FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Romney’s Ruin

The emperor Tiberius famously retreated to Capri engaged in every torment and excess imaginable.  One of his favorites was tossing his foes off the cliffs onto the rocks while, down below, his soldiers would beat the fallen bodies with oars.  Now, two thousand years later, it’s not a revolution or an emboldened left that mercilessly tossed the Bush and Clinton dynasties—along with Chris Christie, Marco Rubio, and now Mitt Romney off the headlands and onto the cliff rocks, it was Donald Trump.

Yes, Trump has spent the month assembling his new Wrecking Crew to tear apart 20th century’s progressive gains.  And it now appears the smug ugly face of empire will be the hideous mask of Rex Tillerson, a corporate thug and climate change denier with no public service experience who led the most sinister business on earth, Exxon-Mobil.  Worth $150 million personally, Tillerson helped filch Exxon $35 billion this year and could not more perfectly personify the Trump era to come.

On the left, hopefully more organizing than tears will come—just as every Trump Tower in America should be a lodestar of radical protest in the coming years, every step Tillerson takes on foreign land should be the location of climate protest, a perfect rallying for international anti-corporate forces seeking justice in wages, and an end to the corporate offensive Rex spent his career intensifying on every sad corner of the globe.

But perhaps, right here, just between us, as the media picks through Rex’s resume, we can delight in the political autopsy, the humiliating ruin of Mitt Romney.

Like a purifying storm (true, mostly thunder and mud) Trump washed away so much establishment dead wood.  Admittedly, Jeff Sessions and Company are not exactly our era’s bright young things.  Personnel is policy.  But the most delicious part of the strange interlude between election and inauguration has not been watching Trump “save” Carrier’s jobs and thereby humiliating Clintonoid Democrats even more—stealing their historical constituency and putting his paternalism towards Midwestern working people on the front page.  It has been watching Trump, like a fat orange spider, luring the clueless insect Mitt Romney into his webs.

Mitt spent the election year getting self-righteous about Donald excesses.  His starched enumeration of Trumpism’s many evils could make my plants laugh, considering his 2012 antics.  But in the explosion of this year, his ignominy and hackery was nearly forgotten.  Honestly, do you recall when the NAACP booed him?  Or do you even remember when he discussed “self-deportation” of immigrants?  The “makers and takers” myth of ubermensch tycoons?  The 47% of us slurping up the dole?  The Convention lie, “we built it”?  When Romney called for cutting off cancer screenings at Planned Parenthood?  Or his endorsement of a personhood initiative, thereby giving every woman’s fertilized cell a Social Security number and nickname?

If not, it is understandable.

But now Mitt is finished.

Here in San Diego, you can walk down Mitt Romney’s neighborhood.  There’s very little parking and when I was there last winter, construction hadn’t been completed on his latest multi-million dollar constructional abomination.  Tags of anti-Romey graffiti smile from the wall beside a stairwell leading from his yard to his private beach.  I assume in the coming years Romney will be spending more time here in the sun.

There’s some irony that Romney waited until a few days after an election to be utterly defeated and humiliated.

When I first saw him crawl and grovel at Trump Tower like he was the help, it was an absolute delight.  I couldn’t believe he’d fallen for it.  How could the Mormon dullard not see what was happening?  I thought of Hamlet, “Oh shame!  Where is they blush?”  But it was that beautiful picture that will forever burn in my memory, snapped while Romney and Trump dined over a meal that would cost a Trump voter a week’s pay.  In it, Mitt gazes awkwardly back, oblivious and unaware that he is a snake that has swallowed himself.  He is dimmed in shadow while Donald Trump glows like a golden mooncalf.  That wineless dinner among cost Romney any respectability that would necessitate future interviews he has recently enjoyed.  In that photograph, Trump’s smile says it all:  the meanest guy in the valley and a master at the vindictive, the petty, the cruel, and the humiliating, knows exactly what he’s done.

Romney jumped into 2016 thinking himself a noble Cincinnatus, returning from the rugged wilderness of San Diego to save the Republican Party from itself!  In a solid speech, perhaps his best, Romney perfectly articulated the absurdity of Trump.  By turning Romney from critic into slavish bootlicker and job-seeker, the President-elect has utterly neutralized his former critic and revealed (if anyone missed it) the former candidate can never again criticize Trump to any effect.

