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The problem with Mitt Romney

Sen. Mitt Romney ...

Posted: Jan 2, 2019 5:29 PM
Updated: Jan 2, 2019 5:29 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?")

Donald Trump

Government and public administration

Government bodies and offices

Jeff Flake

Mitt Romney

Political Figures - US

Political organizations

Politics

US federal government

US political parties

US Republican Party

White House

Government organizations - US

US Congress

US Senate

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.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 113876

Reported Deaths: 3238
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds7850176
DeSoto685779
Harrison505083
Jackson445084
Rankin388186
Madison377993
Lee350779
Forrest299578
Jones287784
Washington255199
Lafayette245943
Lauderdale2418134
Lamar221238
Bolivar200177
Oktibbeha199354
Neshoba1831111
Lowndes176362
Panola169038
Leflore165187
Sunflower159749
Warren153655
Monroe147372
Pontotoc145819
Marshall139227
Lincoln138557
Pike137756
Copiah136236
Coahoma124736
Scott124729
Grenada121138
Yazoo120733
Simpson120449
Union116525
Tate114939
Leake114340
Holmes114160
Pearl River112259
Itawamba112125
Adams106743
Prentiss103719
Wayne99821
Alcorn98112
George97718
Covington95326
Marion93542
Tippah88121
Newton85227
Chickasaw83626
Tallahatchie83025
Winston82821
Tishomingo80041
Hancock79827
Attala78926
Clarke73450
Clay68321
Jasper67717
Walthall63627
Calhoun61912
Noxubee59617
Smith58916
Montgomery53523
Claiborne53316
Tunica52817
Yalobusha51914
Lawrence50714
Perry48623
Carroll47612
Greene46918
Stone46214
Humphreys42616
Amite42113
Quitman4196
Jefferson Davis40011
Webster37013
Wilkinson33520
Benton3255
Kemper32015
Sharkey28014
Jefferson27410
Franklin2373
Choctaw2046
Issaquena1074
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 155915

Reported Deaths: 2674
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson22861374
Mobile14468314
Tuscaloosa10148139
Montgomery9875196
Madison915094
Shelby720462
Lee649665
Baldwin647569
Marshall433049
Calhoun418960
Etowah418749
Morgan403635
Houston369232
DeKalb330229
Elmore314852
St. Clair287142
Limestone276530
Walker272293
Talladega261035
Cullman235724
Lauderdale214841
Jackson210015
Autauga202330
Franklin202131
Colbert196731
Russell19233
Blount189325
Dallas186227
Chilton184132
Escambia171929
Coffee171710
Covington169929
Dale165451
Chambers133643
Pike132313
Tallapoosa130587
Clarke130017
Marion106229
Butler100140
Barbour9979
Marengo99222
Winston91313
Geneva8527
Pickens82417
Lawrence82131
Randolph81216
Bibb81114
Hale74930
Clay72912
Cherokee72614
Lowndes70328
Monroe64010
Henry6396
Bullock63717
Washington63412
Crenshaw60230
Perry5836
Wilcox56212
Fayette56113
Conecuh55713
Cleburne5438
Macon52920
Sumter47021
Lamar4665
Choctaw38812
Greene34216
Coosa2023
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