EDITOR OF REDSTATE
On Ann Romney and Hilary Rosen and the War on Women
This has been the typical response of Romney supporters on twitter for my role in “L’Affair Rosen” on CNN last night:
JoiseyCop: For you to sit by and let Hillary Rosen slander Ann Romney without challenge shows you be the phony piece of dog shit you are ! @EWErickson
I’d mentioned I missed the remark, still dwelling on a previous remark along with some IFB trouble, but yay Romney supporters.
Nonetheless, let me make a couple of points.
(1) I disagree with Hilary, who has now apologized for her wording. There has been, by the left for a very long time, an ongoing degradation of the role stay-at-home moms play. I do not think Hilary meant to fall into that whether or not she thinks stay-at-home moms’ work is equivalent to other work. I’ve no idea of her view on that. The question asked and the answer she was trying to convey was about Mitt Romney’s problems relating to women. She was arguing Romney cannot solely address the disconnect shown in polls by using Ann Romney as his rebuttal because of the number of women who work outside the home, struggling in single parent households to raise kids, in a lifestyle Hilary did not think Ann Romney could relate to.
I disagree with her, but I’m not going to be all outraged by her poor choice of words. I’ll leave the outrage to others and I do understand it. I have a hard time these days getting outraged by liberals saying liberal things. Likewise, I have had my share of poor word choices too and, frankly, I find it in bad form to beat up a co-worker. Hilary and I both work at CNN and I’m just not willing to go there over a poor choice of words. I suffer no illusions that there may be reciprocity with CNN contributors from the left, but I personally find it bad form.
(2) In the choice of words though, and where I think a lot of the outrage overshoots by assuming, but not explicitly going toward, is the assumption by many liberals that neither Mitt Romney nor Ann Romney can relate to working mothers who do not stay at home. Liberals treat people as groups, not individuals. Liberals who often assault the right for stereotyping or profiling do it too. They presume that working women believe X, Y, and Z and if you don’t believe it too you cannot relate to working women or blacks or hispanics or the elderly or [insert group here].
My wife suffered a double mastectomy, a prolonged and miserable reconstruction process, the removal of a chunk of her lung, and assorted other problems while fighting an insurance company over coverage, seeing her husband chronically on the road, and raising kids. For the first year of my daughter’s life I was on the road at least four days a week every week while my wife took care of her and worked a full time job.
My wife can relate to the working moms the Democrats claim Mitt Romney and Ann Romney cannot relate to. And guess what? She agrees with the Romneys. What is galling to her, and to me, is that Democrats think unless you support killing children (euphemistically called “choice” or “abortion”) and other liberal pablum you somehow cannot relate to working women. That is fatuous nonsense. It is a stereotype that has long played into the idea on the left that stay at home moms are somehow something other than working moms, when in fact they have one of the hardest jobs out there — and a job shaping the next generation, which makes it one of the most important jobs on the planet.
(3) One of the great tragedies of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries is the left and, subsequently, American policy makers, devaluing the two parent nuclear household with one parent, regardless of which one, staying at home to raise children. We should, as a society, be re-incentivizing this. Instead, the liberal secular culture treats it as an outmoded relic of a bygone era. I dare say that many of our present ills as a society can be traced to the degradation of the two parent nuclear family with one breadwinner. That’s not to say it is perfect. That is to say it is far more perfect than anything else we’ve come up with.
(4) I think that while everyone is focusing on Hilary’s comment about Ann Romney, they’ve ignored her first comment — the one I was dwelling on as she continued. She said that Democrats had not used the phrase “war on women” and it was a Republican invention.
Hilary is both sharp and an advisor to the Democratic National Committee. I have to wonder if a sharp advisor to the DNC is now aware that Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Nancy Pelosi, MoveOn.org, etc. have been using this term for a quite a while and actually came up with it back in February of 2011, what the hell is going on at the DNC in the communication channels? Update: Greg Sargent notes that according to CNN, Hilary is a partner with Anita Dunn who is a DNC Advisor, but Hilary herself is not. Her communications firm does, however, work with the DNC and the presumption many on the right have made is that Anita Dunn, with her work with Sandra Fluke, has been complicit in this “war on women” meme. I’m shocked Hilary would not know the Democrats were behind it, used it, or started it last year.
(5) By the way, will the press coverage of this be as intense as the press coverage of Rush Limbaugh’s Sandra Fluke comment? Will Media Matters protest? I won’t hold my breath.