Partially in service of maintaining my own reputation, and partially because it’s the truth, I’ve gotten into the habit of characterizing my family as “Mitt Romney Republicans” when describing their political beliefs to other people. They — like many other lifelong Republicans, I assume — have arrived at the woeful realization that the political tent they once called home has been uprooted and steadily marched towards damn near the edge of the right-wing cliff, in recent months. What are these political orphans to do about this? What’s Mitt Romney to do? Shooting pool with Jeff Flake and reminiscing about the good-old-day only takes up so many hours in the day.
Hence, my proposal: Mitt Romney, who in 2020 will likely be a senator, should offer himself to Republicans as an alternative to the chaos sowed by Trump. While there’s been speculation as to whether certain other Senators could pose a threat to Trump in the primary (people like Ben Sasse, for example), none of them have the stature nor the name recognition to effectively challenge the President. In addition to this, with the exception of Jeff Flake, virtually none of the Republican Senators have made any real effort to differentiate themselves from the Orange One. Romney, on the other hand, has and continues to offer a vision of Republicanism that breaks from that of the current regime. He will also have minimal baggage in terms of his voting record when 2020 rolls around, and in the mean time he can use his position as a Senator to make his differences with the President more clear.
Most importantly, Mitt Romney is a household name in America, for obvious reasons (and just as a side note, “Ben Sasse” is not). The Republican party nominated him for President once already — has their voting base really changed that much since 2012? It may sound a lot like pie-in-the-sky, but if enough Republicans eventually tire of the chaos and aimlessness of the current White House, they may feel that their nominating Romney would constitute a return to some semblance of normalcy. There is little doubt in my mind that the business wing of the Republican coalition would support a Romney bid against the President, should Romney choose to seek it. And if four solid years of investigations, scandals, and overall incompetence can manage to depress the turnout of the “Lock Her Up” contingent, Romney could perhaps have a serious shot at dethroning the Mad King.
Finally, depending on the severity of the upcoming bloodmath a la the ‘18 midterms, Romney could potentially make the case that Trump is serving to energize the opposition, and has thus become a liability; both to the party’s congressional majorities, and to their continued holding of the Executive branch. In short, there’s a lot that can happen between now and 2020, and depending on how the cards fall over the next 3 years, I genuinely believe it may be plausible for Mitt to launch a legitimate bid for the Grand Old Party’s nomination.
In summary, then: Help us, Romney-Wan Kenobi… you might be our only hope.