My favorite moment from Mitt Romney’s effort Thursday to deter Republicans from nominating Donald Trump was when he warned against making “improvident” choices.
You can go a long time between hearing the word “improvident” thrown around like a grenade, so in case you’re wondering, my online dictionary defines it as “not provident; lacking foresight; incautious; unwary.”
Ouch. Trump wasn’t about to take any of that improvident smack. A couple of hours later, as the world awaited Trump’s riposte, The Donald parried and thrust, thus: He said he has made a lot more money than Romney, who was only a hundred-millionaire; that Romney was a loser (he’s got a point there in terms of the outcome of the 2012 election) and a “choke artist,” since there was no way any real man could’ve lost to Barack Obama.
Trump didn’t engage directly on the issue of providence.
During the year of The Donald, things keep happening that have never happened before. On the one hand, I don’t recall any instance of the party’s last nominee joining publicly into a movement to stop the party’s front-runner in the middle of the contest for the nomination. So there’s that.
And then, too, in the old days, the party’s last previous presidential nominee was some kind of semi-titular leader of the party and expected to be treated with respect, notwithstanding a laughably small net worth. On the third hand, Romney started the exchange and Trump is famous for treating others with respect until they disrespect him first, and then hitting back with savage improvidence.
I’m pretty committed to not pretending I understand what is going on here. But if Romney, or whoever has been urging him to make public his feelings about Trump, thinks today’s Romneyan peroration (a long speech characterized by lofty and often pompous language) is going to take the air out of the Trump bandwagon, I fear they may be chagrined.