Once upon a time, there was a good man named John Sununu. He served as governor of New Hampshire. He was a moderate at a time when the word “moderate” was the kiss of death for most politicians. He came across on television as a “good guy,” the kind of guy you’d like to sit down and have a beer with. A guy with great appeal to independents and moderate Democrats. A widely popular Republican governor in a state that voted for Biden over Trump in 2020.

This writer developed a special affection for John Sununu because he was one of the few Republican politicians willing to state the unvarnished truth about Donald Trump, the consequences be damned.

Sununu has referred to Trump as “crazy,” “not a real Republican,” “worried about jail time.” He’s called on GOP candidates to break free from Trump’s “drama” and described his indictment over his handling of classified documents as “self-inflicted.”

At Politicos Governors Summit in February — just two months ago — Sununu delivered the coup to grace re his feelings about Trump. “[Expletives] come and go, but America is here to stay.” Boom!

But in an interview with George Stephanopoulos two weeks ago, John Sununu made, in my view, the biggest mistake of his political career. He said he would support Trump over Joe Biden in the upcoming presidential election. Moreover, he said he would still support Trump even if the former president was convicted of a federal crime. He implied that if 51% of the American public supported Trump (not a true statistic), then it was fine for him to go along with those people.

Say it ain’t so, John. Say you didn’t mean it. Say you fell down while taking a shower and had a concussion. Say you were suffering from food poisoning. Sadly, you can’t and won’t say these things. You’ve made your bed. Rather, you’ve jumped into Trump’s bed. And trust me, the history bugs will gnaw at your carcass.

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Take consolation, John, in knowing that you have competition for the “Hypocrite of the Year” Award. Take former Attorney General Bill Barr … please. Barr has said that Trump knew that he had lost the 2020 election. He describes Trump’s action as outlined in the indictment for election interference as “nauseating” and “despicable.” He said that “Someone who engaged in that kind of bullying about a process that is fundamental to our system and to our self-government shouldn’t be anywhere near the Oval Office.”

Barr recently stated that he too would support Trump over Biden in 2024. That electing Biden would be “suicide” for America, that Biden is more dangerous than Trump.

Sununu and Barr are not alone, of course, in their willingness to flip-flop on their public statements about Trump. There’s Ted Cruz. And Lindsay Graham. And Marco Rubio. The Trump bed is full of slippery swingers who are looking out only for themselves, not for America or the American people.

Maybe we should create a “Profiles in Cowardice” Award for people like Sununu and Barr and their slippery peers. Or maybe it should be called the “Chameleons in Cowardice” Award. I’d even be willing to write it, but I might become bankrupt from buying so many anti-nausea pills.

Once upon a time there was a good man named John Sununu. Somehow, somewhere, that good man lost his way. It is a very sad story.

David Treadwell, a Brunswick writer, welcomes commentary and suggestions for future “Just a Little Old” columns at dtreadw575@aol.com.

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