October 10, 2018

Nikki Haley Resigns

We're officially on Insta! Did I throw on a blazer at 5 am for all you lovely people? You bet I did!

“Nikki Haley, a rising Republican star, said on Tuesday she was stepping down as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, but knocked down speculation that she might challenge President Donald Trump at the next election.”

Reuters



Many on both the left and the right are surprised and saddened, offering praise for Haley:

  • “Nikki Haley was a stellar ambassador to the United Nations, and replacing her will not be easy… Haley saw that American interests are best served by partnerships. Building strong personal relationships with allied, neutral, and even adversarial ambassadors, she made the U.S. a dealmaker and broker at the international table. On North Korea, Haley was able to fortify international will around perhaps the most stringent sanctions regime ever enforced.” Washington Examiner
  • “Since arriving in New York in January 2017, Haley has impressed other ambassadors as a tough-minded and politically savvy operator… her ambassadorship has been a diplomatic juggling act. Haley has tried to speak forcefully for the U.S. about Israel and Iran but also maintain decent working relations with other nations in the Security Council… The U.N., and U.S., may soon come to miss her.” Politico

Many on both sides also think Haley’s return to politics is inevitable, given her political savvy and broad appeal:

  • “Whatever one thinks of Haley’s job performance substantively, there’s no doubt that it was brilliant politically… An April 2018 poll from Quinnipiac, for example, found that Haley had a 75-9 approval rating among Republicans — and a 55-23 rating among Democrats. In these polarized times, the idea that one of Trump’s top allies could maintain such high favorables among both parties beggars belief, yet Haley managed to pull it off.” Vox
  • Haley “accomplished all that she needed to by being U.N. Ambassador. First, she gained foreign policy credentials, which is usually the biggest obstacle that governors face when running for president. Second, she mended fences with the dominant Trump wing of the party, after having been harshly critical during 2016… the move sets her up nicely to run against Vice President Mike Pence in 2024.” Washington Examiner

Other opinions below.

See past issues

From the Left

The left takes Mueller’s letter and Barr’s testimony as confirmation that Barr is behaving more like Trump’s defense attorney than the U.S. Attorney General.

“Nikki Haley’s concern for human rights only went so far... while her predecessors merely threatened international organizations when they appeared to act against U.S. interests, Haley not only acted but made clear that U.S. foreign aid was conditional on countries supporting the United States at the United Nations."

The Atlantic

“Whatever her future plans, Haley represents a textbook case of how Republican leaders quickly shifted from open hostility to Trump to embracing and implementing his agenda."

Slate

An Alabama Doctor writes that one of her patients “was 22 weeks pregnant and had a condition called preeclampsia, which is when high blood pressure puts the health of the mother and baby at risk and can result in death. The only option in that situation was to immediately deliver. The patient understood the high stakes and instead decided to end her pregnancy. But it took time (which we did not have) to convince the hospital and other physicians that this was the correct course of action because of the already hostile climate for abortion… I fear what could happen to women in this situation if the [new] law and its criminal penalties go into effect. Physicians will hesitate in how to care for complex health situations -- and Alabama is already a state with an unconscionably high maternal mortality rate.”
Yashica Robinson, CNN

Regarding the deployment of an aircraft carrier and bombers, many note that the US “has a long history of provoking, instigating, or launching wars based on dubious, flimsy, or manufactured threats… The most egregious case was the U.S. invasion of Iraq, in 2003, which was based on bad intelligence that Baghdad had active weapons-of-mass-destruction programs. The repercussions are still playing out sixteen years (and more than four thousand American deaths) later… The sense of foreboding is tangible.”
Robin Wright, The New Yorker

Trump's “goal, it seems, is to put so much pressure on Tehran that it has no choice but to completely change its behavior — but he could end up leading the countries to the brink of war in the process… Now is typically the time when cooler heads prevail, but it’s unclear if there are cooler heads around… It’s hard to overstate how avoidable this situation was.”
Alex Ward, Vox

“In theory, there’s no reason why a bad businessman can’t go on to become a good president. But a commander-in-chief whose signature legislative achievement expanded tax loopholes that he himself describes as grossly unfair is pretty much a bad president, by definition.”
Eric Levitz, New York Magazine

From the Right

From the Right

“Haley didn’t just fight for Trump policies. She brought moral clarity to a United Nations that remains a cesspool of moral equivalence and globalist elitism. Most notably, she pulled the United States out of the Orwellian-named U.N. Human Rights Council, which coddles dictators and fights U.S. allies like Israel."

