“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”
That is my favorite quote from one of my heroes, Martin Luther King, Jr. If it’s true, Senator Mitt Romney more than measures up.
I’ve never really been a fan of Romney’s. But today, I see him in a brand new light, having watched him compose himself earlier this week before members of his Republican Party and outline why he was prepared to cast a “guilty” vote on the abuse of power charge levied against President Donald J. Trump.
Romney described himself as a man of faith, and said he could not in good conscience vote otherwise. He said he realized that his vote would have a negative impact on his political career, as well as could possibly endanger his children and grandchildren.
He also said he’d been contacted by numerous, unnamed Republican Party leaders who urged him to vote “not guilty.”
But he cast the guilty vote anyway.
Romney outlined his reasoning, squared his shoulders, and called out the President of the United States before an international television and online audience. And he cast his guilty vote standing alone — none of his Republican colleagues crossed the aisle and joined him, despite overwhelming evidence that should have led them to do so. Today, Romney is being called a maverick.
I like mavericks. I like to think I’m a maverick. I’m also a lifetime Democrat. I have never voted for a Republican in any municipal, state, or national election. But that could change. I wish Romney had opposed Trump for his party’s nomination in the 2020 presidential election.
Most of the presidential hopefuls from the Democratic Party who I didn’t like are now out of the picture. Senator Harris never wow’d me. She was criticized by some for not being black enough, but after she showed up three hours late for her own 2019 campaign kick-off in Oakland, she struck me as being a little too black.
I never bought Harris’ “let me be perfectly clear” riff —it sounded a little too much like Nixon, really — or her “I want to prosecute the case against Donald Trump” line. It all sounded like fabricated, rehearsed sound bites, much like her “little girl on the bus” routine she trotted out to ambush Vice President Joe Biden during a televised debate.
I couldn’t even finish Harris’ 2019 memoir, The Truths We Hold. Much of the first half of it, like her speeches, just didn’t ring true.
I can’t get with Senator Bernie Sanders. The clock’s ticking for all of us, and I try not to be ageist, but dude presents himself like he could drop dead at any moment. I worry for him and his heart when he gets on a roll.
Sanders rails against the “establishment,” but he’s been in Washington for almost 30 years — if that’s not “establishment,” I don’t know what is.
Sanders is completely unelectable. He couldn’t even garner the nomination last time around. And the Bernie faithful, to my mind, are responsible for Trump being in the White House, by not being able or willing to shift their focus and support to the Democratic party’s nominee, Hilary Clinton.
Now mind you, I haven’t been a raving fan of Clinton’s for years. I think she lost herself somewhere along the way. Back in 2016, I found myself longing for 90s Hilary.
And speaking of the Democratic Party, last time I checked Bernie Sanders wasn’t a registered member of it. Why should any card-carrying Democrat support an independent on the nation’s largest ticket?
I’m not crazy about Elizabeth Warren, either, but I like her a little more since she checked Bernie with her “I think you just called me a liar or national TV” line at the end of the last debate. You go, girl. I’d give you a shot.
And I think “Elizabeth Warren” should be a verb. You “Elizabeth Warren” someone when you publicly call them out on their shit.
I like Biden, but more than that, I want to like him. However, in my heart of hearts, I think he may have missed his chance to be president. It may have come and gone in 2016.
I can envision both Buttigieg and Yang doing the job, but of the two, only Yang strikes me as having the intestinal fortitude to tell me and everyone else what he really thinks, independent of position or party affiliation, like Romney did this week.
And Mayor Pete has some ‘splaining to do with black folks — even in his home state.
I loved President Obama, but I didn’t always like or agree with what he did or said. He worked too long and hard to try to gain consensus between political parties. And sometimes, especially around the gun control issue, I wanted to see a little less Harvard lawyer and a little more Angry Black Man.
However, I had a level of respect for President Obama, and a sense that he had reviewed the data available to him and had made a decision, with a sound mind, that was in the country’s best interest. It’s a sense I haven’t had in over three years, now. And I want it back.
So a longtime Republican Senator and 2012 presidential candidate who could oppose his party and vote for the sitting Republican president to be removed from office, on an abuse of power charge? He might be able to earn my vote. He might be able to get this. Is it too late for him to toss his hat in the ring?
“President Mitt Romney.” With the hell our country has been through, and are going through, I could get with that. If nothing else, he showed the world yesterday that he has the balls to do the job.