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Romney defends Grenell as “accomplished spokesperson”
(Rubin wonders whether campaign officials were aware of angst he was going through)

“To repeat a point I made last night,” writes Allahpundit, if the Romney team “muzzled” Richard “Grenell to show social conservatives that they disapprove of gays, they’re going about the aftermath in an awfully funny way.”  That blogger reports that Romney and a top aide reiterated that they had wanted Grenell to stay.  (The post merits your time and he provides video clips of both men.)

Jennifer Rubin quotes the presumptive Republican nominee himself as saying that his team “wanted him to stay with our team. He’s a very accomplished spokesperson, and we select people not based upon their ethnicity or their sexual preference or their gender but upon their capability.”  Emphasis added.

Unlike yours truly who has blogged on this topic as a gay conservative, trying to imagine what it might be like for one of our number to go through what Grenell been going through, Rubin has actually talked to “many players involved” and has learned . . .

. . .  that Grenell was getting flak principally from the far right[*], but also from the left challenging how a gay man in favor of gay marriage could work for a conservative (on foreign policy, mind you) whose position is the same as the president’s (neither is in favor of gay marriage). He perceived the Romney camp was keeping him out of sight. The Romney camp thought it was successfully calming the waters, and senior officials may have been only dimly aware of the angst Grenell was going through.

. . . .

But Grenell was right. He had become the story. If Romney or Fehrnstrom had said what they did today before Grenell quit, he might have been understandably reassured. But the firestorm wouldn’t have ended, as we see from a new round of speculation and stories.

Emphasis added.  Read the whole thing.  Only dimly aware of what Grenell was going through.  Sometimes, we do forget that people in the public eye have feelings. (Lends credence to my notion of the personal toll this might have been (was?) taking on him.)  No matter how strong you think you are, no matter how thick your skin, attacks in public fora do sting, particularly the first time you hear them.  It takes time to learn to distances yourself from some of the nastiness prevalent today in our political discourse.

Campaign officials may just not have been aware of the angst caused by the vitriol coming from a handful of extreme social conservatives.

*Which makes his experience similar to and different from our own, similar, in that he has been taking flak from both sides, different, in that he is taking primarily from the far right whereas our tends to come from the angry left.

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47 Comments

  1. Dan,

    Unlike you, I do not place a lot of stock in what Jennifer Rubin reports.

    The Walter Winchell, Drew Pearson, Jack Anderson, Deep Throat, Bob Woodward, David Gergan, Jennifer Rubin cabal of political gossipers quoting “reliable sources” has never convinced me that I should stake my own reputation on what they spread.

    “Grenell was getting flak principally from the far right…” is not a throw away line. It implies far more than a chance comment. It implies a studied verification.

    I sincerely doubt such reporting and I reject any excuse that it is justified hyperbole.

    I would not proceed on the assumption that forces on the conservative right drove Grenell’s decision, especially from Jennifer Rubin who has her own well-known and on-going fight with social conservatives.

    Now if I have erred in reading Rubin as closer to the moderate and RINO Republican establishment than aligned more with the Republican conservatives, I stand willing to be educated.

    Comment by heliotrope — May 4, 2012 @ 9:48 pm - May 4, 2012

  2. How unutterably preposterous comment 1 is. What ill informed drivel. Set aside Bryan Fischer and the Robertson clown – if you can, because the Republican Party does not.

    Among those attacking him was Matthew Franck of the Witherspoon Institute. Franck published his views on National Review Online, and they are nothing short of appalling. Franck says Grenell’s being gay should not disqualify him from working for Romney, nor should his support for same-sex marriage. But he reveals his disingenuousness when he writes this: “Grenell has made a particular crusade of the marriage issue, with a kind of unhinged devotion that suggests a man with questionable judgment. And when the Obama State Department is already moving to elevate the gay-rights agenda to a higher plane than religious freedom in the foreign policy of the United States, it is reasonable to wonder whether Grenell, after taking such a prominent place in the Romney campaign’s foreign-policy shop, would be in line for an influential State posting where he could pursue his passion for that same agenda.”

    Actually, it is not at all reasonable.

