I love this particular descriptive phrase Nikki Haley is using. It’s got both a literal and a figurative definition. The literal implies cowardice and the figurative implies that one is simply smitten with another person, swept off their feet, dazzled. Who and what are we describing? Donald Trump’s reaction to Vladimir Putin. Haley says Putin makes Trump go “weak in the knees.”

So that begs the question, how did she mean that exactly? Weak in the knees as in terrified, shaking? Or, weak in the knees as if romantically dazzled, swept into the hormonally induced trance that we know of as being in love — at least the very onset of that condition. It frequently fades, alas, and is mere infatuation when all is said and done. But there’s a lot to be said for infatuation as well.

I wonder if the pardon is off the table now? Trump did unequivocally state last week that Nikki Haley was out of the running for his vice president.

Trump still is confusing a cognitive test with an IQ test or even more accurately, a Mensa test. He seriously thinks that passing a cognitive test is some kind of an achievement or a compliment, rather than simply a means of ascertaining if somebody is functional.

Back to Trump and Haley’s comment, you know he’s going to go screaming bonkers when he hears it. If she meant “weak in the knees” in terms of cowardice, that will drive him up the walls. If she meant the phrase in terms of romantically interested and physically aroused, I don’t know what Trump will do. He hates women to begin with and so all we can depend on is that his explosion, when it comes, will be that much more over the top.

Make no mistake, attacking Trump (and, for that matter, Putin) is a dangerous move in today’s Republican Party. And while the penalty for attacking Trump in the U.S.A. is much less severe than the penalty for attacking Putin in Russia, Haley’s political life is certainly in jeopardy.

Not everyone has accepted the fact that this isn’t Ronald Reagan’s Republican Party anymore. In what was a well-meaning tweet, former Vice President Mike Pence said, “There is no room in the Republican Party for apologists for Putin.” This was, shall we say, wishful thinking.

Having run a flailing presidential campaign, Pence is obviously in no position to dictate what is or is not acceptable in the GOP. Moreover, whether we are talking about Donald Trump or Tucker Carlson (who is arguably the most influential right-wing entertainment voice today), people who could be reasonably called Putin apologists are wildly popular with GOP voters. They are more popular than Pence and Haley, combined. It ain’t even close.

The only Republicans willing to condemn Putin (and publicly support Ukraine’s effort to fend off Russia’s invasion) these days are the ones who have no future in the party.

Have politicians who hold traditional Reaganite views about foreign policy been purged from the party? Or is it only the politicians with no future in the party who feel liberated enough to defend Ukraine and criticize Trump for fawning all over Putin? I’m not sure this “chicken or the egg” question even matters.

What does matter, though, is that Haley is finally standing up and doing the right thing. To be sure, it won’t help her win the Republican nomination, and it won’t move a single MAGA voter away from Trump. But by showing moral clarity and refusing to back down, Haley is carrying the torch for millions of Americans.

It’s a beginning. It’s at least one Republican looking forward to a post-Trump future before they all have to realize that that’s what has to happen.

And maybe Haley meant the “weak kneed” phrase both ways. That is yet another interpretation. I’ll keep monitoring Truth Social and see what Trump’s take on it is. It goes without saying, hide the ketchup.

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  1. We’ll see how strong her knees are once he’s the GOP nominee for president. Will she keep standing up or will she go down like a crack whore? Time will tell.

    • If she plays her cards right she could come out of this smelling like a rose. Right now she’s at the crest of the post-Trump wave. If she stays there, she might actually be in a position of leadership. Let’s face it, the Trump fling can’t go on in this country — unless he actually manages to get back in power, stages a coup d’etat and never leaves. At this point it is that black and white.

      And considering how the past three elections have been lost by the GOP and the economy is booming, I think Joe Biden is well set up, ageism and all.

      • it is NOT “…ageism and all.” That is a propaganda lie that we shouldn’t continue to use.

        There is NOTHING about the President’s work, and performance that is an issue.

        Every time you use this incorrect meme it repeats the lie.

        How about listing the President’s accomplishments: combated Covid and inflation, infrastructure, aid to Ukraine… All this in spite of the haters.

        • I think you misunderstand me. I have nothing bad to say about Biden. I’m totally happy with what he has done. I am saying that the opposite party is pushing the ageism issue, because that’s all they’ve got.

    • Musta hurt some fefes! Sorry I broker no comfort for racists, nazis, liars or those that stand on a national stage and support them. Tell you what might help…go take a flying phuck at a rolling doughnut and see if that dislodges your head from you ass.

  2. Ursula Faw:
    Please look up “Begs the question.”
    It DOES NOT mean, “Forces one to ask the next logical question,” or, “Brings another related question to mind.”
    It is a form a fallacious argument in which an assumed premise is then taken as a proven conclusion.
    Stop trying to appear erudite and clever by using snooty, leather-elbow-patch phrases YOU DON’T FUCKING UNDERSTAND, you pretentious git.

    • Sorry God, er, I mean Avi the omnipotent authority on the definition of all things. Nice to know we have you instead of commonly used resources like Merriam-Webster mere mortal dumbasses turn to. ( https://www.merriam-webster.com/grammar/beg-the-question ) What the hell does a source like that know when after a lengthy discussion of the phrase from its origin (a translation of Aristotle) to current common usage? To wit:

      So that’s where beg the question comes from, but all this, ahem, begs the question of what you should do with all this knowledge about the phrase. Liberman recommends that people avoid it altogether (but also “cultivate an attitude of serene detachment in the face of its use by others”).

