The Restoration That Wasn’t

So how many of you found yourselves wondering today what the inauguration of Willard Mitt Romney would have looked and felt like? Aside from the certainty that the crowd would have had a different, er, complexion, and the equal certainty that we’d see a lot of images and interviews of quite naturally excited LDS folk, a Romney inaugural would have been treated by the conservative media and perhaps much of the MSM as a restoration, a return to the Natural State of Things after the four turbulent years of the Obama administration. True, Washington’s social lions might have been a little unsure as to whether a tee-totalling Mormon would be a big improvement over the society-shunning Obamas with their insulting unwillingness to attend dinners and cocktail parties. But by and large, official Washington, for all the heavily Democratic voting habits of its actual citizens (and those of most of the nearby suburbs), tends to prefer Republican regimes (or at least those before and after JFK’s) as orderly and appropriately upscale.

What I most wonder about is how far the organizers of, and the principal figure in, a Romney inauguration would have gone to tame the vengeful hordes of Tea Folk, in person and via the available media, who would have viewed the ejection from office of the hated Obama as a world-historical event and a first step towards a more thorough-going Restoration of the pre-New Deal Republic. Mitt himself would have had to do something in his inaugural address to redeem his endlessly repeated promise to “repeal Obamacare on my first day in office.” Would he have signed an executive order crippling implementation of the Affordable Care Act before, after, or indeed even during his speech (maybe with a tart word to the Chief Justice immediately after the ceremonial swearing-in)? And would he have boldly promised “the 47%” freedom from their wretched dependence on the federal government?

It’s interesting to speculate, but not for that long. Romney has already been thoroughly forgotten by his own party, so let’s leave him to his hard-earned privacy.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.