Mitt Romney’s big problem

Utah Sen. Mitt Romney, who is on an anti-Trump rampage, gave an interview to the Atlantic in which he made the following comments:

What set him (Mitt Romney) off was my recitation of an argument I’ve heard some Republicans deploy lately to excuse Trump’s behavior. Electing a president, the argument goes, is like hiring a plumber—you don’t care about his character, you just want him to get the job done. Sitting in his Senate office, Romney is indignant. “Are you worried that your plumber overcharges you?” he asks. “Are you worried that the plumber’s going to scream at your kids? Are you worried that the plumber is going to squeal out of your driveway?” I am playing devil’s advocate; he is attempting an exorcism.


To Romney, Trump’s performance as president is inextricably tangled up in his character. “Berating another person, or calling them names, or demeaning a class of people, not telling the truth—those are not private things,” he says, adding: “If during the campaign you pay a porn star $130,000, that now comes into the public domain.”

At this, Romney glances over at two of his aides who are watching silently from the other end of the room, and grins. “They’re going, Oh gosh, shut up.”

There are numerous problems with Romney’s approach, but I would like to start with the most obvious one: the reality of politics in 2019 is that the choice is not between a poorly behaved plumber and a well behaved plumber. The choice is between a poorly behaved plumber and a fake fire fighter who will come to your house, set it on fire, watch the house burn, prevent other people from trying to put the fire out, and then send you a bill.

News flash to Mitt Romney: the Democratic party is literally insane. The young Democratic leaders in Congress are uncouth, anti-semitic socialists. The presidential candidates do not know basic elementary school math and can only attempt to outdo each other with the creation of new multi-trillion dollar government programs. The Democratic leaders are so filled with Trump Derangement Syndrome that they have lost all touch with reality. Hillary Clinton, the Dem standard-bearer in 2016, just accused a sitting congresswoman of her own party of being a Russian agent.

The Democrats are hell-bent on stripping Americans of our First and Second Amendment rights. The Democrats’ deranged positions on sexuality and gender and the complete embrace of intersectionality politics is a direct contradiction to the Church’s long-standing positions. You would think a former stake president would be a bit concerned about that.

The Democrats and a willing media and the intelligence community are mounting a coup against a sitting president. Regardless of what you feel about Trump, the anti-democratic behavior is mostly on one side these days, and we should all be alarmed about it. I hated Barack Obama as president, but if the Republicans and the media and the intelligence community had launched a coup against Obama as president, I would have spoken out against it loudly. That is dangerous, third world behavior that sets a horrible precedent for the future of this country.

(Note: when I say there is a coup against Trump, I am not referring to the most recent impeachment drive against the president over his call to the Ukrainian president. I am talking about the anti-democratic behavior of the intelligence agencies since 2016. You can read more from an honest left-wing writer here: https://taibbi.substack.com/p/were-in-a-permanent-coup)

And meanwhile Mitt Romney spends all of his time criticizing Trump. As I say, this is like worrying about the fact that your toilet is leaking when a flood is about to engulf your entire house.

I am going to write something that is certain to upset some of my fellow Latter-day Saints, but it is an uncomfortable truth that we all need to face: when it comes to politics, Mitt Romney’s willful blindness is much more dangerous than Donald Trump’s bad character and bad policies. At least Trump is aware of what the stakes are. I did not vote for Trump in 2016, and I still disagree with him about half of the time, but I have been very happy to see that Trump has, in some important ways, grown in office. Trump was your basic New York populist liberal just a decade ago. Now, because of the crazy behavior of the opposition, Trump is clearly aware of who the enemy is. And Mitt Romney is worried about mean tweets.

I was a big supporter of Mitt in 2008, and in 2012 I supported Ron Paul during the primaries, but I ended up voting for Mitt in November 2012. It saddens me to no end to see how lost he is as a senator. I am not saying he needs to support everything Trump does. Heaven forbid. Trump has been one of the worst presidents ever when it comes to government spending, and the president needs to be criticized — loudly — for that. And as I have written many times, Trump’s boorish behavior should be criticized as well.

Mitt Romney may be one of the most un-self aware politicians ever. He simply has no idea how he comes across to most people, ie as a holier-than-thou, opportunistic flip-flopper. He happily accepted Trump’s endorsement in 2012, then hated Trump during the summer of 2016, then went on bended knee to Trump for a position in the Cabinet in early 2017, and now he hates Trump again. The first thing he did in 2019 was write an op-ed attacking Trump. I mean, come on. He can’t be that blind, can he?

