“Decency Takes a Beating” blared the headline over the transcription of Greta Van Susteren's interview last night with South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley. It was one of a number of rhetorical phrases Fox News used to describe a video of South Carolina union leader Donna Dewitt, at an AFL-CIO retreat, smashing a piñata with Haley’s photo pasted on it.
When they showed the video on Fox Nation they got all the usual responses about how unions were destroying the country and how if it were Obama’s face on that piñata, the liberal media would go apeshit (since comments are now closed I'm afraid you'll have to take my word for it). Then when Haley ran to Fox News for a sympathy interview, Greta Van Susteren obligingly turned up the rhetoric. “What was [Dewitt] thinking? Or worse, is this how she always thinks? … You know, there's a whole long discussion with the Democratic Party that there's a war on women. And so the first thing out of the box, they have a very public display of a woman hitting another woman in a pinata… that whole bit about war on women, that -- you know, that argument sure is deflated when you see things like this.”
Haley called the video “creepy” and said “I still hurt every time I see it.” But, she added, it’s not about to change her strategy of battering unions. “All it does is it makes my heels taller, my heels sharper so that I can kick harder. I'm not going to stop beating up on the unions.” (Notice they’re not taking her to task for that violent rhetoric.)
What neither Haley not Van Susteren mentioned was that in her State of the State address this year, Haley promised, “We’ll make the unions understand full well that they are not needed, not wanted and not welcome in the state of South Carolina.” Another thing they didn’t mention is her growing unpopularity, which may explain her desire to create sympathy over being hit in effigy with a baseball bat.
The union-busting, she said, is part of her strategy to make South Carolina more “business friendly” and reduce the high unemployment rate in the state. She spent a lot of the interview touting the call centers and other businesses that she’s attracting to South Carolina with her screw-the-worker open-for-business policies.
She is also flying the Republican flag for all it’s worth. She talked about going to Wisconsin to support her fellow Republican governor, Scott Walker, as he faces his recall vote. And she finished with the requisite bits of anti-Democrat rhetoric. “The Democrats in South Carolina love to spend. (So does Haley, apparently; she got some bad publicity for spending over $127,000 last year on a taxpayer-funded economic development trip to Europe). They love to support their unions. And they love President Obama. And the one thing they don't like is me.” Will it be enough to turn her fortunes around? I bet Fox News hopes so.