The favorite of plutocrats and the mainstream media is running a deeply deceptive campaign.

By Jeet Heer, The Nation

The fourth GOP presidential debate offered an instructive demonstration on what sort of lies are beyond the pale, in contrast to those falsehoods that remain perfectly respectable. Vivek Ramaswamy, running a flailing insurgent campaign, was rightly chastised in the media for his endorsement of bizarre conspiracy theories—including the claim that the January 6 attack on the Capitol was an “inside job”—and his endorsement of the “Great Replacement” theory (the racist fantasy there is a deliberate plot to dispossess white Americans by bringing in non-white immigrants). Slate justly rebuked Ramaswamy for “proudly pushing outlandish and dangerous far-right conspiracy theories.”

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Yet one of Ramaswamy’s rivals, former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley, told a whopper that was as divorced from reality as anything Ramaswamy said without provoking anything more than a mild ripple on social media. Unlike Ramaswamy, whose strategy is to win over the alt-right, Haley is the candidate of the Republican establishment, treated with deference by the mainstream media and showered with donations by JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon and other billionaires. Haley’s disinformation isn’t aimed at frothing Internet trolls; she caters to the fantasy life of comfortable suburbanites who fancy themselves moderates.

During the debate, Haley cagily conjured up a scenario that appeals to the bipartisan elite of foreign policy hawks. Speaking of Ukraine and Israel, Haley said:

The problem is, you have to see that all of these are related. If you look at the fact Russia was losing that war with Ukraine, Putin had hit rock bottom, they had raised the draft age to 65. He was getting drones and missiles—drones from Iran, missiles from North Korea. And so what happened when he hit rock bottom, all of a sudden his other friend, Iran, Hamas goes and invades Israel and butchers those people on Putin’s birthday. There is no one happier right now than Putin because all of the attention America had on Ukraine suddenly went to Israel.

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