Mitt Romney: Super Hero?

By

Leonard Zwelling

I have been thinking a lot about John McCain in the last few weeks. I keep wondering what he would make of the Democrats’ attempt to impeach President Trump and Trump’s counter-attacks against Nancy Pelosi, Adam Schiff and the rest of the House majority. I also wonder about what he would make of the silence of his former GOP colleagues in the Senate. I cannot imagine the great man sitting silently by.

There was no love lost between Senator McCain and President Trump. It was McCain who cast the deciding vote to undermine the GOP’s plan to overturn ObamaCare. This sent Trump into a rage. Mr. Trump also had some harsh words for the late Senator and the fact that he was captured during the Vietnam War. To me, Senator McCain was a genuine American hero who I admired greatly and even met once. He was a true patriot and despite having run a losing campaign for President in 2008, still managed to have the respect of people on both sides of the political aisle.

It is my belief that if John McCain were alive today and still a senator, he would be the first to condemn what President Trump did and said on his phone call with the Ukrainian president. John McCain would probably vote to convict Mr. Trump if articles of impeachment were reported out of the House and a trial was held in the Senate. Mr. Trump has admitted that he wants help from foreign governments (Ukraine and China) to investigate his political rival former Vice President Biden. That is clearly a high crime or misdemeanor.

But alas, the great John McCain is no longer with us. Will anyone in the GOP pick up the mantle of patriotic greatness and lead the charge to collect twenty votes in the Senate GOP caucus and rid us of Mr. Trump?

So far there are only three candidates—Ben Sasse of Nebraska, Susan Collins of Maine and Mitt Romney, the junior Senator from Utah. It is Mr. Romney who took up the role of challenger to Mr. Obama in 2012 and, though he lost, represented the best of Republican values, even if you personally do not share them. He is an ardent capitalist, a man of great accomplishments, and apparently one of high moral convictions. He’s a good family man and though he transported his dog on the top of his car, he seems to be an otherwise levelheaded, clear thinking politician and businessman. He also has some gravitas. He is respected. People will listen if he speaks up. Now is his moment.

He had a previous one in 2016 when he very forcefully condemned Mr. Trump’s candidacy and all that it represented in early 2016. He needs to do it again.

I do not believe that such a declaration would be immediately met with like sentiments from the likes of Mitch McConnell or Roy Blount or John Barrasso, but he could start a movement to return the Republican Party to its roots and turn it away from the damaging forces of Trumpism that are poisoning what real Republicans stand for—like free trade, fealty to democratic allies, and merit-based paths to the middle class. Senator Ron Johnson was on Meet the Press today (October 6) and made a monkey out of himself forcing his way past Chuck Todd’s questions about Trump’s misdeeds and rehashing the entire Mueller Report story and why it was initiated. He was giving vent to every Republican Deep State conspiracy theory that Trump and Fox News can drum up and refused to answer any of Mr. Todd’s questions. It was shameful

If Mr. Romney came out and declared what Mr. Trump has done is wrong, illegal, unethical and against his Constitutional oath, the tide could turn. Other Republicans might feel safe calling out the President for his declarations of admiration for dictators and opposition to the patriots in the CIA and FBI who are protecting the American people even as I write this.

In a lifetime, there are very few moments when an individual’s decisions and behaviors can turn the tide of history. I myself have never been there so I am reticent to criticize anyone who decides not to be a hero. But, Mr. Romney, I believe that you are a patriot. Now is the time to leave no doubt and seize control of the leadership of the GOP by bringing it back to its senses and sending Mr. Trump back to Trump Tower for good. His good and ours.

Mitt Romney is being visited by history. It is unclear whether or not he will let history in. If he does, he may be everyone’s super hero.

Leonard Zwelling