Haley's impending NV defeat, a failed impeachment attempt and an upcoming Tucker/Putin meet-up

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Top Headlines 

Current GOP presidential candidate and former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley was humiliated on Tuesday when an informal, no-stakes primary held in Nevada had the embattled Haley finishing behind the option for voters to mark “none of these candidates.” Donald Trump, her main opponent and the seemingly inevitable nominee, wasn’t even present on the ballot.

Haley has become a source of consternation for much of the political media: Commentators and reporters have spent the past few months tying themselves into knots trying to find some path forward for Haley to upset Trump. And despite being a deeply reactionary candidate who has pulled her punches against the former president, Haley has tried to court liberal support in hopes of rallying a “Never Trump” coalition. 

This culminated in a bizarre appearance on “Saturday Night Live” this past weekend, where she shouted the show’s iconic introductory phrase to kick off the evening’s performance. 

Haley’s cameo was a desperate attempt at relevancy, but it should have been disconcerting for the predominantly left-wing audience. As Jacobin’s Branko Marcetic pointed out, “Haley is as right-wing on pretty much every issue that makes Trump anathema to liberal America, from his position on social issues to his authoritarian tendencies.” 

As governor of South Carolina, Haley cracked down on protestors, supported legislation that would allow police to racially profile immigrants and undermined women’s reproductive healthcare.

Such efforts by liberal media affiliates to boost Haley and beat Trump before November don’t just seem naive; they seem contradictory. 

On the topic of cracking down on protestors: Republican lawmakers in Georgia, Kentucky and Washington are attempting to prevent the use of bail funds. Such resources are often used to keep those arrested during a protest from being held in jail for extended periods, but potential legislation in these states could eliminate this tactic. This could have a freezing effect on civil disobedience. 

Democratic governors in Kentucky and Washington could veto the bills, but in the case of Georgia, the bill introduced by the GOP-controlled legislature very well could be signed into law by Republican Gov. Brian Kemp. The bill would prevent an “individual, corporation, organization, charity, nonprofit corporation, or group” from posting no more than three jail bonds a year. 

But in national Republican news, yesterday’s attempt by the Republican-controlled House to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas over the border crisis fell flat.  The vote was initially a 215-215 stalemate, but Rep. Blake Moore (R-UT) changed his vote to a “no” to allow the impeachment to remain on the table. 

According to the Daily Beast, “House GOP leaders are already vowing to bring the resolution back up when they have more support — or when more Democrats are missing from the Capitol.” 

Media Roundup

Former Fox News host and current “X” polemicist Tucker Carlson recently announced that he will soon be releasing an in-depth interview with the authoritarian Russian President Vladimir Putin. The meeting between two of the most notable members of the international populist right had been a source of speculation for some time, as it had previously been reported that Carlson had traveled to Moscow to report on Putin’s Russia. Carlson claimed in his video statement that he was engaging with the globally condemned leader because other media outlets were uninterested in understanding Putin because of liberal bias. 

This neglects the fact that multiple U.S. journalists have been arrested for covering the country’s corrupt political system, and countless domestic reporters have gone into exile since Russia invaded Ukraine in 2022.  

New reporting by NBC has revealed the real-world impact of the notorious “Libs of Tik Tok” social media account. Chaya Raichik, who runs the account across a variety of platforms, has become a pivotal force in the Right’s culture war. The 29-year-old conservative activist shares videos and posts by other users who post about left-wing issues like LGBTQ rights — which she then contextualizes as evidence they are “grooming” children into becoming transgender or gay. 

And such framing has had serious consequences, especially given her wide-reaching audience.  

“NBC News identified 33 instances, starting in November 2020, when people or institutions singled out by Libs of TikTok later reported bomb threats or other violent intimidation,” the expose explains

The threats, which on average came several days after tweets from Libs of TikTok, targeted schools, libraries, hospitals, small businesses and elected officials in 16 states, Washington, D.C., and the Canadian province of Ontario. Twenty-one of the 33 threats were bomb threats, which most commonly targeted schools and were made via email.

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Jamie Larson