Hilariously, among those calling Nikki out--in their minds--was Asha Rangappa, an internet gadfly masquerading as a "legal scholar" and expert on all things National Security on the strength of having been very briefly employed as a Special Agent with the FBI. Only thing is, Asha Rangappa is actually Renuka Asha Rangappa. She's using her middle name, which she has claimed is a thing not done by Indians.
Haley, as it turns out, is of Punjabi ancestry, whereas Rangappa--as I deduce from her name--is probably a Kannadiga from the south Indian state of Karnataka. Is there something ethnic going on here? Some female rivalry thing, maybe? I dunno. If there are any Indian readers out there who care to speculate ...
Anyway, I've always been annoyed by the way Rangappa offers uninformed opinions on national security legal matters, mostly on the strength of her brief employment by the FBI. So I was amused to read the following (below) from Shipwreckedcrew--a VERY busy guy--just a day after taking down another internet knucklehead, Marcy Wheeler. Here he is on Rangappa, and every word of it is true:
Your name is not “Asha”?
You CHANGED it?
Did you start going by “Asha” because “Renuka” means “horse excrement for brains” in Hindu?
Actually, Renuka is a classical Sanskrit name meaning--so I'm told--“Born of dust; mother earth”. I read that on the internet, FWIW.
You went to Yale and Princeton — or so you say — so how can you be that industrial-strength stupid to raise this issue when you yourself use your middle name professionally as your first name?
But then again, this is the same Asha Rangappa who spent less than three years as an FBI Special Agent, yet holds forth on CNN expressing opinions on federal law enforcement matters with a level of expertise any reader here could gain with Wikipedia.
Supposedly she was assigned to a counter-intelligence squad in the New York Field Office. I can assure you 100% that an agent straight [out] of the Academy going to a Counter-Intelligence squad in NYFO is given NOTHING of significance to do for a long period of time. They fetch coffee, offer no opinions, and listen. The basic admonition is “Stay out of the way and don’t screw anything up.” Once they have proven the ability to not screw anything up on unimportant matters, THEN they begin to get meaningful assignments.
There is a reluctance to go on the record for fear that her legions of CNN acolytes will descend upon them, but people I have spoken with that either were familiar with her in NYFO or knew people who were familiar with her, universally regard her as joke. But the CNN audience loves her — which is enough said by itself – so her idiocy only feeds her following.
UPDATE: How a liberal knows they really stepped in it? When your attack tweet against a conservative gets slammed even by writers at NYT and WaPo:
"Asha revealing that she's lost so much touch w/ her Indian culture that she doesn't know that Nikki is actually a Punjabi name," The Hill's Saagar Enjeti reacted.
"I hope you did better research when you worked for the FBI than you do when calling people out for the name they go by. Nikki Haley was born Nimrata Nikki Randhawa & married someone w/ the last name Haley. Her family called her Nikki growing up. It means 'Little One' in Punjabi," Washington Examiner reporter Jerry Dunleavy swiped the CNN analyst.
"I understand this is a divisive issue among South Asians, but I keep landing here: A name doesn’t belong to a community. It belongs to an individual. If Haley/Jindal changed names, it’s their choice. There’s lots of reasons why one would do that. Don’t think we need to judge," New York Times writer Sopan Deb said, also referring to former Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal.
"What happened in your life to make you like this?" Tablet Magazine associate editor Noam Blum asked.
"Have you ever thought about not tweeting," Washington Post reporter Dave Weigel told Rangappa.
"Whenever there's a controversy about a blue check being a jerk, the odds that person is with CNN are around 98.5%," Mediaite editor Caleb Howe wrote.