You know things are grim when conservatives are begging for the return of Mitt Romney and Tim Pawlenty.
Back in late 2012, Romney had just taken the business end of a nationwide election drubbing, losing to Barack Obama by about five million votes. And Pawlenty? He was the guy who'd gotten crushed by Romney.
Leaders in Republican polls that election cycle included Rick Perry, Herman Cain, Michele Bachmann, and ... Donald Trump, among other ostensible primates.
The last and certainly least of those options has somehow become president, and Republicans are rueing the day they spurned predictable stiffs in starched suits.
Yesterday a Democrat won a rural Wisconsin congressional seat that had been red since 2000. A transgender activist stole a Virginia legislative seat that belonged to the same creep for a quarter-century. Alabama has a U.S. senator who got famous prosecuting a hate crime.
Keep these turnabouts in mind while watching this clip of T-Paw talking up ol' "Baseball Glove" Romney, potential candidate for U.S. Senate in Utah, where he has decided he's from now.
"Well I hope he does run," Pawlenty says. "He'd be a spectacularly good senator, he'd have an immediate impact in the United States Senate, and of course I think the people of Utah, and the Republican Party there, would embrace him."
...thus marking the first time in recorded history anyone has used "spectacular" in reference to Mitt Romney, "impact" in reference to the U.S. Senate, and "embrace" in reference to Utah Republicans.
Then host Neil Cavuto turned the question on his interview subject.
"You know, a lot of people are looking at what's going on now, governor, and saying, y'know, uh, you should run, for the Senate. A lot of big names are passing up such an opportunity, but that, in your state, they could use you. What do you say?"
Here's what he says:
"Well Neil, I am very interested in public service, and service for the common good. There are a lot of different ways to do that, but I'll tell you today that running for the United States Senate in 2018 won't be part of those plans."
There are, indeed, "a lot of different ways to do" public service. Volunteering with the elderly and the sick, for example. Protesting injustice. Feeding the hungry.
Here's the one Tim Pawlenty picked:
Of course. By "common good," Tim meant "bankers," and by "public service," he meant making seven figures ($2.6 million in 2015, per IRS documents) to ask if they can please have some tax cuts and fewer regulations.
Because --- shhh, no one tell Karin Housley; let's not spoil the surprise -- Pawlenty's right, this is going to be a "tough race" for a Republican, and there are a "variety of ways to serve."
And a variety of masters. He's picked his.