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The fact remains that the CEO of JC Penny hired Ellen DeGeneres and refused to fire them when the American Family Association's threatened boycott. Likewise, Romney 2012 hired Ric Grenell, who is openly gay,  as a foreign poilicy advisor. The difference is that the Romney campaign wilted under attacks from the same AFA calling for Grenell's firing.

The Romney defense that we didn't have a problem with hiring him cause he was gay, misses the mark. If he was good enough to hire, he was good enough to defend justifying the move. Otherwise why would you hire the guy in the first place?

Follow me below the fleur-de-Kos for more details:

The American Family Association has a group called the One Million Moms. Never mind that they only really have less than 40,000 members, but I digress. They had a big stink when JC Penny hired Ellen DeGeneres as a spokesperson and demanded JCP fire her:

Recently JC Penney announced that comedian Ellen Degeneres will be the company’s new spokesperson. Funny that JC Penney thinks hiring an open homosexual spokesperson will help their business when most of their customers are traditional families. More sales will be lost than gained unless they replace their spokesperson quickly. Unless JC Penney decides to be neutral in the culture war then their brand transformation will be unsuccessful.

Their marketing strategy is to help families shop and receive a good value for their money. Degeneres is not a true representation of the type of families that shop at their store. The majority of JC Penney shoppers will be offended and choose to no longer shop there. The small percentage of customers they are attempting to satisfy will not offset their loss in sales. [...]

By jumping on the pro-gay bandwagon, JC Penney is attempting to gain a new target market and in the process will lose customers with traditional values that have been faithful to them over all these years.

The AFA's OMM's criticized Ellen. They said she didn't represent family values. Then again neither does hate. But JCP CEO Ron Johnson refused to back down. Earlier in the 1990s when DeGeneres' TV persona came out, JCP and other sponsors were pressured to drop their advertising from Ellen. This time, times have changed and JC Penny wouldn't get pushed around.
We stand squarely behind Ellen as our spokesperson and that’s a great thing, because she shares the same values that we do in our company. Our company was founded 110 years ago on The Golden Rule, which is about treating people fair and square, just like if you treated yourself. And we think Ellen represents the values of our company and the values that we share. [...]

As we thought about all the people in America today, we thought Ellen would be the perfect [spokes]person, because we all kind of trust her. She’s a very honest, straight-forward person with extraordinary values… It’s been unbelievably wonderful to work with someone who is so kind, so gracious, so funny, who just I think captures what America is about.

Now to be fair, JCP would have faced a backlash,especially among younger people, the exact demographic they are trying to entice to come to JC Penny. It would have been bad for business. Self serving. Perhaps. But the fact is JCP was resolute.

OTOH, Romney allowed conservatives to attack the Grenell hiring even for completely illogicalreasons.

Fischer dragged the RNC into the Grenell hiring. Fischer whined on his radio show:

That raises the question about where the Republican Party is at. We need to get some clarification. I called the RNC this morning, had my producer Jan Bryan call the offices of the Republican National Committee, we need some clarification on this. Where is the Republican Party on the issue of homosexual behavior. Do they consider homosexual behavior something that's healthy or harmful? What is their position on Governor Romney hiring somebody who is a homosexual activist to a prominent spokes position? We need to get some answers from the RNC. And, predictably, the Republican National Committee has not called me back.
He also called Grenell  — and to be fair all other homosexuals — a security risk:
“Homosexuals are about short-lived relationships and frequent anonymous sexual encounters,” he said on his radio program. “This is very common in the homosexual community. Now whether Grenell indulges in that, I don’t know.

There are some homosexuals who will admit — this is not coming from the right-wing, this is homosexuals themselves in surveys — that they have had 500 to as many as 1000 sexual partners over the course of a lifetime,” he continued.

“This is endemic the homosexual community, these random, frequent, and anonymous sexual encounters and that becomes a significant issue when we’re talking about appointing somebody to a post as sensitive as a spokesman for national security and foreign policy.”

Not that logic is part of the Gorn, er Republican brain, but completely hypocritical reasons as CNN's Kyra Phillips nailed Fischer:
PHILLIPS: Did you think John Bolton did a good job when he was U.S. ambassador to the U.N.? [...]

FISCHER: He did a great job.

PHILLIPS: Okay. Grenell was his spokesperson….Bryan, I just thought that was interesting, you thought Bolton did a great job, and Grenell was his spokesperson.

FISCHER: Well, the point here is that personnel is policy. Everybody in D.C. says that. Personnel is policy. When Governor Romney picks somebody who is an activist homosexual and puts him in a prominent position, he’s sending a shout out, it seems to me, to the homosexual lobby.

One of the few openly gay Republicans, R. Clarke Cooper of the Log Cabin Republicans cautioned Fischer for his hate speech:
“Governor Romney didn’t hire Ric because he’s a Protestant. He hired him because he’s qualified as a national security, foreign policy technocrat….Ric’s orientation had nothing to do with the hiring process.” “Bryan, ya’ll gotta be careful, because you are starting to sounding like George Wallace, ‘segregation today, segregation tomorrow. Be careful because you’re going to be left in the dust bin of history, buddy.”
And hopefully so will Romney for sitting by idly as Fischer and the other agents of intolerance either forced Grenell to self-fire or he resigned.

Romney tries to distance himself from his public support of homophobia like his donation to Prop 8 supporters in California laundered more often than sheets at a brothel. He has supported constitutional amendments banning marriage equality. He has no problems hiring gays, but doesn't think they deserve rights. See he's not a bigot because he hired one.


But Willard Romney, you are a punk for getting rolled by the likes of a yokel like Bryan Fischer. And if you take this incident, the Romneysia on both the Detroit bailout and on Bin Laden, a pattern of a craven, spineless coward unwilling to stick to a position and defend it.

Originally posted to Dirk McQuickly on Sat May 05, 2012 at 08:12 AM PDT.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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