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Two Takeaways from Grenell Matter:
Gay man faults Obama’s “weak leadership on the world stage”
& his sexuality was a non-issue to Romney team

Lost in all the hullabaloo over Richard Grenell’s resignation from the Romney campaign are the actual words of his statement announcing his decision:

I have decided to resign from the Romney campaign as the Foreign Policy and National Security Spokesman. While I welcomed the challenge to confront President Obama’s foreign policy failures and weak leadership on the world stage, my ability to speak clearly and forcefully on the issues has been greatly diminished by the hyper-partisan discussion of personal issues that sometimes comes from a presidential campaign. I want to thank Governor Romney for his belief in me and my abilities and his clear message to me that being openly gay was a non-issue for him and his team.

Emphasis added.  Some of the left have used this story as a cudgel with which to bash conservatives, but they ignore the strong critique this openly gay man offered of Obama’s foreign policy, who cited its many failures and faulted the president’s weak leadership.

And this openly gay man made clear that his sexuality was not an issue to the Romney team.

Perhaps, the Romney team blundered in handling the issue, but, if they did, they did not do so out of animus against gay people.

It is very clear that the presumptive Republican nominee’s top aides (and apparently the candidate himself) very much wanted this highly qualified man on their team.

Others may try to spin this story to fit it into their narrative of an anti-gay GOP, but when you consider Grenell’s words — and the statements of top officials in the Romney campaign — the facts just don’t fit the narrative.  Anti-gay leaders tend not praise openly openly gay individuals.

Instead of looking for some sinister motive in all this, let’s focus instead on those foreign policy failures–and that weak leadership.

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18 Comments

  1. The weak leadership I see is coming from the Romney camp. They couldn’t convince the most manifestly capable conservative foreign policy spokeman to stay in a role he is uniquely qualified for, that gives him privileged space to call the president out on an issue he is weak on, because of NAME CALLING? That is some pretty poor talent management right there.

    Comment by Ufabulum — May 3, 2012 @ 8:52 am - May 3, 2012

  2. Romney’s slapdown of Fischer at VVS
    Poisonous language does not advance our cause. It has never softened a single heart nor changed a single mind. The blessings of faith carry the responsibility of civil and respectful debate. The task before us is to focus on the conservative beliefs and the values that unite us – let no agenda narrow our vision or drive us apart.

    Comment by rusty — May 3, 2012 @ 10:00 am - May 3, 2012

  3. I agree with Daniel’s two takeaways. But I also agree with Ufabulum.

    The left will continue to use this as a cudgel and it won’t be just a few of them. This issue is tailor made for their (very effective) disinformation machine. And the MSM will amplify their message.

    Romney threw Bryan Fischer under a plastic trike and he needs to throw him under a Greyhound bus.

    Otherwise, the left will use this for the next six months to distract voters’ attention from economic issues.

    Toleration of gay-bashing (an issue that is entirely separate from the gay marriage issue) is political suicide. This is a huge problem for Romney and will remain so unless he shows some political courage, decisiveness and a deft touch. Take it away Mitt. Let’s see what you got.

    Comment by Straight Dave — May 3, 2012 @ 1:35 pm - May 3, 2012

  4. Ufabulum,

    Can you please flesh out the straight path you see between Grenell, “name calling” and poor talent management on the part of Romney?

    My confusion is sparked by the fact that Grenell says he did not want to take the heat of “hyper-partisan discussion of personal issues that sometimes comes from a presidential campaign.” There is an ambiguity in the statement: “from a presidential campaign” can be read as from within the campaign or it can be read as part and parcel of being vulnerable in the exposure of high stakes politics.

    I do not fault Grenell for being a quitter. Nor do I know that he is a quitter. I don’t know if he fell on his sword for Romney. I don’t know if he was shoved on his sword by operatives known or unknown to Romney.

    What I do know is that Palin drew lightening and some inside the McCain campaign dressed her in copper. However, the lightening was coming from outside of the Republican side. So, perhaps, Grenell was being pounded from the gay left and the hard core religious right and the media and the wizards of smart across the spectrum and whoever else.

    When Grenell was ready to go to the altar with the Romney campaign, he called the wedding off.

    If there is a lesson there, what is it?

    Comment by heliotrope — May 3, 2012 @ 1:42 pm - May 3, 2012

  5. Pretty much the way it will play out, Dave.

    Brian Fischer will continue to do the happy dance and will use this instance for fund-raising fodder. He will continue to tout his ‘power’.

    Whether Grenell succumbed to the pressure to alleviate the onslaught of continued attacks not only on him, his personal life and the Romney campaign.

