If you’re a Republican and were of voting age in 2012, you probably voted for Mitt Romney for president. Romney had a competently organized campaign. He released his tax returns and announced a list of 24 foreign policy advisors, 17 of whom had served in the Bush-Cheney administration. He announced policy committees for economics, justice, labor, veterans, trade, law, urban and health, and picked multiple co-chairs for each, all well-respected experts.
If you were a Democrat in 2012, to vote for Romney you would have had to vote against the reelection of President Barack Obama, a tough vote to justify — but some Democrats did so, as Romney was a super-qualified candidate with a distinguished career.
This week, Sen. Romney displayed both his moral character and loyalty to his sworn pledge to defend the Constitution:
“So the verdict is ours to render under our Constitution. The people will judge us for how well and faithfully we fulfill our duty. The grave question the Constitution tasked senators to answer is whether the president committed an act so extreme and egregious that it rises to the level of a high crime and misdemeanor. Yes, he did.
“The president asked a foreign government to investigate his political rival. The president withheld vital military funds from that government to press it to do so. The president delayed funds for an American ally at war with Russian invaders. The president’s purpose was personal and political. Accordingly, the president is guilty of an appalling abuse of public trust.”
The reward for Romney’s conscientious decision is the overt vitriolic enmity of some in his own party, led by the president he voted to convict. Of course, many Senate Republicans would have voted to convict had the ballot been secret and they would not then be exposed to the consequences — as evidenced by the treatment of Mitt Romney.
What would you have done? If you are a Republican who believes Mitt Romney got it right, you should have trouble supporting Lee Zeldin, Trump’s knee-jerk supporter in the House. Perhaps, it is blind ambition on Lee’s part. Maybe he is just a true believer and only playing to Trump’s popular appeal among the majority of Republicans in our congressional district. That’s his choice to make.
But if you are a Republican in our district who believes the president went too far in seeking foreign interference in our 2020 election — if you are concerned about presidential overreach — you will want to rethink your support of Lee Zeldin in November.
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One fine body…