    That’s a well-respected (by conservative Republicans) columnist writing in the National Review. And that’s just one. Want some more?

    Grenell was hounded out of a job he could have excelled in by gay-hating right wing bigots. Full stop.

    Comment by Edmund — May 4, 2012 @ 10:01 pm - May 4, 2012

  3. I’m willing to give Romney’s officials the benefit of the doubt as to whether they knew the extent of Grenell’s harassment. Doubtless a few PR hacks for the campaign may have, but they may not have realized the personal toll on Grenell.

    They should have stood up for him more. I didn’t like Grenell’s nasty Twittering – it echoes what I’ve seen here. And I disagree with him on foriegn policy. But he deserved that appointment. Oh well.

    Comment by Edmund — May 4, 2012 @ 10:06 pm - May 4, 2012

  4. Color me confused. Edmund’s unattributed quote from John Podhoretz must have been swiped from a talking points site, because it lack all context.

    Read the link and decide for yourself.

    Comment by heliotrope — May 4, 2012 @ 10:59 pm - May 4, 2012

  5. You are confused, heliotrope, but we’ve known that all along. I simply didn’t want to bother hauling it from National Review myself. The quote stands. Your willingness to comment without first informing yourself does likewise.

    Comment by Edmund — May 4, 2012 @ 11:19 pm - May 4, 2012

  6. Ah, Edmund.

    You and your fellow gay liberals tell gay conservatives to kill themselves.

    You and your fellow gay liberals scream all sorts of hateful epithets at conservative gays.

    And you and your fellow gay liberals post things like this about gay conservatives.

    Heliotrope has never in all of his time here done anything of the sort; in fact, he has done the exact opposite.

    You don’t have his credibility. Furthermore, the disgusting history of gay liberals like yourself toward people on this very blog shows wonderfully how you project onto him that which you most clearly practice yourself.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — May 5, 2012 @ 2:53 am - May 5, 2012

  7. How was Witherspoon disingenuous? There is no animous in his statement. He stated exactly what the concern was regarding the liberal wings of the Republican and Democrat Party using the US State Department to impose homosexual marriage on a global basis and Grenell as the point man. Romney stuck by Grenell as he did in colluding to impose homosexual marriage in Massachusetts. Grenell choked under the scrutiny.

    Comment by rjligier — May 5, 2012 @ 3:11 am - May 5, 2012

  8. Neener neener neener, NDT. Grow up, you bitter excuse for a man.

    Comment by Edmund — May 5, 2012 @ 5:04 am - May 5, 2012

  9. Grenell was hounded out of a job he could have excelled in by gay-hating right wing bigots. Full stop.

    Translation: “That’s my talking point and I am sticking to it.”

    One citation, mis-attributed, and Edmund is off to the Conspiracy Races.

    Wow! This site now has its very own Phelps.

    Comment by heliotrope — May 5, 2012 @ 8:41 am - May 5, 2012

  10. Translation: “That’s my talking point and I am sticking to it.”

    The left isn’t interested in facts, only in promoting whatever myth suits their agenda, whether it be the myth that Sarah Palin said she could see Russia from her house, or the myth that Trayvon Martin was an innocent little schoolboy gunned down by a trigger-happy white racist.

    The real circumstances of Grenell’s resignation do not matter; the myth of all conservatives as ‘drooling theocratic bigots’ must be promoted by the left in order to keep low-information voters shackled to the Democrat plantation…. even as the plantation is bankrupt, the crops are dead, and the big house is on fire.

    Comment by V the K — May 5, 2012 @ 9:17 am - May 5, 2012

  11. V must stand for venal. You have descended into self parody.

    Comment by Edmund — May 5, 2012 @ 12:41 pm - May 5, 2012

  12. Yup, more name calling from Edmund. Like I said, Sullivan’s engaging in projection.

    Comment by The_Livewire — May 5, 2012 @ 1:00 pm - May 5, 2012

  13. I will just take Eddie’s name calling as a concession that he cannot refute me.

    Comment by V the K — May 5, 2012 @ 1:22 pm - May 5, 2012

  14. You take it fore and aft, V the K – there’s nothing you wrote worth refuting. Blahblah Sarah Palin is awesome blah blah, shoot kids armed with Skittles and tea is great – do you even listen to yourself? What does this have to to with Sullivan’s comments on the FACT that most Republicans don’t hold gay people in high regard? Or any regard at all?

