Jonah Goldberg

I don't buy it, largely because the evidence is so scant. On one side there are some overly aggressive tweets from Grenell about a Washington Post columnist's allegedly hypocritical refusal to confront President Obama over his opposition to gay marriage. Meanwhile, Grenell worked for eight years for George W. Bush, serving as spokesman not only to Bolton but also to Ambassadors John Negroponte, John Danforth and Zalmay Khalilzad. While at the United Nations, Grenell earned the best kinds of enemies: the anti-American bureaucrats at the U.N. and the journalists who love them.

His enemies now are a more mixed bag. Sensible social conservatives like Franck should understand that if you're going to oppose gay marriage, you will have zero chance of convincing anyone your position isn't driven by anti-gay animus if you're also opposed to gays working in policy areas that have nothing to do with gay marriage.

As for Fischer, I've avoided making him the avatar of the "religious right" the way some in the media have, because doing so gives Fischer far too much credit and the religious right far too little. I've talked to many prominent Christian conservatives about this, and the idea that Fischer speaks for them is ludicrous. Fischer, who's argued that the First Amendment doesn't protect the religious freedom of non-Christians, doesn't speak for any members of the Christian right I know.

Gagging Grenell was a bad play for the Romney team because it guaranteed the issue wouldn't go away. The only way to dispel concerns about the man's fitness for the job was to let him do his job. Muzzling him until he resigned was the worst possible way to handle it because all it did was feed crocodiles like Fischer.


Jonah Goldberg

Jonah Goldberg is editor-at-large of National Review Online,and the author of the forthcoming book The Tyranny of Clichés. You can reach him via Twitter @JonahNRO.
 
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