I am watching Sara Longwell, the publisher of The Bulwark, on CNN right now. She is calling on Nikki Haley to “go down swinging” in South Carolina. She wants the former South Carolina governor to give Trump the “full Liz Cheney.”
She is drawing from Michael Wood’s “An Open Letter to Nikki Haley,” published today at The Bulwark. Here is a taste of Wood’s piece:
Dear Ambassador Haley:
You’re not going to be the next president of the United States, but I hope you stay in the race. You haven’t exactly been a profile in courage over the past year, but you’ve shown flashes of real bravery in this campaign, especially in your stalwart defense of Ukraine.
Why are you running for president? Is it out of personal ambition or because you love our country? Let’s be honest: It’s a little bit of both. That’s okay. Lincoln’s law partner once wrote that the Great Emancipator’s ambition was “a little engine that knew no rest.” For the best politicians, the drive for acclaim becomes a push for accomplishment, as their ambition leads them to achieve great things for the public. For the worst, the desire for esteem eclipses any sense of patriotism they might carry in their hearts.
I think you are a patriot who has been bobbing and weaving for years because that’s what you thought you had to do for the good of the republic. You were wrong about that: This moment in American history calls for bold truth-telling, drawing lines in the sand, and cutting through the flood of BS coming from Donald Trump and his minions. Even if what we might call the Glenn Youngkin strategy seemed to make sense months ago, the time for that is over. It’s time to embrace your inner Liz Cheney.
Madam Ambassador, memento mori. When, some distant day, you shuffle off this mortal coil, what will your grandchildren read in your obituary? You were a two-term Indian-American governor of a former Confederate state who, in a time of crisis, took down the flag of secessionists and slavers. This was no small thing, but what did you do when a sitting president tried to steal an election, sent a mob to attack the people’s representatives in Congress, and pushed our country to the edge of a constitutional crisis—if not outright into one? A line from a future newspaper: “Haley then spent a year meekly using the passive voice and mumbling about deficit spending.” A bold, forward-looking governor reduced to dissembling about the cause of the Civil War lest she offend Lost Cause neo-Confederates whose approval she desperately sought. And all it got you was a third-place showing in Iowa and 43 percent of the vote in New Hampshire. You’ve closed the door on being Trump’s vice president. What else are you realistically hoping for from this campaign—that Republican voters will turn against Trump as his legal troubles mount? The polls make clear that’s just not realistic.
Read the rest here.