    Comment by Edmund — May 5, 2012 @ 1:58 pm - May 5, 2012

  15. Edmund, I normally stay out of these flame wars, because I try my best to stick to the rules of civility and not make things worse. But I just want to say that you should consider toning things down. Any good points that you have, (and as a liberal here, I think you have raised some good points), are diminished greatly with the name calling and some of the other rhetoric. Try disagreeing without being disagreeable, even if you think your opponents are being disagreeable. That’s my suggestion. I’m not a moderator here, so you can take it or leave it. Thanks.

    Comment by Pat — May 5, 2012 @ 3:36 pm - May 5, 2012

  16. Pat,

    I would point out that your civility is one of the reasons we can have a good discussion and can agree to disagree (which usually means you’re wrong. ;-))

    I’m afraid Edmund is a less tactful version of this guy.

    Comment by The_Livewire — May 5, 2012 @ 4:48 pm - May 5, 2012

  17. Republicans don’t hold gay people in high regard

    Correction, Republicans don’t hold gay people in high regard just for being gay. You actually have to accomplish something to earn a conservative’s respect. What is it Dan says? Conservatives value who you are, liberals value what you are.

    Comment by V the K — May 5, 2012 @ 4:51 pm - May 5, 2012

  18. Unfortunately, Eddie seems more representative of the progressive left overall than Pat.

    Comment by V the K — May 5, 2012 @ 4:53 pm - May 5, 2012

  19. 1 – “Unlike you, I do not place a lot of stock in what Jennifer Rubin reports.”

    Nicely understated.

    Comment by Richard Bell — May 5, 2012 @ 5:19 pm - May 5, 2012

  20. Edmund is simply one of the desperate Obama voters who need to project their rage and shame at being so easily duped and taken in by the racist con man Obama.

    But as is typical, they aren’t man enough to admit they screwed up, so they have to blame others — in this case, conservatives.

    Nope, sorry Edmund. You screwed up. You voted on the basis of skin color. You deliberately shut your eyes to the fact that not only was Obama a hardcore race-baiting Marxist, he was also an incompetent naïf who had never spent a second of his existence off the welfare teat.

    Mistakes happen. We understand acting with good intentions, even if they don’t always turn out right. But not only are you unwilling to admit your Obama was a mistake, you’re actively blaming us for your choosing him.

    Wrong.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — May 5, 2012 @ 5:32 pm - May 5, 2012

  21. Yes, NDT, you have everything all figured out. Obama has everything to do with this discussion, and your assumption about who voted for him is likewise correct. Now how’s that rehearsal of “I’ve Written A Letter To Daddy” coming along? Twirl, girl. Twirl.

    Comment by Edmund — May 5, 2012 @ 5:43 pm - May 5, 2012

  22. Lick it up, all of you. Lick It Up: http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/richard-grenell-and-the-republican-partys-anti-gay-bias/2012/05/04/gIQApxgL2T_story.html

    Comment by Edmund — May 5, 2012 @ 6:41 pm - May 5, 2012

  23. Yup, typical Lib, citing opinion as facts.

    Even the writer (quick Edmund, read the byline) says he doesn’t pretend to know what was in Ric Grenell’s heart.

    Michael Guest, the first openly gay ambassador confirmed by the Senate, was the U.S. ambassador to Romania from 2001 to 2004.

    Funny, looks like the left isn’t too happy to have gays represent them abroad. It took a Republican (if not a conservative) to appoint one.

    It’s ok Edmund, It’s not the first time you’ve mistook opinion for fact, and ignored facts.

