What a way to begin a year!
Oh, 2019 is going to be an entertaining political year! If the lead sentence of the lead opinion piece in the first Washington Post of the new year is any indication, keep that Swiffer by your side and the rubber pants handy because whether you decide you’re going to laugh or cry something’s going to get wet.
“The Trump presidency made a deep descent in December.”
So began the essay prominently placed in the Post; the White House’s hometown newspaper. The key words of this observation that made Senator-elect Mitt Romney want to put them at the top of his paper were “in December.”
In other words, Utah voters, sure to see this op-ed widely quoted in the local papers and on TV news, I had no idea who Trump really was until after you elected me to the Senate. It was only after, “The departures of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly,” Romney wants us to believe, that “the appointment of senior persons of lesser experience, the abandonment of allies who fight beside us, and the president’s thoughtless claim that America has long been a “sucker” in world affairs, all defined his presidency down” to him.
Mitt must have been outside strapping the canine cage to the roof of the Land Rover when Trump replaced all the other “adults in the room” with embarrassing pieces of ideological riff and post-industrial raff. I’m sure he noted the diminishment in intelligence and finesse when Rex Tillerson was replaced by Mike Pompeo. After all, he specifically regrets the departures of “Rex Tillerson, Jeff Sessions, Nikki Haley, Gary Cohn, H.R. McMaster, Kelly and Mattis,” but it wasn’t until now, apparently, that he added it all up.
Cabinet-level appointments of the likes of Matthew Whitaker, Heather Nauert, Larry Kudlow and John Bolton didn’t describe a downward curve to Romney until those last two generals left. After the departures in disgrace of the corrupt Tom Price and Ryan Zinke, and his even Zinkier co-defendant in crimes against the environment Scott Pruitt, there was also no cause for alarm? Apparently not.
In fact, Romney, positioning himself like the Golden Goose settling into its natural nest, to be the 2020 Presidential candidate of a “return-to-traditional-Republican-values” GOP, praises what he calls Trump’s “align[ing] U.S. corporate taxes with those of global competitors,” the race to the global economy bottom that has so enriched very rich paper-twisters like Romney. The costs of huge budget deficits and losses in public revenue diverted to very few private hands are meant to be borne by the many in new taxes or – the option Romney recommends – sharp reductions in expenses for social welfare.
Now those are “traditional Republican values.”
Senator-elect Romney’s rendition of “Don’t Blame Me” which may become the theme song of most elected Republicans who want a future, only reiterates the party’s guilt and shame. The Grand Old Party (GOP), is now P-GUT – the Party that Gave Us Trump.
I’ll bet for politicians like Romney, the answer to the “when did you know it?” question – “December 2018,” – ain’t gonna cut it.
Political 2019 begins in Washington with a clumsy and ignoble pratfall, but stick around, farce and tragedy on a much higher plane are still to come ‘fore New Year’s Eve comes again.