I owe Mitt Romney an apology. Of course he’s never heard of me and never will, but I’ve long been one of those snide, cynical voices on Facebook and Twitter, quick to ridicule the man as an out-of-touch plutocrat (running against Obama in 2012), a soulless opportunist (dining at Trump Tower in 2016), and just another generic kisser of Trump’s ample ass (2018 up to about three months ago).
Most recently, I’ve mocked Romney as the Susan Collins of Utah: given to faux concern and soulful hand-wringing, but unable to actually DO anything but furrow a brow as Trump trashes and torches his way through every check and balance the Founding Fathers imagined.
I take it all back. Today was Mitt’s finest hour. He identified Trump as what Trump is, and he didn’t mince words:
“…a flagrant assault on our electoral rights,national security and fundamental values. Corrupting an election to keep oneself in office is perhaps the most abusive destructive violation of one’s oath that I can imagine.”
Preach it, Mitt! (Even though, in the age of Trump, I can imagine quite a bit.)
Mitt Romney stepped up. I did not see that coming. I don’t think it was an entirely political calculation. It’s hard to see how this helps him, except among those of us who still like our politics with a dash of truth, a pinch or two of integrity. It’s true that he won’t face reelection until 2024 , but it still took guts to open himself to the flamethrower of hate that the Trumpistas normally reserve for immigrants, Nancy Pelosi and Adam Schiff.
Romney gave a hell of a speech. You should read it. I wonder now if he might someday emerge as the leader of a new, reinvented Republican party — not that it will be called “Republican,” since today’s party has ruined the the brand worse than AIDS destroyed a certain weight-loss product in the early ’80s.
Maybe it will matter, and maybe it won’t. I’ll probably be dead before the definitive history of Trumpism is written, but today seemed like a moment to remember.