Unfortunately, Mitt Romney is that blind when it comes to politics. He reminds me of the left-wing poseurs who go to Cuba and are taken on tours of the one good government hospital, and the one good government building, and the one good farm, and then those people go back to the United States and declare that the people of Cuba are better off than Americans. In private, the Communist Cubans had a description for these people: “useful idiots.” Sorry to say it, friends, but when it comes to politics Mitt Romney is a first rate useful idiot for the left.

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About Geoff B.

Geoff B graduated from Stanford University (class of 1985) and worked in journalism for several years until about 1992, when he took up his second career in telecommunications sales. He has held many callings in the Church, but his favorite calling is father and husband. Geoff is active in martial arts and loves hiking and skiing. Geoff has five children and lives in Colorado.

46 thoughts on “Mitt Romney’s big problem

  1. Well said. I agree on almost every point. I used to think Mitt would make a good POTUS. No more. I would love to have Mitt over for dinner but if he wanted to talk politics, I would show him the door…..

  2. The existential issue of our times is climate change. The Republicans (at the national policy level – I’m not claiming all Republican folks) pretend it doesn’t even exist. The Democrats at least recognize something needs to be done.

    The most important commandments are to to love one another and take care of those in need. At least the Democrats are interested in the issues (health care, poverty, civil rights). The Republican approach (at the national policy level) is that those folks at the top have what they need so nothing else matters.

    Democrats do have some issues but their heart (on average) is in the right place.

    Republicans (again at the national policy level) have elevated self-interest and transactional politics to a mythical and near sacred status. It seems that to them winning and rewarding very rich donors with reduced regulations and tax cuts, at the expense of everyone else’s income and safety, is the only thing that matters.

  3. Please don’t read anymore into this than is written. I much prefer a sinner who admits his sins than the holier-than-thou preacher whose sins are hidden. The big take away from all this, to me, is that Mitt cares more about Mitt than the people and country he once aspired to lead. At the risk of opening the gates of Hell to some readers. . . Mitt is maybe like John McCain. Good men both, once, who came close to glory and were seduced by its nearness into hubris.

  4. The author hits the nail on the head. Romney is nothing more than an insufferable scold who was scorned by the voters in 2012 and again by Trump one election cycle later. Angry at rejection, he can only respond with ill-conceived, half-witted criticisms. Reminds me of a girl I knew in Jr. High school.

  5. Great post! Mitt lied to me twice.

    He loves the limelight, saw an opening and will ride it for all it’s worth.

    The solid Republican senate majority prevents him from being the swing vote or spoiler in the senate.

  6. Note, that not all MStar editors agree with this post.
    In religious terms, Mitts temple recommend is as good as mine. Calling him or the Democratic attacks on Trump insane is an ad hominem, not an argument.I
    I’m neither a fan of Trump nor Romney. For some reason, there are admirers of them who think their guy is conservative and the other is a fraud.
    Neither espouses true conservatism. Both have gotten dirty in the swamp, which is just as full as ever.
    Should Trump be impeached? Only through an official investigation, which allows witnesses from both sides. The Dems are using dirty tricks, because Trump does dirty tricks.

    This whole issue proves one thing: government is too big. Both parties are bankrupting us both financially and morally. Trump, Romney and the Dems are symptoms of a deeper problem.
    Thoreau noted that for every thousand whacking at the tree leaves, only one hacks at the root of the problem. Everyone in the two parties are whacking at leaves and each other, instead of the actual problems of immorality, dishonesty, and greed throughout government.

  7. Bruce, if you think Mitt has only lied to you twice, you haven’t been paying enough attention.

  8. Sometimes, I can’t tell if someone dislikes Senator Romney because he opposes President Trump, or because he doesn’t oppose President Trump enough. And when it is a Latter-day Saint disliking Senator Romney, I wonder if he or she has an expectation that Senator Romney must/should act in a certain manner towards President Trump in order to be counted as a faithful Latter-day Saint.

  9. Not to put to fine a point on it, but Democrats heart is where it’s always been: taking freedom for “doing something”. I’ll be perfectly happy to deal with my struggles (including the climate, Healthcare, etc., Boogeymen) and not have to suffer under the dictat.

  10. Ji, I don’t think faithful Latter-day Saints should act in any particular way towards Trump specifically to be counted as “faithful.” You will notice that I am not criticizing Mike Lee, who is a faithful Latter-day Saint who has been critical of President Trump. The big difference is just what I say in this post: Mike Lee clearly understands that the true threat to the United States is the radical left (which unfortunately is what the Democratic party is right now). Mitt Romney apparently does not.

  11. In response to JSH, I would argue that the scientific case for anthropogenic climate change was never proven beyond a reasonable doubt. The hypocrisy of jetsetting preachers who enjoy all the benefits of the 21st century while proposing to tax or regulate the rest of us into a preindustrial or even paleolithic lifestyle is stunning.

