Not wrong, just irrelevant: Mitt Romney’s attempt to tone-police US politics falls on deaf Democrat ears
is a Serbian-American journalist, blogger and translator, who wrote a regular column for Antiwar.com from 2000 to 2015, and is now senior writer at RT. Follow him on Telegram @TheNebulator and on Twitter @NebojsaMalic
“I’m troubled by our politics, as it has moved away from spirited debate to a vile, vituperative, hate-filled morass that is unbecoming of any free nation – let alone the birthplace of modern democracy,” Romney said in a statement on Tuesday morning.
Tacitly praising Democrat presidential candidate Joe Biden, he repeatedly called out Trump – but also House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and former MSNBC commentator Keith Olbermann – for the words and deeds he said contributed to the sad state of affairs.
My thoughts on the current state of our politics: pic.twitter.com/oYY4zlX6ZP— Mitt Romney (@MittRomney) October 13, 2020
America is “so angry, so mean, so violent,” Romney lamented. “It is time to lower the heat. Leaders must tone it down,” he added, as “the consequence of the crescendo of anger leads to a very bad place.”
The stunning and brave declaration that bad things are bad and good things are good, however, did not win Romney the praise he might have hoped for. Instead, the failed Republican presidential candidate from 2012 found himself bombarded by hateful replies from Democrats, offended at the notion they could in any way be compared to Trump.
Time and again, they blasted Romney for claiming the “false equivalence” of “both sides,” arguing that Trump’s supposedly existential evil can’t possibly be compared to Pelosi ripping up his State of the Union or Olbermann’s YouTube rant.
BOTH sides are bad, the President of the United States and YouTube commentator Keith Olbermann— max (@MaxOnTwitter) October 13, 2020
After all, the former MSNBC host only called for Trump and “his enablers, and his supporters, and his collaborators” to be “prosecuted and convicted and removed from our society,” and urged Democrats to “chase… Trump and the MAGAts [maggots] off the stage and then try to clean up what they left.”
Olbermann himself was entirely unapologetic, calling Romney an “enabler” of Trump along the lines of Franz von Papen – Adolf Hitler’s deputy in Nazi Germany from 1933 to 1934.
Mitt, I called Trump a terrorist because Trump IS a terrorist. And you’re his enabler. And if you don’t like the state of politics, fix the root causes - your party, and @realDonaldTrump.If not, go read up on Franz von Papen.— Keith Olbermann (@KeithOlbermann) October 13, 2020
He was not alone in this sentiment. Hundreds of responses to the Utah senator, from blue checkmarks to fresh accounts with no followers, insisted on the same thing: Trump is THE problem, nothing else.
“We get America back when Republicans walk away from Trump. Not before,” as one user put it.
Other Resistance Twitter activists undermined that very argument, however, by seamlessly turning back the clock to 2012 and reaching for the rhetorical bludgeons used by the Obama-Biden presidency to clobber Romney’s challenge at the time: He’s a racist birther! He called 47 percent of Americans moochers who don’t pay taxes!
Here’s a photo of Mitt Romney accepting Donald Trump’s endorsement after years of promoting unfounded racist conspiracy theories about the birthplace of President Obama. pic.twitter.com/buP3D9jRUl— Will McAvoy (@WillMcAvoyACN) October 13, 2020
The man who smeared nearly half the country as moochers has words on divisiveness and civility.— Pé (@4everNeverTrump) October 13, 2020
Bear in mind that Romney went from one of the original NeverTrump Republicans in 2016 to seeking Trump’s endorsement for his Senate run in 2018 – then turning on Trump the minute he was elected and embracing every liberal cause since, from Russiagate to Black Lives Matter. Willard M. Romney was literally the only senator in US history to vote in favor of impeaching a president from his own party, endorsing one of the articles of impeachment against Trump in February.
None of that mattered to online Democrats. Dozens of other replies made clear that Romney must openly endorse Biden right now and vote against confirming Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the US Supreme Court before he might be considered remotely acceptable – and probably not even then.
Twitter conspiracy-monger Bill Palmer actually argued that Romney is “worse than Trump, because Romney knows better, and he still chooses to do the wrong thing.” The Utah senator, Palmer said, “pranced around the battlefield and lectured everyone about their tone instead of picking a side” in the “battle to save American democracy.”
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The greatest irony in this entire episode is that Romney absolutely has a point about the present state of American politics being a hate-filled swamp. However, because the observation is coming from him – a feckless opportunist who learned nothing from his political career – it is guaranteed to fall on deaf ears.
Biden himself couldn’t even remember Romney’s name during an airport interview on Monday, calling him “the Mormon” instead. That seems strangely fitting, somehow.
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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.