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Good discussion with the author . . .
Full disclosure: I am a constitutional conservative. I am NOT a Republican, and have not been a party member since Watergate, and even prior to that I had to hold my nose when casting the first votes of my life for Richard M. Nixon . . . twice.
Mitt Romney’s op-ed crystallizes all the reasons the old GOP establishment has been pushed aside
Henry Olsen is a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center and author of “The Working Class Republican: Ronald Reagan and the Return of Blue-Collar Conservatism.”
Mitt Romney’s op-ed Wednesday in The Post is being widely praised by the usual suspects in Never-Trump Land. This should be your first clue as to how wildly out of touch the senator-elect is with Republican voters.
What are some others? Let’s start with the article’s premise that President Trump’s character is more important than his accomplishments or principles. Most Republicans simply don’t accept this argument. Many instead see Trump’s pugnacious and sometimes crude talk as an essential part of his virtue — he fights while other Republicans cower. Others would prefer he tweet less and do more, but still prefer Trump’s fallen angel to a Democratic devil.
Romney would like you to believe you can have your cake and eat it, too — that you can be against Trump’s character but for his policies. But that doesn’t work in the real world. Railing about character hurts the president, and Republicans know that.
Romney’s obliviousness comes through in other parts of his piece, too. He explains what aspects of Trump’s tenure he supports, and — lo and behold! — they are the same as those he purportedly supported during his two failed attempts to become president. Notably absent from this approved list? Trump’s immigration proposals. But these have everything to do with why he won. The vast majority of Republicans want illegal immigration controlled now. Nearly half want immigrants living here without legal authority to be deported, and more than 80 percent want Trump’s wall.
Likewise, Romney omits Trump’s tariffs and trade policies, which are far more extensive than simply confronting China. You can debate their effectiveness, but his renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement and his ongoing trade negotiations with the European Union are seen as attempts to reset the global trade rules so that the United States keeps a larger share of the higher-paying jobs that manufacturing creates. Republican voters in the primaries thought that foreign trade was costing the United States jobs, and they like Trump’s current stances even in the face of the near-unanimous opposition from the GOP establishment.
I see Mitt Romney leading a division in the GOP, getting enough support to end the Trump/Pence/Putin administration
He's welcome to try, but then, they don't call the GOP the Stupid Party for no reason.
After caving a bit on his opening volley at President Trump, Mitt Romney is still on his backfoot, trying to explain again that he's really a nice, reasonable guy, because apparently the day earlier's retreat on CNN, didn't quite work.
Here's his new statement, trying to explain out that nasty attack he wrote in theWashington Post the other day as just namby pamby stuff about working together on stuff he agrees with and working apart on stuff he doesn't.
Oh, give us a break.
An attack like that, targeting President Trump right down to his character, isn't a thing about agreeing and disagreeing.
Where were Romney's character criticisms against President Obama, who spied on reporters, sent the IRS to target Tea Party dissidents, and then used the FBI and a phony foreign dossier paid for by the Democrats to try to derail candidate Donald Trump? Where were Romney's character scoldings on Obama officials' unmaskings of innocent Americans caught up in spy dragnets, or Hillary Clinton's illegal private server, set up to evade Freedom of Information Act public record requirements? Where was Romney when James Comey was laying out his hypocrisies all over the place as he touted his virtue? He seems to only get excited when the target is Trump.
And that puts his credibility at zero.
He's going to need to show a lot of agreeing before anyone is going to believe him about the 'working together' claim. When is he going to understand that we are tired of all the attacks on President Trump and think he deserves better? If we wanted attacks on Trump, we'd go to the Democrats.
It makes no sense. There's reason to be concerned about this whole thing, given that Romney, in his op-ed, has obviously sought the good will of the Washington Post, a paper that attacked him relentlessly and unfairly back when he was running for president.
Cliff Kincaid, who knows a thing or two about how the swamp works, put out a theory a few days ago on Renew America about what Mitt might really be up to as he seeks to assure us he's a nice guy while hurling arrows at Trump:
The new leader of the anti-Trump resistance in the Senate, Mitt Romney, will take the oath of office January 3. The former Massachusetts governor and failed GOP presidential candidate represents what could be called the reemergent Rockefeller wing of the GOP.
You may recall that Romney delivered the most scathing anti-Trump speech by a Republican during the 2016 election cycle, calling Trump a "phony" and a "fraud." Romney wrote in his
That was the last North African white Rhino! He died!
This is something (else) I don't understand about your electoral process.
Can a Republican challenge their own incumbent President and run against them in 2020?
This cannot happen here. Yes, there are leadership spills which have resulted in... I've lost track of how many PMs we've had in the last decade... let's call it a clusterfuck.
I don't consider it democratic that 40 self-serving politicians can override the election results and change the Prime Minister.
So can Romney run? If Cruz ran, would you support him over Trump?
