We witnessed something extraordinary yesterday in this age of blind, fevered partisanship. Mitt Romney, once the presidential nominee of the Republican party, voted to convict his party’s leader for abusing his power. He stood alone.
He knew he’d face severe backlash for his decision. “I am aware that there are people in my party and in my state who will strenuously disapprove of my decision, and in some quarters, I will be vehemently denounced. I am sure to hear abuse from the President and his supporters. Does anyone seriously believe I would consent to these consequences other than from an inescapable conviction that my oath before God demanded it of me?”
He was proved right almost immediately, of course. The President made sure to lash out at him while speaking at the National Prayer Breakfast this morning. Donald Trump, Jr. took to Twitter to demand Romney be expelled from the GOP. (Republican Senators quickly dismissed that notion, because it is ridiculous, and not how things work.) Thwarted, Junior then posted an old photo of Mitt Romney in high-waisted jeans, with the caption, “Mom Jeans Because you’re a p****.”
But Romney’s decision has earned him fans as well. Congressional Democrats thanked him for his patriotism and integrity. While Fox News anchors bashed him, celebrities praised him. Stephen Colbert said, “Hearing Mitt Romney take his oath to God seriously was like finding water in the desert.”
Mitt Romney 2020: Man of courage. Man of honor. Worthy of our respect and gratitude.
Now is the time for my Democrat readers to buckle up. We’re going to take a little trip back in time, to 2012.
Back then, Mitt Romney was evil incarnate. The DNC Chairwoman (among many, many other Democrats and willing mouthpieces in the media) called him a racist. Nancy Pelosi cast him as a sexist. Harry Reid, then the Democrat Senate Majority Leader, falsely accused him of not having paid his taxes for almost a decade. He repeated the accusation every time he got the chance, including from the Senate floor. It was a lie; Reid knew it was a lie, but he didn’t care, and he never apologized. In fact, he seemed proud of it. In a CNN interview after the election, when asked about his comments, Reid responded, “Romney didn’t win, did he?” A pro-Obama PAC ran a television ad that accused Mitt Romney of causing a woman’s premature death. The ad earned a “False” rating from Politifact, and four Pinocchios from the Washington Post factchecker. But the damage was done.
And let’s not forget what an irredeemable misogynist he was. The man made sure to vet highly skilled, competent women ahead of time so he could promptly appoint them to positions in his Cabinet were he to be elected. The gall. “Binders full of women.” What a monster.
And foreign policy! Who can forget the zinger President Obama delivered during that debate? “When you were asked, what’s the biggest geopolitical threat facing America, you said ‘Russia.’ Not Al-Qaeda; you said Russia. And the 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back, because, the Cold War’s been over for 20 years.” Ho ho! Good one! What a dummy, thinking Russia would mess with us. What a fool. Everybody had a great laugh at that. Republicans remember.
Mitt Romney was a sexist, misogynist, bigoted rich guy who only cared about the 1% and didn’t pay his taxes and was a feckless idiot on foreign policy. And he probably killed some poor woman with cancer.
Guess what? Mitt Romney hasn’t changed since 2012. He’s the same guy. The same decent man who is doing what he believes is best for this country. The only thing that has changed is which party hates his guts now.
Guess what else? Democrats, you have yourselves to blame for Trump. Because when you take a man as obviously good and honorable as Mitt Romney, and you crucify him as a racist, sexist monster, then no one believes you when a real racist, sexist monster comes along. You’re the Party Who Cried Bigot.
You should feel ashamed of yourselves for how you treated him then. You should apologize. It is right for you to honor him now.
But more importantly: learn from this. Not everyone who disagrees with you on policy is evil. Both parties need to learn this, certainly, but Democrats, there has never been a better time for you to learn it than right now.
Remember Mitt next time. Be better.