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Nikki Haley’s #FreedomPlan is MAGA extremism in disguise

Haley’s plan to cap work in federal jobs at five years aligns with the conservative movement’s anti-government extremism, which values loyalty over expertise.


Donald Trump’s former ambassador to the United Nations appears to be solidifying support as the candidate of choice for Trump-averse Republicans in the GOP primary. Conservative elites like the ultrarich Koch family’s political network and JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon have recently backed Nikki Haley. And it appears that some in the media are warming up to the idea of a Haley presidency, as well. (Although it is just that — an idea — given Trump’s continued domination in the polls.)

Haley’s extremism on issues like abortion and foreign policy tends to be overshadowed by Trump’s outright contempt for the Constitution. And her mild pushback on Trump’s most atrocious acts lends her an air of independence that often gets exaggerated by some pundits.

But Haley’s far-right policies were a focus of Thursday’s episode of “The ReidOut with Joy Reid,” which featured David Corn, Washington bureau chief at Mother Jones, discussing Haley’s “Freedom Plan,” her agenda for the United States to compete with — and differentiate itself from — China. It includes tax cuts for oil and gas companies, slashing investment in environmental and climate-focused measures, commitments to raise the retirement age and cut Social Security benefits for millions of Americans — and a rather Trumpian vow to cap government employment at five years.

Corn’s piece about the plan, titled “An Idiotic Proposal From Nikki Haley,” argues that the “Freedom Plan” aligns with the MAGA movement’s growing aversion to experts working in and around government, whose institutional knowledge could impede the movement from achieving its anti-democratic goals. Corn notes that Haley’s proposal comes at the same time Trump’s associates are plotting ways to ensure civil employees are primarily loyal to him if he’s elected in 2024. Sounds like a kakistocracy in the making — and Haley seems just as committed to the cause.

“Once touted as a reasonable Republican,” Corn writes, “Haley has decided to compete with Trump on the anti-government front.”

Watch him break down the dangers of Haley’s plan in this clip below:

The full segment makes a strong argument that it’s time to pump the brakes on the Haley hype train, given that she and Trump both seem headed to the same destination.