Radical right threatens to blow Mitt Romney off course as Republicans gather in Tampa
Some of them believe Barack Obama was born in Kenya. Others want to force raped women who become pregnant to have their child. There are those who vilify Obama as a socialist and want to do away with most of the federal government. A fair few doubt the theory of evolution or hold that gays can be "cured".
As Mitt Romney arrives at the Republican national convention in Tampa, Florida, where he will be
nominated to run for president, he faces the difficult task of dealing with a party base that has become one of the most radical in recent American history.
Convulsed by the rise of the anti-government Tea Party and dominated by socially conservative Christians, the Republican party has continued to move right in recent years. That means the carefully laid plans for a Tampa convention aimed at introducing a voter-friendly version of Romney could easily be upset by the party's more extreme elements.
"They don't want anyone to look behind the curtain," said Professor Shaun Bowler, a political scientist at the University of California, Riverside. "You want the party base to turn up, give money and keep quiet. But it is hard to keep them quiet." However, the curtain has already been lifted to some degree.
Read it at The Guardian: