Open Thread: Mitt Romney, (Would Be) Man on A White Horse

This is physically painful for me — I’m grinding my teeth right now — but if he can actually bring himself to step up and lead a GOP challenge against the Oval Office Occupant, then props to Mitt Romney, former Massachusetts governor & current Utah Senator:

According to sources, donors have in recent days called the Utah senator and encouraged him to run against Trump in the primary. “There is a half-billion dollars on the sidelines from guys who are fed up with Trump,” a GOP donor told me. Their hopes were raised when Romney attacked Trump on Friday, tweeting: “By all appearances, the President’s brazen and unprecedented appeal to China and to Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden is wrong and appalling.” Former White House communications director turned Trump antagonist Anthony Scaramucci tweeted a poll showing Romney beating Trump 55% to 37% in a hypothetical primary. Trump fired back on Saturday. “Mitt Romney never knew how to win,” Trump tweeted. “He is a pompous ‘ass’ who has been fighting me from the beginning, except when he begged me for my endorsement for his Senate run (I gave it to him), and when he begged me to be Secretary of State (I didn’t give it to him). He is so bad for R’s!”

According to people close to Romney, he’s firmly decided against primarying Trump, an enterprise he believes to be a sure loser given Trump’s enduring GOP support. Romney has also told people that, as an unsuccessful two-time presidential candidate, he’s the wrong person to take on Trump. Instead, a Romney adviser told me, Romney believes he has more potential power as a senator who will decide Trump’s fate in an impeachment trial. “He could have tremendous influence in the impeachment process as the lone voice of conscience in the Republican caucus,” the adviser said. In recent days, Romney has been reaching out privately to key players in the Republican resistance, according to a person briefed on the conversations. “Romney is the one guy who could bring along Susan Collins, Cory Gardner, Ben Sasse. Romney is the pressure point in the impeachment process. That’s why the things he’s saying are freaking Republicans out.” (Romney, through a spokesperson, declined to comment.)

GOP elected officials and donors are privately war-gaming what an endgame for Trump would look like. “It’s clear the House is going to impeach,” the prominent Republican told me. Making matters worse for Trump, a policy wedge has opened up between Trump and the Republican Senate at a moment when he needs its support most. Trump’s surprise decision to pull back American troops in Syria and allow Turkey to take on our Kurdish allies has enraged Trump’s closest GOP allies, including Lindsey Graham. “The Syria decision is a much bigger deal,” another former West Wing official said. “No one on the inside can hold Trump accountable. The Senate Republicans are the only check on power right now.”

What say the political touts? Well, Chris ‘Mad Bitcher’ Cillizza is visibly excited by the possibilities for media-worthy strife (as of course he would be). And the Boston Globe reports that some name-brand Never-Trumpers are clapping for Romney already. Then there’s the Never-Trumpist house organ, The Bulwark:

… [W]hat if—hear me out—Mitt Romney is the only person in America who is capable of saving the Republican party from itself, and in the process, saving the world from the current occupant of the Oval Office?

Lest we forget, Romney is a former Bain Capital man, and if there is one thing private equity knows, it’s how to read the numbers—and the writing on the wall…
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Open Thread: An Interlude with Willard “Mitt” Romney

Mitt Romney is running for the Senate again, this time from his spiritual home in Utah. (Extra points to Murphy the Trickster God’s lack of discrimination for arranging that his GOP primary opponent will be named Kennedy — no relation to the Masshole clan.) People who know these things agree that Mitt will walk away with the nomination, and therefore in Repub-friendly Utah the election. After which, Mitt says, he will be A Strong Voice against that terrible, lawless RINO now occupying the Oval Office… please do not bring up the unfortunate frog-legs dinner.

So Romney is once again doing interviews, which continue to be… well…

My immediate thought was ‘I prefer things that seem to have been factory-produced, like me’.

Mr. Charles P. Pierce believes this is pandering, done badly. (“Have some respect for the craft, Willard.”)

