Commentary: Mitt Romney is desperately seeking relevance

Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, waits to participate in a mock swearing-in ceremony in the Old Senate Chamber on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 3, 2019, as the 116th Congress begins. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

With the 116th Congress now sworn in, the debutantes included Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., as the youngest member in the House, and Mitt Romney as Utah’s junior Senate senior citizen.

Given Mitt’s 24/7 lust for microphones, Utah voters may have the worst case ever of buyer’s remorse. What astounds me is the attention being showered on this has-been, and when The Washington Post is done with him, he’ll be tossed like a used Kleenex.

The Salt Lake Olympics succeeded after a rescue that never should have had to happen — 17 years ago. Romney governed Massachusetts for a single term — 16 years ago. He also knew 2006 was the worst year to be a Republican anything and chose not to seek re-election as governor, lest it dim future prospects — 13 years ago.

Romney’s 2012 presidential run gave him the nomination for no other reason other than to be the designated sacrificial lamb for President Barack Obama. That and, I suspect, that election was already pre-determined. But the bell-ringer for Mitt was lending support for the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012.

For the unfamiliar, two sections of that gem allow the government to indefinitely detain American citizens — without charge, without bail, without trial and, worst of all, without counsel. Though it’s 100 percent unconstitutional, all appeals so far have run into brick walls that have been sealed shut.

Maybe if Romney and his family were rounded up under Kim Jong-un’s “Three Generations of Incarceration,” he’d realize that enabling the destruction of individual freedom and personal liberty is not the gem of an idea he so ardently promoted.

The NDAA was the straw that broke the camel’s back that caused many Americans, those with the means and proper “out cards,” to flee the United States; they no longer held any measurable faith or trust in the U.S. government, which saw individual freedom and personal liberty as not rights, but only privileges Big Government can take away if you cross them — real or perceived.

Why? Because government became God, especially since NDAA passed both the House and Senate by veto-proof margins, with the sponsors being Carl Levin, D-Mich., now retired, and John McCain, R-Ariz., now deceased.

Romney’s latest Senate run was just another shot at redemption for a failed Senate bid against Ted Kennedy in Massachusetts in 1994 -- 25 years ago -- and a chance to get even with President Donald Trump because Trump won and Romney lost a second time -- six years ago. Simply put, the man cannot let go!

If Romney were just another junior senator, that’s one thing, except he’s a totally unrepentant Trump hater. I differ with the president on a number of things; Trump was right in imploring Romney to be a team player, and if Mitt’s own niece (Republican National Committee Chair Ronna Romney McDaniel) is “letting him have it” (probably both barrels), it’s indeed serious, especially as infighting could lead to a fractured party.

Romney is a regurgitation of the thankfully departed Sen. Jeff Flake. It is clear to all but the “rock with lips” crowd that Mitt is hell-bent on breaking records in alienating maximum numbers of people in minimum time, and doing so at warp speed. Had Romney fought Obama then with the intensity he’s fighting Trump now, we’d have had President Romney, but it’s clear that he’s no different from the left, resorting to ad hominem attacks, because he lost — again.

It’s hoped Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will ensure that Romney isn’t placed in assignments that can damage the president’s agenda (keep him off the Judiciary, Foreign Relations, Armed Services and Veterans Affairs committees), and put him on low-profile nonsensitive committees, all as punishment for shooting off his mouth. It just doesn’t pay to antagonize bosses before your first day on the job.

Tim Rollins

Tim Rollins is a political analyst and consultant who has worked election races in the United States and Canada. He is an alumnus of Utah State University and the University of Utah. He can be reached by email at tcrollins@att.net.