It’s not news that Haley—once described by Steve Bannon as “ambitious as Lucifer”—is unofficially running for the White House. She has been doing that at least since she “served” President Donald Trump as ambassador to the United Nations.
What is new is the latest manifestation of her undeclared presidential campaign. Haley launched her own political action committee this month. The Stand Up for America PAC claims to be “laser-focused on the 2022 midterms,” but the biggest benefit to Haley will be its deflection of any focus on her abysmal tenure as UN Ambassador.
Before getting into Haley’s double-crosses and blunders, it’s vital to recognize how threatened the political and media establishments feel whenever a true debate in foreign policy arises. How rare that was in Republican primaries before the emergence of Donald Trump, or before even him, Ron Paul.
Keep in mind that among the tricks pulled in the 2020 election, one was robbing Trump of the opportunity to present and defend his foreign policy in a debate with Joe Biden. That was no coincidence. That same sleight of hand that helped Biden will be put to use to protect Haley.
Haley’s neoconservative propensity must be exposed for its dissonance with the America First foreign policy Trump tried to implement. When she holds up her resume as evidence of her Trumpian bona fides, we must not take that paper at face value. In fact, her tenure as Trump’s U.N. ambassador is proof of her allegiance to the swamp that Trump, unfortunately, struggled to drain.
Neoconservatism, also touted as “hard Wilsonianism,” is the antithesis of the Founding-era American foreign policy of non-intervention or armed neutrality. It seeks not only to police the world but to inflict regime change, nation-build, or otherwise expand U.S. managerial hegemony by “making the world safe for democracy.”
That describes the warmongering posture Haley took over and over again, sometimes in direct contrast to the rest of the Trump Administration.
Regarding North Korea, Haley boasted of cutting off 90 percent of the Hermit Kingdom’s trade and 30 percent of its oil imports. As the natural-born politician she is, she made this boast despite having nothing to show for it. Just a few weeks later, North Korea defiantly conducted yet another intercontinental ballistic missile test.
Instead of thoughtfully reassessing where this “diplomacy” went wrong, she gleefully told White House reporters, “I have no problem kicking it to General Mattis, because I think he has plenty of options.”
Haley’s most shameless moment as an ambassador may have been when she boldly went against Trump on the question of imposing more sanctions on Russia.
She falsely claimed that new sanctions would be implemented, forcing the White House to clean up her mess. The administration charitably called her words a result of “momentary confusion.”
In egomaniacal fashion, Haley cracked, “With all due respect, I don’t get confused.”
Haley was always in over her head in the U.N. role, but it was just what she needed and she’s taken full advantage of it. She was previously a South Carolina legislator and governor with no foreign affairs experience whatsoever, and she was only offered the position of U.N. ambassador in order to clear the path for Lt. Governor Henry McMaster, a Trump ally, to take the South Carolina governorship.
Her lack of talent was on display in her confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) asked a simple yes-or-no question: whether or not she would vote for a U.N. resolution that commits U.S. troops to war zones without congressional authorization, as required by the Constitution.
Haley refused to give a straight answer, even when given a second chance. She stuck to platitudes instead.
“As a member of the National Security Council, I would encourage them to make sure that they had had these conversations with Congress and that they have Congress’ buy-in before we interfere,” Haley said.
Also during that hearing, in direct defiance of Trump’s view that NATO was obsolete or at least in need of serious reform, Haley quipped, “Any comments the president-elect has made are his comments.”
She then called for an expanded NATO with “more allies than ever.”
Is this innovative thinking for a new Republican Party? Conservatives must demand more than a wannabe president who is unwilling (or unable) to confront aging, bureaucratic, entangling alliances that put America last.
On economic and national security terms, Trump resoundingly condemned NATO and other globalist institutions. He moved the Republican Party base at a deep level. Haley may use her image and speaking skills to assuage their concerns over endless wars or U.S. acquiescence to China or even supposed allies not paying their fair share. But her actions tell the real story.
It’s a little sad that Haley is the best hope for the anti-Trump establishment forces within the Republican Party. Compared to their previous picks like Marco Rubio or Jeb Bush, she brings little more to the table than merely not being a white male. But she is tenacious, and she should not be underestimated. Neither should her establishment backers.