    Romney’s camp is slowly being assimilated by the RNC, their advisers and spinmeisters.

    Some conflicts and mis-communications probably resulted in response to the SoCons.

    Like I have said before, Romney has to pretty himself up for the Socons. And I am sure there are some pretty big egos in the rom trying to apply the make up and window dressing.

    Comment by rusty — May 3, 2012 @ 1:51 pm - May 3, 2012

  6. I see your point, Ufabulum, but wonder if you’re laying the blame on the Romney campaign for something they couldn’t control. You write, “hey couldn’t convince the most manifestly capable conservative foreign policy spokeman to stay in a role he is uniquely qualified for”, so we’re to blame them for Grenell’s choice?

    You’re placing the burden on the persuader not the chooser.

    They did see fit to hire this qualified man.

    And Straight Dave, I do think Romney himself showed political courage in this matter by standing by Grenell despite the attacks form the right. Important to note that despite the huallabaloo, his aides have remained on record defending the man.

    Comment by B. Daniel Blatt — May 3, 2012 @ 2:07 pm - May 3, 2012

  7. Or we could simply look at the attacks the Obama campaign and its puppets were already launching on him, as conveniently listed here.

    From Joemygod on 4/20 (just the first few, it goes on for pages)

    * gay Republicans have the blood of dead teenagers on their hands.

    * Grenell is just another self-hating gay deluding himself (and as many others as possible) into thinking the Rethuggist Party is the great gay hope of the LGBT community. Does he think we’re that stupid to believe their BS?

    * as far as Im concerned this guy wrking for Romney is a TRAITOR!

    * I’m convinced gay republicans are suffering from Stockholm Syndrome

    * Ugh, he and GProud are just vile. Rich, usually white, fags who think; because they had a trust fund and went to college on daddy’s dime, being gay is a given and there’s no need to fight for anything. Pussies who have never had to fight for anything in their pampered little lives.

    * Maybe he and Scott Lively will join forces and lead a discussion on Uganda when Romney delivers the commencement speech at Liberty University this spring.

    From Towleroad on 4/20 – unlike Joemygod, Towelroad also had comments that were much more measured.

    * Wouldn’t that be kind of like David Duke hiring a black spokesperson? A pig with lipstick is still a pig.

    * F#ck him and every other gay republican.

    * Another Quisling.

    * Mikemick hit the nail on the head, the word of the day is “QUISLING”. Just a worthless piece of human garbage

    Bilerico had no comments that were simply spewing hate

    GoodAsYou only had one, kinda:

    * Grenell’s just an unprincipled man looking for excuses.

    At Pam’s House Blend it compounded like this:

    * Tell me again why would a gay man be a republican?
    * The wages and gratification from sucking the life force out of the masses.
    * See also: Cohn, Roy and Beebe, Lucius.
    * Nail + head.

    * Just another neo-mattachinistic accomodationistic “I have mine, too bad for you” elitist conservative–

    And from above we have

    * Grenell is a self-hating gay man.

    So in response I say this:

    - What control does the Romney campaign have over the fact that Obama Party operatives were trashing this man left and right?

    - Where is the equivalent level of invective being directed at him from the so-called “right”?

    - Why would you expect someone to put up with this level of abuse from the Obama Party for the sake of a job?

    - Why would you expect someone who actually cared about Romney succeeding to deliberately put himself out there as a lightning rod for this kind of abuse from the Obama Party and the gay and lesbian community?

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — May 3, 2012 @ 3:05 pm - May 3, 2012

  8. rusty,

    Why do you think gays and lesbians like yourself quote Romney’s words, then continue to hurl the sort of poisonous invective against Grenell that I just cited above?

    It appears that you are in favor of “poisonous language” when it is used to punish gays and lesbians who dare to oppose the Barack Obama Party.

    It appears that Barack Obama supports and endorses the use of “poisonous language” against gays and lesbians who disobey him.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — May 3, 2012 @ 3:07 pm - May 3, 2012

  9. N D T, the reason for my post of Romney’s slap down of Bryan Fischer at VVC

    Was to demonstrate the bad blood between nut job (h/p Rattlesnake) Fischer and

    Gov. Romney. . . .

    Earlier this week, I predicted that Romney would not confront notoriously bigoted AFA radio host Bryan Fischer this morning when the two shared a stage at the Values Voter Summit.

    I was wrong. And I’m glad.

