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The Only Mantle Mitt Romney Might Seize Is Being the Biggest Fake in American Politics

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  • The Only Mantle Mitt Romney Might Seize Is Being the Biggest Fake in American Politics

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    I swear, sometimes, the elite political press, and the Very Serious People to whom they cater, are the easiest marks anyone ever saw coming down the road.

    When the new Congress is sworn in on Thursday, Willard Romney will be the new junior senator from Utah. This is allegedly the same Willard Romney who once bragged about being better on LGBTQ issues than Ted Kennedy, who wanted to run for president in 2000 as the Republican governor who got Massachusetts a healthcare plan, and who ran 12 years later as a "severe conservative" who didn't even recognize the Republican governor who got Massachusetts a health care plan, who gave a ringing condemnation of candidate Donald Trump and then broke escargots with the president*-elect when he dangled the State Department in front of Romney's eager eyes.

    I say it's "allegedly" this same person because the question of whether or not he is an unprincipled reprogrammable android is still quite open. It is open because, lo and behold, in Wednesday's Washington Post,something like Romney 4.0 (or 5.0—I lost count sometime around his Dinner With Donald) has produced an essay by which the most recent Romney iteration appears to be aiming to replace Jeff Flake as the Most Deeply Furrowed Republican Brow in the Senate.
    The Trump presidency made a deep descent in December.

    In December, this happened? I lost sight of this presidency* in the abyss halfway through that American Carnage business in the inaugural address.
    It is well known that Donald Trump was not my choice for the Republican presidential nomination. After he became the nominee, I hoped his campaign would refrain from resentment and name-calling. It did not. When he won the election, I hoped he would rise to the occasion. His early appointments of Rex Tillerson, Jeff Sessions, Nikki Haley, Gary Cohn, H.R. McMaster, Kelly and Mattis were encouraging. But, on balance, his conduct over the past two years, particularly his actions this month, is evidence that the president has not risen to the mantle of the office.
    The departures of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly, the appointment of senior persons of lesser experience, the abandonment of allies who fight beside us, and the president’s thoughtless claim that America has long been a “sucker” in world affairs all defined his presidency down.

    Ah, but there is this lovely hedge right over here.
    It is not that all of the president’s policies have been misguided. He was right to align U.S. corporate taxes with those of global competitors, to strip out excessive regulations, to crack down on China’s unfair trade practices, to reform criminal justice and to appoint conservative judges. These are policies mainstream Republicans have promoted for years. But policies and appointments are only a part of a presidency.

    Can you hear me out there in Des Moines? I can talk louder.
    To a great degree, a presidency shapes the public character of the nation. A president should unite us and inspire us to follow “our better angels.” A president should demonstrate the essential qualities of honesty and integrity, and elevate the national discourse with comity and mutual respect. As a nation, we have been blessed with presidents who have called on the greatness of the American spirit. With the nation so divided, resentful and angry, presidential leadership in qualities of character is indispensable. And it is in this province where the incumbent’s shortfall has been most glaring.

    What was your 932nd clue?
    The world is also watching.

    You can just feel the banality building, like a unstoppable flood of cliche that will carry all before it. Seek higher ground, everyone.

    Too late.
    America has long been looked to for leadership. Our economic and military strength was part of that, of course, but our enduring commitment to principled conduct in foreign relations, and to the rights of all people to freedom and equal justice, was even more esteemed. Trump’s words and actions have caused dismay around the world. In a 2016 Pew Research Center poll, 84 percent of people in Germany, Britain, France, Canada and Sweden believed the American president would “do the right thing in world affairs.” One year later, that number had fallen to 16 percent.
    This comes at a very unfortunate time. Several allies in Europe are experiencing political upheaval. Several former Soviet satellite states are rethinking their commitment to democracy. Some Asian nations, such as the Philippines, lean increasingly toward China, which advances to rival our economy and our military. The alternative to U.S. world leadership offered by China and Russia is autocratic, corrupt and brutal.
    The world needs American leadership, and it is in America’s interest to provide it. A world led by authoritarian regimes is a world — and an America — with less prosperity, less freedom, less peace.

    "Thus, it is with a grateful heart, and an unshakable faith, that I accept your nomination for the presiden...No, wait..."
    To reassume our leadership in world politics, we must repair failings in our politics at home. That project begins, of course, with the highest office once again acting to inspire and unite us. It includes political parties promoting policies that strengthen us rather than promote tribalism by exploiting fear and resentment. Our leaders must defend our vital institutions despite their inevitable failings: a free press, the rule of law, strong churches, and responsible corporations and unions.


    Why do I suspect that Willard's notion of what is "responsible" may differ as applied to corporations—which are people, too, my friend—and unions? Why am I so damn cynical? Don't I know a "thrown gauntlet"when I see one? Don't I know the "leader of the Republican Resistance"when he so selflessly offers himself up as such?

    Now, though, it's time to turn into a Republican with really bad ideas again, and what better way to do that than to line up behind the Worst Idea In American Politics?
    We must repair our fiscal foundation, setting a course to a balanced budget. We must attract the best talent to America’s service and the best innovators to America’s economy.

    Or, failing that, making it perfectly clear that as long as the president* chooses only to tweet at the moon and not howl at it, the Leader of the Republican Resistance is perfectly willing to go along with the president*'s most prominent enabler.
    I look forward to working on these priorities with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and other senators.

    I can't take this seriously. I've watched Mitt Romney for his entire political career and the man simply has no permanent core of political principles. Not the sliver of one. He can change my mind by voting for the bill that's coming out of the House to reopen the government. He can make me doubt my well-learned conclusions by fighting William Barr's bag-job of a confirmation to be attorney general. Until he does something like that—until he does something—I set the over-under on his turtling on something serious at sometime in March.

    More distressing than the op-ed itself was the reaction to it. Much of official Washington Knievel-ed to a conclusion that the Romney 4-or-5.0 is all shined up and ready to bring the Republic back onto the right track. It's a wonder that every building in Washington doesn't have cheap aluminum siding.
    https://www.esquire.com/news-politic...YFPkPQu3WoT638
    Last edited by skooly; 01-02-2019, 12:01 PM.
    "I guess I just hate the fact there is public property at all." - Mr. Raceboy.

  • #2
    I think Romney is the only human being less viable for President in 2020 than Hillary Clinton.

    Pete (thinks he should shut up already)

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