULT. And he used to be a high priest.

  • Rick Almeida on March 29, 2012 6:03 PM:

    David Carlton has the right of it. Article 4 sec 7 & 9 of the SC Constitution suggest to me at least that the President Pro Tem of the Senate is next in the line of succession.

  • grandpa john on March 29, 2012 7:10 PM:

    McConnell is now lt. Governor And he could have gotten around having to take the job, many wondered why he didn 't because of the power of his position. Looks like he may have been privy to some in side information maybe. But even then the president pro tem job probably gave him more power than the Govs job. SC governor position is relatively weak, the power is in the house and senate

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