Why on earth would any self-respecting gay person be a Republican?
That’s the question I’d like to ask Richard Grenell. Perhaps you’ve heard of Mr. Grenell? He was recently hired by the Romney campaign as his foreign policy spokesman, a decision heralded in the Atlantic as a “milestone in Republican politics.”
Well, the honeymoon didn’t last long. Milestone? Nah. It was more like an “inchstone” – if there is any such thing.
Mr. Grenell served as Mitt Romney’s foreign policy spokesman for approximately two weeks, until he was forced to resign due to pressure on the Romney campaign from outraged homophobes – ah, excuse me – “social conservatives” like Tony Perkins, the infamous gay-sex-obsessed head wingnut of the infamous gay-sex-obsessed Family Research Council and gay-sex-obsessed Bryan Fischer, whose membership in the Homophobe Hall of Fame was secured when he insisted that President Obama had “feminized” the Medal of Honor by awarding it for saving lives- rather than killing Mooslim terrorists. These fine upstanding social conservatives, along with, reportedly, others of the ‘God Hates Fags’ persuasion, were horrified at the prospect of catching ‘teh gay’ from an honest-to-goodness openly homosexual Republican. Oh, the humanity!
Most gay Republicans hide their orientation until they are safely out of the political spotlight. Sensible of them, I’d say. Take, for example, Ken Mehlman, who was George W. Bush’s campaign manager in 2004, and served as the chairman of the Republican National Committee, who took an active role in pushing the Bush administration’s rabidly anti-gay agenda. But, now that he has nothing to lose, Mr. Mehlman has stepped out of the closet. He tells us that, at age 43, he was “unsure” of his orientation, in spite of the rumors that had been circulating in Washington for years. Of course, he very conveniently figured out that he ain’t batting for the women’s team – but only after he retired from politics. He now claims to regret his anti-gay activities, a claim for which I can find absolutely no respect. I’m sure people have lauded him for his courage in coming out of the closet – how very brave of him to be a gay Republican! Yes, very brave, indeed – when there was nothing to lose and, after years of pushing anti-gay legislation and policies, which no doubt adversely affected many of his friends and acquaintances, not to mention millions of his fellow Americans, including our troops bravely serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Unlike the courageous Mr. Mehlman, Mr. Grenell has never tried to hide his orientation; as a member of the Bush administration, he fought to add his long-time partner to the diplomatic registry, only to be advised that his request violated the Defense of Marriage Act.
But, before you start admiring Mr. Grenell as some sort of glittery role model, if you surgically removed his gayness, you’d be left with a very typical Republican. When describing Mr. Grenell during his tenure at the U.N., a colleague from Reuters described him as the “most dishonest and deceptive press person” he had ever worked with in 20 years on the job; not exactly a flattering encomium.
Mr. Grenell was also in the news recently for his ugly and snarky tweets, most of which were aimed at Democratic women and Callista Gingrich. His tweets were nasty and personal, such as characterizing Rachel Maddow as looking like Justin Bieber and describing Hillary Clinton as looking like Madeline Albright. He insulted the First Lady Michelle Obama, “Morning Joe” anchor Andrea Mitchell and lots of other people he didn’t like, including Newt Gingrich and Chuck Todd. His personal website has now been taken down, and his Twitter timeline has been scrubbed. Down the memory hole, but, as the internet is forever, you can see a cached version here.
I still don’t understand how any gay person could stand to be a Republican; hell, I honestly don’t understand how anyone can be a Republican, but, reading back over what I’ve written here, it appears that I’ve answered my own question: Evidently, the overarching qualification to be a Republican these days is an inclination toward the dark side.