      You may take his recommendation, or you may use beg the question to mean either “to cause someone to ask a specified question as a reaction or response” or “to ignore a question or issue by assuming it has been answered or settled.” Both uses are established, and the first one is ubiquitous.

      Who the hell needs a source like that when we have YOU to tell everyone what the phrase/expression REALLY means? I for one am sooooooooo thankful we have YOU, Avi the Omnipotent to set us all straight. To say Merriam-Webster doesn’t know WTF they are talking about when they state that the phrase as most people understand it means exactly what YOU say it doesn’t? Personally, instead of hurling insults like “pretentious git” at others you should take a look in the mirror. Your little rant suggests it’s possible that what reflects back might not be your head and fact, but another part of you – say on the opposite side of your body and a few feet down from where your face is.

      • The world is in hell, complete with the hand-basket, but let’s quibble over an asinine and outdated phrase.

        Avi, get over yourself. You obviously knew what Ursula meant as did everyone else who peruses this site. Getting all pedantic and shit serves little purpose. If you are so offended by the way people spell, use grammar, use phrases the way the entire country does, etc. well, you know the solution. BTW, not everyone who writes for P.Z. do so on a computer and I know one of the writers has at best piss-poor eyesight. Something to remember while you’re sitting in the saddle of that ever so tall equine.

        Rest of us-let’s try better. Looking like a bunch of ignoramuses (like republicans) is not a good look.

  3. I come here to ask, how come you have no issues about whats going on in Palestine?
    Guess its ok to be a Democrat and look the other way when Genocide is going on. Would like to know whats your take on that issue. No, do not support Republicans, and or Democrats.

    • You are either an idiot or a troll. Why don’t you go look at the facts. Biden has never supported what the fascist controlling the IDF is doing and now he is putting conditions on our help to Israel.

    • I guess I’m kind of curious Jeff-how come you have no issues with a terrorist group having a mission to not only rid Israel of Jews, but to rid the entire planet of us? I read/hear all this oh the poor palestinians-they did not support hamas. Really? I do not believe this. If you see evil and do nothing, you are complicit. We use that reasoning, here on P.Z. particularly, quite often but after hamas attacks Israel, kills Jews (and Arab Israelis BTW), takes hundreds hostage, this all becomes oh but the poor palestinians. Their part in not doing a f*cking thing about the terrorist group living with them becomes invisible.

      Fighting wrongs, evil, injustice, etc. is not just what you do to Israel when Israel finally says f-you hamas and makes good and damn well sure they no longer have a base of operations in Gaza. It is what should have been done the first time hamas uttered its plans to “eradicate Jews”. Quite frankly I am sick and fucking tired of all the pity for paletinians when hamas got a start on their eradication plans. Yes, fighting evil, injustice and the rest of it is difficult but people have done it throughout history and still do so today. The only excuse the Gazans can make is they are not people therefore cannot fight the evil within their borders-they’re not making that excuse so there is none.

      President Biden supported an initial response to the attack from Israel. He is not supporting the eradication of a terrorist group or at least crushing their ability to make a base ops easily. Yes, the admin. couches this in language pitying the Gazans but the fact is terrorists lived among them so my pity for their current circumstances is almost non-existent.

  4. Jeff either you are a Zionist, a fool who thinks voting 3rd party isn’t a vote for the fascist Trump, a bot, or you’re flunking high school history. I’m officially a Jew and have been bringing up the slaughter of 11,500 children in Gaza time and again, but it isn’t Biden doing it…it’s the Israeli version of trump…Bibi. Biden hasn’t supported him with a blank endorsement and has talked about an eventual two state solution. Bibi ignores what anyone wants. This conflict has been going on since 1948 when the Israel should not have instituted an apartheid system. Neither Biden or any other government can control what Bibi does or will do. Add in the fact that we really don’t know what negotiations have or will go on behind the scenes in a very dicey situation. What we do know is Trump will let Bibi do what he wants…destroy all Palestinians, just like he’ll let putin have Ukraine, then Poland and so on. So grow up and accept that Biden is the best hope for the Palestinians in this conflict. It’s either an experienced statesman or a stupid grifting dictator. There is no 3rd alternative sonny.

    • Scott, I agree with your rant at Jeff, but if you want to point fingers all the way back to 1948, how about the British promising ALL of Palestine to the Palestinians, to the Jews, AND to the French for help during the war? How about the Egyptians and other Arab countries telling the Palestinians to get out of the way while they made war on the Jews and cleaned them out, then closed their own borders to the fleeing Palestinians when the Jews won that battle, precluding the possibility of wider resettlement, as was going on for the ‘Displaced Persons’ of Europe at the same time? The chimera of “right of return” that the Palestinians seek should equally apply to the descendants of the European DPs if it exists at all.

  5. That “… “Every time he was in the same room with him he got weak in the knees. We can’t have a president that gets weak in the knees with Putin.”…” begs the question: could it, in some way, echo the following? “… I’ll put up no resistance … I need assistance … Toucha, toucha, toucha, touch me … I wanna be dirty … if anything grows … I’ll oil you up and rub you down …” [sincere apologies to Rocky Horror Picture Show but it was worth a shot].

  6. Let’s not get all gooey over Haley. She has said she’d vote for diaper stink if he’s the nominee and she also said she’d pardon him if she’s elected. She may not be MAGA but she’s still with the party, all the way, and the party will chew her up and spit her out if she doesn’t do what they want, even if she were pres.


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