John Nichols points out that George Romney walked out of the 1964 GOP convention when the party "went all-in for extremism" and rejected platform planks proposed by Romney that would have committed it to the struggle for racial justice. But his son Mitt, by contrast:
Unlike his father, Mitt Romney will make no effort to guide his party back toward the mainstream. The man who just a decade ago was identified as the brave new champion of the centrism, even liberalism, that his father once espoused will make no demand for moderation. There will be no stance on principle. No show of integrity.
It is that determination to make himself acceptable to the right that distinguishes Mitt Romney from his father. And it is what would distinguish a Romney-Ryan presidency, were the ticket to prevail in November.
Mitt Romney defers to the extremism that George Romney battled as a matter of principle. Where George Romney defended the heritage of a great American political party, Mitt Romney will this week "let the temporary glitter of expediency obscure the path which his integrity dictated he must follow."
I was raised on bible verses dinned into my head by Sunday School teachers and parents and grandparents. And pastors and schoolteachers who insisted that we memorize lines like this one from Psalm 36:
Surely every man walketh in a vain shew: surely they are disquieted in vain: he heapeth up riches, and knoweth not who shall gather them.
And then, later, lines like these from Shakespeare:
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor playerThat struts and frets his hour upon the stageAnd then is heard no more. It is a taleTold by an idiot, full of sound and furySignifying nothing.
And, oh! how those lines sometimes still ring in my head. Even now, in my dotage.