Election 2020

Mitt Romney Is Both Right and Wrong: Podcast

The #Resistance GOP mixes tonal civility with foreign-policy hawkishness and immigration amnesia.


||| Reason

The man whose immigration policies Donald Trump once called "maniacal" and "mean-spirited" has D.C. all in a tizzy with his new #Resistance op-ed, as Robby Soave detailed this morning. So does Mitt Romney have a point? Or is he whitewashing his own contributions to incivil politics and unsound policy?

"Both" is pretty much the conclusion of today's Reason Podcast, editors' roundtable edition, featuring Katherine Mangu-Ward, Nick Gillespie, Peter Suderman, and me. And speaking of 2020 speculation, we also discuss Elizabeth Warren, Justin Amash, and (of course!) Dave Barry.

Subscribe, rate, and review our podcast at iTunes. Listen at SoundCloud below:

Audio production by Ian Keyser.

'Auld Lang Syne' by Wooden Shjips is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 3.0

Relevant links from the show:

"Senator-Elect Mitt Romney, Welcome to the Resistance," by Robby Soave

"Mitt Romney Reminds Us That Trump Isn't as Extreme on Immigration as the 2012 GOP," by Matt Welch

"Consultant in Chief," by Peter Suderman

"House Dems' Plan to Reopen the Government Probably Won't Work. Thank Trump," by Joe Setyon

"'We've Moved Off the Five.' Trump Already Caving on Border Wall Demands. Good for Him," by Nick Gillespie

"The Government Shutdown Shows Congress Is More Incompetent Than Ever," by Veronique de Rugy

"Surprise! Looks Like Elizabeth Warren Is Running for President!" By Joe Setyon

"Sen. Warren Has a Plan to Socialize Pharmaceuticals," by Elizabeth Nolan Brown

"Elizabeth Warren Challenges Trump's Protectionist Tariffs for Not Being Protectionist Enough," by Eric Boehm

"Democratic Presidential Hopefuls Have Big Plans for 2020: They Want to Spend More Money!" by Peter Suderman

"The Complex, Childish Identity Politics of Elizabeth Warren's Native Heritage," by Nancy Rommelmann

"Elizabeth Warren's Terrible Policy Views Are More Disqualifying Than Her Dubious Ancestry Claims," by Robby Soave

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NEXT: The Future of Science: Podcast

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  1. Mitt Romney is a piece of shit just like most politicians.

    1. Mitt Romney lost the presidential election in 2012 and this and his political history will never allow him to be president.

      Rand Paul might be the standard bearer for the GOP in 2024 if he runs for President.

      1. Rand Paul will never find favor within the Republican party unless he completely sells out, I think.

        1. Trump is making it possible for a Republican to object to foreign intervention. Paul’s skepticism of foreign intervention was always the deal killer for him and his father both. Trump is changing that. I don’t know if Paul will ever be the nominee but it is more likely that he could be today than it was before Trump.

          1. I don’t think Paul’s opinion on foreign policy is the only reason he’ll never get the Republican party’s favor. Trump, notably, also did not and still does not have the Republican parties favor, and likely never will.

            1. He won the nomination. Trump owns the party.

              1. Yeah, and I suppose if you ignore the parts of the party that loudly declare ‘never Trump’ as well as all of those who are working behind closed doors against his agenda I suppose you’d be right.

                How many Democrats broke off and declared themselves to be ‘never Obama’ and actively worked against him?

                Fracturing a party does not equal gaining the support of a party, but it’s a difficult thing to quantify since it changes hour by hour I suppose.

                1. Trump won 85% of the R vote. The same percentage mcCain and Romney won. Never Trump was always a small group of people.

                2. There were a bunch of Hillary supporters, mostly female, back in 2008 that turned on the Democrats, I can’t recall what they were called.

                  1. Bitches?

                  2. They were PUMAs for “Party Unity My Ass”.

                3. Trump owns the base.
                  The holdouts are establishment progressives, and the culling process has already begun.