    Rather than taking a characteristically pragmatic and passive response to Fischer’s anti-Mormon (and anti-everyone-else) rants, Romney said:

    Almost all Americans live for a purpose greater than ourselves.  Our heritage of religious faith and tolerance has importantly shaped who we have become as a people.  We must continue to welcome faith into the public square and allow it to flourish. Our government should respect religious values, not silence them. We will always pledge our allegiance to a nation under God.

    Our values ennoble the citizen, and strengthen the nation. We should remember that decency and civility are values too. One of the speakers who will follow me today, has crossed that line. Poisonous language does not advance our cause. It has never softened a single heart nor changed a single mind. The blessings of faith carry the responsibility of civil and respectful debate.  The task before us is to focus on the conservative beliefs and the values that unite us – let no agenda, narrow our vision or drive us apart.

    http://www.religiondispatches.org/dispatches/joannabrooks/5244/romney_stands_up_to_bryan_fischer_at_values_voters_summit/

    Comment by rusty — May 3, 2012 @ 3:49 pm - May 3, 2012

  10. Nut job (h/t Rattlesnake) Fischer

    Like I have said before, before Bachman, Sanatorum and Gingrich, he’ll even when there was mr 999, there was the not-Romney pitch being bantered around.

    And now that not-Romney chant has been deafened by the RNC not-Obama, Fischer still has a bone to pick with Romney. Or rather, Fischer is bullying Romney and the RNC assimilation team.

    It is sad that Grenell has retreated back to Cal I forn I A, but he is with his partner and is working with BonoMack. I, personally, quite delighted to hear that Grenell was selected to the Romney team, for he has voiced support for, omg-d, are you sitting down NDT, Rich Grenell is one of those gay sex marriage folk. Eeeeeek!

    I also think, from what I have read about Grenell, that he would have been a Fabulous asset to the Romney team.

    But Rich also had a wicked tongue, much like most Mo’s. he and Chris Barron got the ear pulled for attacking Socons. But their wit and quick rapport probably landed them in the same hot water. But when it comes to you, Miss Rita Beads, well, you still hold the crown with bitter retorts and have mastered pretzel twisting and taffy pulls.

    What is interesting that folk have cowered to B Fischer’s bullying much like folk in this sub group at GP cowers to you. A bully is a bully is a bully. . .h/t Lori Heine.

    Comment by rusty — May 3, 2012 @ 4:07 pm - May 3, 2012

  11. Hell not he’ll when referring to Cain

    Comment by rusty — May 3, 2012 @ 4:58 pm - May 3, 2012

  12. *two snaps, rusty*

    Comment by Cinesnatch — May 3, 2012 @ 5:03 pm - May 3, 2012

  13. I don’t see the point in trying to figure out the reasons behind Grenell’s resignation when not all relevant information is known. I don’t really care anyway, since this affair doesn’t have really have any relevance to the important issues in the first place (it does since Grenell’s role was in foreign policy, which is one of the important issues, but as far as I’m concerned, the only thing that matters is that Romney is on the right side of the issues and Obama is on the wrong side. This whole thing is just basically a distraction).

    Comment by Rattlesnake — May 3, 2012 @ 6:08 pm - May 3, 2012

  14. Oh but Rattlesnake it does matter. Romney needs to MAKE nice with those skeptical SOCONS and if he ends up shifting too far to the right or is PERCEIVED as too far to the right he won’t win over the fence sitters and the disheartened O fans.

    But we will see how the big boys of the RNC assimilation team will snap down on Perkins and Fischer

    Comment by rusty — May 3, 2012 @ 6:35 pm - May 3, 2012

  15. Perhaps if he didn’t resign Romney wouldn’t have misspoke critizing Obama about The recent chinese man who sought temporary asylum from US embassy.

    Comment by Cinesnatch — May 3, 2012 @ 6:37 pm - May 3, 2012

  16. I repeat: the only thing that matters is that Romney is on the right side of the issues and Obama is on the wrong side. This (and everything else) is a distraction. People that base their vote on what Obama eats, or how Romney transports his dog, or the Republicans’ war on women, or that Romney hired a gay person to work in his campaign, or that that gay person resigned, are idiots.

    Comment by Rattlesnake — May 3, 2012 @ 7:56 pm - May 3, 2012

  17. Someone has their hands over their ears singing “Mary had a little lamb” and it’s not Veronica Sawyer this time.

    Comment by Cinesnatch — May 4, 2012 @ 3:39 am - May 4, 2012

  18. @ Cinesnatch: “And now, GayPatriot is going to give us another look at today’s lunch.”

    Comment by Edmund — May 5, 2012 @ 12:29 am - May 5, 2012

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