Last But Not Least, I Learned that Mitt Romney is Exceptional, Literally and Figuratively
Part 5 of “Everything I Learned from the Impeachment of Donald Trump.”
From “corporations are people my friend,” to the video of him oddly blowing out each individual candle on his twinkie birthday cake, Mitt Romney is normally a robotic, unemotional social and fiscal conservative. However, for 10 extraordinary minutes, the man who famously strapped his dog to his car roof and categorically dismissed 47% of Americans delivered a powerful, emotionally moving speech explaining his vote to convict Trump of abuse of power. Breaking with his “Cult of Trump” Republican colleagues and contrasting with the oftentimes rambling and repetitive Democratic House managers, Mitt eloquently and concisely explained why he had no choice but to vote to convict Trump of “an appalling abuse of public trust” and remove him from office:
Romney deserves our respect for casting one of the most courageous votes in the history of the U.S. Senate: he’s the only senator to ever vote to remove a president of their own party in any of the three impeachment trials to date. Breaking with your party during an impeachment trail can have serious consequences: in 1868 ten Republican senators voted against their own party to acquit Democrat Andrew Johnson by a single vote during his impeachment trial, and none of them ever won another election.
The backlash against Romney was swift, with Donald Trump Jr. calling Romney a p*ssy and demanding he be expelled from the Republican party. Fox News hosts called him “the ultimate selfish, preening, self-centered politician,” who will forever be “associated with Judas, Brutus, and Benedict Arnold.” A month later at the yearly Conservative Political Action Conference that Romney was officially disinvited from following his vote, the ill-will showed no sign of subsiding. Romney was consistently trashed by speakers and booed by the crowd, with Donald Trump calling Romney a “low life” during his speech. Romney knew he was risking his political future with his vote, but the strength of his faith and nagging regrets about past decisions that he felt compromised his values in favor of political expediency compelled him to do what he believed was right.
My own Republican grandfather was not a particularly religious man, but he was a moral man of strong convictions with a fascination for constitutional law, and I couldn’t help but think of him while watching Mitt Romney’s speech. I hope we can soon return to a time where Republicans are defenders of conservative ideology like my late grandfather and Mitt Romney, and not followers of a cult of personality that threatens the integrity of our nation’s institutions.
Check out Part 1 of my series for how I learned to separate fact from Rudy Giuliani’s Ukrainian fiction; Part 2 for how two unknown dual nationals removed a US ambassador as part of a scheme that stinks of Putin; Part 3 for why Trump’s quid pro quo foreign policy is incredibly dangerous; and Part 4 for how Republicans, Democrats, and even the FBI have fallen for Russian disinformation that attempts to undermine our democracy.