296455527_677faeaf33_m.jpgNooner, who’s apparently been in a coma for the past 30 years, is shocked, shocked! to find that the GOP’s base is a bunch of flat-earther homophobic religious bigots.

Did Mitt Romney have to give a speech on religion? Yes. When you’re in a race so close you could lose due to one issue, your Mormonism, you must address the issue of your Mormonism. The only question was timing: now, in the primaries, or later, as the nominee? But could he get to the general without The Speech? Apparently he judged not.

And why would that be?

His problem, a Romney aide told me, had more to do with a particular fundamentalist strain within evangelical Protestantism.

You don’t say! Goodness, who let them in? Ronald Reagan would never associate with such people!

Anyway, Nooner. How’d Willard do? Did he win ‘em over?

There was one significant mistake in the speech. I do not know why Romney did not include nonbelievers in his moving portrait of the great American family. We were founded by believing Christians, but soon enough Jeremiah Johnson, and the old proud agnostic mountain men, and the village atheist, and the Brahmin doubter, were there, and they too are part of us, part of this wonderful thing we have. Why did Mr. Romney not do the obvious thing and include them? My guess: It would have been reported, and some idiots would have seen it and been offended that this Romney character likes to laud atheists. And he would have lost the idiot vote.

My feeling is we’ve bowed too far to the idiots.

If by "we" you mean "the Republican Party" — then yes, Nooner, you have.

And some of us have been saying this for a hell of a long time.