The Republican liberals -- Govs. Rockefeller, George Romney and William Scranton -- to the cheers of the Washington press, began to attack Goldwater for "extremism" and failing to vote for the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
At the Cow Palace convention, liberals demanded Goldwater rewrite the platform to equate The John Birch Society with the Communist Party USA and the Ku Klux Klan, which had murdered four black girls at a Birmingham church in 1963 and three civil rights workers in Neshoba County, Miss., that same summer.
Goldwater rejected this stinking outrage, declaring, "Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice." And, so, the liberals all abandoned him.
One man stood by Goldwater. The two-time loser Richard Nixon, who had not won a race in his own right since 1950, campaigned for Goldwater and the party longer and harder than Barry himself.
And what became of them all?
Bill Scranton packed it in 1966. George Romney was trounced in 1968 by Nixon, with Goldwater's legions at his side, in New Hampshire, and quit the race two weeks before the returns came in.
Rockefeller, who had spent a career calling Nixon a "loser," lacked what it took to challenge Nixon in any of the contested primaries.
And, lest we forget, one other national Republican spoke up for Goldwater and conservatism in that 1964 humiliation, the retired Hollywood actor and impresario of GE Theater: Ronald Reagan.
Nixon and Reagan would go on to win four of the next five GOP nominations and presidential elections. In the one convention Reagan lost, 1976, the right, as the price of its support of Gerald R. Ford, demanded that Nelson Rockefeller be dumped as vice president.
Done. Rocky was last seen flipping a middle finger to the delegates happily marking "paid" on his account.
Prediction: The people who fought the battle of Obamacare will be proven right to have fought it, and America will come to see this.
And the people who said, "We can't win!" will never win.
America is at a turning point.
If she does not stop squandering hundreds of billions on liberal agenda items like Obamacare and if she do not end these trade deficits sucking the jobs, factories and investment capital out of our country, we will find ourselves beside Greece, Spain, Illinois and Detroit.
Even if America disagrees, as in 1964 when it embraced LBJ's Great Society plunge to social and economic disaster, Republicans need to stand up -- current polls and corporate Republicans be damned.
If the right is right, time will prove it, as it did long ago.