By |2019-01-11T21:13:19-07:00January 11th, 2019|
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In Washington, winners write history, losers write résumés, unless, like Mitt Romney, they happen to follow the path of least resistance into a waiting Senate seat.

A week after becoming senator elect from Utah, Romney was on Capitol Hill where the first person he visited was now-retired House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.). The two ex-running mates have an ongoing bromance full of man hugs and mutual admiration.

And this will be worth remembering in the days and months ahead: They also have a lot in common, particularly when it comes to President Donald Trump.

For his part, Ryan spent the past two years criticizing Trump’s moral leadership and discouraging Republican members from supporting his stand on border security, illegal immigration, and other issues. “Doing the right thing for the right reasons,” he called it, telling colleagues they should oppose Trump even if it meant losing their seats.

Over 40 House Republicans took the cue and joined Ryan in announcing their retirements. If the unfortunate outcome is Ryan’s legacy, Romney’s role can’t be forgotten.

Keep in mind he was the one who picked Ryan to join his failed White House bid in 2012, giving him the résumé boost he needed later to become Speaker. In that capacity Ryan initially refused to endorse Trump’s nomination—explaining, “I’m not there yet”—then did everything possible to undermine his presidency. Now headed for K Street, Ryan is largely to blame for Republicans losing their House majority and putting Trump on a collision course with congressional Democrats.

Mitt Romney and Hillary Clinton are both sore losers, who each hate Trump for winning the prize they think should have been theirs. To get even, Clinton opted for revenge; Romney chose virtue signaling.

His much talked about Washington Post op-ed, accusing the president of failing to “inspire us to follow ‘our better angels,’” could have come straight from Ryan’s office. But for Romney what better way to let Trump know it’s game on, at least as one of them sees it.

What Romney had to say might seem presumptuous, yet he does have a certain earned authority on the subject of Donald Trump.

He gladly accepted Trump’s money for his 2012 campaign. Then during the primaries two years ago dismissed him as a “phony” and a “fraud.” For payback, Trump interviewed Romney twice for the job of secretary of state before giving it to Rex Tillerson. The two men have a complicated past, as Romney might say, like Moses and Pharaoh.

Clearly Romney wants to replace the departed trio of former Senators Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and the late John McCain (R-Ariz.) as the media’s lead anti-Trumper. The problem is he’s still the same self-righteous wuss who got played by Barack Obama in their decisive second debate.

Even with his “better angels” around, there’s no way for Romney to survive a battle of tweets with the president. Note the speed with which he retreated from blowback, following his ill-timed op-ed.

The Democrats beat Romney six years ago by tying him to the evil 1 percent. Since then he’s spent much of his time planning a comeback. The big step was moving from Massachusetts to Utah so clean living and mountain air could revive the never-take-no-for-answer kind of guy he was as a young missionary.

In the late 1960s Romney spent two and a-half years going door-to-door looking for Mormon converts in France, maybe the hardest place in the world to convince people to give up smoking and drinking, as Mormons do, and walk the straight and narrow.

With anti-American protests raging in the streets, Romney continued knocking on doors, often finding himself in arguments with French socialists, which did nothing to help his conversion ratio.

There’s a similar situation now on Capitol Hill, where Romney’s apparent plan is to position himself as the moral alternative to Trump, an idea that could only appeal to inside-the-Beltway RINOs of the Paul Ryan variety.

Meanwhile, in his eagerness to nitpick Trump’s presidential style Romney has failed to notice the same kind of socialist upheaval that hampered his missionary efforts in Paris is threatening not only Washington but the United States with something far worse.

And Donald Trump seems to be the only one fighting against it.

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