So much that seemed impossible or totally irrational has come to fruition this year–so take that as a notice when thinking about what the rational side of me has to comment about the upcoming meeting between Donald Trump and Mitt Romney. But my gut tells me I am correct.
There is certainly a deceiving underhand to the media when Donald Trump puts out the names of a variety of people who are supposedly in play for a cabinet position. Following the truly concerning selection of Mike Flynn as National Security Advisor it is very important to the world community that a seasoned realist be appointed as Secretary of State.
The controversies and ethical baggage around Flynn are problematic. For starters, there are Flynn’s statements about Islam and Muslims. “Fear of Muslims is RATIONAL: please forward this to others: the truth fears no questions,” he tweeted back in February. Critics have argued that Flynn is too cozy to Russia, pointing to a trip to Moscow in which he spent time with Vladimir Putin, as well as a paid speaking engagement with state-run Russia Today. There are questions about his management style, given that he was fired as DIA director. And then there is last night’s report from Yahoo, which said he began receiving national security briefings last summer while still advising foreign clients
There are many nerves to be calmed not only in this country but in the major capitals of the world. Bombast and crazy talk is not the way the diplomatic community works so there is great hope riding on the Romney forces to rise to the moment this weekend.
But that is not the way I see events playing out, even though I would welcome Romney taking State.
I firmly think Trump is playing the country with the suggestion that Romney could be asked to be Secretary. It is nothing but a blatant attempt to use Romney. Let us not forget there is tremendous disdain for Romney from Trump, and an equal if not stronger amount of the same from Romney towards Trump. These are not just guys from the same political party who opposed each other, but real enemies who do not in any way share world views.
Romney will play the role of a world leader that he was aiming for when he sought the presidency by visiting Trump. But he will not stoop to kiss the ring of the racist and out-of-touch Trump. There is certainly a high-calling within Romney for being a public servant–that is without question even if one differs with his policy goals. But there is also an honorable side to Romney which would be severely undermined if he were to serve in an administration as strained from facts and morals as Trump’s surely will be.
I sense everyone knows the role they will play this weekend and all that is required now is the doorman to allow entrance to one of the actors who has too much class to do anything other than to show up.
This will leave the world still in a most nervous place. But that is our fate for the next four years.