Fox News

“Her tough stance for America, in the face of an oft-concerted, ugly anti-American U.N. force, will be sorely missed... Kudos to her for bringing the ‘America First’ message in such an in-your-face manner to the global body."

Washington Times

“We've got to suck it up. Indeed, we must be bold here. Chinese President Xi Jinping's tariffs escalation reflects his bet that he can spike U.S. domestic fears over the economy, and a corresponding popular pressure on Trump to back down… if we stand firm, Xi will have to back down because China's economy is already weakened by foreign investor doubts, caught between rural poverty and urban wealth, and vulnerable to low-cost labor competition from the region.”
Tom Rogan, Washington Examiner

“The broader context here is North Korea's crop crisis. If Kim hasn't got sanctions relief by August's end, a painful winter is coming… Absent Kim's commitment to suspend all ballistic missile tests, the U.S. should not support the provision of food supplies to the North Korean people. A North Korean long-range nuclear strike capability poses an existential threat to American society… Trump must not allow North Korea's coming suffering to dictate his decisions. Supporting North Korea with food will both prolong North Koreans' suffering under Kim and directly undercut U.S. interests.”
Tom Rogan, Washington Examiner

Some argue, “It stands to reason that if Kim is willing to starve his own people, deprive his economy of any growth, and pour billions of dollars into missile tech, he will, at some point, develop weapons America and its allies mastered decades ago. And short of an invasion or a diplomatic agreement, under the present circumstances, there is very little we can do to stop him… Taking a hardline approach—what many call the ‘big deal’—or only granting sanctions relief after full denuclearization and the end of Kim’s missile programs is completely impractical and something North Korea would never agree to… only a step-by-step process of disarming Pyongyang, where each side gets a benefit for making a concession, will work.”
Harry J. Kazianis, The American Conservative

Others posit that “the reason Kim is developing missiles that can strike Seattle or LA is that 28,000 U.S. troops are in South Korea… If we cannot persuade Pyongyang to give up its nuclear weapons in return for a lifting of sanctions, perhaps we should pull U.S. forces off the peninsula and let China deal with the possible acquisition of their own nuclear weapons by Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan…

“After an exhausting two weeks [between North Korea, Iran, Venezuela, and others], one is tempted to ask: How many quarrels, clashes and conflicts can even a superpower manage at one time? And is it not the time for the United States, preoccupied with so many crises, to begin asking, ‘Why is this our problem?’”
Pat Buchanan, Townhall

“The Democrats want to talk to Don McGahn, and maybe they will ultimately prevail in court to get his testimony, but what’s the point? McGahn talked extensively to Mueller, and surely everything remotely damaging is already in the report

“Congress has the report, and now it is up to it to decide. But it doesn’t want to. It’s too painful to admit that the Mueller report was a bust on Russia and that the obstruction material, while damaging to Trump, is hardly a slam dunk; that the public doesn’t support impeachment; that if the House goes through with it anyway, it will end with a whimper in the Senate; and that it’s better for Democrats to focus on beating Trump in 2020 than a forlorn impeachment.”
Rich Lowry, National Review

A libertarian's take

“The scoop reflects poorly on Trump, who willfully misled the public for a decade in hopes of fraudulently representing himself as a man with a Midas touch. But he could not have succeeded without the assistance of many Americans, some mercenary, others over-credulous, who helped to spread the deceit and deception, generating countless newspaper articles, magazine stories, and TV segments that misinformed the public about the publicity hound’s record in business. New evidence of his staggering losses in that decade therefore provides an apt occasion to reflect on the media’s complicity in Trump’s brazen deceit and deception… Let [this] be a lesson for today’s tabloids, gossip columnists, over-credulous or mercenary journalists, and reality-television producers.”
Conor Friedersdorf, The Atlantic

On the bright side...

Dude accidentally hits squirrel, gives it CPR, and brings it back to life.

Thrillist

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