                  There’s a real chance to push the Rs in a libertarian(ish) direction, through that base. Ls could infiltrate and turn many debates (drug war for one) if they work at it. Most Rs just want to be left alone.
                  Problem is, too many Ls can’t get over their dogma, smugness, and groupthink.
                  This creates the idea of false equivalence to the parties/sides, which is true only to an extent.
                  The Rs will have to be taken down someday, but Ds are a far greater threat – as Ds currently exist only on a spectrum from Stalinist to Maoist to Wilsonian.
                  Think big picture, instead of getting hung up on incidentals.

                  1. And honestly, the biggest problem with elected Rs is that the Ds are such a threat that being the slightly lesser of two evils is good enough to get them reelected.

                    On a related note, I don’t think R leadership ever really wanted to win the presidency. Some did, but many (the progressive Rs) didn’t. I think their ideal is the Obama presidency – D prez who they can run against while being as ineffectual as possible in slowing or stopping the progressive growth and advance of centralized government. Their not against feudalism, they want their fiefdoms.
                    It is these Rs that are being culled, and will hopefully be extinguished

                    1. I have a friend who believes the Repubs don’t actually want to win or govern just run as the opposition and raise money. Judging by how limp dicked they are I tend to agree.

                    2. Your friend is correct.
                      The Ryan’s, McCains, Romneys, Flakes, etc of the R party know that the R role in our republic is that of false opposition, here to get elected, feed cronies, block real reform, and present the illusion of representation

                    3. With them gone we can finally work on cleansing America of progressivism.

      1. I was being generous.

    2. No, apparently, he’s Schrodinger’s cat.

  2. Progressives have been on a 50 year winning streak. They own the government, the culture and pretty much every institution in the country. I would love to hear how it is possible to reverse that while “being civil” and not saying anything that will offend anyone or in anyway being willing to tell truths that the establishment doesn’t want to be told.

    There is nothing right about Romney’s article. It is completely idiotic. It is impossible for any president to be a uniter. I don’t think it has ever been possible and sure as hell isn’t possible now with as fanatical and agressive as the left is. To claim that a President should be is just Romney embracing cowardice. And that in the end is what Romney is, a coward. He won’t say the truth and do the things necessary to change things because doing so requires being unpopular in important circles. And Romney doesn’t have the courage for that. Trump does. Whatever you think of Trump, there is no denying he has guts and doesn’t give a shit what the various important people think of him. And Romney like all cowards hates the couragous most of all.

    1. There is nothing right about Romney’s article. It is completely idiotic. It is impossible for any president to be a uniter.
      Romney of all people should know this, as he and McCain were declared to be Hitler incarnate by the NYT’s/WaPo crowd when they were running. This despite the fact that they were the exact same beasts as Clinton and Obama.
      You can’t unite with people who need to portray you as witches just to keep their constituencies frightened and voting D.

      1. I dunno abt that. The Republican party sure meshed well with National Socialism in its efforts to get the Herrenvolk to defect to Amerika in Christ rather than join the Soviet Socialist party to escape denazification.

    2. We need McCarthyism and a new Red Scare. That is not a popular thing to say here, but the I don’t give a fuck. My freedom is worth more than the collective lives of every Marxist shitbag in the world. Period.

      If marxists want to survive they are welcome to abandon their beliefs and embrace freedom. Or maybe move to the Antarctic, never to return.

      1. We need McCarthyism and a new Red Scare.

        Putin’s working really hard to give you what you want. Once the USSR is intact again, we will have a common enemy and then the McCarthyism can begin. Remember, socialists and communists were pretty common place in America before McCarthyism because so many “intellectuals” and celebs thought it was a good idea. Same thing today.

  3. Romney is a loser, if it were up to him Hillary would be president now. Why should I care about anything he has to say?

    1. The moment in the debate with Crowley says everything you need to know about Romney’s character. He sat there with his teeth in his mouth and let Crowley and Obama lie to the country because he didn’t have the courage to stand up and tell the truth. It was one of those moments where someone’s character comes through and Romney showed himself to be a venal coward.

  4. Harry Reid: Trump Is ‘The Worst President We’ve Ever Had’

    Drumpf is clearly the worst President ever. Even the mild-mannered, soft-spoken Harry Reid agrees.

