Friday, January 04, 2019

Mitt Romney's attempt at relevancy

I admit I was on board when the wisdom was that "Mitt was right about everything." Remember how Mitt Romney got mocked during his debate with Barack Obama? Romney had said that Russia was going to prove to be our biggest geopolitical foe. Obama scoffed and said the 1980s had called and wanted their foreign policy back. On that issue and some others, Romney seemingly proved prophetic. And look at the Democrats today: they fully embrace the idea that Russia and Russians are under every carpet, inside every toilet, and up every rectum. For them, it seems, Barack Obama was wrong, and Mitt Romney was right.

With Donald Trump at the helm, though, our foreign policy seems to be that it's more constructive to play nicely with Russia—at least, more nicely than we have in the past. Mitt Romney's prophetic wisdom seems to have gone by the wayside, and Romney himself, despite having just transitioned from former governor of Massachusetts to a senator for Utah, seems also to be passing into irrelevancy.

Until recently: Romney wrote an op-ed piece that impugned Trump's character, and people have been reacting to it. Here's one such reaction, which I found over at Instapundit:

Donald Trump campaigned and was elected on rolling back the regulatory state. He has made a good start on that Herculean project. He campaigned and was elected on taming illegal immigration. He is hard at work attempting to achieve that. He campaigned and was elected on cutting taxes. He managed that last year. He campaigned and was elected on rolling back political correctness. He has done that through Betsy DeVos’s department of education and in other ways. He campaigned and was elected on populating the judiciary with judges who were Constitutionalists after the pattern of Antonin Scalia. He has made astonishing progress in doing just that. He campaigned and was elected on rebuilding the United States military and, with a military budget of some $716 billion, he is well on the way to accomplishing that. He campaigned and was elected on making America energy independent. We are now the world’s largest energy producer. He campaigned and was elected on helping black and [Hispanic] minorities, who now enjoy the lowest unemployment in history. He campaigned and was elected on a promise to challenge the spread of radical Islamic terrorism. During his first year in office, he obliterated ISIS as a fighting force. He campaigned and was elected on challenging North Korea’s nuclear program and has made historic progress on that front. He campaigned and was elected on reversing China’s unfair trade practices and expansionist policies. He has made significant progress on that front as well. He campaigned and was elected on moving our Israeli embassy to Jerusalem. He did it.

Mitt Romney thinks that Donald Trump has not risen to the ‘mantle of the office.’ I’d say, on the contrary, that he has lifted the bar and then vaulted over it.

I voted for Mitt Romney in 2012. Doubtless he is a nice man. Possibly, Donald Trump is not as nice. But he won in 2016, as Mitt Romney failed to do in 2012. And his tenure has been a litany of achievement in the light of which Mitt Romney’s complaints appear not just churlish and beside the point but slightly rancid and pathetic, not unlike the establishment he embodies.
I disagree with Roger Kimball's hubristic "obliterated ISIS" rhetoric. We've seen "Mission Accomplished"-style sloganeering before, and that never ends well. I'm also unsure whether Trump's talks with North Korea actually mark "historic progress," but that's an open question, and only time will tell. But I agree with the overall tenor and substance of the above blockquote from Kimball.

Think of Mitt Romney as a symptom of a much larger problem. Never Trumper Republicans have, up to now, proven more obstructionist than Democrats when it comes to funding the border wall. Even with John McCain gone, Never Trumpers exist in droves, beholden to the old paradigm of left/right, liberal/conservative, and unaware that the chessboard has morphed into nationalist/globalist. All that is going to change in January, when the House of Representatives swears in its new, majority-Dem membership, which is already fired up to impeach Trump, investigate him further, and refuse funding for the wall. The Dems seem intent on pursuing their self-destructive course; they don't seem to understand that they're the ones who will shoulder the blame when desired changes aren't implemented, and the consequences will be felt, quite strongly, at the next ballot. In the meantime, the Dems will bring their sound and fury, thereby pushing Mitt Romney even further into irrelevancy.

Further commentary on Mitt Romney:

Democrats can take heart, though, about what all this means: Republicans are internally divided, which means they're a body controlled by multiple brains. Not to say that Democrats are a unified group; they certainly aren't, and for the Dems, one major problem is the age gap, which brings with it two radically different visions of how to move the country forward.

We'll let Donald Trump, that consummate Tweeter, have the last word:
‘Here we go with Mitt Romney. . . . Question will be, is he a [Jeff] Flake? I hope not. Would much prefer that Mitt focus on Border Security and so many other things where he can be helpful. I won big, and he didn’t. He should be happy for all Republicans. Be a TEAM player & WIN!’

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