Profiles in Cowardice: The Republican Rollover for the Would-Be King

Nikki Haley is the latest, but it’s a tight contest as to who is the most craven and cynical of countless Republican Party officeholders who have forsaken all principle and moral authority in embracing a failed insurrectionist and would-be despot who has lied, evaded, bluffed and bullied his way into position to perhaps retake the presidency come November.

Haley’s recent capitulation and endorsement of Donald Trump, whom she correctly and righteously eviscerated as unfit for office over many months on the campaign trail, is particularly glaring on this Memorial Day weekend, when courage and self-sacrifice are held up as the ideals upon which every free society depends.

She joins a long list of her party’s officials who have sounded the alarm over years now about the unique threat Trump poses to our democratic institutions (see below), only to reverse course when they fear his wrath, or their dimming job prospects in a party that is no longer “conservative” in any meaningful way.

To be Republican today is to pledge cultish fidelity to the policy nihilism and vindictiveness that is their leader’s stock in trade.

We should be clear that Haley’s argument for Trump is absurd on its face, as she knows all too well. (Contrary to his pet name for her of “Birdbrain” repeated ad nauseam during the campaign, she is not intellectually challenged—only ethically.)

She wants a president who “can have the backs of our allies and who will hold our enemies to account.” (Our allies are terrified of a Trump presidency, largely because he regularly expresses his distaste for treaty obligations, sounds alarmingly isolationist in a world that desperately needs American leadership, and holds fast to his admiration for “our enemies” in Russia, China, North Korea—any country where a strongman rules and democracy is non-existent.)

She wants a president “who will secure the border—no more excuses.” (Trump torpedoed the strongest border bill in memory just three months ago after tireless bipartisan congressional negotiations led by deeply conservative Oklahoma Senator James Lankford. Why? Because it would have represented a success for Biden.)

Party over country, each and every time.

She wants a president “who will support capitalism and freedom.”

Capitalism? The stock market recently reached all-time highs again as business profits soared. Unemployment remains at the lowest level in 54 years. Payrolls have been rising faster than inflation for the first time in years.

Freedom? Trump saw to the overturning of Roe v Wade, muses on supporting a ban on birth control, and proposes rewarding Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine by handing over huge swaths of territory his army has seized after obliterating much of Ukraine’s infrastructure, killing 31,000 Ukrainian soldiers and 10,0000 private citizens, and kidnapping unknown thousands of Ukrainian children and taking them to Russia for indoctrination.

Somehow, all that adds up to Trump being her pick for president.

But it’s all nonsense, a choice that is belied by all the truth she speaks below.

She is joined there by a handful of fellow travelers with whom she is tip-toeing tortuously along on a Road to Infamy, all of them covering their eyes and ears and hoping history will not hold them to account for selling their very souls to the meanest, greediest and most dishonest bidder in town.

Meanwhile, the question looms: How do they live with themselves?



            Nikki Haley

 “He’s totally unhinged.”

 “If you are going to hit our military, you are not qualified to be president, period.”

“If you mock the service of a combat veteran, you don’t deserve a driver’s license, let alone being president of the United States.”

“He said that he would stand with Putin and encourage him to invade our allies…Trump would side with a dictator who kills his political opponents….who goes and arrests American journalists and holds them hostage…who’s made no bones about the fact he wants to destroy America.”

“This is a man that put us $8 trillion in debt…This is a man who praised China’s president Xi a dozen times after China gave us COVID. This is a man who now wants to go and put 10 percent tariffs across the board, raising taxes on every single American.”

“He’s just trying to control as much as he can control, but we don’t want a king in America.”

“Every bit of it is disgusting. To sit there and mock my husband for not being with me on the campaign trail because he is deployed and serving our country…The reality is, the closest [Trump] has come to harm’s way is a golf ball hitting him on a golf cart.”

“Trump is the most disliked politician in America. We cannot win a general election that way.”

“Every single thing that Donald Trump has said or put on TV has been a lie.”


“’I will never run against our great President,’ she said. ‘He has done an outstanding job.’ To which I responded, ‘How nice of you to say, Nikki,’ knowing full well that her words mean nothing. She even came to Mar-a-Lago with her family, ‘bearing gifts.’ Anyway, Birdbrain doesn’t have the TALENT or TEMPERAMENT to do the job. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”



              Ted Cruz

“It is not acceptable for a big, loud New York bully to attack my wife. It is not acceptable for him to make insults, to send nasty tweets—and I don’t know what he does late at night, but he tends to do these at about 11:30 at night, I assume when his fear is at the highest point…Donald, you’re a sniveling coward. Leave Heidi the hell alone.”

“Donald Trump’s consistently disgraceful behavior is beneath the office we are seeking and we are not going to follow.”

“This man is a pathological liar. He doesn’t know the difference between truth and lies. He lies practically every word that comes out of his mouth, and in a pattern that I think is straight out of a psychology text book, his response is to accuse everybody else of lying. The man cannot tell the truth, but he combines it with being a narcissist—a narcissist at a level I don’t think this country’s ever seen. Donald Trump is such a narcissist that Barack Obama looks at him and goes, ‘Dude, what’s your problem?’”

“The man is utterly amoral. Morality does not exist for him. Donald is a bully…Bullies come from a deep, yawning cavern of insecurity.”


“Honestly, he may have ruined his political career. I feel so badly. I feel so badly. And you know, he’ll come and endorse over the next little while. He’ll—because he has no choice. But I don’t want his endorsement. What difference does it make? I don’t want his endorsement. I have such great—I don’t want his endorsement. Ted, stay home, relax, enjoy yourself.”



      Mitch McConnell

“We all were here. We saw what happened. It was a violent insurrection for the purpose of trying to prevent the peaceful transfer of power after a legitimately certified election, from one administration to the next. That’s what it was.”

“There is no question that President Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of that day.”

“The Democrats are going to take care of the son of a bitch for us…If this isn’t impeachable, I don’t know what is.”


“Does Coco Chow have anything to do with Joe Biden’s Classified Documents being sent and stored in Chinatown? Her husband, the Old Broken Crow, is VERY close to Biden, the Democrats, and, of course, China….The Old Crow’s a piece of shit.”



          Marco Rubio

“For years to come, there are many people on the right, in the media and voters at large, that are going to be having to explain and justify how they fell into this trap of supporting Donald Trump.”

“Donald Trump is the most vulgar person to ever vie for the presidency.”

“He is a con artist. He runs on this idea that he is fighting for the little guy. But he has spent his entire career sticking it to the little guy…If you all have friends who are thinking about voting for Donald Trump, friends do not let friends vote for con artists.”

“Lightweight Marco Rubio was working hard last night. The problem is, he is a choker, and once a choker, always a chocker (sic). Mr. Meltdown!”


      Lindsey Graham

“If we nominate Trump, we will get destroyed…….and we will deserve it.”

“I’m not going to try to get into the mind of Donald Trump, because I don’t think there is a whole lot of space there. I think he’s a kook. I think he’s crazy. I think he’s unfit for office.”

“He’s shallow, he’s  ill-prepared to be commander-in-chief, he doesn’t know what he’s talking about in terms of how laws work, he says the worst things possible about immigrants and women, and he’s a complete idiot when it comes to Mideast policy. He’s a showman—he’s really good at that.”

“This is the beginning of the end of Donald Trump. It ends when the American people say, ‘enough.'”


“I blame myself for Lindsey Graham, because the only reason he won in the Great State of South Carolina is because I Endorsed him!…“You know why Lindsey kisses my ass? So I’ll endorse his friends.”



The real (and most troubling) story, for those with eyes to see…


Let’s shake all that off in favor of this, with some sentiments straight and true from the heart…


Comments? Questions? Suggestions, Objections, Attaboys? Just scroll on down to the Comments section below. No minimum or maximum word counts!

Check out this blog’s public page on Facebook for 1-minute snippets of wisdom and other musings from the world’s great thinkers and artists, accompanied by lovely photography.

Deep appreciation to the photographers! Unless otherwise stated, some rights reserved under Creative Commons licensing.

