Mitt Romney is the definition of bitter.
Still reeling that Donald Trump is president and not him — after several failed attempts at the Oval Office — Utah's freshman senator didn't even wait to get sworn in to the new 116th U.S. Congress this week before taking a holier-than-thou swipe at his party's standard-bearer.
In a self-righteous op-ed published in the left-leaning Washington Post — the same publication that once skewered him for strapping a carrier containing his Irish setter to the roof of the family car for a 12-hour road trip — Romney lectured the leader of the Free World about integrity.
In fact, the same Democrats and media who widely mocked and criticized the former Bain Capital executive when he ran against Barack Obama in 2012 — calling him an animal abuser and a vulture capitalist, as well as accusing him of being anti-immigrant and anti-women, with his clumsy "binders full of women" gaffe — are now lavishing praise on the mega-wealthy Mormon for insulting the president.
In his head-scratching hit piece, Utah's junior U.S. senator said Trump's behavior is "evidence that the president has not risen to the mantle of the office" while itemizing a litany of destructive actions he considers unbecoming of an occupant of the Oval Office.
What President Trump's millions of supporters know is that in some respects, Mitt Romney is right; the president has destroyed some things the past two years in office.
For example, the Islamic State's deadly caliphate, which, under former President Obama, expanded dramatically not only in Iraq and Syria but also globally, executing and inspiring a series of horrific attacks in France, Belgium, Australia, Africa and beyond — including the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, the worst terror attack against the gay community in U.S. history. Omar Mateen, who pledged allegiance to the Islamic State prior to the rampage, slaughtered 49 Americans and injured dozens more who were out enjoying life on a summer night in June 2016.
Before that, we saw the attack at the Boston Marathon, the massacre in San Bernardino and other attacks by Islamic radicals on our soil. Then the current commander in chief led the U.S. military in destroying 95 percent of the Islamic State's caliphate. Today Islamic State militants occupy less than 3 percent of Iraq and 5 percent of Syria. So Trump's leadership has liberated approximately 8 million Muslims who were controlled and oppressed by the savage regime.
Trump has also destroyed the high unemployment rate for all Americans, including women and minorities. Under Obama, the unemployment rate reached 10 percent. Today it's less than 4 percent. The president has also destroyed job-crushing regulations, bad trade agreements and the disastrous Iranian nuclear deal, which gave the world's leading sponsor of terrorism $150 billion in exchange for a false sense of security when it came to curtailing its clandestine nuclear weapons proliferation.
The U.S. economy has also thrived under Trump's leadership, with the creation of over 4 million jobs providing hope and opportunity to countless Americans, many of whom struggled to make ends meet during past administrations.
What Romney fails to realize is that if a few bad tweets or unseemly sound bites from the president are the price we must pay for all of the above — plus historic prison reform, rebuilding the military and other policies benefiting our nation — the overwhelming majority of Republicans would say it's worth it. In fact, Trump's overall approval rating is in line with those of past presidents who were re-elected, including Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton and Obama at similar points in their presidencies.
All the more reason politicians should be building bridges to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., not destroying them.
Adriana Cohen is a syndicated columnist with the Boston Herald. Follow her on Twitter @AdrianaCohen16. To find out more about Adriana Cohen and read her past columns, please visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.