    I cannot bring myself to believe that Christian concern for the underprivileged, health care, poverty, or civil rights involves OPM borrowed or extracted using tax collectors, with all the opportunity for bureaucratic nest-feathering or votebuying that government programs can provide. Nor does such concern excuse such things as unequal application of the laws to government officials, prominent party leaders, or privileged classes of citizens compared to ordinary citizens; procurement of false witnesses in government investigations, or differential treatment of denominations based on their beliefs about “protected classes” of citizens. If the Democratic national policy were concerned less with “social justice” and more with the ordinary kind I might have more sympathy with it.

  12. @John Swenson Harvey:

    James 2:18
    “Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.”

    So let’s look at the works to see what people really believe. To be direct, I am not attempting to pull you into any of these positions (because I don’t know where you fall on the political spectrum) but rather pointing out how the “heart in the right place” narrative is wholly wrong.

    “The existential issue of our times is climate change. The Republicans (at the national policy level – I’m not claiming all Republican folks) pretend it doesn’t even exist. The Democrats at least recognize something needs to be done.”

    You have a carbon-offset indulgences practice and leftist politicians taking private jets across oceans to attend fashionable parties ostensibly in support of climate change. Not to mention that the author of the Green New Deal admitted on hidden audio that his purpose in writing the Green New Deal was not for environmental purposes but to bring about socialism. What do their works tell you about what they actually believe?

    “The most important commandments are to to love one another and take care of those in need. At least the Democrats are interested in the issues (health care, poverty, civil rights). The Republican approach (at the national policy level) is that those folks at the top have what they need so nothing else matters.”

    Leaving aside that the first great commandment is to love God (‘if you love me, keep my commandments’) — which, sadly, gets brushed aside too often in favor of the second (a list of the “most important” commandments ought to list the most important commandment) — still every study that I have ever seen shows that Republicans on average give more to charity by an order of magnitude than to Democrats. Bernie Sanders has his three mansions yet wants to raise middle-class taxes to pay for medicare for all. What do these works tell you about what people actually believe?

    “Republicans (again at the national policy level) have elevated self-interest and transactional politics to a mythical and near sacred status. It seems that to them winning and rewarding very rich donors with reduced regulations and tax cuts, at the expense of everyone else’s income and safety, is the only thing that matters.”

    Five of the top seven largest contributors to political campaigns (and ten out of the top 16) contributed exclusively to Democrats. Leaving aside the irrational position that those who contribute to causes you like are virtuous and those who contribute to causes you don’t like are mercenary — and assuming that those who contributed to both parties did so with an eye towards achieving a desired end — what does their works tell you about which party is more likely to reward rich donors?

    Oh, and for good measure Obama (twice) and Hillary Clinton won professional, college educated voters by a substantial margin while Trump won among lower-class working individuals. Assuming all these people voted their self-interest, what does that tell you about what the Democratic and Republican Parties actually believe?

    You see, it is easy enough to say “their heart (on average) is in the right place” but at some point you have to look at behavior and see if that is at all consistent with their statements. But, for me, the destruction of the family resulting in intergenerational poverty and governmental dependence, the confusion that leftism brings (with its associated anguish), and on and on — at some point you have to face the scary thought that maybe (just maybe) it is intentional and leftists in power aren’t acting with good intentions and getting hellish results but are actually getting the results that they desire. If you are openly for advancing socialism after it led to 100,000,000 murdered in a century, maybe you aren’t just ignorant — maybe you just want more dead bodies.

    And that, far from hearts being in the right place, is a terrifying thought.

  13. I am puzzled about Romney’s view that insults and mean tweets are high crimes and misdemeanors and thus warrant actual removal from office. He hasn’t pointed to a single violation of law that would reach the impeachment threshold. I find him truly a Useful Idiot. I regret that ever donated money to his campaign or voted for him in 2012.

    I would rather have Trump’s plumber butt crack in my kitchen than having the Radical Left (or, The Left) burning my house down.

  14. Thanks, Geoff — I erred in wondering if there was a religious connection to your posting, but you have explained that your posting is one merely about domestic Utah politics.

  15. John Swenson Harvey –
    I’m laughing just a little inside. Existential strikes at the meaning if existence. Know what the existential issue is? We’re all going to die. You’re body is n-1 heart beats away from its last with every passing second.

    You know what the climate is going to do? Change. It might change more or less. It might change faster or slower. But someone who says THAT degree of change over a 100-200 year period is the existential threat is someone who, while sincere, is not very good at conclusions and solutions about what needs to be done NOW.

