(U.S. Navy photo by Chief Electronics Technician James B. Clark – via Flickr)
Following his impeachment grandstanding Mitt Romney has become adored by the crowd with nothing left to win.
It is only fitting that in a week filled with all versions of drama and tumult that the crowd possibly most desperate for relevance was completely overshadowed by it all. We watched as the Democrats went through every iteration of meltdown and President Trump basked in a week of remarkable good fortune, but lost in all of the furor and cheering was the rapidly fading Never Trump set. The perpetual ‘’conservative’’ cranks had little to note in their favor and what they could latch onto has been shown as an empty vessel.
Max Boot wrote a lengthy piece in the Washington Post following the impeachment vote where he attempted to virtue signal as loudly as possible, all the while painting Marco Rubio as a blatant example of the problems he sees within the Republican party. Boot’s pride-filled declaration of his departure from the GOP often leads to a lack of introspection and here he clings tightly to the robe of Mitt Romney to do so. More hilarious than his avowed alliance with the vacillating senator is the way Boot obliviously provides the evidence that Romney is NOT the moral pillar he touts him to be.
On Monday during the Iowa Caucus, as the Democrats made every conceivable error and even some other that were inconceivable, a small event also played out. Joe Walsh, the self-anointed slayer of the president from the GOP ticket, made a personal appearance in Iowa. When he tried to rally the group by asking if they wanted four more years of Trump the reaction for the president was vocally loud support. Walsh dropped out of the race soon after, a potential name the NT set could support becoming eliminated as he face-planted out of the gate.
Then on Wednesday came the hoped-for rendering of the president that carried the inevitable failure of that effort — the Senate impeachment vote. While Trump’s acquittal was a foregone conclusion there was a glimmer of life for his avowed enemies within the party in the form of Mitt Romney. The Utah Senator gave an impassioned speech explaining the reason for his vote to indict, but in typical Mitt fashion he split his vote – he only supported one of the articles of impeachment, and in the process reduced himself to a footnote while becoming the darling of Boot and his contrarian crowd.
What we are delivered here is a writ of unintentional comedy, an insistence of a man being unwavering in his rigid standards despite giving us proof of the exact opposite. Also despite evidence of not only acting against his party but voting against the wishes of his constituents. The people of Utah whom Romney is meant to serve opposed the impeachment effort by close to 60%. But by voting in alignment with the Never Trump brigade he is given plaudits.
In his column, Max attempts to draw a portrait of how Romney is the bastion of all that is upright and praises him for his stern in his convictions, while Marco Rubio represents all that is wrong with the GOP. This despite the fact that we all know the Mitt Romney who will alter his stance depending on his political needs — proof of which deals specifically to Donald Trump.
Their relationship actually began back in 2012, when Trump had endorsed Mitt in the presidential race. Four years later, as Trump became the unexpected GOP nominee, Mitt could not be decent and return the favor, refusing to endorse him. Yet immediately after the surprise election victory there was Mitt, in November 2016, dining with the president-elect, hoping to lobby him for the position of Secretary of State. After getting understandably snubbed Romney was back in 2018, gratefully accepting Trump’s endorsement in order to secure his seat in the Senate. Now today the political weathervane has switched back, yet again, to show his opposition to the president.
And Max Boot is ecstatic about it. Boot had done work for both Romney and Rubio in the past and this has lent him a unique perspective on each of them. Unique, not to say accurate. Boot manages to project onto both men the character he wishes to display is in play within the GOP – facts be damned.
While Rubio joined the rest of his party in acquitting President Trump despite overwhelming evidence of his guilt — ”I felt prouder than ever of my work for Romney and more ashamed than ever of my work for Rubio.” All fine, have those opinions if you like. But the ensuing level of gaslighting that takes place is just flat out hilarious. For starters, just try not to at least smirk at this passage regarding Mitt’s impassioned speech:
”That’s precisely what Romney did in a riveting speech on Wednesday that was full of courage and conviction. He was almost moved to tears as he was speaking — and so was I. How extraordinary to see a single Republican doing what was right even though he knew it would be intensely unpopular with his party’’
As hilarious as that is (I too am tearing up, but from laughter) the baffling part in this screed is that Boot has himself admitted to Romney’s milquetoast character traits. He details his time of working on the Romney campaign and manages to provide all the evidence that defies his claims of mitt being ‘’principled’’ and full of ‘’conviction’’.
Max says ‘’I…was lukewarm about a candidate I viewed as being insufficiently ideological.’’ Uh, excuse me? Is this the same rigid beacon of morality he was describing to us? He goes on: ‘’Romney had pivoted from being a moderate governor of Massachusetts to a severely conservative presidential candidate.’’ Huh. So while decrying the way that Rubio supposedly shifted his core beliefs, in your estimation Max, you freely admit to Mitt having done the same.
Then to put a tidy little bow on this hypocrisy, he closes with this nugget. ‘’His transformation always appeared a bit insincere.’’ That phrase alone carries far more import than the number of words. Boot describes a man willing to shift his values — while condemning another politician for doing the same — and a man doing so in a way that strikes Boot as being insincere. And this is a figure he now praises, while exhibiting the exact same behavior.
The Never Trump crowd will forever amuse with this line of thinking. Opposition to the president is paramount. Logic and pragmatism have little else to do with their positions.