Perhaps only a man of elastic convictions like
Romney's latest incarnation as a relative moderate is reminiscent of the other Mormon candidate in the Republican primaries,
Should he become president, though, he will have to contend with those in his party who operate with a different take on reality.
Interestingly, Broun is a member of the
Besides biblical literalists, Romney would have to contend with those both inside and outside of Congress who seem never to have seen a conspiracy theory they did not love.
These are people such as Jack Welch, the former boss at
Welch offered no proof, and people who actually know how the process works said it is pretty much impossible to twist the statistics one way or another, yet Welch's absurd contention got plenty of traction among conservatives who are predisposed to believe that President Obama is an illegitimate usurper who hates America and will do anything to retain power so he can continue his relentless drive toward socialism.
The weirdness in the Republican ranks gets even more stark at lower echelons of politics. The chairman of the Arkansas GOP recently had to rebuke two Republican legislative candidates for outrageous remarks. In a self-published book, one candidate, Rep. Jon Hubbard, argued that slavery was a "blessing in disguise" for African Americans. The other candidate, Charlie Fuqua, also authored a book. In it he said all Muslims should be expelled from the United States.
There is abundant evidence that at least half of those who call themselves Republicans believe things that are either far out of the American mainstream or are patently false (Obama is a Muslim, Obama was born in Kenya, Obama is conspiring to confiscate everyone's guns, etc.). The question is whether Romney will resist the loonies in his party should he become president, or whether he will go along with the crazier impulses of the right-wingers in Congress.
The answer to that depends on what Romney really believes and, given that he has been on all sides of most issues in his political career, it is nearly impossible to know what that may be.