Utahns and anyone else who is conservative should not be surprised that Sen. Mitt Romney (R. Utah) didn’t vote along party lines in the $1.7 trillion spending bill/omnibus. He did vote along party lines but not with the party to which he was affiliated. Romney explained his reasoning on Twitter:
My thoughts on the government funding bill ↓ pic.twitter.com/yhDE2Eku0i
— Senator Mitt Romney (@SenatorRomney) December 22, 2022
If you couldn’t stand a political version of a time-share pitch, let me summarize it for you:
- It would cost less to pass it this year than next.
- Republicans aren’t organized enough to get a speaker together, let alone budgets.
- They need Senate Democrats to pass a budget, anyway.
- Sure, $1.7 trillion sounds like a lot of money, but it only makes up 1/3 of government spending. The other 2/3, which include social security, entitlements Medicare, and Medicaid, are the real culprits when it comes to debt.
- The Electoral Count Act will stop attempts to overturn elections.
- The bill has some good things in it.
- Utah gets some money out of it.
The Law of Averages would indicate that there are indeed some good things in many bills that make them easier to pass. But mixed in with those “good things” is a plethora of awful things. That, of course, is the price Americans pay to pass a 4,000+ page bill full of items that Congress should have been working on all year long.
Did you see the jab at Republicans? Republicans cannot pick a speaker so they can’t make a budget. Sir, it’s not like all Republicans want to rush a bill through to get political favors or to gain points on Sunday morning talk shows. It is not meant to be difficult for a republic to work. Mitt, for crying out loud, why don’t we just caucus already with the Democrats?
Romney stated that if he decided to run again, he would win re-election, even though he isn’t sure if he will change his hairstyle. It’s not as unlikely as you might think.
It’s true, despite what uninformed pundits or news outlets might tell you, Romney isn’t popular with Republicans in Utah. The term “Romney”, which is a synonym for “flip” or “fetch” in Mormon swear words, is fast on its way to replacing those two. His chances of making it through a convention are slim. He didn’t bother to go to the GOP state convention. However, Utah’s convention/caucus system is endangered.
In the beginning, candidates had to stand for their seats. This meant that candidates had to meet with elected delegates in groups or one-on-one to present a pitch and win the nod. The caucus/convention system is long under attack. Utah allows people to collect the required number of signatures in order to be on the ballot. Mike Lee won the convention but his left-leaning opponent had enough signatures for him to be in the primary. Her supporters did everything they could to subvert the convention process and get her the nomination.
Keep in mind, however, that Mike Lee won his re-election bid. Evan McMullin, aided by Democrat money as well as a sympathetic press, gave him a run for the money. Utah is no longer the conservative bastion it once was, especially in the area of media. Take this headline from Deseret News: Utahns call for Sen. Romney’s protection of Dreamers. If you click the link, you will see that there were about 19 protesters at the event. The headline would suggest that thousands of Utahns support DACA. Most people don’t bother to look below the headline.
It is logical that Romney votes with the donkeys and leans to the right. He bets on Democrats staying in power for the near future. He also believes that Utah will continue to drift blue and that he might be able to ride the fence to victory. He just might.