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Grenell quits

Timothy Kincaid

May 1st, 2012

Richard Grenell has resigned from the Romney team, reportedly despite the campaign’s efforts to talk him into staying. This undoubtedly pleases those who very much prefer that there be no gay voices in Republican politics.

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esurience
May 1st, 2012 | LINK

It’s of course in the campaign’s interest to say that they wanted him to stay, and that they weren’t bowing to pressure from social conservatives. It’s also in Grenell’s interest to not dispute that account, since he wants Romney to win over Obama.

Hey Mr. Kincaid, why do you give Barney Frank crap for prioritizing allegiance to Democrats rather than gays (although I take issue with this characterization, since Democratic politics are the vehicle by which gay rights are moved), but you don’t give Grenell crap for obviously doing the same thing (on the opposite side)?

Grenell was (is, as an outsider), working to get Mitt Romney elected, who supports a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage.

It seems to me that if one wants to make criticisms of gay people who put their political loyalties ahead of gay rights issues, Grenell would be a more suitable target.

David Roberts
May 1st, 2012 | LINK

From which side of the aisle came the “hyper-partisan voices” that allegedly drove him out? I think your argument here is with reality, not democrats.

Perhaps we should ask for what purpose did a candidate with anti-gay views, running for a party with anti-gay planks, ask a gay man to work on his campaign.

David Waite
May 1st, 2012 | LINK

Esurience, David Roberts, I’m puzzled by your apparent assumption that Tim was referring to Democrats. When I first read about the resignation this morning, all sources were clear that Grenell referenced the virulent opposition of Republican fundamentalists in announcing his decision to resign. Furthermore, had you gone to the link Tim posted, you would have seen this paragraph and other ‘goodies’:

“Pieces in two conservative publications, the National Review and Daily Caller, reflected the uproar by some social conservatives over the appointment. [UPDATE, 4:30 p.m.: Although Grenell also raised the ire of liberal commentators with now-deleted tweets about certain prominent women, none of the sources I spoke with mentioned the tweets as a factor in his resignation decision.]“

Jim Burroway
May 1st, 2012 | LINK

This undoubtedly pleases those who very much prefer that there be no gay voices in Republican politics.

I can only assume you are speaking of Bryan Fischer or the National Review’s Matthew Franck or the Family “Research” Council. It would have been much more helpful in understanding your post if you had made that clear.

Muscat
May 1st, 2012 | LINK

esurience,

Yeah, it’s telling that the campaign supposedly supported him in private but made no public statement of support defending him against the attack pieces prior to his resignation.

It’s also not a good sign of the state of the GOP’s “big tent” that they can’t tolerate a gay man in a campaign position that has nothing to do with gay issues.

Jim Burroway
May 1st, 2012 | LINK

From the Washington Post:

According to sources familiar with the situation, Grenell decided to resign after being kept under wraps during a time when national security issues, including the president’s ad concerning Osama bin Laden, had emerged front and center in the campaign.

Pieces in two conservative publications, the National Review and Daily Caller, reflected the uproar by some social conservatives over the appointment. [UPDATE, 4:30 p.m.: Although Grenell also raised the ire of liberal commentators with now-deleted tweets about certain prominent women, none of the sources I spoke with mentioned the tweets as a factor in his resignation decision.]

…UPDATE (3:50 p.m.): Right Turn has learned from multiple sources that the senior officials from the Romney campaign and respected Republicans not on the campaign contacted Ric Grenell over the weekend in an attempt to persuade him not to leave the campaign. Those were unsuccessful. During the two weeks after Grenell’s hiring was announced the Romney campaign did not put Grenell out to comment on national security matters and did not use him on a press foreign policy conference call. Despite the controversy in new media and in conservative circles, there was no public statement of support for Grenell by the campaign and no supportive social conservatives were enlisted to calm the waters. Beyond his statement, Grenell has declined further comment today.

Jim Burroway
May 1st, 2012 | LINK

President Bush’s former press secretary Ari Flescher asks:

Why wasn’t Rick the spokesman in the last couple of days, when foreign policy was paramount? That’s the piece I don’t understand,” Fleischer said. “I don’t know why he wasn’t the spokesman on foreign policy for the last several days. It’s something that nobody understands.”

The question many are asking is whether Grenell’s departure demonstrates Romney’s weakness, his unwillingness to stand up to social conservatives. The Romney campaign insists he’d been asked to stay. But there’s the matter of Grenell’s low profile in recent days. It’s entirely possible it had nothing to do with conservative pressure over Grenell. But it seems like more will be coming out about this before long.

Joseph Singer
May 1st, 2012 | LINK

I know it’s cliché to say, but Grenell is a self-hating gay man. Why else would someone devote their energies for a man who hates him?

Ryan
May 1st, 2012 | LINK

Even though Grenell was catty and at least mildly homophobic himself, anything that gives social conservatives such glee is very upsetting. They clearly have a lot of power in the GOP party even now.

Timothy Kincaid
May 1st, 2012 | LINK

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.

Are you feeling proud today? Good thing we’re not like the H8ters.