Mitt Romney is the last ruin, but the most broken wreck on 2016’s littered shoals. Broke on the rocks he will forever be pointed at, jeered as the soulless, spineless and unscrupulous loser we knew him to be when we rejected him in 2012.  Now, the only internal opposition to Trump may come from McConnell’s Senate or Ryan’s House, both with the power to expose Trump’s many future scandals. Hoping in conservatives to overreach and self-destruct is a faint hope, but gazing at the wreck of Mitt Romney gives one hope and encouragement to grab the oars and wait at the cliff bottom.”

More articles by:

Weekend Edition
December 07, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Steve Hendricks
What If We Just Buy Off Big Fossil Fuel? A Novel Plan to Mitigate the Climate Calamity
Jeffrey St. Clair
Cancer as Weapon: Poppy Bush’s Radioactive War on Iraq
Paul Street
The McCain and Bush Death Tours: Establishment Rituals in How to be a Proper Ruler
Jason Hirthler
Laws of the Jungle: The Free Market and the Continuity of Change
Ajamu Baraka
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights at 70: Time to De-Colonize Human Rights!
Andrew Levine
Thoughts on Strategy for a Left Opposition
Jennifer Matsui
Dead of Night Redux: A Zombie Rises, A Spook Falls
Rob Urie
Degrowth: Toward a Green Revolution
Binoy Kampmark
The Bomb that Did Not Detonate: Julian Assange, Manafort and The Guardian
Robert Hunziker
The Deathly Insect Dilemma
Robert Fisk
Spare Me the American Tears for the Murder of Jamal Khashoggi
Joseph Natoli
Tribal Justice
Ron Jacobs
Getting Pushed Off the Capitalist Cliff
Macdonald Stainsby
Unist’ot’en Camp is Under Threat in Northern Canada
Senator Tom Harkin
Questions for Vice-President Bush on Posada Carriles
W. T. Whitney
Two Years and Colombia’s Peace Agreement is in Shreds
Ron Jacobs
Getting Pushed Off the Capitalist Cliff
Ramzy Baroud
The Conspiracy Against Refugees
David Rosen
The Swamp Stinks: Trump & Washington’s Rot
Raouf Halaby
Wall-to-Wall Whitewashing
Daniel Falcone
Noam Chomsky Turns 90
Dean Baker
An Inverted Bond Yield Curve: Is a Recession Coming?
Nick Pemberton
The Case For Chuck Mertz (Not Noam Chomsky) as America’s Leading Intellectual
Ralph Nader
New Book about Ethics and Whistleblowing for Engineers Affects Us All!
Dan Kovalik
The Return of the Nicaraguan Contras, and the Rise of the Pro-Contra Left
Jeremy Kuzmarov
Exposing the Crimes of the CIAs Fair-Haired Boy, Paul Kagame, and the Rwandan Patriotic Front
Jasmine Aguilera
Lessons From South of the Border
Manuel García, Jr.
A Formula for U.S. Election Outcomes
Sam Pizzigati
Drug Company Execs Make Millions Misleading Cancer Patients. Here’s One Way to Stop Them
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
Agriculture as Wrong Turn
James McEnteer
And That’s The Way It Is: Essential Journalism Books of 2018
Chris Gilbert
Biplav’s Communist Party of Nepal on the Move: Dispatch by a Far-Flung Bolivarian
Judith Deutsch
Siloed Thinking, Climate, and Disposable People: COP 24 and Our Discontent
Jill Richardson
Republicans Don’t Want Your Vote to Count
John Feffer
‘Get Me Outta Here’: Trump Turns the G20 into the G19
Domenica Ghanem
Is Bush’s Legacy Really Much Different Than Trump’s?
Peter Certo
Let Us Argue Over Dead Presidents
Christopher Brauchli
Concentration Camps From Here to China
ANIS SHIVANI
The Progress of Fascism Over the Last Twenty Years
Steve Klinger
A Requiem for Donald Trump
Al Ronzoni
New Deals, From FDR’s to the Greens’
Gerald Scorse
America’s Rigged Tax Collection System
Louis Proyect
Praying the Gay Away
Rev. Theodore H. Lockhart
A Homily: the Lord Has a Controversy With His People?
David Yearsley
Bush Obsequies
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail