Donald Trump’s yuge Super Tuesday win means that the Republican Smart Set™ have decided to unleash the big guns. The conversation went something like this:
Establishment Genius #1: “We need someone with real grassroots bona fides, a true winner, to come off the bench and clock this Trump fellow.”
Establishment Genius #2: “Yes, yes, you speak wisely, good sir. Let me consider the possibilities. (Pauses) How about…Mitt Romney?”
Establishment Genius #2: “I was serious.”
Establishment Genius #1: (Shrugs) “Okay, sounds good. Maybe we can hire Mike Murphy to publicize it.”
Yes indeedy do. Romney is now scheduled to speak at the Hinckley Institute of Politics at the University of Utah, and address the 2016 Republican nomination process. A Romney aide informed the media that Romney wouldn’t be endorsing anyone or announcing a campaign, but instead would be a full-scale assault on Trump.
Which is fine. I’ve done it myself.
But Romney’s assault won’t help. Those of us who oppose Trump silently scream for Romney to fade into obscurity. Romney, you see, is one of the reasons for the rise of the Trump movement. The establishment Republican Party told conservatives in 2012 that if they held their nose and went along with a nominee who had created Obamacare, the moderates would certainly show up and vote Barack Obama out of office. The establishment told us that Romney would have to take care not to overtly attack Barack Obama’s motives, or the motives of the left; instead, he should play good cop to Obama’s bad cop.
Romney lost by 5 million votes.
Then the establishment told us to get behind Jeb! Bush.
Along came Donald Trump, slapping both the establishment and its favored candidates. And he swept anti-establishment Republicans off their feet, even as he (and they) ignored basic principles of Constitutional conservatism. He bashed Jeb! and the grassroots loved it; Jeb! fought back, and the grassroots scoffed as Trump bludgeoned him into a puddle of goo.
So now Romney’s back. And some wise people, for some odd reason, think that Romney bashing Trump will weaken Trump rather than strengthen him, when one of the reasons for Trump’s rise was Romney’s continued presence on the American political scene.
This won’t work. It will be just another electric shock for Trump to absorb like a political supervillain, then refract at actual conservatives.