Posted May 7, 2012on:
If we were to say you had the courage of your convictions I guess we could applaud that. But the fact is, I’m wondering if you have any convictions to be courageous about!
You probably know that after Willard, for all intents and purposes, secured the Republican nomination for President, he appointed Richard Grenell to be a spokesman for his campaign, especially in the area of foreign policy. Grenell is known in the Republican world, having worked for several Republican officials: New York Governor George Pataki, San Diego Mayor Susan Golding, Michigan Rep. Dave Camp, and South Carolina then-Rep. Mark Sanford before he was elected governor. He also worked under Dubya as Director of Communications and Public Diplomacy for the United States Permanent Representative to the United Nations. And kudos to Mittens for appointing him because Grenell is an out, gay individual.
However, this did not sit well with some of the ahem, more “religious” supporters of the Grand Old Party. Soon after his appointment was announced, the “religious right” started screaming and throwing tantrums. The ever-popular Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council fretted that Grenell:
“… would lobby” in favor of the pro-LGBT rights stance of President Obama’s Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
Gary Bauer (remember him? The 3 time loser in presidential races?) threw in his two cents worth:
Gary Bauer, in his daily email to Campaign for Working Families members, called the hire an “unforced error” and a “disappointment.” Bauer said he is not upset that Grenell is gay but is angry that he wants to marry his longtime partner, claiming that it would only be acceptable if Grenell would oppose his own right to marry
Okay, Gary. Only if you promise not to reproduce.
Apparently though, the one who stirred the most shit was Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association. AFA is, I think, at the top of the heap when it comes to Republican bat-shit crazy “Christian” organizations. The AFA is headquartered in Tupelo Mississippi and I guess that adds a certain amount to the bat-shitery component. It’s also the birthplace of Elvis Presley, but Elvis has indeed left the building! Here is what they say about themselves:
Today, AFA is one of the largest and most effective pro-family organizations in the country with over two million online supporters and approximately 180,000 paid subscribers to the AFA Journal, the ministry’s monthly magazine. In addition, AFA owns and operates nearly 200 radio stations across the country under the American Family Radio (AFR) banner.
Other divisions of AFA include OneNewsNow.com, an online news provider that is syndicated around the world. AFA maintains activist web sites such as OneMillionMoms.com and OneMillionDads.com that rally Christian activists to contact companies asking them to drop their advertising from objectionable TV shows. AFA web sites average over 40 million hits and five million visitors each month.
AFA uses all these means to communicate an outspoken, resolute, Christian voice throughout America.
Bryan Fischer has a blog on the AFA site and quickly took Mittens on and fired the first salvo:
Gov. Mitt Romney stepped on a landmine by appointing Richard Grenell, an out, loud and proud homosexual, to be his spokesman on national security and foreign policy issues. Grenell has for years been an outspoken advocate for homosexual marriage. In fact, word is that he left the Bush administration because President Bush would not formally acknowledge his homosexual partner. [Ed. note: I saw nothing about this in checking Grenell]
Since, as the saying goes in D.C., personnel is policy, this means Gov. Romney has some ‘splaining to do. This clearly is a deliberate and intentional act on his part, since he was well aware of Mr. Grenell’s sexual proclivities and knew it would be problematic for social conservatives. It’s certainly not possible that there are no other potential spokesmen available, men who are experts in foreign policy and who at the same time honor the institution of natural marriage in their personal lives.
So this has all the appearances of a deliberate poke in the eye to the pro-family community, and a clumsy one at that, coming right on the heels of endorsements from Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention, Robert Jeffress of First Baptist Dallas and the National Organization for Marriage, and right after the governor accepted an invitation to deliver the commencement address at Liberty University.
Ah yes, Liberty University. That bastion of higher education founded by the Rev. Jerry Falwell. (snark)
Well, never say Mittens can’t take a hint and low and behold, a sword appeared and Richard Grenell dutifully fell upon it. But then, shit started to fly in the political world in general about how Mittens so easily caved to the extreme religious element of the Republican supporters. Irene Monroe at HuffPo had this to say about it:
The presumptive Republican presidential nominee, Mitt Romney, likes to play it safe. Romney avoids controversy, by any means necessary, even if he has to lie, flip-flop, or somersault.
The elephant that sits neither quietly nor invisibly in the GOP’s room is the fact that the Republican Party is just as gay as the Democratic Party — just more closeted. Grenell would have been the party’s first out presidential campaign spokesman, signaling a shift in broadening its appeal to Republican moderates and LGBTQ voters. Instead, we witnessed the continued anti-gay stronghold of the GOP’s social conservatives. On May 1, less than a fortnight after his appointment to the campaign, Grenell abruptly resigned, embarrassing not only the Romney camp but the party’s growing anti-homophobic contingent.
Sigh. What’s a cowardly non-principled person to do?
Why he goes on the teevee and says that honestly, he didn’t want the guy to resign. He really, really, really wanted Richard to stay on with the campaign. Yeah, right. Uh-huh. You bet. Mittens went on Faux News and said:
“We select people not based upon their ethnicity or their sexual preference or their gender. But upon their capability. He was a capable individual. We’re sorry to have him go and actually a whole series of the senior people on my team and my supporters called him and encouraged him to stay. But he expressed a desire to move on and I wish him the very best.”
As an AP article said: Now the presumptive nominee, Romney is trying to court the base of the party without alienating independent, swing and other voters he will need to beat Democratic President Barack Obama in November.
Dude…that ain’t gonna happen. Mitt, you’re doing so much flip-flopping and spinning, we can’t keep up. You’re spinning more than an industrial washing machine on spin cycle!
But I’ve saved the best for last y’all. Bryan Fischer, the bat-shit crazy guy from AFA now says Romney can’t be trusted because he caved so easily on the Grennel thing! As they say, I shit you not!
This is an open thread.
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