    Comment by The_Livewire — May 5, 2012 @ 7:31 pm - May 5, 2012

  24. V the K said in #10: “The left isn’t interested in facts, only in promoting whatever myth suits their agenda, whether it be the myth that Sarah Palin said she could see Russia from her house, or the myth that Trayvon Martin was an innocent little schoolboy gunned down by a trigger-happy white racist. “

    Regarding the Sarah Palin “myth,” I actually heard her say she could see Russia from her house. And regarding the Trayvon Martin “myth,” neither you nor I are in a position to know the facts.

    So, it is you who is “promoting whatever myth suits [your] agenda.”

    Comment by Richard R — May 5, 2012 @ 7:45 pm - May 5, 2012

  25. I actually heard her say she could see Russia from her house.

    That was Tina Fey, dumbass.

    Comment by V the K — May 5, 2012 @ 7:47 pm - May 5, 2012

  26. First to Edmund; what a surprise that one of Barack Obama’s paid puppets is suddenly anti-Republican.

    And for Richard Rush, here are the facts; you merely are repeating Obama’s lie about what Palin said.

    Obama pushes propaganda and lies because he knows gays like the both of you don’t do your research, both out of laziness and because you’re not inclined to actually think for yourself.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — May 5, 2012 @ 8:03 pm - May 5, 2012

  27. Okay, V the K, you’re technically correct. From Snopes.com:

    “The basis for the line was Governor Palin’s 11 September 2008 appearance on ABC News, her first major interview after being tapped as the vice-presidential nominee. During that appearance, interviewer Charles Gibson asked her what insight she had gained from living so close to Russia, and she responded: “They’re our next-door neighbors, and you can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska, from an island in Alaska”

    But that doesn’t change the substance. The “myth” is closer to true than untrue. You were being disingenuous.

    Comment by Richard R — May 5, 2012 @ 8:13 pm - May 5, 2012

  28. The author referred to in 22 was a gay Republican who also got a lot of nonsense AS a gay Republican while in office.

    In the meantime… North Dallas has written a letter to daddy, his address is heaven above… he’s written ‘Dear Ronnie we miss you.’ and wish you were with us to love….”

    Comment by Edmund — May 5, 2012 @ 8:44 pm - May 5, 2012

  29. So let me see if I understand Richard R.

    Sarah didn’t say it (true) and you CAN see Russia from an island in Alaska on a clear day (true). Yet this makes the lie that Sarah Palin said “I can see Russia from my house.” “Closer to true than untrue.”

    Richard R most likely has framed copies of the ‘national guard documents’ from Dan Rather on his wall.

    Comment by The_Livewire — May 5, 2012 @ 9:32 pm - May 5, 2012

  30. As my husband just noted: “I can see the moon from our house, as well as from any number of islands, but that doesn’t make me an astronomer.”

    Comment by Richard R — May 5, 2012 @ 9:46 pm - May 5, 2012

  31. See Richard, see Richard backpedal.
    (Hint, if you are ever the Governour of your house, and have to deal with the moon people over international deals, then maybe you’d have a point.) All you’re doing now is embarrassing yourself.

    Though the inability to admit you were wrong is amusing.

    Comment by The_Livewire — May 5, 2012 @ 9:48 pm - May 5, 2012

  32. You can’t expect a leftist to admit he’s wrong just because his assertion is refuted by the facts.

    Comment by V the K — May 5, 2012 @ 9:55 pm - May 5, 2012

  33. So, Miss Rubin says that Mr. Grenell was hounded by the “far right”. Will someone please define “far right” for me? Does it mean adhering to the traditional moral view on homosexuality? Does it mean believing in traditional marriage? Or does it mean adhering to traditional morality, traditional marriage, and daring to say so? Or is it just another weapon in the social Left’s take-no-prisoners war on social conservatives? You know, paint them and what they believe as “intolerant”, “bigoted”, “far right”, “extreme”, and therefore–gasp!–DANGEROUS or, at the very least, as something no decent person would associate with. I tend to think it’s the latter more than anything else. And when gay conservatives casually use such smears as if they were objective truth, they reveal their adherence to the social Left’s narrative, despite their professed conservatism. Is it any wonder, then, that many social conservatives distrust them?

