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E.J. Dionne, Jr.: GOP Ghosts in Tampa – Truthdig.

In 1964, George Romney, then the governor of Michigan, walked out of the Republican National Convention during Barry Goldwater’s acceptance speech. He was protesting his party’s sharp turn rightward and its weak platform plank on civil rights.

This week, 48 years on, Mitt Romney is set to achieve what his father never could. But this great family triumph will not represent a vindication of his father’s principles. Mitt Romney reached the summit not by battling the GOP’s staunchest conservatives but by accommodating them. Nothing better captures the absolute victory of the forces of Goldwaterism than a Romney triumph on the basis of Goldwater’s ideas.

There will certainly be no speeches akin to the one offered by Nelson Rockefeller, the champion of liberal Republicanism. He was booed and hissed by the Goldwater legions who dominated the 1964 gathering.

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