The Spectacle Blog

On Nikki Haley

By on 6.4.10 | 10:54AM

Okay, I tried for over a week to resist commenting on the sleazy charges being hurled at South Carolina gubernatorial candidate Nikki Haley, but the flesh is weak and my fingers just started typing all by themselves. Let me preface this to say that there is NO REASON to believe the charges against Mrs. Haley. And there is every reason to ostracize Will Folks and Larry Marchant (the accusers of Mrs. Haley) from polite society for the rest of their lives and their afterlives as well. Gentlemen do not kiss and tell (if there even was a kiss). And if these tales are FALSE, as most of us believe, then these two men have committed not just false witness, but one of the sleaziest, rankest, vilest, most unforgivable sorts of false witness imaginable: They will have, in front of a whole state (and now country), accused an innocent woman of adultery, thus embarrassing her, interfering with her marriage, harmed her innocent children, and smeared her reputation in what for most good people is one of the worst ways possible. If this is what these two men did, they should book their tickets to Hades and expect no redemption, no mercy, no relief.

That said, there is this one caveat: If in the highly unlikely event they are telling the truth and Mrs. Haley has been lieing, then it behooves Mrs. Haley, as a matter not just of personal conscience but of an absolute duty to her state, her party, and the conservative movement, for her to withdraw from the race. The simple fact is that if she wins the nomination and then, between nomination and election, is shown to have lied, she will have immediately ceded the state's governorship to the Democratic opposition. This, she cannot risk. This, she cannot do. Her political career is not worth more than the ability of the usually right-leaning citizens of South Carolina to have a governor dedicated to policies they favor and that they best think will affect their lives. Yet if she is shown to have lied, she will almost certainly lose the election, relegating the governorship to somebody the voters otherwise would not choose.

I repeat, this is written NOT in the belief that she is lying. Quite the contrary. She is almost certainly innocent of the allegations, and she therefore would not deserve ever to have faced them. But it must be said that when a whole state has been roiled by an internationally embarrassing sex scandal, it would take unmitigated selfishness for somebody with similar skeletons to press ahead in search of the same office.

Obviously, she knows the truth. If the truth is on her side, as we believe, then may she be twice blessed, because those falsely accused are due extra credit for merit from men and angels alike.

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