    It is of course true that American history is full of evil white supremacist Presidents who served during slavery and did nothing to stop it. But as monstrous as those men were, Drumpf is even worse. His draconian war on immigration is, as Reason’s Shikha Dalmia notes, not unlike enforcing fugitive slave laws. Therefore Drumpf combines the racism of the 1700s and early 1800s Presidents with a reckless, Kremlin-controlled foreign policy, an abysmal economic record, and outrageous Supreme Court nominations.

    Worst. President. Ever.

    1. “Trump is an interesting person. He is not immoral but is amoral. Amoral is when you shoot someone in the head, it doesn’t make a difference. No conscience.”

      Sen. Reid must be completely detached from reality if the thinks this doesn’t apply to him as well.

      1. I would be curious how it applies to Trump. It sure as hell applies to Reid and a lot of other people in Washington. I seem to recall a President who once bragged at how good he was at killing people. That sure strikes me as being indictitive of a lack of conscience on the part of the speaker. Doesn’t it you?

        1. I’m of the opinion that most, if not all presidents are amoral. Whether it’s “doing evil to do good”, or “it’s not personal, just business”, moral flexibility seems to be a requirement for the job. Just like narcissism.

          1. I have never known any of them personally. So, I can’t really say. But, I see no reason to think Trump is particularly immoral. Yeah, he has traded in a few wives, but so have other Presidents. I would be willing to bet that teetotaler workaholic Trump hasn’t had a tenth of the immoral fun that Ronald Reagan, a guy who was a movie star during the golden age of Hollywood back in the day, did. But you never hear any of these ass clowns claiming Reagan was immoral or at least you don’t now.

            1. They tried to lay a date rape claim on him when he was in office. All 3 network evening news shows led with the story. In contrast to the Juanita Broderick allegations.

    2. I bet Harry Reid regrets ending the Senate rule for 60 vote majority to confirm SCOTUS justices.

      1. Not as much as he regrets pissing off that “exercise equipment”.

  5. And I must remind everyone that Democrats assured us that Romney is a literal Hitler and racist, thus I must admit I’m very confused about why the left is lionizing him today.

    Oh, wait, never mind. It’s because both Democrats and Republicans are mostly in agreement that Federal control of most aspects of life is a given they merely disagree on the parameters.

    Trump is a perfect indicator of what you get when you continually claim that every Republican candidate is both Hitler and racist. Cry wolf long enough, and no one listens anymore. Note that Democrats are still saying that Trump is Hitler and racist. That tactic worked for so long they really just don’t know what else to do other than keep repeating it and hope it gains speed outside the media bubble.

    1. I have never seen anyone explain what Trump is doing that makes him so bad other than things that people reasonably can disagree about and saying mean things on Twitter. I defy anyone to explain how Trump is qualitatively worse than any other President. Sure, a lot of people disgree with his policies. But that is true of every President. No one that I have seen has ever been able to explain how that makes him Hitler. The whole thing is just pathetic.

      1. Since it’s a subjective measure of quality of course you wouldn’t agree with any reasons given since you baseline disagree with what they consider to be quality.

        What makes Trump Hitler is that he is a Republican. Period. That’s why I mention that Mitt Romney was Hitler before, because in retrospect it’s hilarious to even consider.

        1. It is not a subjective measure. I understand that someone could reasonably think Trump is a bad President in their view and Obama or Bush or Clinton a good president. That is just a subjective opinion about each President’s policies. But that is not what is being claimed here. They are claiming not that Trump has bad policies but that he is some uniquely bad president such that he is a threat to the institutions of the Republic and democracy itself. And I see zero evidence of that.

          1. I’ll allow this mild-manned progressive to explain to you how Trump is literally Hitler.

            1. These people are nuts.

              1. But it’s fun to watch from a comfortable distance.

          2. Of course it’s subjective. If it wasn’t there would be only one candidate for President each cycle. Since it seems you could be a moral objectivist you would of course disagree with moral subjectivism.

            And, again, I bring up Romney because he was also a uniquely bad President who was a threat to the institutions of the Republic and democracy itself as a candidate for President. I mean, only at the time though. If he had won he still would have been a threat, even while he obviously wasn’t.

            That’s sort of the point.

