Conservative Charlie Sykes wants to know if Nikki Haley realizes how ridiculous she sounds
Former Ambassador Nikki Haley (screengrab)

Nikki Haley has mastered the art of the political windsock, quickly changing direction depending on who she's talking to, Republican Ana Navarro once said. When the political winds change, Haley moves fast to make it sound like it was her belief all along.

"Does Nikki Haley have any idea how ridiculous she sounds?" Charlie Sykes asked opening his Tuesday newsletter for The Bulwark. "That is, of course, a rhetorical question, because she is, apparently beyond caring."

Sykes explained that it might not seem fair because Haley is merely doing what every other Republican is attempting as they're stuck between the Republican Party and Donald Trump.

Republicans like Haley are being asked to defend the expulsion of fellow Republicans like Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) and Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) for participating in the investigation into Jan. 6. In wake of Vice President Mike Pence disagreeing that he could overturn the election, Republicans are also being asked whether they believe Pence or Trump.

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"They are clarifying questions, but deadly ones," wrote Sykes, "because they force the GOPers to take sides on the issue that the Orange God King in Exile has made a litmus test for political survival in his party. Their choice: embrace Trump’s vast array of lies and his unconstitutional attempt to overturn the election — or tell the truth. It’s a bitter conundrum for Republicans in the Overtime Age of Trump."

It's the reason that Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) was twisting himself in knots trying to avoid giving an answer that angered either side.

It wasn't long ago that Haley was decisively saying that Jan. 6 was wrong and so was Trump for attacking Pence.

And then there was Nikki Haley, whose desperate attempts at political contortionism have brought us to this moment.

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"We need to acknowledge he let us down," she told Tim Alberta. "He went down a path he shouldn’t have, and we shouldn’t have followed him, and we shouldn’t have listened to him. And we can’t let that ever happen again."

Sykes noted that "ever" lasted just a few months until she was crawling back to Mar-a-Lago to beg Trump's forgiveness.

Monday night, Haley embraced a different kind of dodge.

“Mike Pence is a good man,” Haley said. “He’s an honest man. I think he did what he thought was right on that day. But I will always say, I’m not a fan of Republicans going against Republicans."

"So Nikki clutches her pearls as she insists that she doesn’t cotton to Republicans criticizing other Republicans. Because Trump, or something," Sykes characterized.

He closed by saying that no one should expect Haley to take umbrage with Trump when he goes after other Republicans, but her Monday statements were "still a clarifying moment" because she drew the line of what is and isn't acceptable in the world of GOP civility.

"Trump is wrong," is where Haley draws the line.

Read the full column at The Bulwark.