BAYHAM: Why the Mitt Romney Censure Was Needed

As there’s been a bit of coverage about the Louisiana Republican Party’s censure of Mitt Romney, with one instance written in a most negative light, allow me to share some thoughts as the author.

1) The Censure Was Written Prior to Impeachment: If you were to read the resolution you will not find the word Impeachment anywhere in it. The resolution was originally written after Senator-elect Romney wrote a national op-ed criticizing President Trump in the aftermath of the Democratic takeover of the US House of Representatives and later edited to include his statement that he would not support Trump’s re-election.

2) It Was Not Introduced Earlier Due to the Governor’s Election: Last year the Louisiana GOP was focused on the state elections. As 2020 is a national election year, this is the appropriate time.

3) It Was Going To Be Introduced Regardless of Impeachment: The reasons stated (primary attacks that were fodder for the ’16 general election results, leasing his campaign list to a bleeder conservative candidate, bragging about not voting for Trump in ’16 and announcing he would not support the president in ’20) were sufficient even if he had voted against removal on both articles.

4) I Would Have Opposed a Censure Purely on Impeachment: Had Maine US Senator Susan Collins voted for removal I would have opposed censuring her. The measure was about Romney’s pattern of conduct as a national Republican figure and his status as a former presidential nominee who has worked for the de facto election of Hillary Clinton in 2016. Furthermore with his lone Republican vote for removal, Romney has not helped Senator Collins’s already tough reelection.

5) This Isn’t the 1991 Republican Party: Why a matter from thirty years ago was invoked in a critique about something that was adopted a week ago is perplexing. Many of the people who ran the party then are not just out of politics but died years ago.

On a body of 230+ members there are maybe 3 individuals from that committee. If the pariah cited in that column’s headline is indeed laughing it’s only because his name somehow made it back into a published article after being buried under 97% of the vote in 2016.

6) Romney Is Not Just a Senator:  While he is currently one of Utah’s two US Senators, eight years ago Romney was our national candidate and beneficiary of our money and sweat.

And it was being our nominee for president that raised Romney’s profile to a level higher than that of the junior US Senator from North Dakota. Regrettably Romney had exploited that distinction against a Republican president and thus provided cover for other “Republican” Never Trumpers to do the same.

7) Romney Gonna Romney (Again?): If there has been one consistent trait about a politician who has passionately assumed polar opposites of the same issue throughout his career it is Romney’s regular exercise in poor judgement.

Mark my words: expect Romney to embrace some excuse to publicly kneecap Trump before November. Senator Etch a Sketch cannot help himself.

Until now Romney has not been called out for his numerous antics cataloged in the censure aside from drawing rebukes from Trump’s Twitter account.

The Louisiana GOP sent a message on behalf of disgusted Republicans everywhere that the habitual subversion of President Trump by someone who enjoyed the privilege of serving as our nominee will not be tolerated.

Maybe Romney will refrain from projecting his personal emnity towards Trump in the general election knowing that he’ll be called out.

Or failing that, he will open the floodgates for additional censure from his colleagues and other entities. Perhaps even from the very Republican National Committee his niece leads.

Either way, a precedent has been set and a line drawn in the sand.  I don’t expect blind obedience to President Trump or that there is an expectation of tossing rhetorical bouquets at his feet.

However to exploit one’s status as a past party nominee to facilitate the election (by default or directly) of a leftist Democrat for the sake of vanity and/or media adulation merits censure.

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