American Hero Mitt Romney Bravely Casts Presidential Vote For Nunya Business
Mitt Romney, the supposed “conscience" of the GOP, confirmed Wednesday that he's already voted for president and that lucky ducky recipient of his vote was not Donald Trump.
But if Romney didn't vote for Trump, did he valiantly cross party lines and back Joe Biden, the Democratic nominee who's the only serious option for defeating the orange horror?
According to CNN, when asked his presidential pick, Romney said, "That's something I'm keeping private at this stage."
Mitt Romney's not a private citizen or a private dancer. He's a US senator. He has a duty, an obligation, to lead. It's not enough to refuse to vote for Trump. That's a stand Romney already took, when he didn't hold a public office and candidate Trump was still a punchline and not an existential threat to our democracy. Trump is literally president now, and more than 220,000 Americans have needlessly died on his watch.
Mitt Rommey told me he already voted in the elections but he wouldn’t say if he voted for Joe Biden or wrote someon… https://t.co/YNuJ1oJbsU— Manu Raju (@Manu Raju) 1603302689.0
What's the deal, Senator? Are you afraid of the big, bad Trump? No, that's not it. Romney's not afraid of what a second Trump administration would mean to this country, especially to the marginalized. Trump's embarrassing, even personally repulsive to Romney, but his rightwing policies don't keep the senator up at night.
Romney is still a Republican. Sure, during Trump's impeachment trial, Romney cast the sole Republican vote against him, but not even a year later, he'll vote to confirm Trump's eleventh-hour Supreme Court nominee. Imagine what might've happened if Romney confronted Mitch McConnell and said he wouldn't vote for any more of Trump's judges, forcing McConnell's hand and pressuring him to ditch Trump. Maybe that's too "House of Cards," but it's not not even single-dimensional chess to publicly announce now that he's supporting Biden.
No Senate seats from Utah are up for election this year. Actively working to deny Trump the state's six electoral votes wouldn't threaten the balance of power.
Utah native Evan McMullin, the supposed “independent conservative" candidate in 2016, realized this year that actually stopping Trump means supporting the Democrat. He endorsed Biden a few months ago. But there are still several other cowards who won't make a responsible choice.
Republican Gov. Charlie Baker of Massachusetts and Phil Scott of Vermont announced they aren't voting for Trump, but they won't say who they chose instead. Maybe it was their aunts.
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan wrote in former President Ronald Reagan instead of Trump. Reagan has been dead for 16 years and was mentally unsound for significantly longer. Hogan seems to grasp Reagan's weaknesses as a candidate in 2020, but he told the Washington Post that his "long-dead political idol represents the type of Republican he would like to see in office." If Hogan's ideal Republican is a racist who'll ignore a deadly virus ravaging the nation because it's killing people who don't matter to him, he should give Trump a second look.
It's naive to assume Trump will just go away if he loses in November. He's still absurdly popular with a vocal and nasty segment of the GOP electorate. We can imagine Trump continuing his Klan bake rallies, free of the burden of pretending to govern. He'll make life miserable for the Republicans who stood against him, and while that sounds fun, like the end of an old monster movie where Frankenstein's creature and the Wolfman fight in a burning castle, it also explains why some anti-Trump Republicans aren't taking a real stand.
But Romney could. He's not up for reelection until 2024, when he'll be 77. He's probably saved enough to retire comfortably. Instead, he's joining the other gutless cowards. I can't say I'm surprised.
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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."