Jim Burroway
May 1st, 2012 | LINK

Are you suggesting then that Grenell resigned from his foreign policy position in a national presidential campaign because of criticism from lefty bloggers?

Jim Burroway
May 1st, 2012 | LINK

Oh wait a minute!!!!!

Are you suggesting then that Grenell resigned from his foreign policy position in a national presidential campaign because of criticism from lefty bloggers’ commenters?

Timothy Kincaid
May 1st, 2012 | LINK

No, Jim. I’m suggesting exactly what I said. I was very clear. I made no suggestion as to why he resigned, who was responsible, or what motivations contributed to his decision.

What I said was that those who those who very much prefer that there be no gay voices in Republican politics are undoubtedly pleased.

Among the “pleased” are Bryan Fischer.

Among the “pleased” are those who made the above listed comments.

I am not among the “pleased”.

Mark F.
May 1st, 2012 | LINK

It’s pretty clear that both “progressives
” and “social conservatives” are pleased at this resignation. Is that so hard to understand?

Priya Lynn
May 1st, 2012 | LINK

Mark I’m not pleased at this resignation although I’m not particularly upset either. I think its helpful to have gays working within the beast hopefully to help encourage change.

David Roberts
May 1st, 2012 | LINK

@David Waite

Esurience, David Roberts, I’m puzzled by your apparent assumption that Tim was referring to Democrats.

I can’t speak for Esurience, but I know Timothy well enough to make the determination.  His comment further along is validation of the assumption.  I’ve been in those shoes and I know the frustration, but I came to realize that the party had left me long before I left it.

Even if I were not gay, the GOP no longer has any priorities which coincide with my values.  I guess part of me hopes that Timothy can realize the same and stop defending that which, by and large, works to marginalize us both.  Even so, it’s not an easy move to make. 

Timothy Kincaid
May 2nd, 2012 | LINK

No David you most decidedly do NOT know my thinking.

With respect – because you know I respect and love you – I think that you are doing going through a period in which you are so angry at being duped that you don’t have perspective. It’s common after a drastic change in view. No one is less forgiving than someone who once was what they now oppose.

But while you are free to find your balance and I respect the process, please don’t condescend to me.

I meant what I said and nothing more. I don’t know why he quit.

But I do know that he was treated very shitty by people who are so fucking self-righteous about their political affiliation that they think themselves noble and better when their behavior towards another human being is so despicable that it makes Linda Harvey and Peter LaBarbera look good by comparison.

And as I am the ONLY person speaking out against it, I won’t be accepting criticism from anyone, thanks so much

After you spend some time speaking out against that evil you can get back to me.

. . .

And it is the anger that this sort of casual dismissal stirred up in me that lets me know that it’s time fore a break.

It’s time because I it’s rude and thoughtless and i don’t deserve it and don’t want to go through it.

And time because my response is lacking in civility and out of proportion to the (probably unintended) insult.

chiMaxx
May 2nd, 2012 | LINK

Timothy:

I do want there to be gay Republicans. I wish Fred Karger had actually gotten to be in the debates. And I can see the attraction in working for crazy old Ron Paul if you lean libertarian. Conservatives make a good case that corporation have moved farther and faster on gay rights than the government, and if you believed with Paul that getting government out of the way of business could lead to more good things for gays, then that would be a great fit.

But it is frankly hard to justify a gay man working to get someone elected who has signed the NOM pledge and promised to work for an anti-gay marriage Amendment. I do want gay Republicans. but I don’t want gay men supporting Romney: He clearly won’t support them when push comes to shove.

Being Republican doesn’t make you a quisling. Working for Romney pretty much does. If that wasn’t clear before this firing, it is now.

[Editor's note: This comment, for some reason, ended up in our spam filter. I released it when I went to clear the filter out. The spam filter catches dozens of illegitimate spam comments each day (sometimes each hour, depending), and without it, many of these threads would be unreadable. But in the process it sometimes misidentifies a legitimate message as spam. The software is pretty good so it happens rarely, but it does happen. If you think it may have happened to you, please send us a message and we'll try to correct the problem -- Jim Burroway]

David Roberts
May 2nd, 2012 | LINK

With respect – because you know I respect and love you – I think that you are doing going through a period in which you are so angry at being duped that you don’t have perspective. It’s common after a drastic change in view. No one is less forgiving than someone who once was what they now oppose.

Now who is being condescending?  Honestly, you are way off there, Timothy. I know that is the attitude you have been expecting, because you told me so, but I was disgusted with the GOP long before I left it. Maintaining my affiliation became more an exercise in self-hatred than political representation.  Likewise, leaving was an excise in personal growth.

That aside, I would agree that you probably need some time away.  I would also renew my suggestion of years ago, that you create a personal blog for a few of these issues.  Some of what you write feels much more like it belongs in one, and the dynamic is different when it’s a personal space.  I think you might find it helpful.

If I could ask one more thing concerning the thread, please tell me exactly who you mean with this statement:

But I do know that he was treated very shitty by people who are so fucking self-righteous about their political affiliation that they think themselves noble and better when their behavior towards another human being is so despicable that it makes Linda Harvey and Peter LaBarbera look good by comparison.

