Nikki Haley has a book coming out – “With All Due Respect” – and part of the marketing pitch is apparently to fault John Kelly and Rex Tillerson for trying to save America (and the world) from Donald Trump’s worst impulses.
Haley says Tillerson and Kelly attempted to enlist her in a bid to “save the country”, an effort that, according to the former UN ambassador, entailed a kind of soft subversion and also meant simply ignoring the president when the circumstances warranted.
“[They] confided in me that when they resisted the president, they weren’t being insubordinate, they were trying to save the country”, she writes.
Haley – who you’d be forgive for thinking is just trying to make sure she doesn’t do anything to derail her own potential GOP presidential bid starting in 2024 – calls Rex “exhausting” and claims Kelly attempted to keep her away from Trump.
As part of her book promotion campaign, Haley has been asked about the Ukraine scandal. During an interview with CBS, for example, she says she doesn’t see how Trump “asking for a favor” is an impeachable offense. She also doesn’t seem to understand how the Constitution works. Here’s the clip:
And here’s the full soundbite:
No. On what? You’re gonna impeach a president for asking for a favor that didn’t happen and giving money and it wasn’t withheld? I don’t know what you would impeach him on. And look, Norah, impeachment is, like, the death penalty for a public official. When you look at the transcript, there’s nothing in that transcript that warrants the death penalty for the president.
The Ukrainians never did the investigation. And the president released the funds. I mean, when you look at those, there’s just nothing impeachable there. And more than that, I think the biggest thing that bothers me is the American people should decide this. Why do we have a bunch of people in Congress making that decision?
So, just a couple of things there. First, impeachment isn’t “the death penalty”. That is an absurd strawman and if you listen, she doesn’t even put much effort into constructing it before attacking it and tearing its eyes out. She just says “impeachment is like the death penalty” and Trump doesn’t deserve to be killed. She’s correct to say that there is nothing in the Zelensky transcript that warrants execution, which is why nobody is suggesting that Trump be executed. Trump, on the other hand, has suggested that the whistle-blower’s sources be murdered. Literally.
Second, impeachment proceedings are not conducted in the public square by a show of hands or, say, by comparing the decibel level emanating from the non-impeachment crowd to that rising from the folks who want the president removed. There’s a procedure for this, and it involves Congress.
You get the idea. If you’re looking for a hero to rise up from the GOP and restore the party to whatever glory it had left prior to 2016, Haley isn’t going to be your gal, or at least not until Trump’s vice grip over Republicans is broken and he’s been banished to a chalet in Sochi and no longer poses a threat to anybody.
In her book, Haley chides Kelly and Tillerson: “It was their decisions, not the president’s, that were in the best interests of America, they said. The president didn’t know what he was doing”.
She meant for that to reflect poorly on John and Rex, but in all likelihood, it will just make many Americans even more nervous about the president than they already were.