The recent hiring of Richard Grenell, Mitt Romney’s openly gay foreign-policy spokesman, represents a breakthrough in the world of Republican presidential campaigns. Grenell isn’t the first out gay person to serve as a high-level staffer to a GOP nominee, but as far as I can tell, he is the first such press spokesman — the first to serve as the public face of the all-but-certain Republican nominee — and on the historically sensitive issue of national security, no less.
Congratulations, Mitt! This is a long overdue sign of increased tolerance and — wait. What’s that? He’s gone already? Here’s Jennifer Rubin today:
Richard Grenell, the openly gay spokesman recently hired to sharpen the foreign policy message of Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign, has resigned in the wake of a full-court press by anti-gay conservatives.
….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….The ongoing pressure from social conservatives over his appointment and the reluctance of the Romney campaign to send Grenell out as a spokesman while controversy swirled left Grenell essentially with no job.
Well, that’s that. The Republican base doesn’t just oppose gay marriage on principle, they oppose the very idea of allowing someone who’s openly gay to serve in any kind of highly visible position. And in Republican-land, if you get into an argument with the base, the base wins.