CHICAGO, May 3, 2012— Character does not matter. Experience does not matter. Policy knowledge, initiatives, or background do not matter. Winning elections does not matter.
None of those things matter to social-value-whatever conservatives. The know nothings got their shorts in a twist because Mitt Romney hired an experienced qualified professional to sharpen his foreign policy platform and messaging.
The Romney campaign came under attack by Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association when he learned that Richard “Ric” Grenell, who is openly gay, was the candidate’s foreign policy spokesman. The rest of the bigoted bullies piled on.
Romney hired a ho-mo-sexual to help him get elected. EEK!
Grenell is an activist for gay marriage. EEK! EEK!
All the insignificant others of Bryan Fischer piled on raising a stink, hue and cry over the hiring of Mr. Grenell. They must fear he is going to try to woo and ask their sons’ or nephews’ to marry him. EEK! EEK! EEK!
Mr. Grenell resigned over the controversy. Major Republicans, even hard-core conservative operatives, were reported to have contacted him, urging him to stay with the campaign. They know every single vote counts. They know there is an election to be won. Something Bryan Fischer and his ilk do not care about.
Social-value-whatever conservatives do not care about winning elections. They only care about saving souls.
Mitt Romney should have told these fringe extremists to get lost. This is his campaign not theirs. Romney needs people who know what they are doing and had real life experience doing it. He does not need marginal groups telling him how to run his campaign.
Mr. Grenell is a life long Republican. He worked at the United Nations Mission under three ambassadors during the George W. Bush administration. Grenell worked for George H.W. Bush’s re-election campaign. Mr. Grenell also advised or worked for other Republicans running for state and federal offices, including former New York governor George Pataki.
He never hid the fact he was openly gay. Many times he was the public face for the people he worked for. He did all this without one peep from the social-value-whatever conservatives.
Republican operatives and former administration officials described Grenell as eminently qualified, a consummate professional, possessing a sharp foreign policy mind. Jon Bolton, former ambassador to the United Nations, had nothing but high praise for him.
People who work for the United Nations Mission have to be vetted for security clearances. Evidently Mr. Grenell was vetted and granted the needed clearances.
Richard Grenell was good enough to serve his country at the United Nations. He is not good enough to work on a political campaign, where his expertise is valuable and needed.
This country could be on the brink of nuclear war, economic collapse, and violent social upheaval, with earthquakes, tornados, and hurricanes occurring. The only thing the social-value-whatever conservatives would care about is “who’s zoomin who”.
If the object of the game is to defeat the president and his party and GOP candidates are listening to advocates of “conscience”, the game is lost. If the object of the game is to win elections- note the plural- the candidates may as well forfeit.
Social-value-whatever conservatives do not care about winning elections. They do not care about defeating any elected official. They only care about sex, abortion, and marriage.
They should get out of politics and open churches if all they want to do is save souls. Souls don’t vote except in Chicago.
These people are the bane of the Republican Party. They should get a clue. No one cares about gays, birth control, or marriage right now. With all the other serious issues facing America those are the last things on voters minds.
These extremists strike fear and dread in the heart of Republican candidates. What would they do if Mr. Grenell decided not to resign and tough it out? What would they do if Romney gave Mr. Grenell his full backing?
Would they throw their support and votes to President Obama? Run ads and editorials against Mitt Romney? Would they tell their meager congregations to stay home on Election Day? What impact do they really have on the election except to lose it?
If you live in a socially conservative district, there is no problem with promoting and electing people who share the same views as the majority of the constituency. That is only right and fair. If you want a pro-choice anti-gay dogcatcher go for it.
There is nothing wrong with advocating and promoting community standards, where there are homogenous voting blocs. People who live in like-minded communities get to decide who represents their interests.
This is a presidential election. The constituency is the whole country. The country is not one homogenous voting bloc. Every single vote is going to count.
Candidates need to appeal to the broadest voting populations. They also need expert advice on hosts of issues. They need the best advisors money can buy.
From all appearances, Richard Grenell was the best money could buy.
Social-value-whatever conservatives are are professional absolutist ideologues. They do not care about winning. They could care less about foreign, economic, or domestic policy issues. They could care less about the fate of the nation.
Social-value-whatever conservatives want to change the world. One lost election at a time.
Peter V. Bella is a retired Chicago Police Officer, freelance journalist and photojournalist, cook, and raconteur. He likes to be the irreverent sharp stick that pokes, prods, and annoys. His opinions are his and his alone.
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