    Know what Europe has ignored all these years while defining plant food as a pollution? Particulate matter from diesels. Real pollution that causes issues in people’s lungs. And you and I know that diesel particulate matter is far superior than coal dust and ash.

    Every 50-100 years we make life better as we experience the social externalities of our choices. I’m not the least bit worried about plant food (ie C02) being an existential pollutant threat. And I didn’t vote Republican, so put that in your box and judge it.

    This plant is doomed to freeze or burn. Or maybe freeze then burn. JSH – you have to square the fact that the data is bad, it’s manipulated, the outcomes uncertain, but on the average it does seem to make sense that we’ll warm things up, all other things being equal. Of course, as you know it’s been far warmer in the planet’s history and the predictions of disastrous consequences if the mere acceleration of warming concerns you let’s get real. Every draconian prediction says XYZ bad things will happen in 50-100 years if we don’t change. Ok, so if we tax ourselves into poverty, we can stave off XYZ to happen in 150 years instead. Only then we’ll be impoverished for 100 years.

    Even if in best case, we’re all happier paying an extra $1000 a year for our cars like Europe, we’re still not doing any better because Europe isn’t making any progress and they are just paying more and getting nothing in return but a carbon market that buys and sells plant food relabeled as pollution, that starts with huge handouts to connected industries in order to refrain from producing plant food they can buy and sell.

    There are so many issues with being concerned with global warming as existential. We can all agree that we should be wise stewards of the environment and not be wasteful. But there is a lot of range of activity between that and defining plant food as existential threat. If you want to call it an existential threat, then so is water and oxygen — an excess of those will cause an issue as well. No, the real existential threat is death spiritual and physical.

    Tax cuts help companies be more productive and drive the economy, and some of them donate to Republicans. Handouts (especially corporate ones) steer resources into often unproductive economic areas, and have a questionable increase on the economy, but they do steer donations and votes primarily to Democrats.

    Cutting taxes from 35% to 25% on corporate income is not a travesty. It immediately started the march towards doubling the stock market which has dragged the economy upward for 2 years. Billion dollar green and auto boondoggles didn’t do that.

  16. I am with JSH. We seem to get our information from different sources, which seem to come to opposite conclusions. Libcon above seems certain of facts very few of which are true in my world. I am also concerned how we can live together with such opposite views, and little respect for the other view.
    Do any of you believe in a zion society, do you see that as an ideal that governments should aim for? To me “no poor among them” is what the post describes as socialism, universal health care, and literally insane.

  17. Geoff-Aus, yes, I agree that there is very little respect for other views for many (not all) people on the left. Have you heard of Antifa, a left-wing group supported by the Democrats that simply beats up anybody they designate as a “fascist?” That is where we are heading, I fear, and Mitt Romney has never, ever condemned Antifa and in fact seemed to support the violent group after Charlottesville. Just another example of how lost he is.

    In terms of a Zion society, of course this is what all Latter-day Saints should want. But note that Zion is voluntary and involves voluntary, personal help for those in need. Socialism is about *forced* confiscation, taxation and redistribution of those unlucky enough not to be in cahoots with the ruling government. As several prophets have written (go Google it), Zion is the opposite of the socialist scheme. Sorry you cannot see that.

  18. I cannot disagree more strongly with the OP. Mitt Romney is doing God’s work. The rift between liberal and conservative is WAYY too overplayed. There are plenty of sane Democrats just as there are plenty of otherwise worthy Republicans if they could follow Romney’s lead and stop being cowards. Trump is tearing the constitution to shreds, doing his utmost to outdo the precedent set by his two predecessors. Further, he and Fox News are doing their utmost to drive this country apart for their personal gain. *That* is the real crisis we face. That we are being led to hate each other.

  19. Joseph says that there are “plenty of sane Democrats” and that Trump and Fox News is the source of all civil strife.

    *Yawn*

  20. ” I am also concerned how we can live together with such opposite views, and little respect for the other view.”

    I can live with you Geoff-Aus. The issue is you feel (apparently?) that you’ll die sooner than expected unless you tell me how to live. If you truly do believe C02 is a pollutant and not an essential nutrient for plants, you’re lost. Too much water is drowning. Too much C02 can be toxic as well, but we are far far far far far — keep going, far from that.

    Mitt Romney is played up by the media when he says negative things about Republicans and mostly ignored about other things. It is what it is.

    Zion society starts with God FIRST, Geoff. Follow God, desire to be like Him. Convince others to live a holy life of service and consecration and sacrifice. Clean hands and a pure heart.

    Don’t start with voting to place a government ruled by popular vote in place of God.

    Socialism places the ownership of the earth in society’s at large. Consecration places it in God’s with us acting as stewards. There’s far too much information from the prophets and actual real world history on the failures of socialism to convince me that you or a plurality of the first 10,000 people in the Swedish phone book know better.

