On Wednesday evening, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) issued a hypothetical: “Wouldn’t it be nice,” she asked, if Mitt Romney “were president of the United States?”
Thanks a lot, lady.
Pelosi, of course, spent most of 2012 castigating Mitt Romney as the scourge of the earth, a racist, immoral homophobe seeking to crush the poor with his car elevator. After Romney was booed at the NAACP convention, she said, “I think it was a calculated move on his part to get booed at the NAACP convention.” She suggested that Romney was leading a “Republican assault on women’s health.” She said that it was a myth that Romney had respect for women. Then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid accused Romney of cheating on his taxes. The media accused Romney of strapping a dog to the top of his car, forcibly cutting the hair of a gay high school kid, and giving a man’s wife cancer, as well as slapping women into binders. Vice President Joe Biden said Romney wanted to put black people back in chains.
And now they want Romney back?
On Thursday, former President George W. Bush spoke in New York City, where he forcibly condemned isolationism, white nationalism, and populism. The press immediately reacted with spasms of joy — here was a man! That followed hard on Pelosi wishing Bush were president back in June.
The media and the Democrats spent eight full years calling Bush a Hitlerian figure and a war criminal. Democrats regularly talked of impeaching Bush. Hillary Clinton took to the Senate floor in 2002 carrying a copy of the New York Post and yelling, “The president knew what? My constituents would like to know the answer!” The media and the Democrats chortled in glee as Donald Trump mirrored their charges in 2016, and laughed along as Trump routinely insulted Jeb Bush for his brother’s real and unreal failings.
But now they love Bush again.
All of which suggests that all of these people are simply full of crap. It’s one thing for conservatives to believe that Donald Trump is a difference in kind from George W. Bush. He is. Bush failed conservatives on many policy fronts, from No Child Left Behind to Medicare Part D to campaign finance reform, from blowing out spending to his attempts at immigration reform to the financial bailouts. But Bush was a mensch. He may have failed to implement his philosophy, but his philosophy was classical conservatism, based in creed rather than empty nationalist sloganeering.
The same holds true for Mitt Romney. I opposed Romney in the primaries in 2012. That’s because he was the only Republican candidate who had created Obamacare. But Romney was a good man, an honest man, perhaps the most decent man to run for president in my lifetime.
It’s fair for conservatives to distinguish between Bush and Romney on the one hand and Trump on the other.
But the same Leftists who insisted Bush was the devil, that Romney was the devil, cannot now turn around and fete these men. Their hatred for Bush and Romney inured Americans to their catcalls; after calling Bush and Romney racist sexist bigot homophobes, the charges sounded like more of the same with Trump, because they were. If Ted Cruz had been the nominee, he would have heard the same charges. And that’s why Republicans nominated the only candidate who didn’t seem to care about the catcalls, and was willing to throw mud in the other direction.
So, no, Democrats who slandered Bush and Romney, you don’t get to wish for Bush or Romney now. You broke the country. You bought this.