Photo: Getty

Leaders like Bob Corker, Jeff Flake, and Paul Ryan are retiring, and John McCain is in poor health—meaning there will soon be a void in Congress where all those establishment GOP figures shaking their fists at Donald Trump as they deal out his agenda used to stand. Luckily for the party, Mitt Romney, who you may remember from the Mitt Romney dog incident, is ready to step up.

Over the weekend, Politico reported that Romney, who is running for Senate in Utah with Trump’s backing, “intends to make a splash” when he (very likey) arrives at Capitol Hill. Apparently, his “preliminary planning has led to mounting expectations among allies that he’ll try to be a counterweight to the president—at least occasionally—and to fill a gaping vacuum in mainstream GOP leadership.” And at a donor gathering on Thursday night, Romney bravely implied criticism of Trump, without actually mentioning his name, rattling off standard establishment conservative warnings against threats like Russia, China, and the deficit.

Scott Keller, a real estate executive and Romney donor, told Politico that he sees Romney as “the face of the Republican Party” and that he expects him “to fill in for the folks that are leaving.”

May I present Romney, 71-year-old multimillionaire, failed presidential candidate, and the future face of the Republican Party:

Photo: Getty

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There is no doubt that Romney will be as useless of a “counterweight” to Trump as his predecessors, given that we’ve already seen him cozy up like a lap dog at the slightest sign that the president might consider him for secretary of state.

It’s establishment figures like Romney who paved the way for Trump in the first place—let’s not forget that during his 2012 presidential run, Romney said that undocumented immigrants should “self-deport,” a stance he reiterated himself on the campaign trail this spring, saying, “I’m also more of a hawk on immigration than even the president. My view was these DACA kids shouldn’t all be allowed to stay in the country legally.”

Romney might appear to want to resuscitate the soul of the Republican Party’s establishment wing. But he’s just doing what he’s always done: Throwing sanctimonious lip service at whatever will get him a bit more power.