I’d love to see a debate between Romney version 2.0 and Romney version 4.0.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has joined Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann and former Sen. Pennsylvania Rick Santorum in signing a [National Organization for Marriage] pledge to oppose same-sex marriage on a number of specific fronts. […]

Romney, Bachmann and Santorum signed on to support a federal constitutional amendment defining marriage, to appoint federal judges who don’t see a constitutional right to same-sex marriage and to back the Defense of Marriage Act.

I’ve lost count of the various right-wing interest groups demanding signed pledges, but as near as I can tell, Romney has endorsed nearly all of them.

Despite being a frontrunner, Romney just doesn’t feel nearly confident enough to steer clear of clownish anti-gay pledges like these, even when most of the other candidates haven’t bothered to sign them. Indeed, look at the company the former Massachusetts governor is keeping: Bachmann and Santorum? That’s the wing of the party Romney is comfortable with?

This from a guy who was generally supportive of gay rights during his only tenure in public office?

Some months back, Joe Klein noted, “This is my 10th presidential campaign, Lord help me. I have never before seen such a bunch of vile, desperate-to-please, shameless, embarrassing losers coagulated under a single party’s banner.” Specifically referencing the former governor, Klein added, “Mitt Romney has wandered a long way from courage.”

That was in March. Romney seems to be getting worse.

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Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.