Does Romney’s Teavangelical Base Know He Has Hired an Openly Gay Spokesman?

Richard Grenell
Richard Grenell
They do now, via Andrew Sullivan:

Romney’s National Security Spokesman Is Openly Gay … A fact that doesn’t make it into the Washington Post. But I’m in no way outing [Richard Grenell]. He has lived with his partner, Matt Lashey, for the past nine years, and is a frequent advocate for Republicans and gays. Which is why this pick is interesting. For Romney to have an openly gay spokesman is a real outreach to gay Republicans, a subtle signal to moderates, and the Santorum faction’s reaction will be worth noting.

Actually, the chance that Santorum’s faction will ever be exposed to the unpleasant fact that Romney has appointed an openly gay man to a high-profile position is less than zilch. Sully, who often writes about epistimic closure, may have been momentarily deluded when he wrote that last bit.

The Republicans base will not learn about it by reading (once openly gay, now closeted) Matt Drudge’s right-wing news aggregator website, and they won’t hear about in the GOP propaganda dumps on Fox News or hate radio — and teavangelicals would never expose their beautiful low-info minds to Sullivan’s posts on the The Daily Beast, even though he is a conservative Catholic, albeit one who is also openly gay.

They won’t read the Washington Post, either, of course, but, as Sullivan pointed out, even if they had read the Post’s announcement yesterday that Romney had hired Grenell, they wouldn’t have learned that Grenell is a member of the caste that they consider to be unclean.

And what to make of Stockholm Syndrome survivors like Richard Grenell, who is in an LTR with Lashey, but persists as a loyal apparatchik in a political party dominated by people who despise him.

For the entire eight years of the George W. Bush administration, Grenell served as the administration’s director of communications and public diplomacy at the United Nations. But check out this story from the Advocate, published in the waning days of the George W. Bush administration, in September 2008, about Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice’s State Department viewed his relationship with Lashey about which Grenell said, “In my mind, and in Matt’s mind, this is it. We’re married”:

Richard Grenell was appointed spokesperson for the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations by President Bush more than seven years ago and became the longest-serving public servant to hold that post. But when it came to having his partner of six years listed alongside the spouses of other U.N. diplomats, his dedication to the job didn’t carry much weight with the State Department.

How can Grenell now work for a candidate like Mitt Romney, who said in 2008, “I have taken every action that I could conceive of within the bounds of the law to defend traditional marriage and to stop same-sex marriage?”

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