Mittstorm

By Bill Maher

Mitt Romney recently held a meeting of sorts in Park City Utah – an “ideas summit” or a “donor gathering” or something. Suffice to say the fact that it doesn’t really have a name points to the kind of faceless, bland branding expertise that helped Mitt roll to a resounding loss in 2012.

The national press has decided that the event is a sign that Mitt might run in 2016. Because that’s the only story that the press knows how to write about politics. [“Somebody is talking in front of camera! Does this mean he’s running for president!?”]

But there really is something going on here. The guest list and focus indicates that there’s a serious movement amongst housebroken Republicans to see if they can take their party back. Of course, these are the guys who don’t phrase things in revolutionary terms. They’re the boring Republicans, your father’s Republicans. They don’t rock the boat; they steer it.

On hand were all the guys who distinguish themselves from the Teabaggers by thinking about actual reality. And by wearing shirts with buttons. Guys like Chris Christie and Paul Ryan and Rand Paul, guys who are wrong about a lot of things but are also reasonable. And they’re aware of the suicidal course their party is on. Here’s Rand Paul:

“Our base is not big enough to win national elections and we have to reach out to new people, and that means African Americans, Hispanics, young people, single women.”

Ya think? This is echoed by the slow but perceptible rise of what is being called “reform conservatism.” The basic idea is for conservatives to accept that there are structural problems in our society – like wage stagnation and widening inequality – that cannot be fixed merely by cutting taxes [Gasp!]. And that our world and our economy might not be the same as it was during the time of Ronald Reagan [Double gasp!].

It’s going to take some time. We are talking about Republicans here. But if they do succeed in expelling the Cliven Bundy wing of the party, it’ll be worth it, even it means having to listen to Mitt Romney talk.