            I think the reason why it appears so much worse with Trump is because he is actually trying to get some of the things that Republicans and Democrats have a ‘gentlemen’s agreement’ to promise, but never deliver on e.g. a wall.

            Short version is that Trump is fighting for the things that both sides of the Washington establishment had determined were off limits. Immigration, for example, is something that both Democrats and Republicans are happy to leave broken for completely different and mostly unrelated reasons. Trump ruins that gentleman’s agreement so, of course, he takes shit from both sides.

            1. We are saying the same thing. Trump is “Hitler” because he is doing things the Washington establishment hate. And that is my point; it takes more than doing things the establishment hates to make you Hitler and claiming that it doesn’t is absurd.

          3. They say it because they’re listening to people they trust who are lying & who know that Trump has no powerful defenders to contradict them.

      2. No one that I have seen has ever been able to explain how that makes him Hitler.

        But, but, John! He eats his steak well done! Probably with ketchup! And his suits are baggy! He vacations in Palm Beach! And he’s orange!

        Honestly, I think this crap is the key point about why they find Trump so terrible. He’s not part of the new class uniculture. And he doesn’t seem to be particularly interested in joining. And the fact that they can’t reject him is unforgivable.

        1. So much of it is about style and snobbery. Trump also represents people the new class uniculture hate and quite literally wnat to die off and be replaced by third world immigrants. Being unfashionable is one thing. But actually thinking the unfashiuonable should have a say in their government is just not something these assholes could ever tolerate.

        2. They found him plenty companionable prior to his entry into politics. Many of the people resisting now have socialized with him including Bonnie and Clyde Clinton.

        3. “He eats his steak well done!”

          That proves Trump isn’t Hitler. Hitler was a vegetarian.

    2. Even worse than literally Hitler, Romney had binders full of women and a dog on his car roof.

  6. Why isn’t this podcast on iTunes?

  7. Nice, civil, gentlemanly, kinetic, holistic military actions. With big explosions!!!!

  8. dummy couldn’t close *eight years ago* why a thing now?

  9. Has anyone ever noticed that there’s a certain brand of Republican who are only ever interested in showing “backbone” when it comes to attacking their ostensible allies?

    And, for some reason, the GOP establishment seems mostly interested in running these guys (Romney, McCain) for the White House.

    1. Like I say above, they are all cowards and like all cowards hate the couragous most of all.

    2. A good contrast to the “backbone” of the R’s that watch the child president shit his pants daily and say nothing so they can get re-elected; they are as cowardly as Flake and his kind.

      “Like I say above, they are all cowards and like all cowards hate the courageous most of all.”

      The courageous? Man, thanks for the laughs. Your boy is courageous in that bar fight way of, “hold me back, hold me back, or i’ll do something!”, style that everyone with 2 brain cells to rub together can tell is a huge pussy. He caves so quickly to everyone that it’s embarrassing. He was tough on the wall, until he gave in, and then Ann Coulter cucked him hard and he had to be a “strong man” again and negotiate hard. Then he told a series of lies that would make Obama’s “if you like your doctor” blush about how the wall is actually under way / mostly built / mexico is paying for it? Does anyone above a GED buy this act?

      1. Yeah its takes zero balls to publicly state you want to fire 50%+ of the bureaucrats that work for you in the Executive and then demand secret service that protect you from psycho Lefties work 24/7 with their pay in limbo.

      2. Well Jimbo, even if we used your highly skewed and distorted perspective on Teumo as reality, he is still a million times better than any of your progtard pals.

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  11. The idea that Romney is “a decent guy” deserves analysis. I know two people who worked with him at Bain, and they support that interpretation of his character. On the other hand, anyone who followed what Romney did to Ron Paul–using his power as front runner to change the convention rules at the very last minute in order to cut Paul out–could hardly view him as a decent guy. The stories, about what a vicious bully Mitt was as a kid, line up with a picture of a guy who is, at heart, anything but decent. I expect the truth, like for so many of us, is a mix. But I agree with Rand on Romney’s op-ed. It was obvious “virtue signaling” from a guy whose virtue is questionable.

  12. I was praying for the Rapture to uplift Mitt ‘n Matt

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