Elizabeth Haslam, whose photos (except for the books) grace the rotating banner at top of page.

Library books photo by Larry Rose, all rights reserved, contact:

Coward sign by Tim Green, Bradford, UK

Jellyfish by Teryll KerrDouglas, Toronto, Canada

 All caricatures by DonkeyHotey, see many more at:

7 comments to Profiles in Cowardice: The Republican Rollover for the Would-Be King

  • Julie Johnson  says:

    Thanks for this damning essay, Andrew, and the useful (if dispiriting) catalog of cowards. Ugh. It’s going to be a long five months.

    • Andrew Hidas  says:

      Yes, I can hear your sigh across space & time here, Julie! The slightly edited phrase of having to “put on our big boy & girl britches” comes immediately to mind. And that other one about “girding our loins.” Could probably go on, but I’ll save them for the coming five months…

  • Mary  says:

    I feel compelled to weigh in here, but Have. No. Words. This blog won’t let me post in the medium appropriate to my despair and consternation: A drawing, photo, cartoon of a crazed woman, shouting and alternately beating her breast, beating her head against the wall, tearing the last shreds of her hair out.


    • Andrew Hidas  says:

      I think your last line says it all, Mary; wish I’d thought of that! :-)

  • Robert Spencer  says:

    I wrote this shortly after Nikki Haley suspended her presidential campaign and thought it an appropriate reply to your Profiles in Cowardice. I know it’s an opinion I sent to you in an email a few months ago.

    MY OPEN LETTER TO NIKKI HALEY AND REPUBLICAN VOTERS: I am a Democrat. Have been and will always be. Despite this fact, I also feel the loss of the “once was Republican Party” more than troubling. Your party no longer represents conservative ideas or policy but has devolved into a cult immersed in anger, racism, and hatred; it echoes of Germany in 1933. I was disappointed that you suspended your run for the Republican nomination, but I recognize your dilemma: Endorse Trump or possibly become a Republican persona non grata. The Lindsey Graham’s and Mitch McConnell’s, who privately despise Trump, have kissed the ring of the Godfather. History will judge them as hypocritical cowards who placed party above country. 160-years ago, Edward Everett Hale wrote “The Man Without a Country”, a short story about Philp Nolan, a young American Army officer who renounced his country during a trial for treason. His punishment was severe. He was put aboard a ship which would sail for the remainder of his life without a word being mentioned of the country he once loved dearly. One day, years after this verdict, he came upon a young Naval officer and advised, “Remember, boy, that behind all these men… behind officers and government, and people even, there is the Country Herself, your Country, and that you belong to her as you belong to your own mother. Stand by her, boy, as you would stand by your mother…” That is my advice to you. Stand by your country.

    Don’t align yourself with a man who would, if given the power, destroy the very things you treasure most—self-worth, family, and country.
    Don’t align yourself with a man who has referred to immigrants as persons polluting our country’s blood.
    Don’t align yourself with a man who ridicules the handicapped.
    Don’t align yourself with a man who’s been convicted of rape.
    Don’t align yourself with a man who attacks, not only your husband’s military service, but calls John McCain a loser because he spent five years in a POW camp.
    Don’t align yourself with a man who characterized neo-Nazis as good people.
    Don’t align yourself with a man who idolizes dictators like Vladimir Putin, Kim Jong Un, and Viktor Orban.
    Don’t align yourself with a man who calls opponents vermin.
    Don’t align yourself with a man who led an insurrection against democracy.
    Don’t align yourself with a man you’ve called unhinged.
    Don’t align yourself with a man who suggested that people drink bleach as a cure for Covid.
    Don’t align yourself with a man who told Putin to “do whatever the hell you want” to a NATO ally.
    Don’t be Philip Nolan and realize too late that you’ve become a person without a country.

    • Andrew Hidas  says:

      Well stated, Robert—she would have done well to heed your advice. I’m warm to the notion of treating your country like your mother—keeps it real to fear disgracing her by standing for something/someone in such diametric opposition to all she was.

  • Mary  says:

    Also: chilling, beautiful and so so appropriate music

Leave a Reply