The Republican party may have gained two seats in the Senate in the midterm elections, but judging by the editorial just published by Mitt Romney (R-UT) in The Washington Post, Democrats may not need to convince quite so many Republicans to convict President Trump if (or more likely, when) his impeachment trial begins.
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Romney, who returned to the national political stage with his victory in the mid-term Utah senatorial contest, savaged the president in an op-ed that posits that the president “shapes the public character of the nation.” In Romney’s estimation, Trump’s character falls far short of the quality necessary to meet those lofty expectations.
The former 2012 presidential candidate first addresses Trump’s “deep descent in December” with the departures of the only administration officials trusted by traditional Republicans to be the adults in the room and prevent the president from causing truly catastrophic damage to our nation before telling readers that Trump “was not my choice for the Republican presidential nomination.”
He explains that he had hoped that Trump “would rise to the occasion” after his inauguration, “but, on balance, his conduct over the past two years, particularly his actions this month, is evidence that the president has not risen to the mantle of the office,” in Romney’s eyes.
The former Massachusetts governor then goes on to praise the president for enacting all of the despicable Republican policies that he would have pushed for himself had he been elected. While that opinion alone may lead anyone with views more progressive than your everyday oligarch to immediately dismiss anything else Romney has to say, he goes on to admit that “policies and appointments are only a part of a presidency.”
“To a great degree, a presidency shapes the public character of the nation.” Romney writes. “A president should unite us and inspire us to follow ‘our better angels.’ A president should demonstrate the essential qualities of honesty and integrity, and elevate the national discourse with comity and mutual respect. As a nation, we have been blessed with presidents who have called on the greatness of the American spirit. With the nation so divided, resentful and angry, presidential leadership in qualities of character is indispensable. And it is in this province where the incumbent’s shortfall has been most glaring,” he continues.
Romney goes beyond issues of character in his attack on the president, calling out Trump for the severe damage that he’s done to America’s global reputation and our relationship with our allies.
“Trump’s words and actions have caused dismay around the world,” the incoming Senator writes. “In a 2016 Pew Research Center poll, 84 percent of people in Germany, Britain, France, Canada and Sweden believed the American president would “do the right thing in world affairs.” One year later, that number had fallen to 16 percent.”
With those devastating statistics to rely on, Romney calls for new American leadership in the global arena and declares that it is in our own best interest to provide it. He then outlines his own recipe for the restoration, beginning with repairing “failings in our politics at home.” His solutions, while heavily tilted towards a traditional business and evangelical-centric Republican point of view, are a repudiation of President Trump in both style and substance, at least in terms of foreign policy and national unity.
“That project begins, of course, with the highest office once again acting to inspire and unite us. It includes political parties promoting policies that strengthen us rather than promote tribalism by exploiting fear and resentment. Our leaders must defend our vital institutions despite their inevitable failings: a free press, the rule of law, strong churches, and responsible corporations and unions,” Romney advocates.
Declaring allegiance to a balanced budget and revitalized relationships with our allies, Romney says that he looks forward to working with senior Republican leadership in the Senate on these issues, perhaps presaging a major fight over funding for Social Security and Medicare in the upcoming Congressional session. He does, however, vow to maintain his voice in opposition to Trump policies that he considers harmful to the country and his state.
“Furthermore, I will act as I would with any president, in or out of my party: I will support policies that I believe are in the best interest of the country and my state, and oppose those that are not. I do not intend to comment on every tweet or fault. But I will speak out against significant statements or actions that are divisive, racist, sexist, anti-immigrant, dishonest or destructive to democratic institutions,” Romney promised.
It certainly sounds like we will be hearing from Senator Mitt Romney quite frequently if he keeps that last promise.
The Senator ends on a note of optimism that we all should hope is warranted and does come to pass.
“The people of this great land will eschew the politics of anger and fear if they are summoned to the responsibility by leaders in homes, in churches, in schools, in businesses, in government — who raise our sights and respect the dignity of every child of God — the ideal that is the essence of America,” he concludes his op-ed.
While many may not agree with Romney’s political or economic positions, his stance here is such a refreshing change from the hateful and divisive blathering emanating from the mouth of Donald Trump that it’s difficult to find fault with his logic or wishes, at least as far as his opposition to Trump’s irrational and criminally suspect behavior conduct goes.
Follow Vinnie Longobardo on Twitter.