Raise your hand if you’re excited for Senator Romney!
Democrats tend to elevate to high positions those who most effectively and aggressively champion their values. Republicans, on the other hand, tend to champion those who most effectively promote the values of the other side. Example number ten million? Mitt Romney’s likely run for Senate.
Whether we love Trump, love some aspects of him, or hate him, we should recognize that the reason we have him as leader of the Republican Party is because of past failed leaders like Mitt Romney. We have a failed culture, failed government-run health care, a failed immigration system, and failed foreign policy, with the entire society and political system inexorably marching leftward. Why? Republicans pay lip service to fixing these issues during campaigns, yet upon assumption of office, they double down on the same failed policies.
What we are now seeing in President Trump is the exact opposite. He challenges the way we look at immigration, foreign policy, alliances, and foreign aid. Trump is asking the all-important question of “why.” Why are we doing so many stupid things? Just last night, he challenged the sacred cow of the political class — the Palestinian agenda:
…peace treaty with Israel. We have taken Jerusalem, the toughest part of the negotiation, off the table, but Israel, for that, would have had to pay more. But with the Palestinians no longer willing to talk peace, why should we make any of these massive future payments to them?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 2, 2018
Contrast this behavior with Mitt Romney, and you will see why, putting temperament aside, voters chose Trump after they passed on Romney. Strictly as a matter of politics, Romney has all the vices of Trump but none of the virtues. Conservatives were leery of Trump at first because of his lack of ideological core, but Romney was the original “Etch-a-Sketch,” minus the boldness and willingness to challenge the status quo. In fact, Romney is the poster-boy for the status quo.
Mitt Romney is the grandfather of Obamacare. He sat idly while his state redefined marriage before it was cool … and then proceeded to champion marriage when seeking the presidency. On immigration, when running for president he was “severely conservative” and talked about self-deporting, but his record before running for president and ever since running for president is in line with the failed established way of thinking. In fact, Obama issued the DACA amnesty during the general election in 2012, when Romney had the biggest platform to speak against this theft of our national sovereignty. Instead, he said he would keep amnesty in place, thereby trailblazing the GOP response of legitimizing one of the most illicit acts of a president in modern history. In 2014, he opposed the conservative effort to fight Obama’s DAPA amnesty.
Even as it relates to bedrock Republican issues of Iran and Israel, we can see the difference between Trump and Romney. All Republicans say they believe Iran is an enemy, are pro-Israel, believe Jerusalem is Israel’s capitol, and are concerned about Palestinian terrorism. But much like their “belief” in life, whenever the opportunity presents itself to alter the paradigm, they dogmatically cling to the status quo and downright savage those who are trying to force change. Mitt Romney exemplified this behavior by wrongly attacking Ted Cruz for accusing Obama of funding terrorism with the Iran deal.
I am opposed to the Iran deal, but @SenTedCruz is way over the line on the Obama terrorism charge. Hurts the cause.
— Mitt Romney (@MittRomney) July 30, 2015
With Hezbollah’s funding from Iran increasing from $200 million to $830 million after the transfer of frozen funds following the deal, we now know that Romney was proven wrong, but he won’t admit it.
And speaking of Trump’s boldness on Israel and the PLO, let’s travel back in time to the 2012 presidential primary with Newt Gingrich. On December 9, 2011, Newt Gingrich boldly proclaimed that there is no such thing as a distinct Arab “Palestinian” people, that they are an invented people and that they have no claim to any land. In came Romney to criticize him the next day at a debate in Iowa. “I will exercise sobriety, care, stability and make sure that I don’t say anything like this,” said the virtue-signaling human Etch-a-Sketch from Massachusetts who is now considering a run for Senate in Utah.
Bingo! This is exactly what I mean. Even on the issues on which they claim to agree with us, Romney Republicans virulently oppose doing anything meaningful to change the paradigm because of “stability.”
“We wouldn’t want to destabilize Iraq and Afghanistan by changing plans.”
“We wouldn’t want to destabilize the PLO by cutting off funds.”
“We wouldn’t want to destabilize the insurance markets with the $2,000 monthly premiums.”
“We wouldn’t want to destabilize ‘women’s health’ by defunding Planned Parenthood.”
“Yes, we love Israel, but let’s not rock the boat by moving the embassy. Let’s just talk about it aspirationally.”
“Yes, we need ‘immigration reform,’ but immigration reform really means the same old amnesty, and don’t talk to me about reforming chain migration and the refugee flow.”
GOP voters are sick of this game. Frankly, all voters are sick of the double game. They want to challenge the status quo. As Reagan said, “[F]reedom is the right to question, and change the established way of doing things. … It is the right to put forth an idea, scoffed at by the experts, and watch it catch fire among the people.”
In some ways, this is where an Etch-a-Sketch would come in handy. Voters want a clean slate of ideas, unmoored from the failed assumptions of the past. Yet, while Romney constantly erases his slate of aligned positions to comport with his political opportunities, he always stubbornly adopts the failed assumptions of the past.
Mitt Romney is the quintessential failed GOP politician in the sense that he either trailblazes the left-wing policies of the political establishment or blocks the path of those who try to stop the policies the Left has already pursued.
So why exactly, at the age of 70, after failing to win the presidency on two occasions, does Romney want to sit in the Senate? What will he accomplish?
In all likelihood, he will be the new John McCain. The man who cannot find any reservoir of outrage against the sickening policies of the Left but who will virtue-signal against the Right at the drop of a hat and will be the go-to Republican for the media.
In that respect, Romney would be worse than nothing. A senator is not just a vote but a voice. A senator can be a positive voice for us on any given cause, as we see from Ted Cruz on almost every issue. Or a senator could be a negative voice, constantly giving fuel to the other side, like Jeff Flake, John McCain, and Lindsey Graham.
Let’s not forget that at a time when the Left is becoming dangerously unhinged, Romney actually praised Antifa!
No, not the same. One side is racist, bigoted, Nazi. The other opposes racism and bigotry. Morally different universes.
— Mitt Romney (@MittRomney) August 16, 2017
As someone who doesn’t care about the GOP surviving, I’m not too worried about a Romney ascendency. But those who so badly want to save the GOP post-Trump should remember that the surest way to remind voters of everything they hate about this party is to elect Mitt Romney to the Senate.
Daniel Horowitz is a senior editor of Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @RMConservative.