Just how crazy has the modern Republican Party become?
Get a load of this …
According to an essay in RealClearPolitics, Mitt Romney — the 2012 GOP nominee for president of the United States — is considered an “outlier” should he win election to the U.S. Senate later this year.
You might ask: Why is that?
The Republican Party has become the party of a man who not long ago wasn’t even considered a Republican. I refer to Donald J. Trump, the current president and a man who Mitt Romney has criticized with extreme prejudice.
Romney is considered the odds-on favorite to win the open U.S. Senate in Utah; Orrin Hatch, the longest-serving Republican in Senate history, is bowing out at the end of the year. Romney hasn’t yet announced his candidacy, but virtually everyone thinks he will.
He also was considered to be the epitome of establishment GOP principle. Romney was considered a fiscal and social conservative, a pro-business sort of fellow. He campaigned for president in 2012 calling himself a “severe conservative.”
That might have been enough for doctrinaire Republicans to embrace him.
However, he has taken Donald Trump to task with, um, severe vigor.
In 2016, he called Trump a “phony” and a “fraud.” He delivered his anti-Trump mantra in a 17-minute speech that raised plenty of hackles among the Republican “base” that had endorsed Trump’s presidential candidacy.
And just recently, Romney labeled the president’s description of African nations, Haiti and El Salvador as “sh**hole countries” as “antithetical to American values.” The RealClearPolitics essay found that fascinating because “most of Trump’s Republican denouncers are either comfortably outside of Congress or on their way out.”
Romney, meanwhile, is likely on his way in, heading for a sure-fire electoral victory in the U.S. Senate contest in Utah.
All of this to my mind paints a picture of a major political party in a state of serious disarray. It has attached itself to an individual, rather than a set of principles.
Thus, I welcome Mitt Romney’s return to public life. My hope is that he continues to remind us that the president really and truly is a “phony” and a “fraud.”