The XX Factor

If Nikki Haley Ran the Government

South Carolina Republican governor candidate Nikki Haley has paid $4,500 in fines for paying her taxes late. Why do we care about some measly $4,500? Because the whole point of being a mama grizzly is that you are supposed to extrapolate from your responsible management of your own household finances to the running of the nation’s. Doubly true for Mrs. Haley, who is an accountant and brags about such on the campaign trail. So, using mama grizzly math, failing to pay your taxes on time times 1 billion is where we would be with Ms. Haley in charge.

There is of course another way to spin this. If we hate the government so much, why should we contribute to its operations with our taxes? That’s what the Tea Party is for, right, protest against taxes? This would be the natural final step of mama grizzly logic, except that mama grizzlies don’t follow any logic. As Anne Applebaum has argued in her de Tocqueville-esque assessment of the Tea Party in Slate, “American Hypocrites, ” they rage against the government without ever exactly specifying what it is they would like to get rid of – their Medicare? Social Security? Tax cuts? And their form of radical is endless complaining.

Photograph of Nikki Haley by Chris Keane/Getty Images.