    Comment by Seane-Anna — May 5, 2012 @ 10:12 pm - May 5, 2012

  34. Not to mention how it shows that Richard R was lying when he claimed to have heard her say it.

    Comment by V the K — May 5, 2012 @ 10:20 pm - May 5, 2012

  35. I summarily refuse to believe that bitchy SoCons and activists on the left hounded Grenell out of the position because his delicate fee-fees were hurt. To suggest that he succumbed to ‘angst’ from ‘critics’, frankly, makes him out to be a coward, and I don’t see much evidence of cowardice in his record. Worked in the Bush administration, at the UN, with John Bolton? This is a big boy we’re talking about, not just another gay blogger.

    It would be much more appropriate for Grenell to resign because he didn’t believe Romney is going to win, and didn’t want to be a flak magnet for a losing ticket. That would at least be a matter of principle. If you have belief in your mission, you’ll take the slings and arrows. If you don’t, to carry on would be in bad faith.

    Comment by Ufabulum — May 6, 2012 @ 7:12 am - May 6, 2012

  36. Will someone please define “far right” for me?

    Seane-Anna, I can give you an example. See Bryan Fischer.

    Speaking of Mr. Fischer, I read that he now apparently said that Romney isn’t fit to be a leader, because Romney listened to him and fired Grenell.

    Comment by Pat — May 6, 2012 @ 10:36 am - May 6, 2012

  37. Edmund is an entertaining troll; maybe not the way he thinks, though. More in a laughing “at” way, than a laughing “with”.

    Meanwhile, in the real world, there are countries where guys (gay or not) may be lashed if they so much as touch each other’s butts in public: http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/iranian-soccer-players-could-face-lashing-after-victory-groping/2011/11/02/gIQA334TfM_story.html?wprss=rss_world

    But hey – let’s not worry about that. Let’s (as the lefties would have us do) stick our fingers in our ears and shout “Grenell! Grenell! Grenell!”

    Because as it turns out, Richard R is even stupider – and slimier – than Edmund. Richard R, you specifically said this:

    Regarding Palin, I actually heard her say she could see Russia from her house.

    Wouldn’t your qualifier “actually” mean that you *ACTUALLY* heard her say it, Richard R? But when PROVEN WRONG about it – that it was, in truth, just something Tina Fey made up after Palin noted CORRECTLY that Russia is just over the border from Alaska – you try to claim you were “closer to true than untrue”. Pathetic! I can’t believe you don’t throw up when you see yourself in the mirror, Richard R.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — May 6, 2012 @ 11:24 am - May 6, 2012

  38. (continued) What is “closer to true than untrue” is that your memory is f*cked up and you need to get it checked, Richard R. What is “closer to true than untrue” is that you DID NOT ACTUALLY hear Palin say what you thought you remembered hearing her say. Not ever.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — May 6, 2012 @ 11:28 am - May 6, 2012

  39. Will someone please define “far right” for me?

    According to the MFM, anyone who has to turn left to see Olympia Snowe is a far right extremist.

    But notice, in the MFM, there is no such thing as a far left Democrat. Not Bernie Sanders, the avowed Socialist. Not Pete Stark, the senile atheist who wants to buy an electric car from Solyndra. Not Maxine Waters or Shirley Jackson “I wanna see the flag our astronauts left on Mars” Lee who want to nationalize the oil companies. Not Jose Serrano or Bill Delahunt, BFF’s with Fidel Castro. Nope, Far Left Democrats don’t exist for the MFM.

    But if you agree with 60-70% of Americans on tax-cuts, limited government, border security, voter ID, and banning partial birth abortion… you’re a right wing extremist, according to the MFM.

    Comment by V the K — May 6, 2012 @ 12:24 pm - May 6, 2012

  40. V the K @39, spot on.

    Comment by Seane-Anna — May 6, 2012 @ 4:10 pm - May 6, 2012

  41. I am registered as an independent and vote on both sides of the aisle on many issues but this abuse of Grenell by the far-right just goes to show that gays are still far from welcome in the party. I’m not saying the democrats are perfect but I seriously doubt this would have happened if he were working for a democrat. Lets be honest.

    Why do we really want to try to crash a party where we are not wanted?

