This is the craziest presidential election I’ve ever seen. Voters on both sides of the aisle are rebelling against their party establishment. Donald Trump who has never before run for office is the presumptive GOP nominee. And Bernie Sanders, a 74-year old Socialist, continues to give Hillary a run for her money, generating 100% of the enthusiasm on the Democrat side.
There’s something else brand new about this election – the role of last election’s loser.
I thought the role of a Presidential election loser that doesn’t hold any other elective office is to slither away into hiding somewhere and grow a beard; maybe resurface in ten years on some talk show touting his new book on farming. But Mitt Romney seems to think loser is a high status position.
He keeps inserting himself into the politics of this election. After losing a winnable 2012 election to Barack Obama, Romney appointed himself elder statesman of the party establishment this past March. When Trump scored impressive victories on Super Tuesday and became the favorite to win the nomination, Mitt took to the airwaves to excoriate Trump. He also lectured voters on how they were getting it wrong and then provided instructions on how they should vote going forward.
It didn’t work. It was in essence his second failed campaign in less than four years. One can only wonder why the voters didn’t follow Mitt’s judgment. Maybe it’s because that same judgment is largely responsible for the fact that the country is much farther down the road of secular, socialist, welfare-state stagnation than it was four years ago. Or maybe it’s just because he’s boring.
But Mitt still isn’t going away. He’s at it again. This past week he’s been publically repeating his demands that Trump release his tax returns. He insists that there could be a “bombshell” in the returns that will damage him politically.
Hillary Clinton and the Democrats have seized the opportunity and are repeating Romney’s call for Trump to release his taxes. Who knows what’s in those tax returns, but it can’t be anything good. Surely the opposition can scour the 1000 pages of complicated returns and find something to use against Trump.
Why is Mitt doing this?
Although presumptuous and misguided, Romney’s attempt to undermine Trump in March could be viewed as an effort to help the party. Voters could have gone on to reject Trump and a better (in Mitt’s view) candidate could have won the nomination. But that ship has sailed. Now, Trump is certain to be the nominee. What possible good can it do the party to go after him now?
In my estimation there are two possible reasons for Romney to do this.
One is that he is fishing for something in the tax returns that is sufficiently damaging to Trump that it will embolden the Establishment to affect a coup d'état against the voters by denying the nomination to the candidate with the clear majority of delegates. Such an event would rip the party apart and assuredly lead to a Republican defeat in November.
The other possibility is that Romney is simply trying to throw the election to Hillary by sabotaging the Republican nominee from within. He is fighting for Hillary while pretending to be a concerned Republican.
Either way, if Mitt has his druthers Hillary will win in November and be the next President. The man whose judgment gave us four more years of Obama is hard at work trying to give us four or eight years of Hillary Clinton.
If Mitt so despises the current Republican nominee that he is willing to work for a Hillary victory, he should be honest about it switch sides. If he feels so compelled to follow his conscience he should come out of the closet and join the Hillary Clinton campaign for all to see. Republicans have enough trouble winning a presidential election as it is. The last thing they need is a saboteur in the ranks.
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