David French writes that ‘the Mitt Romney martyr theory suffers from a fatal defect’; Republicans were already radicalized – twitchy.com

Once we found out that The Dispatch’s David French disapproved of Twitchy’s “Trumpist” posts, this editor said he was going to make all of his French posts VIP posts so that The Dispatch would have to cough up for a VIP membership to be offended. We’re giving out this one for free, though … happy Sweetest Day.

You’ll be shocked to learn French’s latest for The Atlantic is about Donald Trump, and how there’s only one group to blame for how Republicans flocked to him.

Here, French lays out the Mitt Romney martyr thesis:

Ever since Donald Trump won the Republican nomination for president in 2016, an industry of rationalization and justification has thrived. The theme is clear: Look what you made us do. The argument is simple: Democratic unfairness and media bias radicalized Republicans to such an extent that they turned to Trump in understandable outrage. Republicans had been bullied, so they turned to a bully of their own.

No aspect of that theory has been more enduring than what I’ll call the Mitt Romney martyr thesis. The Republicans nominated a good and decent man—so the argument goes—and the Democrats and the media savaged him. Republicans respected norms, Democrats did not, and now those same Democrats have the gall to savage the GOP for Trump?

French related how he, along with his wife, formed a group called “Evangelicals for Mitt.” But the GOP was already radicalized:

The Mitt Romney martyr theory thus suffers from a fatal defect. It presumes that large numbers of Republicans weren’t radicalized before Romney’s rough treatment. In truth, they already hated Democrats and the media, and when Romney lost, their message to the Republican establishment in 2016 was just as clear as it was in South Carolina in 2012. No more nice guys. The “character” that mattered was a commitment to punching the left right in the mouth.


Endorsing Evan McMullin is what you get with “nice” Mitt Romney.

The media’s already trying to convince us that Ron DeSantis is worse than Trump, who was worse than George W. Bush, who was a war criminal who was ticketed for drunk driving once. His alternative to DeSantis in 2024? Mike Pence.


Editor’s Note:


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