    Zion had no poor among them, not for passing a law and redistributing. The people “esteemed their brother as themselves” and practiced virtue and holiness before God. Do no suppose for a second, a mere fraction of a second that you can argue you care more about your neighbor because you vote for rich people to be taxed and when I see short sightness and often counter-productive nature of it. The Lord knows how much I’ve given and still give to both his church and directly to those in need.

    The poor will not be less poor with high taxes. The poor index will just shift (as it has) and will suddenly realize even greater “needs”. But that’s truly besides the point. The real issue is you won’t legislate a Zion society through redistribution entitlement programs.

  21. Politics isn’t an area where I am at liberty to declaim.

    On the other hand, when one says that something is “literally ” it is usually taken to mean that something is actually . Last I checked, insane means “in a state of mind which prevents normal perception, behavior, or social interaction; seriously mentally ill.”

    Whatever one’s position, it seems that to label the other side as “literally insane” is to engage in demagoguery rather than rational argument.

    I didn’t like the “useful idiot” moniker either, but at least that one was couched in a setting that explained why it was being used.

    When I was a kid, my mother insisted we use language that was factually true. So we went from calling one another names like “fat gorilla” to telling one another we had oil in our follicles or shrieking that the other person’s epidermis was showing. It made a difference, though perhaps not as much of a difference as my mother might have hoped.

  22. To Michael, who claims far more for me than what I wrote (I did not say “all problems” stem from Trump and Fox, merely that the contribute strongly to our country’s divisions):

    If we cannot acknowledge the sane Democrats, we are part of the problem not the solution. Are there bad liberal actors? Sure. Plenty. Too many. But that’s no excuse for your brand of dismissive tribalism. We are all Americans, and we must find a way to transcend our partisan nightmare-mongering and retrenchment.

    However badly Mitt Romney is doing that, he’s doing more than many on that front.

  23. What the world needs now is empathy. Democrats are not “literally insane.” They are acting completely rationally in the political world in which they live. Republicans are likewise not insane. They are also acting rationally. Mitt Romney is acting in a way that makes complete sense to him.

    Neither side gives the other credit for having any sense. Everyone is so certain that their side is correct that they start treating their political adversaries as enemies of the state who must be destroyed. (Yes, I have said this to democrats as well.)

    I also realize that if one side disarms, they feel that the other side will go nuclear. So the rhetoric keeps going up. I don’t expect politicians to calm down until their constituents demand that they do so. In my opinion, posts like this do not help the situation.

  24. To Meg, Joseph and DD, I meant what I wrote when I said “literally insane.” Hillary Clinton calling a fellow Dem congresswoman a “Russian agent.” Insanity. A myriad of proposals for new government programs with no way to pay for them. Insanity. The behavior of AOC and the “squad.” Insanity. Trying to take away First and Second Amendment rights. Insanity. Transgender activism that ignores basic science. Insanity. I could go on.

    Here is my suggestion for people who don’t like my posts: don’t read them. I have been involved in the Mormon blog world for nearly two decades. Over that time, I would estimate 300 to 400 people have told me to stop writing certain things or change my tone, etc., etc. My answer to all of them has been consistent: stop reading my posts. That is still my answer. That will be my answer until the day I die. So get over it, go to another blog, go spend time with your family, go to the temple or do something else you want to do. I am not going to change the way I write posts, and I am going to make certain political charges that some people aren’t going to like. And I am going to use direct language that will offend some people. If you don’t like that, please stop reading my posts.

  25. Geoff B.,

    I like most of your posts. That’s why I read them. I just disagree much of the time, but far from all. Usually when your topic is one that will get me really riled up, I do skip it. I only comment when I think I can add to the conversation. (I can’t say that’s always been the case or that I’m perfect at it now, but I try.) Anyway, today I disagree with you, but I thought it was worth commenting.

  26. “Elect righteous men” because “when the wicked rule, the people mourn.” I used to hear members talking along these lines a lot when Bill Clinton was acting immorally and lying about it. Now, these ideas about the importance of having honorable leaders are totally swept under the rug by some.

    It seems that because it suits their political ideas, some members of the Church scoff at the idea of considering Trump’s many, many immoral behaviors, as if it’s irrelevant.

  27. Bro. Geoff B. I sure appreciate your candor with this post. I, too, have been so disappointed with the direction Romney has taken. I didn’t vote for Trump because I was so skeptical of his change to the Republican party after being a lifetime in the other party. Yes, he is a boorish, egotistical man; but there’s no doubt in my mind that he loves the USA and wants to preserve our liberties from the godless socialists. I think the current political climate needs the huge ego he has to be able to repel the fiery darts of the adversary (opponents and media alike).

