Okay, whenever I say one thing, like, “I’m getting tired of writing about politics,’ something pops up and … we have the first exception to the new rule. This is one of those topics.
It occurred to me while watching the news programs on MSNBC, the news source of choice around here. First was the story about a new and quickly disposed of foreign policy advisor to Mitt Romney’s campaign, Richard Grenell.
Grenell has a long neo-con history working for the Bush 43 Administration and then for John Bolton when he was ambassador to the United Nations. Grenell is no shrinking violet policy-wise. He’s a guy who enjoys torture (on people he considers enemies of the state), still believes Bush’s war in Iraq was a good idea and, for added benefit, he’s bashed women of every political persuasion on Twitter, based on their physical appearance; from Callista Gingrich to Rachel Maddow.
Grenell has since removed the offending Tweets.
Of course the guy offends Lefties, he’s an asshole! It goes along with being a flaming neo-con. And for a Republican presidential candidate, there could be no better political credentials than being vilified by the Left.
What got Grenell “resigned” from the Romney campaign was his sexual orientation. It seems he took the Left to task for not pressing President Obama on gay marriage, a policy position Grenell apparently supports. This infuriated members of the extreme fringe of the Conservative movement so their radio lackeys agitated until Grenell departed.
One of those agitators was Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association. That’s one of those extremist Christian groups, sort of like an extremist Islamic group, but in English. When you think of a ranting, hate-mongering, violence-inducing dick, Bryan Fischer fits that description. There’s video of him hollering in his radio studio and the way he works that mic, you’d think he was practicing his technique for fellatio.
Another of those agitators was Matthew Franck of the National Review. He wrote, “"I agree that Grenell’s being openly gay is, in itself, of no consequence for his service in the Romney campaign, but Grenell has made a particular crusade of the marriage issue, with a kind of unhinged devotion that suggests a man with questionable judgment.”
Adding that if Romney won the election and gave Grenell a position in his administration, “he could pursue his passion for that same agenda.”
So the Romney campaign hires this asshole Grenell, who just happens to be gay, and shortly there after starts getting slammed by the extreme far Righties that comprise the base of the Republican Party, without whom Romney can’t win the general election.
In true flip-flop fashion, the Romney management team decides Grenell can’t make any public appearances or statements, either verbally or written. Then, according to Romney staffers, Grenell was told to “sit down and shut up” in front of campaign subordinates during a staff meeting. They didn’t even want to hear his views on foreign policy.
After a couple weeks of this treatment Grenell “resigned.” In his resignation letter Grenell said the reason for leaving the campaign was “… the hyper-partisan discussion of personal issues that sometimes comes from a presidential campaign.” It wasn’t really the partisan sniping from the Left, but that volatile attacks from the Right. “While I welcomed the challenge to confront President Obama’s foreign policy failures and weak leadership on the world stage, my ability to speak clearly and forcefully on the issues has been greatly diminished.”
The Romney campaign on the other hand said they begged Grenell to stay on, that he was highly qualified for his advisory position. But the candidate himself didn’t get out on the stump to defend his man, the task of publicly defending Grenell for the cameras was left to subordinates like neo-con foreign policy guru Dan Senor, himself a veteran of the Bush 43 White House.
Romney admitted he doesn’t have a foreign policy agenda and that he would leave it to State Department types (Like Senor) to figure out. Well, that’s (not) comforting!
So now the vision of the Romney candidacy is that he is controlled by the Radical Religious Right. In fact, Fischer was bragging about how he got Grenell removed from the Romney campaign. Does the electorate want to hire someone to be president who is controlled by people who want to force a radical religious agenda on America? But it doesn’t end there.
Up pops Grover Norquist, the Fozzy Bear of the Radical Right. He doesn’t have a social or religious agenda, he’s all about cutting taxes! “Lower taxes! Lower taxes!” He even browbeat Republicans into signing a no new taxes pledge. “Be like Ronald Reagan,” he cries! But not the part where Reagan raised taxes seven times. We’ll just ignore that little paradox.
Norquist made a speech in February at the celebrated CPAC convention telling anyone willing to listen what the Republicans needed from a presidential candidate. They don’t need a leader, he said. The Republican Party already has leaders in the House of Representatives! That’s right! In particular Wisconsin representative Paul Ryan who put forth that awesome budget plan that decimates the poor, elderly, college students and the Middle Class to give more wealth to the wealthy.
He said, “All we have to do is replace Obama. We are not auditioning for fearless leader. We don’t need a president to tell us in what direction to go. We know what direction to go. We want the Ryan budget. We just need a president to sign this stuff. We don’t need someone to think it up or design it. The leadership for the modern conservative movement for the next 20 years will be coming out of the House [of Representatives] and the Senate.”
Apparently, the only qualifications the Republican president will need are working fingers on his (or her) writing hand! “Pick a Republican with enough working digits to handle a pen to become President of the United States. His job is to be captain of the team; to sign the legislation that has already been prepared.”
Mitt Romney, in Grover Norquist’s eyes, would be the butler for the Congressional Republicans. A nice vision for the military of their Commander-in-Chief.
Here’s where we should take issue with the modern media. The only person to take note of this speech by Norquist, at the time he delivered it almost three months ago, was David Frum, himself a veteran of the Bush 43 Administration. Frum wrote about it for the Daily Beast in February while CPAC was rolling along in Washington, D.C.
Many on the Right consider Frum a traitor because he’s one of the strongest critics of the radically extreme shift to the right in the Republican Party. He hasn’t really done anything remotely treasonous towards the Republican Party, he’s just refused to get into lockstep with the direction the party has taken. And in today’s conservative movement, that’s treason!
Consequently, Frum doesn’t get quoted a lot, doesn’t make it onto the talk shows of the news networks, maybe CNN now and then and HBO’s Real Time With Bill Maher. And maybe the news should have taken note at the time, instead of worrying about a dog on a car roof or the car elevator in Romney’s La Jolla, CA home.
What Frum pointed out then and what is becoming quickly apparent now is that the Republican nominee will be little more than a puppet for the radically extreme forces now controlling the so-called conservative movement. First of all: a tip of the hat to Frum for pointing it out before everyone else. But more importantly, here’s the campaign strategy for the Obama campaign and frankly, any Democrat running in 2012: just have commercials featuring videos of Bryan Fischer and Grover Norquist running off at the mouth and then put it to the voters: “This is who you are really putting in the White House if you vote for Mitt Romney. Are these the people you want running the country?”
Brilliant campaign strategy. The question is, will the Left let go of the punchlines that have marked their campaign rhetoric so far? Make the argument about policy and who really controls that agenda: the nominee or the radically extreme wing of the so-called conservative movement.
Let’s hope the Obama campaign and the DNC is firing on all cylinders, we can’t afford four more years of Bush 43 and his Republican lackeys. Not to mention, I have other things to do like keeping up to date on all the Hooters Bikini Contests that have taken place this past month. So many women, so little time.