"To a great degree," Mitt Romney writes in a Washington Post op-ed published Wednesday,
a presidency shapes the public character of the nation. A president should unite us and inspire us to follow “our better angels.” A president should demonstrate the essential qualities of honesty and integrity, and elevate the national discourse with comity and mutual respect. As a nation, we have been blessed with presidents who have called on the greatness of the American spirit. With the nation so divided, resentful and angry, presidential leadership in qualities of character is indispensable. And it is in this province where the incumbent’s shortfall has been most glaring.
The former Michigan governor and incoming United States senator from Utah also comes up big where some other Democrats, such as Barack Obama, and Joe Biden, come up small. In his brief piece, Romney manages to invoke the words "Trump" (twice) and "Trump's (once), an accomplishment worth noting.
In a March, 2016 speech in which he recognized "dishonesty is Donald Trump's trademark," Romney maintained the real estate bamboozler
lacks the temperament to be president. After all, this is an individual who mocked a disabled reporter, who attributed a reporter’s questions to her menstrual cycle, who mocked a brilliant rival who happened to be a woman due to her appearance, who bragged about his marital affairs, and who laces his public speeches with vulgarity.
Donald Trump says he admires Vladimir Putin, at the same time he has called George W. Bush a liar. That is a twisted example of evil trumping good.
Then he went on to say the candidate "compromised our national secrets," the family members having "lived at the intersection of money and politics, trading their political influence to enrich their personal finances." Moreover, "they embody the term 'crony capitalism'" and "a person so untrustworthy and dishonest as (the candidate) must not become president."
That corrupt, self-dealing candidate who could not be trusted to put the interests of the nation first was, in Mitt Romney's reckoning, Hillary Clinton. With the benefit of hindsight (which shouldn't have been necessary), that is obscene.
Her opponent, now President of the United States of America, has given to Russia classified intelligence about a steadfast American ally and relies for advice in large measure to a son who may have given an enemies list to the Saudis after they butchered a legal US resident. Dedicating the presidency to accumulating financial wealth for the President's family is not only unprecedented, but hitherto unimaginable. (Video below is from 1-2 weeks after the election.)
Now Mitt Romney, in the pages of The Washington Post, implies that Donald Trump has failed to "demonstrate the essential qualities of honesty and integrity, and elevate the national discourse with comity and mutual respect." Yet, the former presidential candidate maintains
It is not that all of the president’s policies have been misguided. He was right to align U.S. corporate taxes with those of global competitors, to strip out excessive regulations, to crack down on China’s unfair trade practices, to reform criminal justice and to appoint conservative judges. These are policies mainstream Republicans have promoted for years.
In what must be the most obscure reference (unknown even to the Urban Dictionary) for "caving," Charlie Pierce asks "What do you want in the pool for when he turtles? I'll take March 1st."
Romney states "I look forward to working" on several issues "with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and other senators." In Pierce's pool, I'll take January 2.