    A wise man (retired BYU professor, temple sealer, etc.) told me to remember, “God is in charge, and He knows what He’s doing!” That helps me sleep at night. Don’t ever give up speaking your mind, and telling the truth.

  28. It is frustrating to me that Hunter apparently did not read the OP. Nobody is excusing Trump’s behavior. In fact I point out that Trump’s boorish behavior should be condemned. I am simply pointing out that the threat of the left is worse and Mitt is blind to that.

  29. Regarding Romney,
    I wish he’d play warrior against the left from time to time as well. But there is a role to be played in keeping independent in the Republican party.

    The fact is, you need a coalition, not an army of happy warriors for Trump.

    Ask yourself who is best suited to bring Democrats and independents who dislike Trump over to the Republican party? Do not expect every soldier in the military to be a fighter pilot. Some drive trucks, some drive tanks, some fight on different fronts, some move away from the battle of necessity while others move towards it.

    If Trump and his administration can’t convince his hard core a Democrat-dislikers from supporting him, why should Romney help?

    But I think it’s highly likely Romney can keep people who want to walk away from Republicans because of Trump continuing to vote for the party.

    You can’t wish that Democrats didn’t all support insane socialists policies, but have a few moderates without also recognizing that we need Republicans who don’t like Trump and wait for the day when he’s out of the picture.

    I think that’s a reasonable take. It would be nice to have everyone taking the attack towards Pelosi. But not everyone thinks like me. It might bring more respect to the party to have legitimate opposition to Trump from within the party who still supports Republicans.

  30. Thanks for letting my comment through the filter. That says a lot, in my book.

    Geoff said: “I am simply pointing out that the threat of the left is worse [than Trump’s bad behavior].”

    And this just underscores my observation above: the lack of disdain towards towards the famously immoral Trump is so often connected to whether it is politically beneficial. Back in the 90’s, when it was politically advantageous to argue that “purity in office matters,” many conservatives argued that principle as a basis for impeaching Clinton. But now, when it is politically advantageous to keep the left out of power, many conservative types are downplaying the issue of personal immorality.

    For my part, I confess that I have personally downplayed some of Obama’s defects in office (e.g., constitutional overreaches) in the name of political expediency. Am I naive to expect that folks here will recognize the same incongruity in defending Trump?

  31. I am truly confused about Mitt Romney’s motivations. I wonder if he is self destructing over ego issues.

  32. Geoff. I agree with your comments. Now that we learn that Mitt has a secret twitter account that he uses to attack Trump and lavishly praise himself, we have to be wondering what kind of an idiot would do that?

  33. One of the failings of the Republican Party and Conservatives in general is this desire for “respect.” Respect from whom? The Dems? They despise us and never miss an opportunity to show it. Respect from The Establishment? Oh really? Why is that important, unless you ( the party) is just insecure in your own beliefs. The Democrat idea of “reaching across the aisle” is Republican capitulation, plain and simple. It has been demonstrated time and again. Personally, I care more about the country than whether the old families accept me, whether I get invited to the right parties, whether my son gets invited to Skull and Bones. But sadly too many Republicans do, and some of them hate Trump because, like me, he just doesn’t give a damn.

  34. I didn’t vote for Trump in 2016 but I plan to vote for him in 2020. I agree with Geoff B.’s assessment of the activist base of the Left. The best case scenario for a Trump presidency has always been Ether 10:11 and I think we are seeing that play out.

  35. Many LDS expect Romney to be the standard bearer for the Mormon church, to uphold the values and ideals of the church, and when he doesn’t represent what they perceive to be LDS values, they are disappointed. As far as I can tell, the LDS church seems to be heading in a more progressive direction. The Church’s position on illegal immigration, new inclusive outreach efforts on same sex relationships and gender issues and the cozy relationship in recent years with the UN portray a decidedly more liberal position which is a radical departure from just 10-15 years ago. The fact is, Romney is a fairly liberal politician and always has been. He would never have been elected governor of MA otherwise. His MA healthcare plan served as the model for Obamacare. His flip-flop on pro-choice demonstrates his willingness to do what it is politically expedient. He is also a globalist. Mitt Romney is simply protecting his own financial interests. He jumped on the globalist train years ago along with a large percentage of the “public servants” in congress today. The bottom line IMO- Traditional positions of the LDS leadership seem to be moving in a more liberal direction, with a global perspective. Perhaps Mr. Romney is a better representative of LDS values than some would like to believe.

