Simon Williamson

The crazies have won

2012-05-04 07:46

Simon Williamson

Presumptive Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney hired a chap called Richard Grenell as his foreign policy spokesperson a fortnight ago. It seemed a good pick; Grenell had worked at the United Nations under the Bush administration. He had experience – the bloke was in charge of responding to Bush foreign policy at the UN. It seemed Romney had found the best man for the job – although this was an appointment that had added significance. Richard Grenell is openly gay.

Did the Republican Party turn the corner on gay issues, prioritising competence over sexual orientation? Public acceptance of homosexuality in the USA is on the increase, and by some estimates has support of over 50% of the country. It was admirable to see Romney pick the best person for the job in spite of Grenell’s open gayness and vocal support for gay marriage. Just to be clear: gay marriage and Republicans go together like fish paste and candyfloss. It looked to be a smart hire from Romney – a true case of putting politics aside to hire the best person. This was also hardly the first instance of gays working in Republican administrations. Romney wasn’t breaking new ground here. He was doing what is expected of someone in a leadership position.

But two weeks later, Grenell is out of a job, Romney’s face is reddish and there is a smug chap called Bryan Fischer sitting in Idaho with a giant smile on his face.

Fischer is the Director of Issue Analysis for Government and Public Policy at the American Family Association, which means he sits and makes up just how the gays are coming to destroy families and the American way of life.

His outraged splutterances over the last two weeks actually forced the Romney campaign into parting ways with Grenell. While sources have leaked to most mainstream media outlets that Romney was actually keen to hold onto his new foreign affairs spokesman, the crazy and loud right-wing nutcases’ commander in chief (and these are not your run-of-the-mill social conservatives, or Christians), Fischer, forced a very competent man out of a job. Although Fischer was supported in his bid by some conservative media publications, a Romney source told the Huffington Post, “The main source of the criticism was from a person on the far right that Romney had taken on before.” Romney has been criticised by Fischer before due to not being conservative enough and over Romney’s religion, Mormonism.

Before you think I am overplaying my hand calling Fischer crazy, it’s worth recounting a few things he has said in various media outlets:

1) While Fischer hates people assuming he said gays caused the
Holocaust, he maintains that the Nazi party was started in a gay bar in Munich all those years ago, and that Hitler’s brownshirts – the people who enforced Hitler’s rules – were almost exclusively homosexual. Because what’s an argument that doesn’t link what he doesn’t smaak to Hitler?

2) “Counterfeit religions, alternative religions to Christianity have no First Amendment right to the free exercise of religion”, says Fischer. Erm, the First Amendment to the US constitution says “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…” Fischer adds that permits should not be granted to build one more mosque on American soil, and he advocates a complete ban on Muslims serving in the US military.

3) “President Barack Obama nurtures this hatred for the United States of America and, I believe, nurtures a hatred for the white man”, says Fischer. With nothing to back that up whatsoever.

4) Fischer believes that homosexuality and religious freedom are incompatible. The fact that religious freedom means that not everyone believes gays and lesbians are going to take a warm seat next to Satan seems to be lost on him.

Now, whatever your feelings about the above topics may be, I think it is realistic to suggest that Fischer is not a very reasonable man. In fact he is a lunatic. He doesn’t present arguments putting his principals forth, or against something he feels is against his belief structure, he goes completely off the rails when trying to defend himself. This is not someone who is socially conservative: this is someone who is not all there.

Dear readers, it is THIS man who almost single-handedly got possibly the next president of the world’s most powerful country to do his bidding. The chap who believes Hitler recruited gays to round up Jews… and gays. He is the one telling Mitt Romney what to do. He does not have a cogent argument against the things he hates – it can’t even be classified as rhetoric. It is nothing more than inflammatory hokum.

And the worst part of this entire situation? The de facto head of the Republican party did as he was told, without even the slightest pushback.

I doubt this is the last we’ll be hearing from Fischer and his chums, if Romney rolls over this easily.


Simon Williamson is a freelance writer.

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Read more on:    simon williamson  |  mitt romney  |  us  |  us elections 2012
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