Bryan Fischer, the man who led the conservative attack on Mitt Romney’s foreign policy gay spokesperson, Richard Grenell, now is asking how a midwestern “yokel” like he could be able to push around, intimidate, coerce, co-opt Mitt Romney — and how will Romney stand up to China?
Fischer, the public face of the certified anti-gay hate group, American Family Association, yesterday on his radio program said:
If Mitt Romney can be pushed around, intimidated, coerced, co-opted by a conservative radio talk show host in Middle America, then how is he going to stand up to the Chinese? How is he going to stand up to Putin? How is he going to stand up to North Korea if he can be pushed around by a yokel like me? I don’t think Romney is realizing the doubts that this begins to raise about his leadership.
Enjoying his new-found spotlight, yesterday Fischer said via Twitter, “Romney’s problem on homosexuality: I’m more Mormon than he is. LDS: gay sex is ‘offensive to God.’ I agree, Mitt doesn’t,” which doesn’t exactly square with his other attacks on Grenell — or just proves that Romney can do no right in Fischer’s eyes.
Apparently, Fischer didn’t get the memo that if Romney doesn’t get the religious right’s support, it’s an automatic hands-down win for Obama.
At Religion Dispatches, Joanna Brooks offers this interesting, inside take:
Romney tried to speak out against Fischer’s intolerance last fall at the Values Voter Summit. He needs to continue to lead on tolerance, unless he plans to keep on running scared. As Sarah Posner argued here, Grennell-gate gave anti-gay conservative Christians an opportunity to gloat. Romney and his advisors made some crucial mistakes that allowed them to do so: they tried to convince Grennell to take a quietistic approach to attacks on his homosexuality, to wait it out, if possible. That’s a strategy Mormon people have developed since the late nineteenth century. As I discussed with LDS historian Kathleen Flake here, Mormons have tried to politely out-wait and out-smile gross attacks on our religion. But that strategy has its limits.
What Romney has to lose in confronting the radical intolerance that created Grennell-gate is his predilection for saying little, blending in, and pleasing everyone.
That, and the illusion (cherished among Mormons) that someday radical conservative Christians will accept and respect us.
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