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Ronald Reagan’s “Eleventh Commandment” reads, “Thou shalt not speak ill of another Republican.”
The former president’s sage advice went ignored once again last week by the freshman Utah Senator Mitt Romney when he published his anti-Trump oped in The Washington Post. Romney didn’t have a problem accepting Donald Trump’s endorsement for Senate to get the job in the first place, but hey, that’s politics, right?
Like most positions Mitt Romney takes, I guess he was against Trump before he was okay with Trump before he was against him again.
Romney lamented in his article that the president hasn’t changed his leadership style since taking office. In other words, he is upset that Donald Trump continues to act like Donald Trump.
“His conduct over the past two years,” Romney writes, “particularly his actions last month, is evidence that the president has not risen to the mantle of the office.”
Imagine that. A politician who arrives in Washington, D.C., and governs exactly like he campaigned. For the entrenched politicians reading at home, this is called “authenticity.” Voters seem to be really digging it these days.
The Romney Rant paused to acknowledge president’s multiple victories on criminal justice reform, tax cuts, deregulation, and appointing constitutional conservative judges. America is getting back to work, and the economy is booming. For the first time in years, the number of jobs exceeds the number of Americans looking for work.
Not a bad scorecard, considering the Trump administration faces daily assaults in the press and from both sides of the political aisle in the Capitol building. These policy achievements were made despite Congress, not because of it.
Even so, the Romney Rant continued: “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.”
And there it is. Rather than using The Washington Post as a platform to advance a fiscally conservative agenda, Sen. Romney used the space to call the president a jerk in the wordiest way possible.
Sen. Romney has no substantive problem with President Trump’s policy agenda. He just doesn’t like the guy. Couldn’t he have just said that on Twitter?
Mitt Romney’s 800-word personality attack on the leader of the free world does not rise to the mantle of legitimate public discourse. It barely rises to the mantle of a whiny teenager’s LiveJournal.
The American people are looking for serious policy solutions to a border crisis, a fast-approaching $22 trillion in national debt, and a broken health care system. They feel the Washington elite have fallen out of touch with mainstream America, and they are looking for a fighter who won’t get sucked into the Swamp’s culture of corruption and backroom deal-making.
President Trump has been that fighter. Now, grassroots America waits to see if Sen. Romney will rise to the mantle of his office and do the same.
Romney will likely be ineffective on the health-care front, considering he was the architect of the precursor to Obamacare. But hopefully, he will find another fiscally conservative issue to help with.
In the meantime, Sen. Romney should focus less on the job he failed to get and more on the job he has. Be a part of the solution in Washington, not part of the problem.
The rest of the political establishment could stand to benefit from doing the same. It’s one thing to disagree on a policy position. It’s another thing to vent about the president’s personality with no purpose other than “just sayin’.”
Elections have consequences, and Donald Trump is exactly who he’s always been. Don’t like him? Don’t vote for him. But the president has every right to be in that Oval Office because the American people put him there.
It’s time for members of Congress — old and new — to stop sabotaging the White House and get back to work.