I’ve missed having Willard Mittbot Romney to kick around. I silently cheered as he ran for the Senate in one of his many home states. Utah was the land of political opportunity, so that’s where the consummate opportunist landed. So much for Michigan, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and California. I hope his car elevator doesn’t get rusty.
Willard made a big splash the other day with an op-ed in the Bezos Post. He reminded us that he doesn’t like Donald Trump’s table manners but that he’ll vote for anything that doesn’t deviate from conservative orthodoxy. Sound familiar? He’s following in the footsteps of his fellow Mormon, Jeff Flake. All profile, no courage.
I still think the op-ed is a big deal. As you can see from this 2011 cartoon, I’m not the only one who thinks that Willard is a political weathervane:
The Brits call them weathercocks but that’s too racy for Willard.
The mere fact that Romney felt emboldened to attack Trump in print means that the president* is in deep trouble. The Mittbot is big on positioning and he’s positioning himself to pick up the pieces if Trump’s support continues to wash away like the Louisiana coastline. There’s more scandal to come and Willard sees himself as a Republican Brigham Young only without the plural wives. Of course, Young believed in something so the analogy is imperfect but it’s mine, all mine.
Do I think Romney will challenge Trump for the Republican nomination in 2020? Absolutely not. Running against a sitting president* of one’s own party requires convictions and passion. In contrast, the Mittbot ran against his own health care plan in 2012. He’s the quintessential buttoned down establishmentarian, not a maverick. To say that he’s no TR, Henry Wallace, Gene McCarthy, or Pat Buchanan is a grotesque understatement.
The flying monkeys of Trumpistan have been all over Willard since the op-ed landed. Lou Dobbs is apoplectic, and Senator Aqua Buddha wedged his head farther up the Trump rump than previously thought anatomically possible. Rand Paul is gifted that way. Remember when he was the brogressive darling of the MSM? Those days are, I daresay, gone with the wind.
The best response came from the RNC chair who just happens to be Romney’s niece. So much for Romney family values. Political hackery and cowardice are in the blood, apparently.
In another sign of Trumper panic, the RNC is considering changing its rules to make it harder to challenge the Kaiser of Chaos. While this is bad news for John Kasich, it’s good news for the country. The flop sweat is flowing profusely in Republican circles.
The most muted response thus far is from the Insult Comedian himself. In an indication that he fears his party’s 2012 nominee, he suggested that Willard should be a team player. It’s unlikely that mild rebuke will be Trump’s last word on the subject. Hell, he may have even gone off on Willard as I write this. It’s good to have something to look forward to.
I have friends who are convinced the GOP has become a Trump death cult and will stick with him to the bitter end. I disagree. The first rule of political hackery is self-preservation. Trump is looking more and more like a loser every day. Rats abandon a sinking ship, they don’t board as it’s going down. Willard Mittbot Romney is the ultimate political survivor. He’s sent a signal to his fellow Republican rats that they should abandon the USS Trump when it’s politically expedient.
I’d like to close with some inside baseball. It has nothing to do with America’s former pastime, and everything to do with blogging. I have a couple of journalist friends whose advice I seek on punctuation and post titles; the former is not one of my strengths. One might even call them my Deep Blog panel. I was torn title-wise this time around. There were several contenders including “They Call Willard The Breeze” and “Blowing With The Wind: Senator Romney Speaks.” One member of the Deep Blog panel had their own suggestion: “The wind breaks, and Romney sniffs at Trump.” A good one, but there’s no musical cue.
In the end, I went with the funniest title, “The Wind Cries Willard.” It also allows me to give Jimi Hendrix the last word:
Is there anyone in history less like Willard than Jimi Hendrix?
That concludes this edition of the Willard Mittbot Romney Experience.