Mitt Romney has announced that he will leave the Senate. And he’ll be taking one of the few vestiges of GOP norms with him. I may not share many policy opinions with Mitt Romney, but these days I’m a single issue voter, and that single issue is democracy. On his way out, Mitt has some thoughts that he shared with The Atlantic’s always excellent McKay Coppins. What Mitt Romney Saw in the Senate. On what his colleagues really think of Trump: “Perhaps Romney’s most surprising discovery upon entering the Senate was that his disgust with Trump was not unique among his Republican colleagues. ‘Almost without exception,’ he told me, ‘they shared my view of the president.’ In public, of course, they played their parts as Trump loyalists, often contorting themselves rhetorically to defend the president’s most indefensible behavior. But in private, they ridiculed his ignorance, rolled their eyes at his antics, and made incisive observations about his warped, toddler­like psyche.” On his concerns about violence (and its instigator) in the days leading up to Jan 6: “McConnell has been indulgent of Trump’s deranged behavior over the past four years, but he’s not crazy. He knows that the election wasn’t stolen, that his guy lost fair and square. He sees the posturing by Republican politicians for what it is. He’ll want to know about this, Romney thinks. He’ll want to protect his colleagues, and himself. Romney sends his text: ‘In case you have not heard this, I just got a call from Angus King, who said that he had spoken with a senior official at the Pentagon who reports that they are seeing very disturbing social media traffic regarding the protests planned on the 6th. There are calls to burn down your home, Mitch; to smuggle guns into DC, and to storm the Capitol. I hope that sufficient security plans are in place, but I am concerned that the instigator—the President—is the one who commands the reinforcements the DC and Capitol police might require.’ McConnell never responds.”

+ From Me: Take a moment an recall (and share) one of Romney’s most honorable moments, when he stood and declared, “I’m Spartacus!” And his colleagues nodded in his direction and said, “Yup, that’s Spartacus, alright.”