Don’t Be a Flake, Mitt

 

Mitt Romney burst into his role as the junior senator from Utah with an op-ed criticizing Donald Trump’s character, or lack thereof. Though the piece was treated as a bombshell, it was the usual mild-mannered, more-in-sadness-than-in-anger critique that Romney specializes in.

Taking on the president of his own party as his first act drew strong reactions from most elected Republicans and every conservative pundit. I suppose I should throw in my two cents. Although I agree with Romney’s criticism, the op-ed was the kind of unforced error that ended my former senator’s political career.

Like Romney, Jeff Flake is an eminently decent man more concerned with policy minutiae than party loyalty. But the only times he was roused to comment on the rough-and-tumble of partisan politics, his targets were on the right.

Every good politician should ding his own party when they mess up, but they need to accept that the other party is much, much worse. Flake never unleashed on Chuck Schumer or Nancy Pelosi; he saved his ineffectual wrath for members of his own party.

Perhaps Mitt is setting himself up as the anti-Trump, opening a lane to the GOP nomination in 2020 if Trump goes south. But if he wants Republican voters to support him, he better spend a lot more time focusing on the real target.

Romney should keep a tally in his day planner: Every criticism of Trump merits at least 25 criticisms of the braying donkeys trying to push socialism on America. If he’s unwilling to take the fight to the left, there’s no reason for anyone on the right to support him.

There are 80 comments.

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  1. MarciN Member

    I think people are overreacting to Romney’s op-ed. I heard Trump on Fox Business today talk about the op-ed, and he was pretty calm about it. I think we should be too. :-)

    • #1
    • January 2, 2019, at 6:02 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  2. Western Chauvinist Member

    Jon Gabriel, Ed.: If he’s unwilling to take the fight to the left, there’s no reason for anyone on the right to support him.

    He showed an unwillingness to take the fight to the left in 2012. He already lost my support before he penned his op-ed. He is not the droid candidate we’re looking for.

    • #2
    • January 2, 2019, at 6:09 PM PDT
    • 13 likes
  3. sadiesmom Lincoln

    I voted for Mitt in the 2012 primary and obviously the general. I did so with much enthusiasm. My 2016 vote for Trump was one of the hardest votes in my life. That being said, Mitt lost my respect with his Op-Ed. It was a mistake of some magnitude. The timing was suspect and the content (while true of course) brought nothing to the table. He will regret this move sooner rather than later.

    • #3
    • January 2, 2019, at 6:19 PM PDT
    • 11 likes
  4. HankMorgan Coolidge

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    Jon Gabriel, Ed.: If he’s unwilling to take the fight to the left, there’s no reason for anyone on the right to support him.

    He showed an unwillingness to take the fight to the left in 2012. He already lost my support before he penned his op-ed. He is not the droid candidate we’re looking for.

    Worse yet, he’s learned absolutely nothing. He still plays nice with the left and expects fair treatment from them. Meanwhile Mr. Severely Conservative continues to keep his rhetorical cannons firmly aimed to his right.

    • #4
    • January 2, 2019, at 6:27 PM PDT
    • 12 likes
  5. rgbact Member

    comparisons to Jeff Flake now? Good grief. Flake had dismal poll numbers a month after getting elected. It wasn’t Trump bashing that did him in, he had other issues, among them, a big immigration bill with Democrats. Romney just won by 30% and he’s got a 6year term. About as safe a perch to be a Trump critic as you can get.

    I doubt he’ll take shots unless other senators are griping too. So, he can be their spokesman.

    • #5
    • January 2, 2019, at 6:43 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  6. Jules PA Member

    Jon Gabriel, Ed.: Although I agree with Romney’s criticism, the op-ed was the kind of unforced error that ended my former senator’s political career.

    I agree…unforced error on Romney’s part. He’s a better man than his “words as weapons” article. But he is, after all, simply a man, flawed like the rest of us. He is just more tidy with his flaws than President Trump. 

    • #6
    • January 2, 2019, at 7:01 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  7. Jules PA Member

    Jon Gabriel, Ed.: If he’s unwilling to take the fight to the left, there’s no reason for anyone on the right to support him.