US President Donald Trump has said he is considering declaring a national emergency to get a wall built on the southern border of the US.
Mr Trump's comments came after he and Democratic leaders failed to strike a deal in sometimes combative talks to end the partial shutdown of the US Government.
Emerging after more than two hours of talks as the shutdown hit the two-week mark, Mr Trump told reporters he could use executive authority to build the border wall, but wanted to try to negotiate it with Congress.
"I can do it if I want. We can call a national emergency. I may do it."
And he confirmed he had told top Democrats he was prepared to extend the shutdown for years if needed.
"I did say that," he said.
"Absolutely I said that. I don't think it will [last for years] but I am prepared."
The two sides are fighting over Mr Trump's request for $US5 billion to fund his signature wall on the Mexican border.
Mr Trump said he had designated a team that would meet over the weekend with politicians to resolve the standoff.
About 800,000 federal workers have been affected by the December 22 closure of about one-quarter of the federal Government.
Mr Trump is withholding his support for new funding until he secures the money he wants to start building the wall.
The wall was a signature campaign promise of Mr Trump's during the 2016 election campaign, when he repeatedly said he would force Mexico to pay for its construction.
Such a wall, he has argued, is needed to stem the flow of illegal immigrants and drugs over the southwestern border.
Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer, who was among those meeting with the President, said Mr Trump had threatened to keep the Government closed "for a very long period of time".
Senator Schumer said his party's leaders "told the President we needed the Government open — he resisted".
"In fact, he said he'd keep the Government closed for a very long period of time, months or even years," Senator Schumer said.
The new Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, called it a "lengthy and sometimes contentious" meeting.
"We cannot resolve this until we open up Government," she said.
Before the meeting, Mr Trump sent a letter to Congress to try to gain support for his wall, suggesting he was unlikely to budge on his funding demands.
"Walls work. That's why rich, powerful and successful people build them around their homes," Mr Trump wrote in his letter.
"All Americans deserve the same protection."
Ms Pelosi has sought to separate the issue of the wall and Government funding, and called on Mr Trump and his fellow Republicans in the Senate to reopen agencies as border talks continue.
"The wall and the Government shutdown really have nothing to do with each other," said Ms Pelosi, who has rejected any funding for what she has called an "immoral" border wall.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that even though the new Congress had convened with the Democrats holding a majority in the House of Representative, "the basic steps that are needed to end this unfortunate standoff really haven't changed at all".
Earlier, Mr Trump responded to rumblings of a move by Democrats to impeach him, tweeting that he was too successful and popular to be impeached.
How do you impeach a president who has won perhaps the greatest election of all time, done nothing wrong (no Collusion with Russia, it was the Dems that Colluded), had the most successful first two years of any president, and is the most popular Republican in party history 93%?
"How do you impeach a president who … had the most successful first two years of any president, and is the most popular Republican in party history," Mr Trump tweeted.
"They only want to impeach me because they know they can't win in 2020, too much success!"
The President was responding after Democratic congresswoman Rashida Tlaib riled up a supportive crowd by using a swear word to describe Mr Trump and predicting he would be removed from office, just hours after she took her seat in Congress.
Mr Trump launched back, saying: "You can't impeach somebody doing a great job."
He added Ms Tlaib had "dishonoured herself and dishonoured her family" with the remarks.
"I thought is was highly disrespectful to the United States of America," the President said.
House Speaker Ms Pelosi has been cautious about whether her new Democratic majority would ever impeach Mr Trump, but at least two of her members are ready to move forward.
California Representative Brad Sherman and Texas Representative Al Green introduced articles of impeachment against Mr Trump on Thursday, the first day of the new Congress.
Mr Sherman and Mr Green pushed to impeach Mr Trump in 2017 and 2018 but the House blocked those resolutions twice, with the help of Democrats who said the effort was premature.
Ms Pelosi has not ruled out impeachment but has called it a "divisive activity" that needs support from both parties.
She and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler have said they want to wait for the outcome of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russia's meddling in the 2016 election and contacts with the Mr Trump campaign before making a judgement.
In our system, we hold presidential elections every four years. Obviously, the jockeying amongst potential candidates in the party out of power can be chaotic (see: Is it 2020 yet? ), but the primary elections sort that out by choosing a candidate to run in the general election.
Yes, a Republican can choose to run for the party's nomination over a sitting president. Reagan tries against Gerald Ford, but came up short, and the RINO Never Trumpers on the Right are conspiring to run someone against President Trump in 2020. No Republican has thrown their hat in the ring, and I doubt Ted Cruz would. If he did, I would continue to support President Trump based solely on his sterling performance in office. Obviously, circumstances can change, but at this moment, he has my vote.
Should the GOP nominate Trump for re-election, a RINO might still run against him in the 2020 General Election, but he would have to do so as a Third Party candidate. His chances of winning would be nil, but he would likely guarantee a Democrat in the White House in 2021 (Think Ross Perot or Ralph Nader).