Richard Grenell had the right resume to be
Mr. Grenell was the first openly gay spokesman for a presidential candidate, but he never got to speak. Before he even officially started the job, enraged homophobes in the so-called pro-family community spooked Mr. Romney's campaign staff. The campaign aides tried to stuff Mr. Grenell into a metaphorical closet until things blew over. During a major conference call with reporters in which President
On May 1, Mr. Grenell quit his job.
The Romney campaign folks say they tried hard to convince Mr. Grenell to stay. But they were too timid and too cowed by the religious right to do what he asked them to do: let him do his job.
From the perspective of the campaign, it seemed like a good idea to wait until the controversy faded and not let Mr. Grenell become the focus of attention instead of their candidate. But no matter how long they kept him in the background, the day would come when Mr. Grenell would end up on TV delivering Mr. Romney's foreign policy message. As soon as that happened, the wing nuts, snake handlers and talk radio gasbags would pounce.
The problem is not Mr. Grenell's views on international affairs, which are pure Republican; it is his outspoken support of gay marriage. Bryan Fischer, the American Family Association's tweeting Savonarola, told his Twitter followers that, by hiring Mr. Grenell, Mr. Romney was telling pro-family conservatives to "drop dead." A National Review columnist predicted Mr. Grenell would quickly switch sides and support Mr. Obama if the president came out in favor of same-sex marriage. The Family Research Council's Tony Perkins raised the fear that Mr. Grenell would use his position to establish "sexual orientation" as a basic human right. (As opposed to what, a capital crime?)
As Americans become more accepting of homosexuality, the literalist wing of Christianity becomes more freaked out.
As far as I know, Richard Grenell's wrists are firm. I can't say the same about Mr. Romney and his team. Mr. Romney is about to become the leader of his party and, perhaps, leader of the free world. It would be nice to see him man up and tell the medieval wing of his party that they will not dictate to him about whom he hires to run his foreign policy. Instead, as he has for months on the campaign trail, Mr. Romney continues to suck up to the anti-gay religious activists, most of whom find his Mormon beliefs repugnant.
Barry Goldwater would not have dumped Mr. Grenell; he would have told the carping Bible thumpers to go to hell.
The man who was once the voice of American conservatives slammed Pat Robertson for "trying to take the
After his retirement from the