    Amen. The true beast we need to fight is obvious…

     

    • #7
    • January 2, 2019, at 7:03 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  8. The Reticulator Member

    Jon Gabriel, Ed.: Romney should keep a tally in his day planner: Every criticism of Trump merits at least 25 criticisms of the braying donkeys trying to push socialism on America. If he’s unwilling to take the fight to the left, there’s no reason for anyone on the right to support him.

    I would prefer that Romney play the role of Samson and use Trump like he would use the jawbone of an ass to take out a bunch of the bad guys. He could point out that Trump is sometimes almost as narcissistic as Obama, or that his understanding of trade is almost as deficient as that of Elizabeth Warren. Yeah, Trump might sustain some damage when he’s used as a weapon that way, but I’m willing for him to suffer some bruises in our battle with the Oppressor Class. 

    That’s the way I used to criticize George W. Bush (who I never voted for). One leftnik on a political e-forum noticed what I was doing and challenged me to criticize the W-person without including a criticism of the Democrats. I refused. It would have been wrong to pick on W and ignore the worse failings of the Democrats. See, even responding to that challenge gave me an opportunity to criticize those who most deserved it. 

    • #8
    • January 2, 2019, at 7:06 PM PDT
    • 16 likes
  9. Drusus Coolidge

    Why are we all pretending that Mitt Romney never has or does criticize the Left? 

    • #9
    • January 2, 2019, at 7:10 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  10. DonG Coolidge

    The Senate would be better off with Ronna Romney-McDaniel than uncle Mitt. 

    • #10
    • January 2, 2019, at 7:11 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  11. Hoyacon Member

    Agreed, no bombshell. So why treat it as such (or sort of as such) with another thread?

    • #11
    • January 2, 2019, at 7:18 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  12. Clifford A. Brown Contributor

    rgbact (View Comment):

    comparisons to Jeff Flake now? Good grief. Flake had dismal poll numbers a month after getting elected. It wasn’t Trump bashing that did him in, he had other issues, among them, a big immigration bill with Democrats. Romney just won by 30% and he’s got a 6year term. About as safe a perch to be a Trump critic as you can get.

    I doubt he’ll take shots unless other senators are griping too. So, he can be their spokesman.

    Gripes of a dwindling old-boys’ Republican club, at odds with a reemerging electorate that demands promises actually be kept, not finessed by self-created, self-serving rules excuses of Senate Republicans. That electorate is represented in the slowly emerging majority within the Republican Senate caucus — since the Democrats have gone hard bi-coastal elite left.

    • #12
    • January 2, 2019, at 7:45 PM PDT
    • 14 likes
  13. Clifford A. Brown Contributor

    From Steven Hayward at PowerLine:

    Yes, it is quite true that nearly all Republican presidential candidates—and presidents—have promoted tax reform, lower regulation, getting tough with China, and appointing better judges (and add in moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem), if by “promoted” you mean giving lip service to the ideas.

    None of them have delivered on these “promoted” ideas (Reagan excepted, of course). The two presidents Bush botched judicial appointments, extended regulation, delivered little in the way of serious tax or spending reform, and did nothing serious with regard to China. I wish Romney had defeated Obama in 2012, but does anyone think this Massachusetts technocrat, who gave us the state-level version of Obamacare in the Bay State, signed up for a regional climate change cap-and-trade scheme, who appointed the egregious Gina McCarthy (Obama’s second EPA administrator) to be his environmental adviser, and appointed state judges who struck the first judicial blows for same-sex marriage, would have governed as a serious conservative had he won?

    The point is, Trump has proved that “mainstream Republicanism” was a colossal failure. Whereas Bush-Romney Republicans “promoted” good ideas, Trump has delivered on them.

    Now that is speaking truth to power, or wilful impotence.

    • #13
    • January 2, 2019, at 9:19 PM PDT
    • 28 likes
  14. RightAngles Member

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):

    From Steven Hayward at PowerLine:

    Yes, it is quite true that nearly all Republican presidential candidates—and presidents—have promoted tax reform, lower regulation, getting tough with China, and appointing better judges (and add in moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem), if by “promoted” you mean giving lip service to the ideas.