  36. KitKat, my opinion: the Church has not really changed its stances on anything significant. The Church has changed the way it describes things to reflect the current environment and, as you say, to reflect better the Church’s position as an entity that has the majority of members outside of the United States. But: same-sex marriage? Still against it. Same-sex sexual activity: still against it, and it is a sin. Gender fluidity: still against it. Abortion: no change in policy. Proclamation on the Family: even more for the Proclamation than before.

    Is Mitt Romney a good representative of what the Church believes? Sure, but so is Mike Lee and so is even Harry Reid (difficult to believe, but yes). There are very conservative LDS people in Africa and Latin America and Asia who are also members, and there are relatively left-wing people in Europe and the U.S. who are also members. I don’t see the Church going in a “more liberal direction.” I see a slight change in wording from Church public affairs and most apostles in how they describe the same policies.

    But at the end of the day, as Mike Lee shows, you can understand that the primary threat to the United States is the left and still criticize Trump. Mike Lee has done this. Mitt Romney has failed to recognize the source of the primary threat, and this is the single greatest failing of his public career (which is why I wrote about it as a former supporter).

  37. “His is flip-flop on pro-choice demonstrates his willingness to do what it is politically expedient.”

    I’m truly amazed how this sticks… When you run in MA, it’s a non starter to say, “I’m pro life”. He won’t accomplish ANYTHING – ANYTHING on that front in MA. He wouldn’t get elected and it would be a distraction issue.

    If you only want to have socialists running things in MA, insist all politicians argue their private principles as public positions there. That would be a dumb move, but ok…

    Or, debate the issues you can actually change, and once you have the bully pullpit use it to support your core values without going rogue and pushing an agenda you weren’t elected for, which Mitt seems to have done.

    Treating health insurance like car insurance has its issues, we should all see that it has it’s conservative strengths in a world of big government.

    I prefer limited government. But in a policy debate, you will get 15% of the vote every time at most, if you really want to stand up on every issue and say, “NO we should not do that because I prefer limited government.”

    You’ll get better results if you stand for limited government and try to apply those principles to the boondoggles that society wants to push through with or without you.

    It’s pragmatic. It doesn’t make purists happy. It slides towards the margin. But we’d all have been flaming communists years ago if not for it. The country will move forward slowly or quickly until it crashes or breaks down.

    I’d vote for the pragmatic guy who will apply the brakes to that momentum and has a chance of winning over the one who wants to press the accelerator.

  38. “Now that we learn that Mitt has a secret twitter account that he uses to attack Trump and lavishly praise himself, we have to be wondering what kind of an idiot would do that?”

    Attack? Attack??!? Lavishly? The account doesn’t really tweet at all except occasionally like and retweet from what I read.

    What kind of person very rarely comments anonymously and occasionally likes a post where someone compliments him? Someone with a mild sense of humor. If he was what you suspected, there’d be a lot worse things spreading around than he once liked a post critical of Romney or Gingrich. Oh dear… I’m not an apologist for him, but I’m always annoyed when people go to obscene lengths to attack the guy or Trump for that reason. They both have their flaws, and they both have their roles. I’d almost always have Romney in any role than Trump. Any good Trump has done, was taken from Romney’s playbook (tax overhaul, judges). And Trump has definitely contributed to coarsening and cheaping of the oval office. I am grateful for the good Trump has done, but he’s seriously damaged too many conservatives in the eyes of 50% of the electorate and that’s a real issue. We don’t have to be all in for the guy so hard that we break out the knives on people who by nature of their position need to attract centrists as well.

  39. Geoff B,
    First, let me I say I completly agree with you about Romney. I could not vote for him in 2012, and my opionion of him has not improved with age. I also agree that there are many different kinds of members both liberal and conservative and largely the church tries to stay out of politics.
    However, I think the direction our church is going in terms of same sex relationships is decidedly more progressive.The change in policy of April 4, 2019 is huge. As stated on the church website:
    “In addition, the Church will no longer characterize same-gender marriage by a Church member as “apostasy” for purposes of Church discipline, although it is still considered “a serious transgression.” Dallin H. Oaks
    This puts the church in a sticky situation. If a same sex couple is legally married, is the church going to require a divorce to be a member in good standing? And will they be excommunicatied if they do not divorce, or just be prohibited from the temple? Will the church dictate what sexual behaviors are appropriate within the bounds of a legal marriage, same sex or otherwise? Additionally if the church fails to recognize the legal marriage of same sex individuals, what are the implications for legal heterosexual unions outside of the temple? At present a legal decree seems adequate in our church to determine the morality of sex between two heterosexual people. To add an extra wrinkle, heterosexual couples who marry outside the temple now do not have to wait to marry in the temple. So was it it “immoral” to marry outside the temple before, and now it is not? It seems to me the one year waiting period indicated that marriage outside the temple was being treated as “a serious transgression “(just as same sex marriage would be?), in keeping with the waiting period for temple attendance for other “serious transgressions”. So in short this is my understanding of the situation: two people of the same gender who are legally married will be allowed to remain chuch members, just not granted a temple recommend. If they have children, the kids will be allowed to be baptized. They will be treated exactly as two people of different genders who are legally married outside the temple would be, with the execption that they will not be allowed to be married in the temple.Or will same sex legally married couples be prohibited from having sex upon threat of ex-communication? This seems like it could be opening the door to same sex marriage (or adoptions as practiced in early church) as a a way of continuation of relationships beyond the mortal sphere.

