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Did Grenell’s failure to mince words earn him social conservatives’ enmity?

One of the great gifts of blogging is the civil feedback and criticism I receive in e-mails from our readers.  On numerous occasions, they have alerted me to flaws in my arguments or pointed out a wrinkle in an issue I cover in a post.  Such was the case yesterday when a gay reader somewhat sympathetic to social conservatives sent me a message, linking an article about l’affiare Grenell and indicating, among his concerns about the erstwhile almost Romney foreign policy spokesman, objections to his tweets attacking conservative women:

Please remember that Grenell had to delete 800 (yes 800) tweets that trashed female conservative women. Many of those tweets are publicized online in a simple google search. He claimed they were tongue and cheek, but the sheer number in a short period of time alarmed me, and many of these tweets were directed at conservatives such as Newt & Callista Gingrich.

Indeed, I had heard these criticisms before. But, Grenell did, as McKay Coppins BuzzFeed reports, apologize for those tweets. Coppins mused that “If the campaign was slow to come to Grenell’s public defense over his sexuality, his embarrassing Tweets may have had something to do with it.”

Do wonder if the criticism of Grenell would have gained any traction had he chosen to mince his words about his fellow Republicans.

His outspoken advocacy of gay marriage may also have hurt him.  Byron York reports that he criticized. . .

Jonathan Capehart, an opinion writer for the Washington Post who is gay, for attending a state dinner at the Obama White House but not using the opportunity to confront President Obama over Obama’s opposition to gay marriage. Writing in the Washington Blade, a gay newspaper, Grenell accused Capehart of selling out to Democratic leaders like Obama who don’t support gay marriage, while bashing Republicans, even those who have more liberal positions on gay rights.

Would a less outspoken man have earned the ire of social conservatives?  And had he shown the need to compromise when joining a political team.

(To be fair about that last point, it seems clear that he was not ruling out compromise per se, but making the point that many gay Obama supporters seem to reflexively bash Republicans without acknowledging that they’re backing a guy who has failed to support gay marriage — and, I might add, failed to get the overwhelmingly Democratic Congress to act on the Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act.)



  1. Romney ran a nasty campaign, and now he has to unify the other candidates’ supporters behind him. Deep-sixing his resident Twitter attack mouth is probably a sensible start. Live by the trash-talk, die by the trash-talk.

    Comment by DaveP. — May 2, 2012 @ 4:17 am - May 2, 2012

  2. Don’t have all the facts but it sounds like York, whom I have found to be trustworthy, believes that Grennel was dissing the old Democrat double side step. Whereas some Dems that do NOT support gay marriage get a pass and Republicans who support it are attacked and vilified.

    This election is about Fiscal issues and the financial survival of our country and its citizens. I do not believe social issues should define the platform of either party especially since it seems both parties have identical positions on marriage unless Obama has flip flopped.

    Again I am a socon but can live with, even actively support civil unions or some such legal status, I just have a hard time changing the thousands of year definition of marriage. I guess I am just not ‘evolved enough’.

    All that said, I am disappointed that Grennel resigned unless it turns out that he has truly been attacking women for their views. Vile attacks never win over opponents; instead potential persuadable allies are hardened into staunch foes.

    Comment by TexasMom2012 — May 2, 2012 @ 8:16 am - May 2, 2012

  3. TexasMom — I agree. You covered the important points and said it beautifully. Thanks.

    Comment by Straight Dave — May 2, 2012 @ 1:50 pm - May 2, 2012

  4. I think that it’s a lesson in 21st century vetting – When Twitter accts are public, if the campaign bypasses them, someone will see them

    Comment by Kyle Raccio — May 2, 2012 @ 7:04 pm - May 2, 2012

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