    None of them have delivered on these “promoted” ideas (Reagan excepted, of course). The two presidents Bush botched judicial appointments, extended regulation, delivered little in the way of serious tax or spending reform, and did nothing serious with regard to China. I wish Romney had defeated Obama in 2012, but does anyone think this Massachusetts technocrat, who gave us the state-level version of Obamacare in the Bay State, signed up for a regional climate change cap-and-trade scheme, who appointed the egregious Gina McCarthy (Obama’s second EPA administrator) to be his environmental adviser, and appointed state judges who struck the first judicial blows for same-sex marriage, would have governed as a serious conservative had he won?

    The point is, Trump has proved that “mainstream Republicanism” was a colossal failure. Whereas Bush-Romney Republicans “promoted” good ideas, Trump has delivered on them.

    Now that is speaking truth to power, or wilful impotence.

    I agree with this. In 2012, I tried to give Romney a break about the RomneyCare, thinking he was just doing what the residents of his state wanted. but his behavior toward Trump has really made me mad.

    • #14
    • January 2, 2019, at 9:27 PM PDT
    • 19 likes
  15. Barfly Member

    I find Romney’s letter transparently self-serving. The central piece of his attack, his assertion that the President leads the moral society, is a plain invention. Politics is downstream of culture. Why say something that absurd? Because Mitt the Good has goodness, that’s his unquestioned niche role in the grand narrative. The psychology is so openly self-regarding it embarrasses one to look.

    Good for what, exactly?

    • #15
    • January 2, 2019, at 9:36 PM PDT
    • 15 likes
  16. Gary Robbins Reagan

    Again either I am out of step with all of you, or all of you are out of step with me! (I prefer the latter interpretation, but am open to considering if the former is true.)

    • #16
    • January 2, 2019, at 10:02 PM PDT
    • Like
  17. Chris Campion Coolidge

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    Again either I am out of step with all of you, or all of you are out of step with me! (I prefer the latter interpretation, but am open to considering if the former is true.)

    Covering all bases. All realities are belong to Gary.

    • #17
    • January 3, 2019, at 3:28 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  18. drlorentz Member

    The Romney perspective minus the virtue signaling:

    Opinion: Trump Is Doing The Right Thing, But He’s Doing It As Trump, Which Means It’s Still Bad

    • #18
    • January 3, 2019, at 3:59 AM PDT
    • 14 likes
  19. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher

    Nevertheless, Trump.

    • #19
    • January 3, 2019, at 4:58 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  20. Guruforhire Member

    Romney/Flake/etc are the Republican incel community. The nice guy schtict isn’t real, they aren’t nice or good and neither is Romney. They/he drip a kind of confused impotent rage, mixed with shame, at the chads and the staceys they can never be or have. If only people could understand just how nice and wonderful he is, the poontang presidency would rain from the skies. If only….

    Romney is basically Elliot Rogers at this point; can we make sure he doesn’t have a gun? For the safety of the community after all.

    The nice guy act was fake in 2012. It was fake in 2008. It has always been fake, and remains fake today.

    • #20
    • January 3, 2019, at 5:04 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  21. Manny Member

    Mitt Romney has to be one of the most artless politicians in my lifetime. He has probably flip flopped on every issue imaginable. When he was running for President, he loved Trump when he needed his support. Then when Trump was running and Mitt supported someone else, he denigrated Trump. Then when Trump was elected and Romney was being considered for Secretary of State, he praised Trump. When he didn’t get Sec of State, he was back to denigrating Trump. When he was running for Senate, he kept his mouth shut about Trump. Now he wins and wants to become the leader of the internal opposition to Trump he’s back to denigrating him.

    Give me a break Mitt. How about you go back to Massachusetts and promote your Obamacare Light healthcare system. Even though you flipped on it when you were running for the Republican Nomination, that seems like the true you.

    • #21
    • January 3, 2019, at 5:19 AM PDT
    • 14 likes
  22. Manny Member

    Barfly (View Comment):

    I find Romney’s letter transparently self-serving. The central piece of his attack, his assertion that the President leads the moral society, is a plain invention. Politics is downstream of culture. Why say something that absurd? Because Mitt the Good has goodness, that’s his unquestioned niche role in the grand narrative. The psychology is so openly self-regarding it embarrasses one to look.

