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Nikki Haley Stares In The Abyss

Nikki Haley's withdrawal signals an end to the 2024 Republican resistance against Donald Trump - that was a pipe dream and money pit from the start. Rick Wilson writes: "Soon, Haley will prove it was all for nothing" by bending her knee to Trump.
Published:March 6, 2024

By Rick Wilson

And just like that, Nikki Haley was out.

The last flickering candle of the 2024 Republican resistance to Donald Trump was snuffed out late Tuesday night. No one was shocked by the outcome or by the slow-dawning realization that other than as a protest vote against Trump, her fifteen minutes of political fame had ended.

Nikki Haley earned the votes and support of millions of Republican and conservative independent voters in her brief time in the spotlight.

She broke their hearts for nothing.

Reality has now set in for millions of Republican voters; they must choose between Donald Trump and Joe Biden. In all likelihood, Nikki Haley will make the wrong choice and back Trump.

The abyss is calling.

The primary proved millions of Republicans want something and someone different than Donald Trump. They saw her as a Republican rooted not in Trumpism but in a return to the old incantations, rituals, and beliefs of the party Trump killed. They saw Haley as a tough foreign policy leader who would pick America over Vladimir Putin. They saw her as a fiscal conservative.

More than anything else, she wasn’t Trump.

She was one of the few who even elliptically critiqued Trump’s moral, mental, and political failings. It may have come late. It may have come with caveats and dumb false equivalencies (“Biden is worse, but not by much!), but it came, and it went to an audience in the GOP desperate to hear it.

Nikki Haley’s performance across the board is a warning signal for the more chordate of Trump’s lieutenants. Trump’s senior strategist, Chris LaCivita, saw the results in key states late last night, read the exit poll data, scanned the turnout areas, and knew within hours that Trump’s party isn’t unified.

It’s smaller, darker, and more passionately devoted to the dear Leader, but depending on the state, between 25%-40% of Republican and conservative independents just aren’t into Donald Trump.

Soon, Haley will prove it was all for nothing. The abyss is calling, and she’s peering down into the darkness.

In the coming days the push for Haley to endorse Trump will become a deafening cacophony of political and financial pressure that will crash down on her, demanding her surrender, as will the threats of death and violence against her family.

Even Tuesday night, one could already hear the gears of her settlement and surrender grinding, like fell machines deep underground in Mordor.

The Dark Lord cometh.

Her staff and consultants will tell her quite plainly that her endorsement of Donald Trump is only a matter of time. They’ll do this less to protect her political future than their own. Every person pulling a payroll from Nikki Haley’s campaign or SuperPAC is getting calls and messages from friends bearing thinly veiled promises or threats. The more senior they are, the more those messages are about the possibility of the opportunity of the conditional hypothetical offer to join Team Trump and come back into the fold.

I have seen this process since 2015—and once received the same message in a friendly call from a mutual friend of and close ally to Trump in 2018, offering to help me “get right with Donald. He respects you for punching so hard. You’d be a good get.” It was then, and always is, a lie.

In about 90% of all cases, the lucrative world of political consulting gives them every reason to capitulate. “Look, I know he’s a fascistic madman surrounded by dangerous idiots who will burn down the country, but we just bought a beach house, and the kids are in college…” is the usual form of more-in-sorrow capitulation.

So, they’ll tell her it will be fine, that she’ll be okay, and that this time, it’s different. I can hear it now, “Look, Trump talked about unity last night! That was for you, Nikki!”

No one who capitulates to Trump can or should expect anything but servitude to his whims, public contempt from his greasy lips, and a long chain of political humiliation.

Look at the ranks of broken men who bent the knee, hoping against hope and evidence that they’d be the exception to the ETTD rule.
They cling to power in deep red states, surviving only by accepting his abuse with a simpering moue and endless fellation of Trump or are forced into political exile.

That’s what Nikki gets for endorsing Trump. He and his minions will shame and abuse her for the rest of her life for bowing down.
What does she get out of this?

She gets to tell the millions of Republicans desperate for an alternative to Trump that every word she spoke to them was a political lie.
She gets to tell her donors the fight was just too hard.

She gets to tell them she’s comfortable with the man she described as mentally unwell just days ago, too old for the job, and destined to lose against Joe Biden.

She gets to wind back her morally correct condemnations of Trump’s vile character, criminal exposure, abusive nature, and grotesque abuses of power.

She gets to end her career the moment that endorsement is made. MAGA will never forgive her.

And she gets to tell her daughter and every little girl who saw her on the campaign trail that she’s endorsing a rapist, an abuser, and a serial adulterer who will snatch away their freedoms.

She’ll lose any primary she runs in in South Carolina, even after Trump is dead. MAGA never forgives or forgets.

She’ll never get a job in a second Trump administration. The corporate boards she serves on will ask her to leave, and she won’t be on new ones.

The only path out of this is to declare against Donald Trump. The only path out is to fight him to the last. It’s hard. It’s lonely. It’s painful and uncertain and her life will never be the same. I’ve lived it. I know.

If you’re a Republican who voted for Nikki Haley, many of those points apply to you.

The tidal gravity of party loyalty is strong. The Fox and Facebook media echo chamber will work overtime to give you excuses and justifications to slip back into the oleaginous embrace of Trump.

You know what’s at stake. It’s a shame Haley won’t be there to lead you.