The problem with Mitt Romney

Sen. Mitt Romney ...

Posted: Jan 2, 2019 6:29 PM
Updated: Jan 2, 2019 6:29 PM

Sen. Mitt Romney told the country in a Washington Post op-ed Tuesday that President Donald Trump does not have the character to be president. Careful to explain that he agrees with most of the President's tax policies, lest Republican voters think that he has veered to the left, Sen. Romney expressed worry that Trump has not lived up to the nation's ideals.

Sen. Romney's statement is not a profile in courage. Rather it is another example of the emptiness of the #nevertrump movement -- all talk and no action. Indeed, Mitt Romney essentially invented the brand. He was Jeff Flake before Flake started to complain. (This point is not lost on Trump, who tweeted Wednesday, "Here we go with Mitt Romney, but so fast! Question will be, is he a Flake?")

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During the 2016 presidential campaign, Romney famously made a blistering speech about why Trump should not be president. He mocked Trump's failure as a business leader and condemned the way he conducted himself in public. Romney took center stage to warn his party against going all in for Trump, using tough words to paint the reality television star as a person who could not be trusted with the keys of power.

Then, Romney did nothing. He even dined with Trump as talk swirled that he could be the new President's secretary of state nominee. Until now, Romney has remained largely silent during most of the Trump presidency.

Other Trump GOP critics such as Flake or former Sen. Bob Corker offered endless statements about what is wrong with the President, then, like Romney, took virtually no action to demonstrate their opposition or to constrain his power. They mostly watched as the President bashed key institutions and took dangerous steps to undermine law and order. And then they both left the Senate.

Like most congressional Republicans, Romney's quiet lack of action helped President Trump as much as the notorious and much louder GOP base has. Through inaction, they enabled Trumpism by allowing the party to perform its concern in public about Trump's behavior while doing nothing about it in practice.

During his run for the Senate in 2018, Romney went so far as to effectively align himself with the commander in chief showing that in reality, there is no daylight between the party and the President. He was one of many Republicans who decided to go all in when push came to shove on the campaign trail. It was not much of a surprise when the President endorsed him.

So now Romney wants to have at it once again -- this time possibly eying a primary challenge in 2020.

At this point, voters should assume there is nothing more to his op-ed, especially given the way he is so careful to endorse the policy agenda of the White House. He barely has a beef with any policy the President has pushed, other than deficits, and indicates that he wants to work with him as senator.

Is this really the sum total of Republican resistance? If so, Trump has little to worry about from his own party.

If Sen. Romney really wants to take a stand against the President, now that he's taking office in the Senate, he has a chance to show he is more than bluster. He can refuse to give Sen. Mitch McConnell his vote until the party stops supporting the President. He can use his seat as a bully pulpit to rail against the President, as well as Republicans such as McConnell, who have worked side by side with him and acted to protect the administration from investigation.

With Romney in the Senate, the public can follow his votes rather than his empty rhetoric.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

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Reported Deaths: 9807
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion849231342
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Hamilton29752316
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Vanderburgh19679255
Tippecanoe18150144
Johnson15234296
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Floyd6522113
Wayne6194164
Grant6050118
Dubois559081
Boone557968
Morgan551996
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Cass487864
Noble476159
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Ohio4967
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Ohio Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 872918

Reported Deaths: 10856
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin102616707
Cuyahoga868931154
Hamilton65148455
Montgomery43662420
Summit35411766
Lucas31794634
Butler31451232
Stark26247445
Warren19939144
Lorain19378229
Mahoning17561339
Lake16350161
Clermont16235113
Delaware1463881
Licking13453142
Fairfield1301782
Trumbull12980317
Greene12226144
Medina11798169
Clark11094266
Wood10507158
Allen10031128
Portage9514111
Richland9275134
Miami927273
Marion7512113
Tuscarawas7455186
Columbiana7433124
Pickaway735250
Muskingum714042
Wayne7140172
Erie6253130
Ross5589100
Hancock556292
Scioto545365
Geauga518955
Darke474395
Lawrence464658
Union459130
Ashtabula457973
Sandusky440462
Huron435541
Mercer435590
Seneca435366
Auglaize425166
Belmont423948
Jefferson423969
Shelby422923
Washington396340
Athens38619
Putnam379276
Madison359930
Knox358423
Ashland349638
Fulton341744
Defiance336188
Crawford327274
Preble323637
Brown318821
Logan314835
Ottawa297443
Clinton293944
Highland282219
Williams282267
Jackson266145
Guernsey259326
Champaign254628
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Morrow23594
Perry235518
Holmes227274
Henry222954
Hardin217033
Coshocton208023
Van Wert204445
Gallia200126
Wyandot198151
Pike180918
Adams179815
Hocking174024
Carroll158216
Paulding145521
Noble121040
Meigs110324
Monroe103433
Harrison89821
Morgan84531
Vinton71714
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