Back in September, President Trump nominated Richard Grenell to be US Ambassador to Germany. Grenell has previously served as our spokesman at the UN, he was Mitt Romney’s spokesman in 2012, and he was an early supporter of President Trump. Oh, and he’s gay and married. Considering the turmoil in Europe with Russia meddling everywhere and the Germans who are besotted by Iranian cash and committing national suicide with their immigration policy, one would have thought that this would have had a high priority for Senate action. But no, the nomination was stalled by Democrats until last Thursday.
This is a synopsis of the criticism from gay media.
The Washington Blade:
The primary reason for the hold on Grenell purportedly was comments he made years ago on Twitter about the appearance of women, including Hillary Clinton, Madeleine Albright, Callista Gingrich and Rachel Maddow. Although Grenell years ago apologized and deleted those tweets, they stand out in the context of the #MeToo movement in which women are coming forward with allegations of sexual misconduct.
Although Grenell deleted those tweets during his brief stint with the Romney campaign and apologized for them, the similar exchange years later. In a now deleted tweet, Grenell told MSNBC reporter Katy Tur in 2016 “calling yourself a journalist is offensive to real ones. Did u intern for @KeithOlbermann or date him? Either way doesn’t make u a reporter.” Grenell faced immediate criticism from other women on Twitter over the remarks.
In questioning Grenell, Murphy called out the “litany of derogatory comments about women’s personal appearances” as “very inflammatory things” the nominee has said, according to The Washington Blade. And when Murphy asked Grenell if he had regrets about skewering women online, he said it was “never my intention to hurt anyone’s feelings.” He added that he was trying to be funny and that perhaps the humor didn’t go over well.
While Grenell insisted that the tweets were not indicative of his character, it’s hard to ignore that they occurred over years and were targeted at women, which could make his post interesting considering he’d be ambassador to a country that is presided over by Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Murphy refrained from repeating the insults Grenell had hurled at women but according to The Washington Blade they consisted of a couple internalized homophobic/misogynist insults aimed at Rachel Maddow in which he wrote, she “needs to take a breath and put on a necklace.” He also said she looked like Justin Bieber in another tweet. Other women he insulted included Calista Gingrich, who he accused of having hair that she “snaps on.” Finally, he insulted two women with one tweet.
“Hillary is starting to look like Madeleine Albright,” he once tweeted.
Seriously, meany-pants tweets are grounds for blocking a nomination? And the idea that both Albright and Clinton are insulted by saying they look like each other is sort of a testament to the universality of the concept of “fugly.” Anyway, despite these HUGE issues, Grenell was confirmed and yesterday he was sworn in. By Mike Pence.
Given Mike Pence’s well-known hostility to homosexuals
2000: During his congressional campaign, Mike Pence said, “Congress should oppose any effort to put gay and lesbian relationships on an equal legal status with heterosexual marriage.”
2000: Pence also supported the reauthorization of the Ryan White Care Act only if federal dollars were excluded from organizations who “celebrate” and “encourage” behavior that facilitates spreading of the HIV virus. Further, Pence supported this reauthorization only if “those institutions provided assistance to those looking to change their sexual behavior”, an off-the-cuff endorsement for ex-gay conversion therapy.
2004: Mike Pence co-sponsored a proposed amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would define marriage as solely between one man and one woman.
2007: Pence voted against the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA).
2010: Mike Pence voted against the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal which allowed LGBT Americans to openly serve their country in military service.
2012: Pence refused to say on the record if he supported a same-sex couple raising a child together.
2014: Gov. Pence supported HJR-3, a bill to add an amendment banning same-sex marriage to Indiana’s Constitution.
2015: Governor Pence signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act in a closed-door ceremony surrounded by special interest lobbyists.
2015: Governor Pence said on ABC’s “This Week” that it was “absolutely not” a mistake to sign RFRA, throwing Indiana into a $250 million economic panic and putting Indiana’s “Hoosier Hospitality” reputation in jeopardy.
2015: Even after his approval rating plummets from RFRA, Mike Pence on July 22 told the media he is “studying” the issue of LGBT rights and whether or not he’d support across the board protections for the LGBT community.
one couldn’t help but think this was all just a clever ploy to deport Grenell and his “husband.”