The difference between pygmy elephants and respectable Republicans is that the former's an endangered species that actually exists. The media loves to cover supposed "reasonable" Republicans but like sightings of the Loch Ness Monster, they just turn out to be large spineless eels.

Let's start with Mitt Romney because this is the one that caused Yr. Editrix to exclaim, "What a fucking asshole!" in the secret chat cave. Even now, Romney is considered the noble non-partisan who will rally Republicans to the side of removal during Donald Trump's impeachment trial. Meanwhile, Mittens couldn't bother to denounce Trump's repulsive racist attacks against Ayanna Pressley, Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Rashida Tlaib.

There are people -- some of whom are running for president -- naive enough to believe that Trump personally hijacked the GOP, and once he's gone, the party will return to all the "good" things they stood for during the good old days when Trump just appeared in Home Alone movies. Romney demonstrates what un-Trump-tainted Republicans actually believe. Congresswomen of color "have views that are not consistent" with the "experience" of a 72-year-old rich white guy. Republicans could "learn" from that different experience, but instead they just file them away in a binder full of communists.

Jeff Flake is another Republican who moderates desperately want to believe believes in something decent. He looks like a Republican from central casting, but he keeps telling us he's not a standup guy. He voted to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court despite credible sexual assault allegations against him, and as he recently boasted in a GQ article, he voted "34 times to repeal Obamacare." Nice guys don't keep an exact count of how many times they tried to deny poor people health care. This summer, Flake also defended Donald Trump from Jimmy Carter, choosing to morally equate the two men when only one of them has a human soul.

Carter isn't trying to "disqualify" Trump because he doesn't like Republicans. ("Can't we all just get along?") Trump disqualified himself when he cheated to win the election with Russia like a common Anna Karenina. Much like Anthony Weiner, Jeff Flake was presented at birth with a moral challenge to avoid living up to his Dickensian character name. He failed at every opportunity. Then he quit the Senate so he wouldn't have to do anything hard.

I don't think anyone's stupid enough to think Ted Cruz has a moral center inside his preening Tootsie Roll exterior. But they thought he at least wouldn't go out of his way to enable a president who repeatedly insulted his own wife. No such luck. Just this month, Cruz went on "Meet the Press" and spread debunked, lie-laced conspiracy theories about Ukraine.

Joe: Ted Cruz Is Choosing To Ignore US Intel Leaders | Morning Joe | MSNBC

CRUZ: By any measure, the president's policy and this administration's policy have been tougher on Russia and, actually, better for Ukraine than Obama's was. Let me give you an example. You just mentioned Ukrainian aid. The Donald Trump administration gave lethal defensive aid to Ukraine, Javelin missiles, to take out Russian tanks. Do you know what? Throughout the Obama administration, I repeatedly pressed President Obama to give lethal aid to Ukraine. I traveled to Ukraine. I went to the Maiden Square, in Kiev. And they needed lethal aid. But the Obama administration, they sent, teddy bears and MREs.

None of that is true. Maybe a couple vowels are legit, but that's pushing things.

Marco Rubio likes to tweet random Bible verses during times of moral crisis. It's adorable that people think the spineless senator from Florida has ever struggled with his conscience. He usually just likes to complain that the media and the world at large has it out for poor, abused Republicans.

People wanted Trump removed before he was inaugurated because it was already evident he was a corrupt POS. Does Rubio think people shouldn't put out a fire because they insisted on having smoke alarms installed? We should ask his donors. They usually know what Little Marco thinks before he does.

The major upside from 2019, though, is that everyone has officially stopped listening to Susan Collins. We all know she's a fraud and a phony who'll perform a little soft shoe about bipartisanship and having an open mind before folding completely to Trump and Mitch McConnell. She rocked out the year by lecturing Chuck Schumer about Senate comity while ignoring that McConnell had gone on a "rigged impeachment trial" tour on Fox. Let's just focus on making her former Sen. Collins.

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Stephen Robinson

Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes reviews for the A.V. Club and make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."


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