Mitt Romney says he prayed hard before he shamed the Church of Latter-day Saints, the voters of Utah — and all Republicans who voted for him in 2012 — by standing against all the hundreds of GOP members in the House and Senate and declaring himself against acquitting President Trump during the Pelosi Stillborn Impeachment.
1. In his perfidy, Romney invoked his religion. He embarrassed me, an Orthodox Jewish rabbi, because I voted for him for president. He embarrassed tens of millions of Christians, Jews, and others who chose Romney because our alternative was Obama. We never were going to vote for Obama, not the first time and not the second. Obama was exactly what we expected he would be. Unlike Romney, Obama never disappointed. He proved exactly as expected: a liar (e.g., “You can keep your health plan and doctor”) and a cheat (e.g., covering for Lois Lerner, for Fast and Furious, authorizing or not stopping spying on Trump, covering for Hillary, secretly sending billions to Iran including $400 million in wads of cash). Obama proved to be a hater of Israel and an advocate for those who would destroy her. We did not hold high hopes for Romney, but we did believe he was better than what we now know him to be: a vengeful partisan who carries a grudge to the grave.
2. He embarrassed the Mormon Church because he says he voted based on what he prayerfully received from god. I do not know what G-d told him to vote. My understanding is that Mormons are monotheists and believe in only one G-d. Is he saying that the One G-d tells different senators to vote differently? If he were a member of my faith, I would say what I do about Adam Schiff — namely that Adam Schiff has a deeply corrupted soul that is alien to the Judaism of the Torah and Talmud. Similarly, I am disgusted when Charles Schumer invokes “god,” because he is not speaking of the G-d of Judaism, the G-d Who commanded the Jewish people at Mount Sinai, Who commanded the laws of kosher food and the Holy Sabbath and of so much else. It is painful when an apostate invokes “G-d” for cynical political purposes, just as when Nancy Pelosi tells her corrupt and fawning media that she “prays for the president every day.” Baloney. When Nancy Pelosi tells us that “as a Catholic” she acts as she does, we soon thereafter hear authentic Catholic religious leaders clearing the air for all to understand that she, an advocate of late-term abortion and gay marriage and government-enforced birth control coverage and so much else, has no business invoking the Catholic religion that she publicly desecrates morning, noon, and night. But where is the religious elder of the Church of Latter-day Saints to speak openly and to say, “Shame on you, Mitt Romney, for shaming us all by associating your personal grudge against Donald Trump with our church”?
3. He embarrassed the voters of Utah. Utah is a deeply Republican state. It is a deeply religious state. It is the state that has given us senators like Orrin Hatch and Mike Lee. Really, Utah: Is Romney, a liberal carpetbagger from Massachusetts, the best you could do? You were that gullible? I voted for Romney for president after my Republican primary choices lost because my alternative was the Obama of Bill Ayers, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Al Sharpton, and Abu Mazen (“Mahmoud Abbas”) of the “Palestine Authority.” But was the choice in Utah between Romney and Obama? Other than Mike Lee, have you no one else decent enough in your state to represent you in the U.S. Senate?
And yet we all owe much to Romney. We owe him a lot:
1. For years I have argued — long before the Millennial Radical Socialist Left introduced “non-binary” into the American gender lexicon — that American politics is non-binary: there really is no choice. Except for Ronald Reagan, we have not had an honestly conservative alternative to the Democrat policy platform for nearly a century. Eisenhower led us through World War II, but his entire presidency was more liberal than conservative. He appointed liberals like Earl Warren and William Brennan to the Supreme Court, got us invested in Vietnam, watched as Stalin and Khrushchev built the Soviet Union and as Mao built China. He gave us the Warren Court. Nixon gave us Harry Blackmun and Lewis Powell on the Supreme Court, wage and price controls, softening (rapprochement) to China and (détente) to the Soviets. Ford gave us John Paul Stevens. Bush I gave us David Souter. Bush II almost gave us Harriet Miers and, with so few opportunities that any President ever gets to name a Supreme Court justice, picked John Roberts over more solidly conservative choices. So, yes, one Bush also gave us Clarence Thomas and the next gave us Samuel Alito, but 50 percent does not balance the 100 percent effectiveness of Democrat picks. In so many ways, the Republicans have proven non-binary. What did either of the Bushes do about the southern border? What did the Nixons and Bushes do to deregulate the economy? Except for Reagan — and in certain ways, but not all, Barry Goldwater — we got non-binary choices: Choose between Bush I or Clinton. So of course that gazillionaire nut from Texas, Ross Perot, became viable and got almost 20 percent of the vote, leaving the winner with only 43 percent. Then choose between Dole or Clinton — so of course Ross Perot again was viable, garnering almost 10 percent. Bush II or Kerry and then … or Gore — some great tantalizing choices. Then Obama or McCain. Next, Obama or Romney. With that vote on Tuesday, Romney proved that we have had non-binary choices for nearly a century.
2. Romney proves that, going from Trump forward, the Republican base has to filter these RINOs out of the party. Many Republicans mourned when large numbers of GOP congressmen took early retirement two years ago, perhaps costing the House. But the hidden blessing was that most of the retirements were RINOs being spit out of the party. The Never Trumpers in the House could not stand defending and advocating for the Trump agenda day after day. They did not believe in that agenda themselves. For decades in their House seats, they did not fix the border, solve health care, deregulate the government, expand energy development, or withdraw from relying on Arab oil. They instead focused on being courteous and proper, demonstrating endless willingness to compromise by shifting left. Trump’s advent shook them. The Paul Ryans revealed their innermost ideologies only with Trump’s ascent. We always knew that Ryan was super great on budget issues, cutting the deficit and attacking the debt itself, refashioning the “entitlements” that suffocate aspects of our economy. But it took Trump to smoke out Ryan’s limits on border control, building the wall, and so much else. Romney likewise proves what we all suspected: the RINOs are not merely the fingernail-filing Ana Navarros and elegantly bow-tied George Wills sorts who always talked a good game as they supported George Bush I, then George Bush II, then Jeb! Bush — but, beyond the media RINOs, the core of the Republican House itself was infected with them. Because Trump is Trump, he is so insufferably annoying to those who cannot stand him. Just as a pest controller spraying into crevices causes all the secretly hidden ants to come pouring out of the cracks in the wall and to expose themselves, so it is that Trump has induced the Never Trumpers and RINOs to come out on record. Romney is the latest.
3. Republicans have got to join with Democrats — Unity! National reconciliation! — to change the presidential nominating process. The process has got to stop giving so much inordinate focus to Iowa and New Hampshire. In particular, these so-called “caucuses” have to be eliminated. Voters do not “caucus” in November; they cast ballots. The “caucus” process rewards party extremists who appeal most to people with time on their hands. And New Hampshire runs “open primaries” that basically enable Democrats to “cross over” and select the GOP nominee. Yes, Iowa just went for Trump and has given us Charles Grassley and, more recently, Joni Ernst. Yes, New Hampshire’s Manchester Guardian has been a powerfully conservative voice. But the Iowa-New Hampshire system does not make sense, and it does not work. It ends up giving us George Bushes and John McCains and Mitt Romneys. Because those two smaller states get months of disproportionate focus, the elections there are not typical of national voting and preferences. Rather, the candidate who is better at state fairs and eating barbecue and hobnobbing small-talk for weeks on end gets a boost. The country spends six months focusing on Iowa, with all the candidates pouring millions upon millions there, and it makes no sense. We need to join with the Democrats to create a new system of perhaps four “Super Tuesday”–type regional primaries, on three or four consecutive weeks, to cut down on the inordinate impact of one or two states. And we owe Mitt Romney a great thanks for bringing home how desperately urgent this change is. Honorable mention: the Democrat Party of Iowa.
It is perfectly reasonable for people of good intent to hold different viewpoints. Under other circumstances, even a wonderful president like President Trump indeed should be removed from office — e.g., if he would perpetrate treason, bribery, high crimes, or misdemeanors. But this one was an easy call. There never should have been a Mueller investigation. There never should have been an impeachment. It all was a capitulation by Pelosi to her Socialist Radical base in order to hold on to her speakership within her rowdy caucus. Once the Senate had heard from attorneys like Pat Cipollone, Jay Sekulow, Alan Dershowitz, Pam Bondi, and all the others on the president’s excellent defense team, there was no room left for doubt that a fair person would acquit. On the one hand, it is not realistic or reasonable to expect the Democrats now to be fair. The Democrats have too much at stake; if they accidentally stumble into honesty and fairness, they will lose the White House for four more years. So we saw the charade of Democrat senators who actively have been running for a year to unseat and oust the president all sitting in judgment — people like Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders, Cory Booker, Amy Klobuchar, and Kirsten Gillibrand — all presenting themselves as “impartial jurors.” Such a charade of deceit amid a parade to unseat!
But there was no room or excuse for Romney to vote other than to acquit. Yet, his grudge-to-the-grave overwhelmed him. He had self-torpedoed in a simple-to-win 2012 race against a failed Obama who himself had lost the House and Senate with his endless failures. Romney could not even stand up to Candy Crowley of CNN. By contrast, Trump succeeded four years later where Romney failed. Then Romney interviewed with Trump for secretary of state but was not chosen. So he not only was embarrassed that a “boor” and an “unworthy” like Trump had succeeded where he had failed miserably, but now Romney further was peeved that Trump was too stupid to recognize that Romney would be a great secretary of state, perhaps so great that he later could run again for president. Instead, Romney was stuck with falling back on his Mormonism and carpetbagging back to Utah, having over-stayed his welcome in Massachusetts. He is a disgrace; he has embarrassed those of us who voted for him in 2012, has embarrassed those whom he played religiously and politically in Utah, and has exposed why the RINOs must be replaced. So we do owe Romney for that.
And we owe him one more thing:
4. Joe Manchin of Republican West Virginia, Doug Jones of Republican Alabama, and Kyrsten Sinema of purple Arizona had been waiting to see whether any Republican would vote for conviction. If Romney had voted as did each and every of the 250 other Republicans in the House and Senate, then two or three of those Democrats would have voted for acquittal, too. They would have been unable to escape within their states a vote to remove the president. But when Romney shifted allegiances, he posed a dilemma for those three Democrats: How can we break with our caucus now that a “prominent” Republican is voting with the Democrats? So they all voted with Pelosi, Schiff, Schumer, and Romney. And now, thanks ironically to Mitt Romney, their votes are on record. It is not certain how that will impact Sinema, but Jones and Manchin now are minced meat.
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