Media begin canonization of Mitt Romney

Remember when Mitt Romney was a heartless capitalist, torturer of the family dog, and driving his ex-employees into cancer?  It wasn't that many years ago, when he had the effrontery to run against the nation's First Black President, that Mitt Romney was a cartoon villain so far as the media and other Democrats were concerned.

That was then, but now that Donald Trump is president and Romney a senator who may be called to cast a vote in a Senate impeachment trial, Romney is enjoying the media's "strange new respect," much like a Republican-appointed Supreme Court justice voting with the liberal bloc.  The Atlantic, the deep-pocketed publication owned by the widow of Steve Jobs, is one of the true thought leaders on the journalistic Left, and it is signaling that Romney is a man entitled to deep respect, for he may someday play the role that Howard Baker played with Richard Nixon.  In an article by McKay Coppins, entitled "The Liberation of Mitt Romney," the positive language is slathered onto Mitt with abandon, considering how recently he was evil incarnate and wore "magic underwear."  For example:

... Romney has emerged as an outspoken dissident in Trump's Republican Party. In just the past few weeks, he has denounced the president's attempts to solicit dirt on political rivals from foreign governments as "wrong and appalling"; suggested that his fellow Republicans are looking the other way out of a desire for power; and condemned Trump's troop withdrawal in Syria as a "bloodstain on the annals of American history." (snip)

In the nine years I've been covering Romney, I've never seen him quite so liberated. Unconstrained by consultants, unconcerned about reelection, he is thinking about things such as legacy, and inheritance, and the grand sweep of history. Here, in the twilight of his career, he seems to sense — in a way that eludes many of his colleagues — that he'll be remembered for what he does in this combustible moment. "I do think people will view this as an inflection point in American history," Romney tells me.

Romney has always struck me as a man overly concerned with what others are saying about him, especially those who enjoy the megaphone of the mass media.  Now that the Atlantic has laid out the basic strategy of contrasting Romney's purported steely integrity with Trump's purported criminality, he will be flattered for every word critical of Trump and every action he takes that hastens impeachment or conviction.

Like a rat in a Skinner Box, reward an animal for behavior that you want more of, and you get more of that behavior.

Image by Donkey Hotey (cropped).

Hat tip: Roger Luchs.

Remember when Mitt Romney was a heartless capitalist, torturer of the family dog, and driving his ex-employees into cancer?  It wasn't that many years ago, when he had the effrontery to run against the nation's First Black President, that Mitt Romney was a cartoon villain so far as the media and other Democrats were concerned.

That was then, but now that Donald Trump is president and Romney a senator who may be called to cast a vote in a Senate impeachment trial, Romney is enjoying the media's "strange new respect," much like a Republican-appointed Supreme Court justice voting with the liberal bloc.  The Atlantic, the deep-pocketed publication owned by the widow of Steve Jobs, is one of the true thought leaders on the journalistic Left, and it is signaling that Romney is a man entitled to deep respect, for he may someday play the role that Howard Baker played with Richard Nixon.  In an article by McKay Coppins, entitled "The Liberation of Mitt Romney," the positive language is slathered onto Mitt with abandon, considering how recently he was evil incarnate and wore "magic underwear."  For example:

... Romney has emerged as an outspoken dissident in Trump's Republican Party. In just the past few weeks, he has denounced the president's attempts to solicit dirt on political rivals from foreign governments as "wrong and appalling"; suggested that his fellow Republicans are looking the other way out of a desire for power; and condemned Trump's troop withdrawal in Syria as a "bloodstain on the annals of American history." (snip)

In the nine years I've been covering Romney, I've never seen him quite so liberated. Unconstrained by consultants, unconcerned about reelection, he is thinking about things such as legacy, and inheritance, and the grand sweep of history. Here, in the twilight of his career, he seems to sense — in a way that eludes many of his colleagues — that he'll be remembered for what he does in this combustible moment. "I do think people will view this as an inflection point in American history," Romney tells me.

Romney has always struck me as a man overly concerned with what others are saying about him, especially those who enjoy the megaphone of the mass media.  Now that the Atlantic has laid out the basic strategy of contrasting Romney's purported steely integrity with Trump's purported criminality, he will be flattered for every word critical of Trump and every action he takes that hastens impeachment or conviction.

Like a rat in a Skinner Box, reward an animal for behavior that you want more of, and you get more of that behavior.

Image by Donkey Hotey (cropped).

Hat tip: Roger Luchs.