This is hilarious.
Two weeks ago, Mitt Romney former Bush administration official Richard Grenell as foreign policy spokesman for the Romney campaign. By the next day, anti-gay radio host Brian Fischer was attacking the move along with several other right wingers.
The day after Mr. Grenell was hired, Bryan Fischer, a Romney critic with the American Family Association, told nearly 1,400 followers on Twitter: “If personnel is policy, his message to the pro-family community: drop dead.” The next day, the conservative Daily Caller published an online column that summed up the anger of the Christian right, linking Mr. Grenell’s hiring to the appointment of gay judges to the New Jersey Supreme Court.
The Romney campaign was spooked. Campaign spokesperson Andrea Saul released a half-hearted defense:
Andrea Saul, a campaign spokeswoman, issued a statement of support for Mr. Grenell on April 24. But it made no mention of the attacks on his sexuality: “We hired Ric Grenell because he was the best qualified person for the job and has extensive experience representing the U.S. Mission to the U.N.”
But at the same time Grenell was repeatedly told not to say anything publicly for the campaign. Grenell finally read the writing on the wall after he organized a major media conference call on foreign policy.
It was the biggest moment yet for Mitt Romney’s foreign policy team: a conference call last Thursday, dialed into by dozens of news outlets from around the globe, to dissect and denounce President Obama’s record on national security.
But Richard Grenell, the political strategist who helped organize the call and was specifically hired to oversee such communications, was conspicuously absent, or so everyone thought.
It turned out he was at home in Los Angeles, listening in, but stone silent and seething. A few minutes earlier, a senior Romney aide had delivered an unexpected directive, according to several people involved in the call.
“Ric,” said Alex Wong, a policy aide, “the campaign has requested that you not speak on this call.” Mr. Wong added, “It’s best to lay low for now.”
That’s when Grenell decided to step down after only two weeks. Brian Fischer celebrated on his radio talk show, calling it a “huge win.”
Yesterday, Romney was running around telling people that he had wanted Grenell to stay with the campaign; yet Romney was stone cold silent for the entire two weeks of the controversy!
Then yesterday, Fischer made fun of Romney for caving to “a yokel like me.”
Fischer: Let me ask you this question, people have raised this question, if Mitt Romney can be pushed around, intimidated, coerced, coopted by a conservative radio talk show host in Middle America, then how is he going to stand up to the Chinese? How is he going to stand up to Putin? How is he going to stand up to North Korea if he can be pushed around by a yokel like me? I don’t think Romney is realizing the doubts that this begins to raise about his leadership. I don’t think for one minute that Mitt Romney did not want this guy gone; he wanted this guy gone because there was not one word of defense, not a peep, from the Romney camp to defend him. They just went absolutely stone cold silent, they put a bag over Grenell’s head, they even asked him to organize this phone conference and they didn’t even let him speak at the conference that he organized.
The quoted part begins around 4:00, but the whole thing is pretty entertaining, especially the part where Fischer talks about Romney’s “triple etch-a-sketch” and how Romney “went Saul Alinsky on me.”
There’s a bit of a flap going on because a famous person named Cynthia Nixon said she’s gay by choice. (Full disclosure: I’ve never heard of her. I only visit this planet now and again)
Saying it’s a choice is supposed to be very bad because it falls into a “right wing trap.” Everybody must say gays are born that way, that they can’t help themselves, that it’s-not-their-fault-they-found-it-that-way. Otherwise wingnuts can insist that re-education could work.
Any kind of sex between any kind of people who can freely and knowledgeably consent is nobody’s business but their own.
The point isn’t whether you have a choice or not. That has nothing to do with it. The only point that matters is that nobody gets to tell you what kind of sex to have. Or not to have.
The only real “right wing trap” is granting the crazy premise that it’s okay to meddle in somebody else’s sex life if you can. Because that’s what the Aravosises of the world are doing. They’re saying it’s genetic, so they can’t help it, so give up already. Which means that if they could help it, then meddle away.
People who freely and knowledgeably consent and are doing nothing to hurt others have a right to do anything they damn well please. Genetics and choice have nothing to do with the basic right to mind your own business.
