Friday, January 31, 2020

Courage, At The Moment

Walter Shaub, head of the Office of Government Ethics under President Obama who usually is right on target:

Media personality Soledad O'Brien, who has it right a little less often, evidently agrees with Shaub with

Romney may or may not vote to convict the President in his impeachment "trial." However, if he does, he imperils his re-election prospects in Utah. If instead he decides to walk away from the Senate, his opportunity to be a GOP talking head or lobbyist declines significantly. Two weeks ago, the Salt Lake Tribune reported

Mitt Romney’s approval among Republicans and independents appears to be slipping as he heads into the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, where the Utah Republican is breaking with the president and GOP leaders by calling for at least one witness, former National Security Adviser John Bolton, to testify.

Romney, though, appears to be gaining traction with Democrats who are giving him better marks.

A Morning Consult poll shows an 18 percent drop of Romney’s approval rating among Republicans in the last four months of 2019 as compared to the quarter before that. And 9% of independents swung to disapproving of Romney quarter over quarter, the poll found.

This is Utah. If Mitt Romney is re-nominated, he is re-elected. He does not need support among Democrats in Utah, in which Republicans outnumber Democrats by more than 3-1. 

The former Michigan governor needs only limited support among Unaffiliated voters (and none among Democrats), probably a majority of whom in conservative Utah oppose conviction of the President. He must win a primary and opposition to Donald Trump makes that much harder. The tweets would not be kind and the rallies for his opponent would sting.

That's a different situation than faced Senator Susan Collins. The main obstacle to re-election of the Main incumbent is the general election. Moreover, she notably waited until the last minute to make her decision, and Howard Dean understands
Mitt Romney believes there should be witnesses, urged by the prosecution to prove (further) its case. Defenders of the President, his team of attorneys, argued against it and won the day because neither integrity nor courage is in big supply in the GOP caucus.

Nonetheless, as irrational as it would be, it is possible that the Utah senator will vote to acquit Donald Trump. However, in this one moment, on Thursday, January 30, Senator Mitt Romney showed some courage, and did so alone among his Repub colleagues.

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