Heart-ache: Romney's great-great-grandfather had 12 wives

Guess which news agency this came from.

One of our closest allies is two generations removed from Nazism, yet somehow it’s a scoop what Romney’s ancestors were doing 150 years ago vis-a-vis a practice his church no longer sanctions.

While Mitt Romney condemns polygamy and its prior practice by his Mormon church, the Republican presidential candidate’s great-grandfather had five wives and at least one of his great-great grandfathers had 12.

Polygamy was not just a historical footnote, but a prominent element in the family tree of the former Massachusetts governor now seeking to become the first Mormon president.

Romney’s great-grandmother, Hannah Hood Hill, was the daughter of polygamists. She wrote vividly in her autobiography about how she “used to walk the floor and shed tears of sorrow” over her own husband’s multiple marriages.

It goes on — for thirty-four paragraphs. And the only bit of it worth reading is his wife’s one-liner about McCain and Giuliani.

Wondering why they’re making such a big deal of it? Barnett isn’t:

To start with the obvious, Mitt Romney is the most conservative candidate in the field who has, at present, a chance of winning. The press doesn’t like conservatives, or at the very least, is more hostile to conservatives than it is to liberals. The press sees everything regarding a conservative in the worst possible light; liberals are more likely to get the benefit of the doubt…

The press has come to expect Republicans to fit certain molds. They are supposed to be inarticulate and not quick on their feet. The press has stereotyped every Republican presidential nominee since Ford in this way. They are also supposed to be intellectually unimaginative or downright unintelligent. Again, every Republican presidential nominee since Ford has had to live with this label. They are further required to be creatures of politics who have accomplished nothing or next to nothing outside of the political world. Lastly, all Republicans ought to have a bit of Elmer Gantry in them. They should preach about morality and piety, but they should always be obliging enough to have at least a few skeletons jangling in their closet.

Mitt Romney fails to live up to any of these stereotypes.