In his latest political incarnation, Mitt Romney’s entire reputation has been built on the fact that he took a symbolic stand against treason when he voted to convict and remove Donald Trump from office, at a time when Trump’s acquittal was assured anyway. It’s easy to forget that prior to this vote, Romney had spent most of his political life being hated every step of the way.
When Mitt Romney was the Republican Governor of Massachusetts, he left office with an approval rating in the thirties. When Romney was the Republican nominee for President, he left such a bad taste that even many of the people who voted for him now refuse to admit it. So it seemed improbable that when Romney reemerged in his current incarnation as U.S. Senator, he somehow managed to become widely liked by Americans. Turns out it didn’t last long.
In a move today that ranks a fourteen one a one-to-ten scale of tone deafness, Mitt Romney released a statement bashing both sides of the political spectrum for being to mean to each other. Romney started off by condemning Donald Trump for his disgusting and violent rhetoric. But then he quickly pivoted to falsely equivocating this with Pelosi ripping up a speech.
Romney admitted that Joe Biden “refuses to stoop” this low, but then he inexplicably suggested that this is canceled out by the fact that Keith Olbermann said something mean about Trump. That’s right, Romney is drawing a false equivalence between the sitting President of the United States and Keith Olbermann – a guy who’s not even on cable news anymore. No offense to Olbermann, but this is an insane comparison.
It’s not difficult to see what Mitt Romney is doing here. He’s taking advantage of a politically fraught time by attacking the bad guys for being bad, and attacking the good guys for not being nice enough to the bad guys, in an attempt at painting himself as being above the fray – all while not having to take a side himself.
Romney is trying to lay the groundwork for his inevitable 2024 campaign for President. He figures that by that time, Joe Biden will have saved the country, Trump will have been forgotten, and voters will want a guy like Romney who tells everyone it’s better off to have no political views than to raise your voice while expressing them.
But Romney, tone deaf as ever, appears to have guessed wrong. The responses across social media suggest that Romney has merely managed to alienate both sides with his idiotic statement bashing both sides. Americans won’t forget that at a time when the battle to save American democracy was at its absolute height, Mitt Romney pranced around the battlefield and lectured everyone about their tone instead of picking a side. In some ways Romney is worse than Trump, because Romney knows better, and he still chooses to do the wrong thing.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report