In letting openly gay spokesman Richard Grenell depart without a fight, Mitt Romney is making his usual "calculus": As he sees it, "the risk of alienating powerful party figures or constituencies exceeds the benefit of repositioning himself, if not in the reasonable center, then closer to it," writes Ruth Marcus in the Washington Post. We've already seen this once, when Rush Limbaugh called Sandra Fluke a "slut" and "prostitute." Romney's weak response was simply that he wouldn't have used those words.
When Grenell was hired, top Romney adviser Eric Fehrnstrom told him that his sexuality was "not an issue." But some conservatives, unsurprisingly, kicked up a fuss. "A more confident candidate, secure in his place within the party, would have had the guts—not to mention the decency—to tell the social conservatives to cut it out," Marcus notes. But Romney did "nothing"; though aides tried to convince Grenell to stick around, there's no evidence Romney did so. This all goes to show that "Romney is doubly hobbled, by the extremeness of his party and the timidity of his own character." Click through for Marcus' full piece.