I have to say that Mitt Romney has basically met my expectations in terms of being a senator. Day after day he acts as though he’s a scold auditioning for a paying gig at The Bulwark. Some place where he can showcase his high mindedness and mighty principles and lecture everyone else about their moral failings and inadequacies. Some place where he can relish a role of irrelevance because he’s decided that winning is just too much work. Especially after you win (see Massachustts Governor Mitt Romney).
So it was of little surprise that the release of Mueller’s report brought out the tired, old “more in sorrow than in anger” sanctimony in Romney.
I have now read the redacted Mueller report and offer my personal reaction: pic.twitter.com/ACnExskqXJ
— Senator Mitt Romney (@SenatorRomney) April 19, 2019
(Read more commentary on this from Elizabeth Vaughn’s Mitt Romney Is ‘Sickened,’ Just Sickened Over Mueller Report; But Not For The Reasons You Would Expect.
There is plenty in the report to be sickened by. Not the least of which was an investigation into allegations that were known to be bogus by the time that Mueller was appointed. But that isn’t how Romney rolls. His real enemy is, and always has been, fellow Republicans who can never quite meet his high standards.
President Trump wasn’t in a charitable mood and decided to respond with a very on-target observation:
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 20, 2019
Hard to disagree with that assessment. In fact, Romney’s campaigns in the primary and general elections serve as a great metaphor for how he’s serving as senator. During the primary his campaign and its surrogates pushed out ugly opposition research on all his opponents. There didn’t seem to be much regard for “truthiness,” all they needed was one person to say something and they pushed it. I know this from personal experience in dealing with oppo dumps by Mitt’s minions here on RedState. But, as soon as he got the nomination he turned into a passive, flaccid lump who let the improbably named “Candy” Crowley correct him during a debate when he was right. And he stood there and took it. Like a…is there a Mormon phrase for “putz.”
Throughout the campaign Romney, like McCain before him, seemed much more interested in being remembered as a sweet, mild, and honorable loser rather than do what he needed to do to beat Obama. In fact, I’ve never been sure that Romney wanted to be the guy who deprived the first black president of reelection. In my view, he just wanted his party’s nomination as the crowning achievement of his career.
Be that as it may, it is hard to see what Romney’s game is. The GOP is never going to let him lose another presidential campaign. He’s a junior senator who isn’t going to live long enough to become a senior senator. The overwhelming majority of the Senate GOP caucus are not taking their cues from Romney. Most of the GOP caucus realizes that, whether they like it or not, their fate is tied to Donald Trump’s and that pretending they are Bill Kristol or one of the obese guys as The Bulwark isn’t going to get them either reelected or keep them as part of the majority party. Most treat Trump as an ordinary president in that they support Trump when they are able to do so and when they can’t they don’t, but they don’t treat him as some sort of pariah.
No one has to defend anything they read about Donald Trump, but, if they are going to criticize his reaction to a contrived investigation with the sole purpose of removing him from office, the least they can do is criticize that investigation. Unless muh priniciples stand in the way.