Much has been made of Mitt Romney’s politics over the years. His nomination in 2012 doomed Republicans who failed to recognize they couldn’t rightly go after President Obama’s greatest weakness, Obamacare, with the guy whose own healthcare law from Massachusetts helped lay the groundwork. But someone in the GOP Establishment deemed it was Romney’s turn and the competition wasn’t up to the task to counter their agenda.
Fast-forward to 2020 and the GOP is faced with a similar problem now that Romney is in the Senate. The bad news is most U.S. voters have no say in the matter. The good news is Utah voters do, at least they will if their government passes H.B. 217, the avenue through which Utahns can recall a sitting United States Senator.
The bill’s author, Representative Tim Quinn, claims this was never a “Romney bill.” Whether it was before or not is debatable, but as of yesterday’s vote, H.B. 217 is unofficially attached to fixing the Romney error. When Orrin Hatch retired, there was a push for stronger conservatives to challenge Romney, but nobody could muster the massive campaign that would have been required to counter his widespread name recognition in the state. Eventually, efforts by Steve Bannon faded and President Trump relented to back Romney’s run.
Yesterday, Romney demonstrated he places more emphasis on his feelings than the will of his constituents or the betterment of this nation. He feigned a moral imperative for siding against the Constitution, but his empty words were lost to the masses. Talk radio in Utah was flooded with angry callers; many who voted for Romney in 2018 expressed their regret. Now, recall is the only remedy, which means the state GOP must act quickly.
The biggest concern isn’t the impeachment vote. That’s done. But it opens the door for Romney to start spreading his progressive wings which have thus far been kept in check. His 56% Liberty Score is, unfortunately, middle-of-the-road for the Senate GOP, but we can expect him to vote more frequently against the President’s agenda moving forward. Now that the façade of Republicanism has been ripped away, he’s free to be the Democrat he’s always been in his heart.
Romney’s next election isn’t until 2024, which means America is stuck with him through President Trump’s second term if Utah’s GOP and Utah’s citizens do not act quickly and decisively. The clock is ticking. It’s time for a conservative to take his seat.