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Photo by Gage Skidmore, Creative Commons license 2.0

Willard Romney, as you'd probably like to forget, is running for the US Senate from his brand new home state of Utah, where he is inexplicably loved for having been the first Mormon to lose a major party's presidential campaign. Romney and his Democratic opponent, Salt Lake County Councilwoman Jenny Wilson, held a debate Tuesday in Cedar City that the Deseret News described as "much like a friendly disagreement between a brother and sister," although the two candidates had very real differences. Mitt, to the complete feigned surprise of everyone, waffled more than a Provo IHOP during the Sunday rush, studiously avoiding every single question about his past insistence that Donald Trump was a "fraud" and a "phony." But he's certain of one thing: Now is not the time to be talking about impeachment, because holding on to Trump's endorsement is absolutely vital.


Gluttons for punishment can watch the whole thing at C-SPAN, although prolonged exposure to Mitt Romney has been determined to cause drowsiness, dropsy, the grippe, and conniptions. Ask your doctor, and pay with a chicken. Romney and Wilson disagreed, politely, on most issues, although Deseret News notes that they were quite nice to each other since Wilson had worked for Romney on rescuing the 2002 Winter Olympics. Eventually they even debated on a first-name basis, so how's that for nice?

On the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh, both agreed the entire confirmation was an outrageous cluster-golly-gee, albeit for very different reasons. Wilson said the process had been rushed, and that Kavanaugh's confirmation was "heartbreaking."

"This was unbelievable," she said. "We could have taken more time."

She also, in her opening statement, said it was high time to bring an end to the Senate's being an "old boy's club."

The Old Boy, on the other hand, said the process was the problem, and that "both parties can be blamed for some of the abuse associated with this process." As a solution, he thought it would be a good idea for a firm deadline to be put in place for any accusations against a nominee, after which we'd presumably just have to ignore any claims of attempted rape for the sake of fairness. And if there were any really personally sensitive accusations, then any hearings should be held in private so people don't get embarrassed or all het up.

Yes, Mittens was back to his love of manners and decorum and never talking about some topics in public, just like in 2012 when he said wealth inequality is something that should only be discussed in "quiet rooms," oh heavens. In Tuesday's debate, Romney also said the parties should agree on some sort of standard for whether a Supreme Court nominee can be confirmed in an election year, although he certainly didn't think there was any standard set by Mitch McConnell's refusal to hold hearings for Merrick Garland. Gosh, if only we could agree on a consistent standard and not have all this divisiveness. Maybe in a quiet room.

Also, speaking of divisiveness, Romney refused to be divisive or even all that critical of Donald Trump, because that's not his style when he wants to keep the ragebaby happy. Despite calling Trump a phony and a fraud and a very not-nice person during the 2016 campaign, no way would he address whether he still thinks that way now. The Salt Lake Tribune reports that, including a spin-room question after the debate, 2018 Romney declined to associate himself with 2016 Romney thrice before the cock crew, instead explaining, "I'm going to talk about the future."

Wilson said if the Mueller investigation finds sufficient evidence that Trump committed high crimes, then impeachment should definitely be considered. She noted Trump doesn't trust his own cabinet, and that the "summit" with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was nothing more than a photo op. America is "on pause right now with this president," Wilson said, although she later said it was worse than that, what with Trump's family separation policy.

The topic of impeachment gave Mittens another opportunity to avoid a direct question about whether he still thinks Trump is a prod and a pony. Instead, Romney went full-goose weird on the matter of impeachment:

I don't think it makes sense to be talking about impeachment, not for a sitting president.

Good call! Wait until they're out of office, so it's not a distraction. The case against Warren G. Harding in the Teapot Dome scandal is still ripe for Senate action. As for Trump's bad behavior, Romney said he'd definitely be tough, but not too divisive, explaining, "I don't want to become a gadfly talking day after day about everything the president says day to day," but also insisting that as a senator, he would definitely "call out" any excesses, like if Trump gets too racist or sexist or dishonest. Ah, but he wouldn't make a big show of it:

"I'll let him know," Romney said. "Privately at first."

In a very, very quiet room, no doubt.

[Deseret News / AP / Salt Lake Tribune / Photo by Gage Skidmore, Creative Commons License 2.0 ]

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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On Monday, someone attempted to murder George Soros by putting a bomb in his mailbox. Also on Monday, someone threw a rock into House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy's office. Also, I spilled some hot coffee on myself. These are all things that happened on Monday, and were by some measure unpleasant. While most people might say, "Yes, all of those things are unpleasant, but they are not equal degrees of unpleasant," most people are not Chuck Schumer.

In what appears to be an attempt to get someone on Fox News to describe him as a "reasonable guy," Schumer sent out a tweet today lamenting the "despicable acts of violence and harassment" being done by "both sides."

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Republicans are KILLIN' IT in Florida, you guys! No worries about election day, Gators. It's all smooooooth sailing for the Sunshine State GOP. Just take it from Governor Rick Scott's lead pollster Wes Anderson, who produced a whimsical, unskewed poll for the campaign, featuring nostalgic jams about high Republican turnout in those good old days, telling the Tampa Bay Times,

As the linked slides indicate, Governor Scott currently leads Senator Nelson 51% to 46%, a lead that is outside of the margin of error.

It should also be noted that this sample from last week is very robust at 2,200 interviews of likely voters, stratified by county to reflect historic mid-term turnout. Our sample shows the Republicans with a one-point turnout advantage, even though we believe we will end up with a two- or three-point advantage. For historical context, in the past two mid-term elections Republicans had a four-point advantage in 2010 and a three-point advantage in 2014. At R+1, that makes our current sample a very conservative take on the likely partisan composition of this year's electorate.

NEEDZ MOAR BILL MURRAY.

No other pollster has replicated those numbers, with SurveyUSA, Quinnipiac, and CNN/SSRS all finding Bill Nelson in the lead, but if OnMessage, Inc. says Scott is running way ahead, then it must be true! Only OnMessage promises to "take your principles, your experience, and your opponent's weaknesses to develop a winning message plan that the voters will embrace." And who wouldn't trust a push pollster, right?

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