Democratic pundits like Ezra Klein and Joe Scarborough have jumped on the Romney conversion train, heaping praise on Mitt Romney for standing up to Trump. In hindsight, in my post written yesterday (Romney and Rubin - Trump lacks leadership and has lost leverage), I too fell a little bit for Romney’s supposed courage. Well, heck, folks, you know we all hope that the Senate gets some spine and does its oversight thing. But it never does - at least not in the era of King Donald. So we pundits go on chasing crumbs on water. We grasp for the crumbs of courage without getting wet. No can do.
Spend a little time this morning reading the history of the Trump/Romney relation reported by Judd Legum at popular.info, Rewinding Romney. Here’s the lead-in.
Mitt Romney, who will be sworn in today as the new Senator from Utah, wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post positioning himself as a Republican unafraid to take on Trump.
“The Trump presidency made a deep descent in December,” Romney said, adding that “the president has not risen to the mantle of the office.”
There’s one problem: Romney is as responsible as anyone for enabling Trump’s successful run for the presidency. Nevertheless, Romney’s column earned him praise from various pundits eager for a Republican to stand up to Trump’s excesses.
Actual opposition from Republicans in the Senate would be significant. It could provide a bulwark against an increasingly lawless president.
This view, however, involves ignoring both the substance of what Romney wrote and Romney’s history with Trump.
Over the last six years, Romney has repeatedly embraced Trump, then repudiated him, only to embrace him again. What changes is not Trump’s conduct, but Romney’s self-interest.
Trump, in a rambling rant following a cabinet meeting yesterday, expressed the wish that Romney will be a “team player.” Given the history, he is likely to get his wish fulfilled by Romald Trumpney.