Ricochet's own Jennifer Rubin has been following the story of Richard Grenell on her Washington Post blog, Right Turn. Richard Grenell was recently hired by the Romney campaign to serve as a spokesman on foreign policy. As luck would have it for a former governor with little foreign policy experience, this former John Bolton advisor is a registered Republican and staunchly opposes the Obama administration's stance on key national security issues. There is only one problem: Mr. Grenell is gay.
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.]
In the National Review, Matthew J. Franck wrote late last week: “Suppose Barack Obama comes out — as Grenell wishes he would — in favor of same-sex marriage in his acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention. How fast and how publicly will Richard Grenell decamp from Romney to Obama?"
I believe we can have a rational debate over gay marriage within the conservative sphere without forcing out those who are gay from our movement. This is a shameful moment for us conservatives and I hope we are beginning the process of rejecting such intolerance. While I am saddened that Mr. Grenell decided to resign from the campaign for personal reasons, I am proud that Governor Romney demonstrated the fortitude to stand by his selection of an imminently qualified advisor like Mr. Grenell and did not take the easy way out by bowing to the less savory aspects of social conservatism.
I would like to know if I am alone with my indignation over the treatment of Mr. Grenell and the pressure for him to resign. In the alternative, I would be happy to hear the counterargument if a fellow Ricochetian feels an openly gay man should not be advising on Republican campaign. How should we proceed as a movement? And, a slightly different question, how do you think we will actually proceed as a movement?