Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Sarah Palin Defends Republican Candidate Accused Of Cheating, Commits Act Of Hypocrisy

South Carolina gubernatorial candidate Nikki Haley has made some headlines the past several days, first with a Sarah Palin endorsement and then allegations of having an affair with a former employee and conservative blogger, Will Folks.  Folks' statements have gotten conservatives all wound up, attacking his credibility by referencing a five year old criminal charge of domestic violence, pointing to past blog posts he wrote about women to make Folks out to be a misogynist, and even speculating why Folks had quit Haley's campaign in the first place.  Conservatives have also decided to play semantics, pointing out that Folks had stated he had an "inappropriate physical relationship," not a sexual one.

Here is what Folks had written:
Within the last forty-eight hours several pieces of information which purportedly document a prior physical relationship between myself and Rep. Haley have begun to be leaked slowly, piece by piece, to members of the mainstream media. I am told that at least one story based upon this information will be published this week.

I refuse to play that game. I refuse to have someone hold the political equivalent of a switch-blade in front of my face and just sit there and watch as they cut me to pieces.
The truth in this case is what it is.  Several years ago, prior to my marriage, I had an inappropriate physical relationship with Nikki.
John Hudson of the Atlantic Wire asks the question if this is a "smear" or a "scandal," giving brief looks into the options.  While Hudson references Palin's unwavering defense, he also cites David Kurtz at Talking Points Memo, who states Haley's defense isn't that strong, Michael Brendan Dougherty at The American Conservative, who believes the allegations are probably true, Cheves Lignon at Frum Forum, who ponders who exactly Folks is, and Jon Bershad at Mediaite, who believes it is time to wait for the story to unfold before making judgments.

Sarah Palin attacked the conservative blogger for mentioning the affair but refusing to discuss it any further.

"Well, whaddya know? South Carolina's conservative candidate, Nikki Haley, recently zipped to the front of the line in her state's race for governor; and lo and behold, now accusations of an affair surface," Palin wrote. "Nikki categorically denies the accusation that was spewed out there by a political blogger who has the gall to throw the stone, but then quickly duck and hide and proclaim he would not comment further on the issue. Quite convenient."

Funny that this statement would come from Sarah Palin, who routinely ducks the press, avoiding unscripted moments. How hypocritical of Simple Sarah.

People like Palin seem to be doubling down on Haley, attacking the credibility of Folks, bringing up his domestic violence charge or referencing the non-political content of his website, but why should anybody trust a woman who was found to have abused her power as governor, and then subsequently denied any wrongdoing?

Dougherty had some interesting commentary on the matter. Dougherty confirms Folks' claims that other media outlets were working on this story before he came out with his own statement, but doesn't address whether or not the claim is true or not, he points out that the rumor has been floating out there for a year now, and makes an interesting observation:
If this turns out to be true, and I think it will, the affair will be a black mark not only on Haley’s promising campaign, but on Jenny Sanford who is about to launch a book-tour, and Sarah Palin who seems determined to go to the mat for Haley. Unless I’m mistaken it would also be one of the first great adultery scandals for a female politician in the United States.
It seems that some of Haley's biggest supporters have something to gain from defending her.

If that wasn't enough, Erick Erickson decided to weigh in on the matter, claiming that "hot women do not have affairs with ugly guys unless those guys are rich."  He also goes on to claim that Folks is an adulterer, despite the affair supposedly occurring before Folks was married, and that the rumor only begun after Palin's endorsement, despite being out there for a year, with others working on the story before Palin's support.  Another big clue as to why Erickson thinks the accusation is false - Haley "categorically" denies it.

Of course Haley would deny having an affair with Folks - she is running for election!

I am in the camp of people who would prefer to wait before making an opinion, but I wouldn't put it past a Republican to have an affair.  I must also ask the question as to why a conservative blogger and supporter of Haley make such an accusation? 

Here is one last quote from Sarah Palin's facebook:
South Carolina: don’t let some blogger make any accusation against your Nikki if the guy doesn’t even have the guts or the integrity to speak further on such a significant claim. And don’t believe anything a liberal rag claims or suggests unless the reporter involved has the integrity and the facts to report to you so you can make up your own mind. For traditional media to rely on an accusation via some blog entry is almost laughable, but I know the seriousness of it because that’s exactly what my family and colleagues have had to put up with, every single day, for the past couple of years.
Comparatively, is this like taking Sarah Palin seriously for things she knows nothing about, like the oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, where Palin made accusations that political contributions from British Petroleum were the cause for a slow response to the disaster.  It turns out Palin's statements were false.  British Petroleum didn't donate to Obama's presidential campaign, and as the White House had pointed out on their blog, the administration was there immediately after the explosion on April 20th

Maybe Palin would like to answer for the $125,000 cash her family had collected from the oil industry.

As a side note, I think that maybe it is time for coastal states that have offshore drilling to establish some sort of Permanent Fund Dividend like Alaska.

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