    Comment by ajdj — May 7, 2012 @ 12:22 am - May 7, 2012

  42. “(Rubin wonders whether campaign officials were aware of angst he was going through)”

    And I wonder how much hand holding gay conservatives need. Are they basketcases? If anyone can survive a leftist onslaught, wouldn’t they be able to survive an onslaught from the right? Any right onslaught is always done with one hand tied behind their backs. The leftists are never held back from any vitriol they expouse. The right have their religions to fall back on rather than pure bigotry (try to keep up). What a shame.

    Comment by anon23532 — May 7, 2012 @ 11:57 am - May 7, 2012

  43. For some reason, ajdj, I think you’re an independent only in your own mind and you vote regularly with the Democrats.

    Comment by B. Daniel Blatt — May 7, 2012 @ 12:28 pm - May 7, 2012

  44. I’m not saying the democrats are perfect but I seriously doubt this would have happened if he were working for a democrat. Lets be honest.

    Comment by ajdj — May 7, 2012 @ 12:22 am – May 7, 2012

    Yes, let’s.

    How about Howard Dean, leader of the Obama Party, firing people based on their sexual orientation?

    How about Jesse Jackson, the leader of the Obama Party base and representative of Barack Obama, discriminating against and harassing gay employees?

    Oh, that’s right. “Independents” don’t care about Obama Party members discriminating against gays. In fact, “independents” are all about what they usually call “discriminating against gays” when it is done at the behest of the Obama Party.

    And don’t forget all the putrid comments that I cited above being made by Obama Party paid shills, Obama Party bloggers, and others about Grenell, all with the full endorsement and support of Barack Obama and the Barack Obama Party.

    So why don’t you answer this, so-called “independent” ajdj: why should we support the Obama Party when it openly discriminates against gays and screams at and attacks gays who dare disagree with it?

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — May 7, 2012 @ 1:28 pm - May 7, 2012

  45. ajdj- In the 16 years that I was a member of the Los Angeles Republican County Central Committee, I, as well as other members from Log Cabin L.A. have I felt unwelcomed. Members were more fiscal conservatives than social conservatives. As chairman of my AD Committee, I had one social conservative, who didn´t approve of my lifestyle but he never disrespected me.

    Comment by Roberto — May 7, 2012 @ 1:33 pm - May 7, 2012

  46. Anon, some people like Fischer, who claim to have religious values, have spewed their vitriol and bigotry as well as many on the left. They don’t use religion to hold back as you suggest. Rather they use it as an excuse when they express their bigotry.

    Comment by Pat — May 7, 2012 @ 1:53 pm - May 7, 2012

  47. ajdj @ #41:

    this abuse of Grenell by the far-right just goes to show that gays are still far from welcome in the party.

    Let me get this straight:

    1) The far right pummeled Grenell. (You can link to proof.)

    2) Grennell carries no baggage other than simply being gay. (He didn’t have to cover any tracks, tweets, or mute any policy differences away from his expertise in foreign affairs.)

    3) There was no pressure from the left whatsoever over being an Uncle Tom, self-loathing gay who would not buy the extreme left “fact” that being a gay conservative is an oxymoron.

    4) The whole story is known and the decision is unanimous. (Grenell has spoken out and verified the right-wing hate job story.)

    ajdj has declared that gays are still far from welcome in the (Republican) party. What constitutes “welcome” ajdj? Do you have to look the other way on gay marriage as a prerequisite? You threw brick, so tell us all what the parameters of “welcome” are.

    Of course, ideology is always better suited by talking points than half-facts spewed half-facted ideologues.

    Romney appointed a gay and that blows the leftist demagoguery. So then Grenell quit and the leftists got their wish.

    If anything, it shows that any Republican who appoints a gay had better be darned sure the gay has the Moxie to take what it takes, because when he goes the lefty harpies will swarm like locusts.

    Let Grenell be a warning to all gays who are thinking of public service on the Republican or conservative side. You not only are going to be fought by the Democrat opposition, but the leftist gays are going to double down on your “treachery” to the cause.

    Comment by heliotrope — May 7, 2012 @ 4:23 pm - May 7, 2012

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