    Good for what, exactly?

    Self Serving should be Mitt Romney’s personal motto. That is always how he’s run as a politician.

    • #22
    • January 3, 2019, at 5:21 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  23. Hang On Member

    Lest we forget who Romney is

    • #23
    • January 3, 2019, at 6:40 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  24. Songwriter Member

    Jon Gabriel, Ed.: If he’s (I’m) unwilling to take the fight to the left, there’s no reason for anyone on the right to support him (me).

    Now there’s a sentence that should be committed to memory and spoken aloud by every GOP Congressperson, several times a day.

    • #24
    • January 3, 2019, at 7:04 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  25. Jason Obermeyer Member

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    Again either I am out of step with all of you, or all of you are out of step with me! (I prefer the latter interpretation, but am open to considering if the former is true.)

    Image result for no it's the children who are wrong

    • #25
    • January 3, 2019, at 7:10 AM PDT
    • 8 likes
  26. Jager Member

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    Again either I am out of step with all of you, or all of you are out of step with me! (I prefer the latter interpretation, but am open to considering if the former is true.)

    The only place I have seen anyone Conservative/Republican support what Romney has done is here on Ricochet. Even the Trump Skeptics like Eric Erikson said things like, Romney may be right in his concerns but this was a dumb move. 

    The best critique may have come from Lindsey Graham. Graham asked the question that I wish a lot of Sen. would ask. “How does this help the people of Utah?”

    Their new Senator just poisoned his relationship with the President before being sworn in. How will he now work with the President on issues that matter to his state?

    https://dailycaller.com/2019/01/02/graham-attacks-mitt-romney-anti-trump/

    • #26
    • January 3, 2019, at 7:42 AM PDT
    • 13 likes
  27. RobertJohnson Coolidge

    It should tell you something when the people who seek to destroy your party are the ones trumpeting your message the loudest.

    • #27
    • January 3, 2019, at 7:44 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  28. Buckpasser Member

    Drusus (View Comment):

    Why are we all pretending that Mitt Romney never has or does criticize the Left?

    I must have missed the last Mitt Romney op-ed criticizing anyone on the left. It’s possible that I missed it.

    • #28
    • January 3, 2019, at 8:15 AM PDT
    • 8 likes
  29. Franco Member

    This is typical Mitt. He’s late to the game, says something that everyone already knows (if they already believe his assumptions of President as moral vicar of America) on platforms which mocked and ridiculed him when he dared run for President as exactly the kind of President he claims our country deserves.

    The irony could not be more delicious after considering that this self-serving vanity-ploy revolves around the idea of character. Remember, Mitt’s a conservative, he goes to church (or cult-meetings, depending on your perspective) is a family man who apparently has never cheated on his wife and has impeccable ethics.(perhaps) But is he a conservative politician? That may well be an entirely different animal. 

    As a conservative myself, I expect conservative politicians to move the ball forward, and certainly not give aid and comfort to those who have sworn in the past, present and future to thwart all things conservative. This is the kind of basic morality I expect as a voter.Even if Mitt were to be 100% right in his beliefs about what America needs or deserves from a President, he is doing considerable damage to conservatism (not Trump) with this completely unnecessary lecture.

    Character as a politician, in my book, is keeping promises, fighting for your constituents, refraining from seeking the limelight at your allies’ expense, being straight with voters before you are elected regarding your approach once elected, having enough basic loyalty that you don’t squander all your credibility and thus become ineffective for your constituents. Here Romney utterly fails. He has no political character.

    And if Mitt’s is trying to be Trump’s foil, Trump has gotten another Christmas gift.

     

    • #29
    • January 3, 2019, at 8:24 AM PDT
    • 16 likes
  30. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member

    Jason Obermeyer (View Comment):

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    Again either I am out of step with all of you, or all of you are out of step with me! (I prefer the latter interpretation, but am open to considering if the former is true.)

    Image result for no it's the children who are wrong

    Good one, Gary!

    Though the children actually support folks like Bernie and the Occasional Cortex gal. The grown-ups mostly support Trump, with reservations.

    • #30
    • January 3, 2019, at 8:27 AM PDT
    • 1 like
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