Reasons to lose your job as national security and foreign policy spokesman

3 May

It’s a multiple choice. Choose as many as you like:

A. Tweeting about Newt Gingrich’s wife: “Calista stands there like she is wife #1.”

B. Tweeting and misspelling about the current US Secretary of State, “Hillary is starting to look liek Madeline Albright.”

C. Tweeting about Michelle Obama working out and “sweating on the East Room carpet.”

D. Tweeting about politico Rachel Maddow, “rachel maddow needs to take a breath and put on a necklace.”

E. Being openly gay


Richard Grenell, Mitt Romney’s barely minted national security and foreign policy spokesman, has learned that it’s E that will cost you your job. Having done (and attempted to delete) A-D, he apparently earned a pass on his consistent, bipartisan sexism for knowing enough to delete his tweets upon being hired by Team Romney.

However, he continued not only to be gay but to be openly gay.

Pressured anti-gay activists, who are upset that Romney would endorse the professional acumen of “an ‘out & loud gay’ spokesman,” thereby “basically [telling] ‘the pro-family community’ to ‘drop dead,’ according to anti-gay activist Bryan Fischer, Romney didn’t fire his national security and foreign policy spokesman. But he didn’t empower Grenell to do his job, either. Grenell has “chosen” to resign, citing a “hyperpartisan discussion of personal issues [that was hindering his] ability to speak clearly and forcefully on the issues” (

As much as this may seem to present as a homophobic Republican issue, Democrats might think twice before feeling superior. The reluctance that we’re seeing across party lines to stand up and speak out for same-sex marriage fuels the argument that gay = anti-family. While Obama and other leaders are “evolving” in their thinking, folks like Grenell are being discredited and disenfranchised–in Grenell’s case, ironically, not for his actual poor judgment and problematic behavior, but for his refusal to lie in public about his sexuality. As public opinion has shifted since 2008, with 53% of US Americans in 2011 favoring same-sex marriage (, it’s time for a critical political shift: from an anti-anti-same-sex marriage position to an explicitly pro-same-sex-marriage stance.

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