Tuesday, July 14, 2020
Miles from the Mainstream
D. R. ZUKERMAN, proprietor

Lonely Should be the Never Trumpers

February 19, 2020 --

The Never Trumper status of Bret Stephens has gone too far, comparing  Mitt Romney to the character played by Kirk Douglas in the wonderful, but heart-rending, movie, "Lonely Are the Brave."

Stephens describes the character, John W.  "Jack" Burns, in part, as "a roaming spirit who won't be stopped by wire fences, prison bars, search helicopters or sadistic lawmen."  How does that description fit the former Massachusetts governor, now U.S. Senator from Utah, who showed he could be stopped in his presidential bid by an aggressive Democrat?

It was not really a brave thing for Sen. Romney to have voted with 47 Senate Democrats to remove President Trump from office. Indeed, merely considering  his remarks vigorously denouncing candidate Trump, at the University of Utah, March 3, 2016 , it might have been surprising had the senator voted with his 52 G.O.P. senate colleagues in favor of acquittal on the Abuse of Power first article of impeachment (he did vote with the other Republican senators on the Obstruction of Congress second article of impeachment). Here are some  quotes from those remarks:

"Let me put it plainly, if we Republicans choose Donald Trump as our nominee, the prospects for a safe and prosperous future are greatly diminished."    (So far, nearly four years later, that prediction is considerably wide of the mark.)

Here is another quote from Romney, March 3, 2016: "Insulting all Muslims will keep many of them from fully engaging with us in the urgent fight against ISIS." (Nearly four years later, the "urgent fight against ISIS" seems ended.)

The junior senator from Utah went on, in his March 3, 2016 remarks, to echo the anti-Trump virulence of the left, declaring that candidate Trump lacks "the temperament of a stable, thoughtful leader [whose] imagination must not be married to real power." Are we really worse off today than we were on March 3, 2016, under the leadership of a president investigated since taking office, and just recently emerged from the impeachment hoax of the sore-losing Democrats, joined at the anti-Trump hip by the Never Trumpers?

 Just as Sen. Romney had suggested that he would be attacked by candidate Trump for his March 2016 remarks, in his Senate remarks, February 5, announcing his vote to convict,  he  likewise predicted a harsh response from President Trump to. It is not unfair to infer that Mitt Romney would have President Trump be as ineffective in response to personal attack as candidate Romney was ineffective against personal attack from Democrats in 2016.  And after denouncing candidate Trump as "a phony," "a fraud,"  Mr.  Romney concluded his March 2016 attack on Mr. Trump by predicting that, were he to become president, "America would cease to be a shining city on a hill."  Perhaps Sen. Romney should ask those singled out during the State of the Union address, February 4 for all America to see, if they they think President Trump has tarnished our image.  

Apparently, the depth of Romney's hostility towards the president equals the depth of the loathing of columnist Stephens for the president. But does it take bravery for a columnist at The New York Times to loathe President Trump?  Is Mitt Romney, alas, truly lonely in his Trump Derangement Syndrome affliction. Is either the columnist or the senator as brave as Jack Burns?  Of course not.

How inappropriate it was of Mr. Stephens to compare, favorably, Mitt Romney to Jack Burns. But then, a sign of Trump Derangement Syndrome is a talent for inappropriate, invidious comparison, going off the deep end in calling the president "authoritarian,: a "dictator," and worse.