Progressives have finally found someone to blame for the Charleston black-church massacre: South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley.

Hailey wept openly at a press conference yesterday, asking how it could be that someone would murder nine African-Americans prayerfully gathered for Wednesday-night Bible study.  But no matter—Hailey’s a Republican, and we know that Republicans are to blame for all of America’s racial ills.

It seems that last October, eight months before Dylann Roof’s white-supremacist shooting spree, Haley “defended” the state of South Carolina’s display of a Confederate battle flag. And no—the flag wasn’t—and isn’t—flying from the top of the State Capitol, as the media would like you to think by dredging up some old photos. The flag was moved in 2000 to a Confederate memorial on the grounds of the state capitol.

During a debate while Hailey was running for re-election, her Democratic challenger, State Sen. Vincent Sheheen, stated that the presence of the flag was related to the fact that many young people were leaving South Carolina because there weren’t enough jobs in the state due to the state’s racist image.

 Haley retorted: “What I can tell you is over the last three and a half years, I spent a lot of my days on the phones with CEOs and recruiting jobs to this state. I can honestly say I have not had one conversation with a single CEO about the Confederate flag.”

And that was it.

But why should that stop progressives from linking Haley to Roof? After all, Roof, according to everyone who knows him, is a segregationist nut who apparently circulated a photo of himself in front of a car with a fake Confederate license plate that included…a Confederate battle flag! So obviously Haley and Roof are linked!

Here’s Jezebel on the subject:

Last night, Haley wrote on Facebook, “We’ll never understand what motivates anyone to enter one of our places of worship and take the life of another.” Haley seems confused, or something—but the rest of us could easily leap to the possibility that a racist murderer might be highly motivated by a number of things, such as racism, as well as a desire to murder, and also maybe a governor who is like, “What I can tell you about this slave-state white supremacy symbol officially sponsored by my administration is that CEOs think it’s pretty chill.”

And Mediaite reports:

Shortly afterwards, Brandon Friedman, the former deputy assistant secretary of public affairs at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, decided to cash in on the attention by linking the event to an unrelated story from Haley’s part.

Using the Charleston Shooting hashtag, Friedman tweeted an old Talking Points Memo story on the Republican governor’s defense of flying the Confederate flag….

The link between the shooting and the flag defense is currently unclear….

You can say that again. I don’t know whether South Carolina should stop flying the battle flag, period—but that’s up to the state legislature, not Governor Hailey. Meanwhile, progressives, why not place the blame for the massacre squarely where it belongs, on a loner high-school dropout who’d already had brushes with the law and problems with drugs? Not everything is the fault of Republicans.