If you can clarify who the “people” are you mention there, I might better understand you.

jimb
May 2nd, 2012 | LINK

Tim, Enjoy some time off. I read your blog daily and love it. Signed, a fan.

Priya Lynn
May 2nd, 2012 | LINK

Timothy said “But I do know that he was treated very shitty by people who are so fucking self-righteous about their political affiliation that they think themselves noble and better when their behavior towards another human being is so despicable that it makes Linda Harvey and Peter LaBarbera look good by comparison.”.

You throw around such absurd comparisons very lightly, it hurts your credibility. No one here treats people so badly that they are as bad as Linda Harvey or Peter Labarbera much less so bad as to make them look good.

Timothy Kincaid
May 2nd, 2012 | LINK

David,

I marvel that you are unaware of any mistreatment of Grenell If you read above you’ll see a large number of quotes. I consider such treatment to be despicable (or,as I put it earlier,shitty).

If you do not, then you have changed more than I have been willing to recognize and that makes me very sad.

As for your counsel that I go mutter to myself out of the public eye, I can only say that I am delighted that I ignored such advice the last time it was offered and will do the same again. It’s clear that we do not agree on what is appropriate to be read by decent civil people over their morning coffee and crumpets.

Actually, it is my intent to take my writing in a more personal direction. This is undoubtedly going to be at higher emotional risk, so I definitely need to rest and be in full preparedness. Alas, I fear you won’t like the change at all, but I think that it will be well received by some.

I wish you much continued success at your website and hope that you are living a life filled with happiness and peace.

David Roberts
May 2nd, 2012 | LINK

@Timothy

I marvel that you are unaware of any mistreatment of Grenell If you read above you’ll see a large number of quotes. I consider such treatment to be despicable (or,as I put it earlier,shitty).

I asked you a simple question to clarify my impression of your earlier statements.  You could have simply answered directly.  You would never let someone else get away with that.

If you do not, then you have changed more than I have been willing to recognize and that makes me very sad.

Oh please, quit with the drama.

As for your counsel that I go mutter to myself out of the public eye, I can only say that I am delighted that I ignored such advice the last time it was offered and will do the same again.

Here is what I said:

I would also renew my suggestion of years ago, that you create a personal blog for a few of these issues.  Some of what you write feels much more like it belongs in one, and the dynamic is different when it’s a personal space.  I think you might find it helpful.

How do you end up getting something negative out of that suggestion?  Many people who write for a major site also keep personal blogs for those things that are less formal, less newsworthy or just plain too personal.  It helps to be able to vent there.  I thought before and now that it would help you do so.  As I suspect you could link to it from here, it would hardly be “out of the public eye.”

Alas, I fear you won’t like the change at all, but I think that it will be well received by some.

Whatever you write here is up to you and Jim  Whether I am pleased or not is irrelevant.  I was simply making a suggestion I thought would help you avoid some of the stress you described in a public post.

You have started becoming passive-agressive and when you do that I feel like I’m talking with an adversary and it’s not a good feeling.  If you would like to answer my original question above, I would like to see it.  Otherwise, since I don’t seem to be able to say anything that you don’t view as negative, I will take my leave.

 

Timothy Kincaid
May 2nd, 2012 | LINK

David,

Thank you for your suggestions. I will accept them in the spirit with which they were offered and give them the consideration to which they are due.

I agree that it is best that we not be adversarial. I am unaware of any unanswered questions but apologize if I have not addressed whichever question you are referring to.

Have a very lovely day.

Palmer
May 2nd, 2012 | LINK

Ah, the whiff of sanctimony.

Jonathan
May 2nd, 2012 | LINK

Old fable: A man has a bad day at work, so he’s cruel to his wife. Wife has a bad day, so she’s cruel to the kids. Kids have a bad day, so they kick the dog. Dog has a bad day, so it bites… hurt feelings never seem to propagate in the direction that caused them when power structures are involved.

I still remember the day my state (Texas) passed an amendment outlawing gay marriage and civil unions. Even though it was obviously going to pass and everybody knew it for weeks, I was very surprised at how viscerally I felt it, like the entire state had personally signed a letter to me that read, “We don’t like you, get out.”

Is there any reason to multiply your list of villains by searching through the comments section of people’s blogs? The news today was about learning just what kind of hands are still powerful in GOP politics. We do what we always do. Learn, let go, move forward.

Neil
May 2nd, 2012 | LINK

Grenell was hired, not put into service in his designated role and all the while received denouncements from within the Republican Party but no official statements of support.

It doesn’t seem to me the views of the left had much to do with his resignation.

Mike Airhart
May 3rd, 2012 | LINK

Speaking as an official spokesman for the left:

The left wants and needs gay voices like Fred Karger to restrain the lunacy that is overtaking the GOP.

When gay conservatives refuse to stand up to that lunacy, they facilitate and reward it. Likewise, when gay Democrats excuse bigotry within their own party as a supposed “lesser evil,” they facilitate and reward the cancerous growth within their own party.

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