  40. There is one thing core to our doctrine that bears on the political arena, and seems to me is a, if not “the” reason many if not most practicing LDS have similar political leanings–agency. We believe it is of such vital importance because we also believe that God himself, by war and might, drove a third part of his own children from home, banished them forever, and barred, or damned if you prefer, them from any further opportunity for development.
    Every political thought I have begins with this belief. I believe these events to be true, that a war actually was fought in heaven to drive the would-be usurpers out, because Lucifer and his followers sought to take God’s honor, “which is [His] power”.
    As I have thought about the doctrine of the war in heaven and the importance of agency, I am led to ask what this teaches me about the nature of God, heaven, and spiritual development. God has told us that Lucifer is the father of lies, so the message that agency was a luxury we just couldn’t afford must also have been, and remains, a lie. Why? I ask myself. To me this answer is that no spiritual growth, to reiterate, zero spiritual growth occurs when we are made to do good. Spiritual growth only occurs when a good choice is made willingly with no coercion or other enticement whatsoever. And interestingly, greater spiritual growth occurs when those choices are made against opposition.
    Given this importance I try to view every policy in light of this question, “Will it lead to greater freedom for each to choose their own way, good or evil?” If the answer is yes, then it gets my vote and my voice. I do realize that I admitted there that it may allow some or many to choose some evil or much evil. Can’t be helped. So I also ask, will this policy, if enacted, preempt or stifle evil thoughts, words, or actions or punish them? If the policy is preemptive then I will likely vote against it.
    Hence, I cannot ever support socialism as it has presented itself so far in this world. I can barely stomach taxation because of the uses to which the majority chooses to put it. I do realize that I can turn taxation into a good for myself by saying as I give it up that I do so gladly, thankfully, and of course, willingly.
    I cringe at President Trump’s methods. I cringe at most “news reporting” by today’s media. I listen to Fox News, CNN and others. I turn off Sean Hannity and can’t listen to more than a minute of Rachel Maddow and late night “comedians” unless it is Johnny Carson reruns. We have no choice but to listen to some, but I try to keep my filter clean. I try to study people and issues. Case in point: I have tried for the last five years since I put 50 solar panels on my roof here in central California to understand climate science. It is very hard and math intense. I do understand quite a bit about computers and modelling though. There is a lot of untruth masquerading as science by people who should just tell the truth and let us decide for ourselves. Every time some talking head says “97% of scientists agree” (or lately 99%) I want to vomit because I know, I know that they have never read that study or they are intentionally hiding the truth. That statement conveys no idea of what that study really says and how many scientists it really represents. It is this “we know better, so trust us” mentality that scares me about socialist regimes and the power they seek over lives. Democratic republics are messy. Capitalism is messy. But they both provide the greatest breadth of freedom to choose as far as I can tell.
    So to the OP. I like your thoughts. I think Mitt is embarrassing himself but what damage can he do? Until it comes to a vote everything else is so much hot air. In California my vote only counts to let it be known that there are still some people in this state who don’t agree with much of what’s going on here. I could not swallow the gall in 2016 and vote for Trump. I have had time now, since he is president, and he hasn’t done anything so far as I can tell from the facts I am privy to, that is morally bankrupt. Enough time for me to let bygones be bygones. Barring some come lately entrant to the fray that is clearly a superior character and not hoodwinked by the socialist lie, I will tip my hat to President Trump to keep on plugging.

    Thanks for the venue and opportunity to voice my opinions with yours.

  41. Mitt Romney’s track record on politics is one of being wrong on almost every major position. His cause the last 10 days has been criticizing Trump for “abandoning the Kurds.” It turns out the Kurds have joined with the Syrian army for protection, and there is a cease-fire, and Turkey and Syria and the Kurds have come to an accommodation. Almost no Kurds got hurt by Trump’s pullout of U.S. troops from a country that is not central to U.S. interests. Mitt Romney is blinded by Trump Derangement Syndrome from accepting that some (not all) Trump policies have actually worked.

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