Is it possible that the onetime curse of the Democrats — anyone liberal enough to get nominated had trouble getting elected — has been transferred to the Republicans?

This recent post by Kos at DailyKos, based on a New York Times story, suggests so.  Mitt Romney favored gay rights when he ran against Teddy Kennedy for the U.S. Senate from Massachusetts in 1994.  “We must make equality for gays and lesbians a mainstream concern,” he wrote to the Log Cabin Club.  “My opponent cannot do this. I can and will.”  Now, as governor and wannabe president, he’s backtracking furiously, but the Family Research Council isn’t into forgiveness.  (More on his troubles from Ryan Lizza here, free registration required.)

“The modern Republican Party,” Kos concludes, “is no place for those who don’t want to employ the politics of hate.”  If Romney’s toast, then surely anyone right-wing enough to win the Republican presidential nomination is likely to be too extreme to beat a competent Democrat. (If Romney gets nominated anyway, Judy Baar Topinka can tell him how much the gay haters will help him in the general election.)

Eventually the right wing will grow out of homobigotry — just as the Republican ascendancy that started with George Wallace’s racist 1968 campaign outgrew overt racism.  Today an administration so far right it wants to undo large parts of the Constitution has black and Latino cabinet secretaries participating in the undoing.  No doubt in 2056 some of President Jenna’s close advisers on the Iraqi crisis will be openly gay.

Or am I too optimistic?