I am not a big fan of Mitt Romney. A spoiled rich kid who railed against the “entitlement society” in his 2012 campaign that Obama was supposedly foisting on us, he also infamously was caught on video talking about how 47% of the country were no-tax-paying deadbeats.
Note: What Mitt, and all other Republicans were claiming during that time with the 47% stuff was if you were below median US household income, you were a moocher, and that includes people like your kid who got an entry-level job right out of college. Deadbeat takers, all of them.
All this said, Mr. Romney, at some point recently decided that he had morals, ethics, and even a backbone. McKay Coppins just put out a book, “Romney: A Reckoning” about Mitt cooking his own party over a very hot fire, and not just Donald Trump.
It is scheduled to be released tomorrow but advanced copies were sent to journalists and DC being DC, it went through a Washington Read, a term that refers to skimming a book to look for whose name is named and how.
The skimming did not disappoint, and Sunday talk shows were all a flutter with Mitt bringing the hammer down on fellow Republicans. He calls Ted Cruz a dangerous looney, says Ron DeSantis “looks like he has a toothache” while greeting voters, refers to Mike Pence as Trump’s “lap dog” for four years, and regaled Rick Perry with the label of “dimwit.”
That is not all of his barbs aimed at GOPers, and of course, his deepest disdain is reserved for Failed President Donald Trump. It was reminiscent of his late father, former governor of Michigan and an extinct creature known as a “liberal Republican,” railing against Barry Goldwater in the 1964 Republican Convention. Poppa Romney’s prediction that a far-right candidate like Goldwater would potentially destroy the party is eerily prophetic given the current moment. Goldwater introduced the disease to the party, and then 15 years later, Ronald Reagan fed the party the sickness in big scoops, leading us to where we are now.
For his part, Romney is not exactly innocent here but I think lessons were learned. He continued to play footsie with the proto-MAGA movement that was the Tea Party throughout the 2012 presidential campaign, and sometimes in an attempt to counter such crazy stuff as his Obamacare-esque healthcare plan he forged while governor of Massachusetts, he would sound a little bit like a MAGA. As in that time he wanted to double Gitmo. He also came out as pro-torture. And of course, along with appeasing the nutjobs of the party, ran the traditional Reagan-esque campaign that government handouts were going to The Wrong People and the poor are the Real Problem, which while deeply cruel was acceptable among “respectable” circles (empathy for the less fortunate is so…unbecoming, darling). None of this worked as he was defeated rather soundly by Obama.
Then he had that dinner with Trump soon after the 2016 election (see the feature image above) and came away with a gushing report on how Trump is amazing to talk policy with and just the smartest ever and everyone rolled their eyes at how poor Willard sold his soul for I guess maybe a stint in the State Department.
Then in late 2018/early 2019, Mitt came out sort-of swinging at Trump including a piece in The Washington Post where Romney seemed to suddenly realize in December 2018 that those of us saying how dangerous Trump was were maybe possibly right. He did, however, still hedge his bets a little by saying the quiet part out loud, telling the world why some “traditional Republicans” supported him in the first place.
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.
Yeah, and Jerry Sandusky was a great defensive coordinator if you look past the other stuff. Those guys REALLY do not like taxes and were just pining so hard to kill Roe, and were willing to tolerate an authoritarian to get it.
Romney has been a flip-floppity-flopper all his political career but I will give him the benefit of the doubt that speaking out this way could perhaps do some good. I sometimes feel that too many non-MAGA Americans do not quite comprehend how dangerous the Republican Party in its current form is to our democracy. Maybe someone like Romney saying it will help more people see it? Hard to say. Perhaps it will help more people connect the dots between the GOP’s turn to madness and the neverending debacle that is the House Republican caucus. Better late than never, Mitt.
The last word goes to Frank Turner.