There are a lot of people out there who believe that Mitt Romney is basically a decent person with dignity and decency and everything, and that he just doesn’t think that elections ought to be taken seriously. It’s hard to reconcile a concept of Romney with dignity to this:

With just over a week to go before the Michigan primary, ABC News reports Mitt Romney “is enlisting the help of one of his highest-wattage surrogates: Donald Trump.”

“The real estate mogul is preparing to spread his pro-Romney, anti-Rick Santorum message in a series of radio interviews this week on local stations from Traverse City to Detroit.”

Is this going to convince anyone to vote Romney? Probably not. Nobody’s ever pegged the Donald as having the common touch, and aside from his ongoing birther fixation there’s little there for working-class white conservatives to have much of an interest in there. It would be one thing if Romney were trying to steal the New York, New Jersey, or Connecticut primaries away from Santorum, but Trump has no connection to Michigan or Ohio, he’s just the guy who says “You’re fired!” on the TV to everyone not in the Tri-State Area. Hard to see how he helps Romney, and it could even backfire by making him less credible with elites.

Does this reek of desperation? Of course, but Romney’s been wearing that scent so long it might as well be his cologne. And I do think there’s a fascinating angle here. Back when Romney was the unchallenged frontrunner, he declined an invitation to participate in a debate hosted by…Donald Trump, basically saying it was beneath him. Both Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum agreed to participate. But, now that pretty much everyone in America has turned on poor old Mittens, he’s decided that acknowledging the unbearable orangeness of being is now hardly beneath his dignity, and failed alternative football league founder Trump is now cheerleading for the candidate who publicly snubbed him, against one of the two guys who never did, and who additionally is the one whose style he most resembles. How confusing.

What can we conclude from all this? I think (1) that Donald Trump has no memory and is making it all up as he goes along, and (2) that while I do agree that Romney is probably not a horrible person deep down, the depth of his tragic flaw (i.e. an insatiable desire for power) is practically Shakespearean, and the few scruples that he still has today will probably be out the door in a few months if things get desperate enough. He’s like Francis Urquhart without the wit and humor.

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