Me, I believe it is a glimpse at the sad soul of our former Governor, a high-end formed-meat product in a world increasingly divided between those who won’t touch the nasty things, and those who prefer their meat products as cheaply and obviously mass-produced as possible.

Open Thread: Local Races, Utah Edition — High & (Very, Very) Low


The professionals weigh in…

As a fellow Masshole, I concur with Mr. Pierce:


Wanna-be Breitbrat Jacob Wohl chips in with a cunning plan

TBH, since the Fusion GPS / Wolff book news dropped this morning, I suspect Steve Bannon’s got quite enough on his plate without an expensive referendum on how much consistent GOP voters don’t like him. But it’s good to know the hardcore racist/sexist/nativist bigots will be harrassing Romney from the right while the Democrats are pushing our “leftist” (humanist) agenda!

General Repub Malfeasance Open Thread: I’m *Not* Gonna Start Saying Nice Things About Mitt Romney

He *looks* the part of a TV-drama senator, and is not sufficiently interested in human interaction to have committed sexual battery! Yay for our side! Since Navarro is not an idiot, I have to assume this is sarcasm on her part.

It is useful, because a Romney run — and victory — could set an example for other congressional Republicans to follow when it comes to acting as a check on Trump’s many excesses, from his dangerous international bluster, to his self-dealing and corruption, to his contempt for norms and the rule of law. If they don’t follow that example, their enabling of these Trump excesses will be thrown into sharper relief.

That is, this might be the case, if Romney is true to his own past statements about Trump. Let’s not let this get memory-holed: In his big March 2016 speech against Trump, Romney flatly and unequivocally declared Trump unfit to serve as president. Will Romney reiterate this sentiment, when he’s running for Senate?…

Spoiler alert from a Masshole, Mr. Sargent: Nope! Willard will fold like a cheap lawn chair, because that’s his signature legislative tactic. Although he will look very stateman-like as he makes his excuses for letting Trump and the Oval Office Trumplodytes do whatever they damned well choose.

If Corporations Are People…

Uber plays as a shitty, shitty version of the Snidely Whiplash of corporate persons:

The next step:* A letter from a former Uber security employee, accusing the company of secretly surveilling competitors, is expected to be released, in a redacted form, by the court on Friday.

(From The New York Times Dealbook newsletter.)

What’s the crappiest/dumbest thing you’ve ever seen management do where you worked?

And now, for a moment’s amusement and/or devant le revolution tumbrel reservation list, here’s the tea room at Claridges, in the West End, which I had the pleasure of visiting. And that’s it.  I didn’t stay.  Don’t even know where it is.  Really.  Don’t warm up the guillotine…please…

I was actually just across the pond for a quick trip, centered on a memorial trip for a beloved aunt, who is one of my models/mentors in the art of living a life with intention.  But I did get to do some publishing/broadcasting work while I was there (hence, Claridges) and, as always, had a chance to drop in on some old friends.

So, in a post that is intended to offer a little change of pace from our usual chronicling of the end of the American century, I’ll just sign off with a nod to some of my all-time favorite bovines. (Excuse the reproduction — that’s me with an iPhone.)

I should note — these are cattle ever ready for their closeup:

How now, Brown Cow?

And with a mite of randomness thus inserted into the day….

Open Thread.

*That’s the next step in the trade-secrets case being fought between Uber and Alphabet (Google).

Image: Aelbert Cuyp, The Large Dortaka A Distant View of Dordrecht, with a Milkmaid and Four Cows, and Other Figures c. 1650.

It’s in the newly opened (reopened?) Gallery A in the basement level of the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square.  The room is a hoot.  It’s huge, and it’s populated by a sample of the Nat’s collection across the full range of periods, medieval  to 20th c., one space with hundreds of paintings taking you on a wild journey.  The pictures are all good, and the room, on its own, would make a hell of a regional museum for almost any city around the world — and yet most of the work is stuff that didn’t quite make the cut for inclusion upstairs.  Totally worth a look.