Not so long ago, there was a popular story on the right about Republican presidential candidates: No matter what they did, no matter who they were, the left and the media would savage them. When the GOP nominated Mitt Romney, an accomplished, unquestionably upstanding, experienced politician, he was subject to the usual attacks. The Democrats cried wolf. And that’s part of why the country ended up with Donald Trump. Talking with attendees at the 2016 Republican National Convention, I must have heard that story a dozen times.
How things have changed. Yesterday, Republicans savaged now-Senator Romney for the vote that he cast to convict President Trump in his impeachment trial. Fox’s Laura Ingraham called him “the ultimate selfish, preening, self-centered politician,” and even suggested that she might move to Utah to run against him.
The larger segment was a mishmash of poor reasoning, bad metaphors, and ad hominem attacks—no reason to waste time on it—but one argument Ingraham put forth as she gleefully asserted Romney’s demise was noteworthy. “If you’re one of Romney’s constituents in Utah, you’re out of luck,” she said. “If you’re a businessman in need of a regulation reexamined, don’t bother calling his office. He has no power anymore.”