Cry havoc! And let ship the dogs of war! William Shakespeare
Keep an eye on this, and be patient, because I have a feeling that this may take a while. MSNBC reported yesterday that in addition to being an all purpose pain in Trump’s ass, Utah Senator Mitt Romney (R-Bain Capital) is not ony talking quietly to other GOP Senators concerning Trump’s criminal antics, he’s also been holding hush-hush meetings with leaders of the “Never Trump” movement. And while these two things are not necessarily mutually exclusive, they do indicate two separate paths that Romney is navigating down at the same time.
Romney’s quiet conversations with other GOP Senators is a no brainer. Romney is gently testing the waters on announcing he is for the impeachment inquiry. Right now, Romney is the closest thing that the GOP has to a “conscience” in the Senate. If Romney were to come out in favor of the inquiry, especially if he indicated an openness to listen to the evidence, it could put quite a few vulnerable GOP incumbents up for reelection in 2020 between a rock and a very hard nother rock. It could also leave Yertl McTurtle with some world class damage control on his hands.
I actually find it doubtful that Romney himself could engineer enough of a mutiny to topple Trump, mainly because he doesn’t cycle back up for reelection until 2024, when Trump is no longer a factor any way you look at it. Also, there is the natural antipathy to Trump in Utah, which makes for a larger comfort zone for Romney. But in addition to impeachment, I believe that Romney is also reminding these more “old school” GOP Senators that the Republican party actually used to stand for something other than Trump.
Which is why the news of Romney quietly meeting with Trump resistance leaders is so fascinating to me. These people are absolutely no factor in the current Republican political climate. Trump ignores them, hell, he already beat them, and so does everybody else. If Romney is talking quietly to more mainstream GOP Senators, and he’s also quietly talking to the leaders of the “Never Trump” movement, it can only mean one thing. Romney is setting himself up as the leader of the post Trump reconstruction o the GOP.
Actually, Mitt Romney is almost uniquely qualified for that task. Romney is an old line, moderate “conservative,” with bona fides to match. Romney was the Governor of Massachusetts, and his Romneycare was considered both popular as well as successful, no matter how badly the GOP hated Obama for using it as the framework of the ACA. As a sitting US Senator in a seat that he can hold for as long as he likes, Romney is already plugged into the power structure of the Washington GOP. Romney has universal GOP name recognition. And as the last, and likely most fondly remembered pre Trump GOP Presidential candidate, Romney has an inferred “Elder Statesman” status in the establishment GOP.
Don’t think for a single moment that Mitt Romney doesn’t want this. You don’t get to be a billionaire venture capitalist without an ego the size of Montana. Hell, Romney loves to brag to this day about how he turned the lousy Salt Lake City Olympics into a stunning success after the original chair mucked it up. Having failed to become President, reconstituting the Republican party in his traditional, conservative point of view would be the capstone to his political career.
But there’s an even better reason for Romney to undertake this task so near at hand. Revenge. There are so many reasons for Romney to extract his pound of flesh from Trump, ice cold, that you can’t even count them all. For starters, money. Mitt Romney is a legitimate multi billionaire. Romney makes more money before breakfast than Trump makes all damn month. When Romney looks at his balance sheet, he sees lovely green instead of fire engine red, and Romney has never once proudly proclaimed himself to be “The King If Debt.” To have a cheap, third rate poltroon like Trump lump himself in the same category as Romney is deeply insulting to a legitimate oligarch wanna be.
Another strong motivation for Romney for revenge is humiliation. Trump has repeatedly belittled and humiliated Romney and his family. He once made a snide joke about Romney’s wife riding a horse, which she does partially to alleviate the effects of a physical disorder. In rallies Trump repeatedly hounded Romney for “choking like a dog” against Obama, complete with putting his hands around his neck and making gagging noises. Trump’s humiliation of making a public display of Romney’s “interview” for Secretary of State, before giving it to a useless lout like Rex Tillerson. And worst of all, by far, Trump’s repeated retelling of Romney’s coming to him for his endorsement, sneeringly saying, ” I could have said drop to your knees mitt, and he would have gone down like he was shot.” Now, Trombies can blather all they want about Trump meaning making Romney beg, but I like to think that my readers are intelligent enough to know a crude reference to a blowjob when they hear one.
Now I ask you. In addition to the massive ego boost of literally being the salvation of the Republican party, what would gibe Mitt Romney to stand there, armed with an industrial strength sand blaster, and have a go at the Trump graffiti stained wall of the Republican party? Not only to permanently excise every last reference to Trump in the GOP, but to pompously and conservatively brag about it with every swipe of the whitewash brush? It’s not like the GOP needs Trump’s supporters. If the GOP is going to survive at all, they are going to have to do a major re-branding, making the party both more acceptable to, and welcoming of minorities and younger voters. And the last thing the GOP needs is a bunch of redneck racists and Gestapo wanna bes hanging around their events. The GOP desperately needs to prove that Trump was a one-trick-pony, and they will gladly ship his memory off to a toxic waste containment facility.
To be sure, Romney is not the only one who has his eyes on this prize. Every “traditional” Republican would like to see himself as the salvation of the party, Ben Sasse and Jeff Flake to name just two. But for the moment, my money is on Romney, he’s the one best positioned, and has the most natural advantages. This is going to take a while, but just keep one eye on it in the background, because it should be a helluva lot of fun to watch. Don’t sell that Redenbacher stock just yet.
To know the future, look to the past. before the insanity of the 2020 election, relive the insanity of the 2016 GOP primary campaign, and the general election, to see how we got to where we are. Copies of President Evil, and the sequel, President Evil II, A Clodwork Orange are available as e-books on Amazon, at the links above. Catch up before the upcoming release of the third book in the trilogy, President Evil III: All The Presidents Fen