It was a cold day on Tuesday morning if you were a liberal.
Granted, it was probably seasonable in most parts of the U.S. — warm, even. However, that’s when Utah GOP Sen. Mitt Romney, seen by many Democrats as a potential holdout to stop a solid conservative majority on the Supreme Court, announced he supported President Donald Trump’s decision to nominate a new justice in an election year.
“My decision regarding a Supreme Court nomination is not the result of a subjective test of ‘fairness’ which, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder,” Romney wrote in a statement.
“It is based on the immutable fairness of following the law, which in this case is the Constitution and precedent. The historical precedent of election-year nominations is that the Senate generally does not confirm an opposing party’s nominee but does confirm a nominee of its own.
“The Constitution gives the president the power to nominate and the Senate the authority to provide advice and consent on Supreme Court nominees. Accordingly, I intend to follow the Constitution and precedent in considering the president’s nominee. If the nominee reaches the Senate floor, I intend to vote based upon their qualifications.”
My statement regarding the current Supreme Court vacancy: pic.twitter.com/6YO0dPWWXc
— Senator Mitt Romney (@SenatorRomney) September 22, 2020
Romney wasn’t actually in the Senate in 2016, so he didn’t personally have to follow any sort of “consistent” application of the rules the Democrats have worked themselves into a state of apoplexy at Senate Republicans over. And — wouldn’t you know it? — it turns out this was never about consistency in the first place.
There was one school of Democrats who seemed genuinely let down that Romney wasn’t a “moderate,” by which they meant a Republican who said and did liberal things but kind of hemmed and hawed a bit before he did them. At which they’d still throw the individual into the lake of fire in the secular left-wing afterlife for being a Republican, but they’d do it nicely.
Trevor Noah of “The Daily Show” seemed to sum this school of thought up best:
“Yes, my friends, even Mitt Romney, the dad you ask when your other Republican dads say ‘no,’ is going along with Mitch McConnell’s plan,” he said Tuesday, according to The New York Times.
“And I know, some people were holding out hope that he would refuse to help the Republicans push through before the election, but for some reason, people always forget that Mitt Romney is still a conservative senator from one of the most conservative states. People act like Mitt Romney came into the Senate with a pussy hat on, but, no — he’s only moderate compared to Cinnamon Hitler.”
Tell that to your conservative friends and they’ll laugh, and not just because of that “Cinnamon Hitler” quip.
There was plenty of this on social media, as well — and the meltdown was a sight to behold, a Chernobyl-level event that was somehow, as a conservative looking in from the outside, like watching the first robin of spring cavorting on a dewy lawn:
lol at all the people who thought Mitt Romney to be one of the good guys.
— Karen Attiah (@KarenAttiah) September 22, 2020
Mitt Romney just threw away any integrity he gained from his impeachment vote.
— Trish Zornio (@trish_zornio) September 22, 2020
When you voted to impeach I thought you saw and disapproved of the corruption.
I was wrong. You are now abetting it.
— CuriousCheeze (@CuriousCheeze) September 22, 2020
Just when I thought Romney had found his morals, THIS.
— Lois Bez (@vacashun) September 22, 2020
im the guy who thought mitt romney would do the Right Thing and my morning is RUINED!!!
— libby watson (@libbycwatson) September 22, 2020
Mitt Romney has always been who we thought he was and always will be and no amount of performative tweets and op-eds on his part decrying Trump’s corruption is ever going to change that.
— Charlotte Clymer 🏳️🌈 (@cmclymer) September 22, 2020
Then there were those who thought that since Romney voted to convict in President Trump’s impeachment trial, he needed to vote against him appointing a Supreme Court justice, even though the president was acquitted.
“Donald Trump is dangerous and fake and unfit to serve and I’m now going to give him vastly more power because I stand for nothing.”
– Mitt Romney
— Mikel Jollett (@Mikel_Jollett) September 22, 2020
So, Mit Romney thinks the president committed high crimes and should be removed from office, but should get to replace RBG on SCOTUS. Got it. Dems, we need to fight back. Impeach Bill Barr or Trump again if we have to.
— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) September 22, 2020
Romney logic: I think Trump should be impeached and removed from office, but also get a Supreme Court pick.
— Neera -Vote Early- Tanden (@neeratanden) September 22, 2020
Mitt Romney says the impeached president that he voted to convict and remove from office for high crimes and misdemeanors in February should now be allowed to appoint a Supreme Court Justice for lifetime tenure in September.
Every single Republican should be voted out of office. https://t.co/BGmBK8YyKB
— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) September 22, 2020
And then there were those who said Romney would simply do anything at all to get another pro-life justice.
The big pro-life victory comes on top of a mountain of American deaths. But still worth it for Romney et al. Still worth it.
— Chris Hayes (@chrislhayes) September 22, 2020
Mitt Romney pondering standing up to Trump destroying the country, or getting another anti-abortion Justice pic.twitter.com/4e6WNObRV3
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) September 22, 2020
Of course, none of this would have happened if the Democrats hadn’t viewed the Supreme Court as a de facto legislative body and then viewed the Senate’s refusal to consider Obama nominee Merrick Garland for the court in 2016 as the ultimate affront, even though presidents’ nominees rarely get confirmed in election years where their party doesn’t control the Senate.
Then, after floating “court-packing” multiple times and trying to derail President Trump’s nominee to his second seat by uncritically publicizing any sexual assault allegation leveled against him, they expected Trump not to nominate someone when Ruth Bader Ginsburg died.
When Trump said he would, they expected Mitt Romney would come to their rescue.
“You’re our friend now, right Mitt? We’re pals. You voted for impeachment. We’re going to let you hang out at the cool kids’ table. We’re not going to turn on you. We always thought you were one of the good ones. Except when we said you put your dog on the roof of your car and did everything but say you would yank my nana’s feeding tube out with your bare hands if it’d save Bain Capital a few pennies. Just please vote against this one, OK?”
He didn’t, so expect some blue-checkmarked Daily Beast writer to come out and reveal to America Mitt Romney really did yank nana’s feeding tube out. This time, he didn’t do it for Bain Capital, though. He did it for Trump.
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