Allahpundit gets it right in his lede:
David Drucker is right when he says that the “Never Trump” cacophony on social media is really a moral case against Trump much more so than a case against specific policies. Romney touches on policy differences here but the bottom line is that Trump is unacceptable in toto, not because he thinks tariffs are a good idea or that some sort of partnership with Putin would work out swell.
That is precisely the point, and has been for the past eight and a half months. The only consistent aspect of Donald Trump's rhetoric over his thirty years as a public figure is that he says and does whatever he needs to say and do to get what he wants at any given time. If that means sounding like a liberal Democrat when buying favors from liberal Democrats (a frequent occurrence in the Big Apple), that's what he does. If that means trying to sound like a conservative Republican when seeking the GOP presidential nomination, then he'll do that. But none of it is real. The fact that Trump is a bigger flip-flopper than Mitt Romney ever was, and has been all over the place in this very campaign, is prima facie evidence of it. What does it matter what policy his campaign introduces on this day or that when he can only be counted on to heave it overboard as soon as the political need of the moment presents itself? Consequently, if you're a Republican voter and ideas and philosophy and consistency - in other words, character - still matter to you, you cannot support Donald Trump. Period. Which is why I say that it is Trumplicans who have betrayed the GOP, not the "establishment," by falling for his con, and everything they used to stand for.
The reason you can tell that Trump is not a Republican but a New York liberal Democrat is that his attempt to sound like a conservative Republican far better resembles every caricature of the GOP the Left has ever fabricated. A TRUE conservative recognizes this. Which may be an indication (1) that the GOP always did have fewer conservatives than we thought it did, and (2) the conservatives in the party ARE the "establishment," and the "progressive infiltrators" are Trump and his followers, including a great many ex-conservaties and ex-Tea Partiers. A vindication of long-held suspicions on my part that I am NOT happy to have received.
What Governor Romney said this morning, in essence, is that Donald Trump is an amalgam of Bill Clinton (the womanizing and preternatural ability to fool and bamboozle and outright hypnotize gullible listeners into buying the most outrageous mendacities that they would never swallow coming from ANYBODY else) and Barack Obama (the cosmic narcissism, leftwing ideological instincts, and tendency to lie constantly). But thanks to that "progressive" infiltration that incited the GOP "civil war" against the (conservative) "establishment" to insane levels of irrational rage, Trumplicans don't see that for what it is, but as their having their own version of it to use against their enemies, the latter of which they no longer recognize as their having been assimilated into. Romney, to his credit, made it clear that he had no expectation that his speech would change any minds, but was simply going on the record and joining TRUE conservatives' last stand.
Welcome to the island I've been inhabiting since last June, Governor.
Trump's retort was to throw stones from his fabulous glass properties:
Most of Mitt Romney's blistering critique of Donald Trump was "talking points that were handed to him by his Wall Street buddies and donors," his national campaign spokeswoman, Katrina Pierson said Thursday afternoon.
....in defense of her New York "billionaire" boss.
And, there were times she wasn't sure just where the words were coming from.
"I wasn't sure if I was listening to a Republican or someone giving a speech at the DNC," she told CNN's Wolf Blitzer. "Never would I have ever imagined Republicans attacking capitalism, or saying 'you didn't build that' or pushing for social justice. I really find this to be an astounding moment in the Republican Party."
Romney didn't attack capitalism, or say "You didn't build that," or push for "social justice". But he did rip the man who, when provoked in the slightest, launches into pro-single-payer, pro-9/11 Truther, pro-amnesty, pro-Planned Parenthood diatribes, and keeps going through the entire Democrat platform if you keep poking him. This is how far through the looking glass we've fallen, folks.
On a related note, TRUE conservatives are furious that Trump is going to be speaking at TRUMPAC on Saturday. But given that he made an appearance at the former CPAC last year, I'm afraid that its organizers allowed that precedent to be set. See what happens when you don't keep the door locked and the security code changed on a regular schedule?
UPDATE: Sure, "Romney's a loser, who cares what he thinks?" etc. That's been Trump's line on Romney for quite some time. But Trump endorsed Romney four years ago, which evokes Obi-wan Kenobi's pearl of wisdom, with "loser" substituted for "fool" and "endorse" for "follows"....