The Mitt Romney nomination reminds me of the 1976 convention that nominated Gerald Ford. Back then, Ford’s fixers (Dick Cheney and James Baker III) did everything they could to eviscerate Governor Reagan’s supporters at the 1976 RNC – and then tried to “reunite” the GOP and try to recoup the Reagan supporters they had alienated, all to no avail.
It failed because it was sheer pretense, disingenuous on its face. Baker and his sidekick, David Gergen, hated conservatives as much as Ford hated Reagan. They hated especially the millions of “blue collar” Democrats who came to provide the backbone of the “social conservatives” that supplied Reagan’s winning margins in 1980 and 1984.
Ford was adamant and unrepentant about his loyalty to the Rockefeller-Bush establishment. He bragged in the 1990s that his proudest accomplishment was the appointment of Supreme Court Justice Stevens, who quickly became a left-wing stalwart on the court, to be joined there by George H.W. Bush appointee David Souter in 1990. Time after time, the GOP Hot-Tubbers have lied to traditional conservatives, gotten their votes, and then betrayed them.