In the long lull before the Republican National Convention in
The usual centerpieces of the event are the selection of the presidential nominee and the choice of a running mate; however, the first piece is already clear, and the second may well be known before the delegates gather. In any event, Mitt Romney being certifiably cautious, there seems little chance he will drop a firecracker of the sort
So the other opportunity to excite and inspire the party and the watching public may be the array of speakers chosen to peddle Mr. Romney, a trying task so far, and also to sell the
Who will be served up from the failed crop of 2012?
Mr. McCain accused the Minnesota congresswoman of making "unwarranted and unfounded" accusations, and House Majority Leader
There was a time when the Republican tent covered a fair range of diverse personalities preaching variations of how to do the country's business. It ranged from conservative true believers like Bob Taft and Barry Goldwater to liberal icons Jacob Javits and Nelson Rockefeller. In between also were acceptable straddlers like
In those days, the party was able to field a broad team of speakers that as a group might have something to say to everybody, and the very presence of the two wings worked to cast a reasonable tone over its conventions.
In 1964 in San Francisco, when Goldwater lashed out at Rockefeller with his memorable declaration that "extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice" and "moderation in the defense of justice is no virtue," howls of protest were heard far and wide. Many good Republicans ran for cover and Goldwater was buried in November.
In 1992, ultraconservative
But in both years and others in the past, the Republican Party always had enough voices of accommodation — like Mr. Dole, Howard Baker and others — to appeal to moderates and some Democrats, as Reagan demonstrated. As a group, they were able to offer a less doctrinaire posture than the current party core, which is weighted heavily to the right, represents today.
With the convention hall expected to seat a fair share of