Just because some gay people have made their stand on illogical ground is not Nixon’s fault. All she’s done is shine a light on it.
This one is so interesting I thought I’d give it its own post. We’ve talked about how the Republicans are eager to strip immigrants, women, and the GLBT community of constitutional rights. Recently, the Obama DOJ refused to defend DOMA against charges of unconstitutionality. Speaker Boehner took up the cause by hiring some very expensive lawyers. It seems those lawyers have dropped the DOMA case.
In a real victory for supporters of same-sex marriage — and marking what seems like real marginalization for its foes — a major law firm has reversed course and will refuse to represent the House of Representatives in defending the Defense of Marriage Act.
King and Spalding Chairman Robert D. Hays, Jr., whose partner Paul Clement was to lead the defense, said in a statement through a spokesman, Les Zuke:
Today the firm filed a motion to withdraw from its engagement to represent the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group of the House of Representatives on the constitutional issues regarding Section III of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act. Last week we worked diligently through the process required for withdrawal.
In reviewing this assignment further, I determined that the process used for vetting this engagement was inadequate. Ultimately I am responsible for any mistakes that occurred and apologize for the challenges this may have created.
The statement is silent on the reasons for the decision, but the firm faced protests at its Atlanta office and a national campaign against it. And now the House majority may have to find a new lawyer.
The weirdest twist in this flap is that Clement–Boehner’s choice and a former Dubya appointee–has quit the firm. A copy of his resignation letter exists on line here.
Former Solicitor General Paul Clement resigned Monday from his law firm, King & Spalding, over the firm’s abrupt and belated decision to stop defending the Defense of Marriage Act on behalf of the House of Representatives.
“I resign out of the firmly held belief that a representation should not be abandoned because the client’s legal position is extremely unpopular in certain quarters. Defending unpopular clients is what lawyers do,” Clement wrote to King & Spalding chairman Robert Hays. “I recognized from the outset that this statute implicates very sensitive issues that prompt strong views on both sides. But having undertaken the representation, I believe there is no honorable course for me but to complete it.”
Clement said he will join Bancroft PLLC, a small Washington-based firm that is home to former Bush Justice Department official Viet Dinh.
It’s extremely odd that small-government loving republicans continue to support the removal of rights from American citizens. The clear driver behind all of this is their extremist base with their extremist religious views. The tide is clearly turning on laws that give members of the GLBT less than full citizenship status because younger people do not ascribe to the bigotry in large numbers. Nancy Pelosi tweets that she wants answers from Speaker Boehner.
Frankly, I’d like answers from Congresswoman Pelosi and other Democrats about why it’s taken them so long to stand up for the constitutional rights of US citizens. It’s time for them to fight all the erosion of rights of individuals by the Republicans that are clearly based in religious diatribes and bigotry and little else. This includes the fights for abortion rights and the civil rights of the GLBT community and immigrants.
I’ve never been a big fan of marriage even though I sat in one for about 20 years. Don’t ask and I won’t tell. I’ve found it to be a major constraint. I found compromise is a virtue only to those who lack ambition and leave it at that.
However, I know I’m not the least bit in the main stream about a lot of things; mostly about any kind of religion. It takes a lot of commitment and intellectual compromise to support religions developed back before high level reading, writing, arithmetic, and science were invented. I even think that the term “DARK AGES” and “Age of Enlightenment” are pretty self-explanatory but then if there’s a god gene, it just doesn’t seem to run in my family and hasn’t for a long time.
Still, I’ve noticed a generational thing surrounding the marriage issue as well as old time religion. The older you are, the more you insist it’s one man, one woman, and it’s best for children. I just think it’s unnecessary unless you really want to give away your assets, time, and dreams to some body else who can drag you through court and take even more by the time you’re done. My kids have yet to get married and think it’s something best put off to when you’re nearly dead any way (say somewhere between 30 and 40). The kids and I think any one who wants to be able to do it should be able to get married. My parents were both pretty accepting of gay people, but their generation just can’t see gay marriage. In that way, my family appears to be pretty typical.