‘Working mothers’ is a redundant term

I remember being very impressed many years ago hearing a man of celebrity status earnestly credit his wife in an interview with having the toughest job in the world. She worked in the home raising their children, and he marveled at it, saying it was far more demanding than what he did.

That came to mind last week when I heard the remark Hilary Rosen made about Ann Romney. It came to mind again when I read this piece about it in the Weekly Standard.

I, and every conservative I know, have been eagerly polite, warmly encouraging to women who chose to work—from the very beginning, from the 1970s or ‘80s, when working women first changed the national landscape.

But that’s not the way liberals play it.

Not one Republican of national standing or any importance has ever announced that working mothers prefer dollars to their children’s happiness; that working mothers have chosen to let their children suffer a little, cry a little, and keep a little more sadness inside to satisfy their own vanity or avarice or (far more often) their husband’s avarice. Nor have I ever said such things to a friend, an enemy, anyone; I’ve never allowed anyone associated with me to say those things, because (this might be hard for Ms. Hilary Rosen to grasp) I don’t believe them. I don’t want to denounce working mothers, or any mothers. Working mothers do their best by their own lights. Most of them try their best to do right, as nearly all Americans do.

But that’s not the way liberals see it.

Nearly all men welcome the presence of women in the workforce because, on the whole, they get on better with women than with men. This is called “biology.”  Conservatives, moreover, back away automatically from any savaging of women. This is called “chivalry.”

But liberals do it differently.

Some liberal men are cheering Ms. Rosen on. No doubt their wives work. More power to them. Probably their mothers also work; but some of these liberals are as old as I am, and perhaps their mothers did not work—until the 1970s, most mothers didn’t. Perhaps their grandmothers didn’t work. Most liberals, even your average liberal who is 22 and majored in communications or business psychology, can find a grandmother or great-grandmother who didn’t work. And it used to be that Americans stood up for their mothers, grandmothers, great-grandmothers. My wife doesn’t work, and I’m grateful to her for all she’s done for our children and our family and for me.

Money was not invented in 1970.  It’s always been good to have.  And even if my mother had worked, I’d be just as grateful to my grandmothers, not only for what they did for me when I was a child and young adult but for what they did for my parents.  Many conservatives, many Americans feel this way. This is called “gratitude.” But evidently, liberals see things differently.

This is the president’s affair now. I don’t need his apology or want it, but I am standing by to see whether he will apologize like a man to Mrs. Romney.

At last check, he declared the controversial comments ‘ill-advised’ and comments about spouses unacceptable. However, Hilary Rosen did apologize to him.

But Obama supporter Bill Maher took the offensive remarks further and made them more crass, drawing bi-partisan criticism just as Rosen did last week.

…Obama’s former domestic policy adviser also voiced concerns on Sunday.

“You know, the language, the sentiment are problematic,” Melody Barnes said on ABC’s “This Week” when asked whether the president needs to distance himself from the comments. “And the campaign has — and the president has said, look, the civility … it matters. The way we talk to each other matters. And they’re going to have to, as you said, make a decision.”

As Congresswoman Marilyn Musgrave told me Monday, their silence is deafening.

A “game-changer in the fight for female voters”

Just when liberal women were angrily trumpeting their bogus claim that the GOP has a ‘war on women,’ a high-profile liberal female Democrat drops a bomb on the wife of Gov. Mitt Romney.

Which The Hill reported as “a gift” to the Romney campaign. Really.

Hilary Rosen’s comments that Ann Romney had “never” worked outside the home triggered a new round in the culture wars and provided an opening for Republicans to close a gender gap between Mitt Romney and President Obama.

Both parties seemed to sense that the veteran Democratic strategist’s criticism of the stay-at-home mom could be a game-changer in the fight for female voters.

Obama’s campaign sought to distance itself from Rosen, an adviser to the Democratic National Committee, and Romney’s campaign put the candidate’s wife on television, where she urged Rosen to “respect” the choices of other women.

“Look, I know what it’s like to struggle,” Ann Romney said on Fox News.

“Maybe I haven’t struggled as much financially as much as some people have,” said Ann Romney, who has battled breast cancer and multiple sclerosis. “I can tell you and promise you that I have had struggles in my life.”

Ann Romney, who has emerged as a strength of her husband’s campaign, then defended the presumptive GOP presidential nominee.

“I would love to have people understand that Mitt and I have compassion for people who are struggling, and that’s why we’re running,” she continued.

She also defended her husband’s respect for women and his record of female advisers…

Obama has opened up a 19 percentage point lead over Romney among female voters, according to some polls, and Romney’s campaign this week has been doing everything it can to try to close the gap.

Rosen’s remarks on CNN Wednesday night, in that context, were a gift…

Rosen initially showed few signs of backing down on Thursday. On Twitter, Rosen responded to becoming part of the latest campaign controversy by tweeting, “Bring it on!” But under heavy fire from her own party, Rosen issued a statement of apology to Ann Romney later in the day.

“I apologize to Ann Romney and anyone else who was offended,” Rosen said in the statement. “Let’s declare peace in this phony war and go back to focus on the substance.”

Wait. What?

Suddenly it’s a “phony war”? What a tattered web they weave…

The coverage filled news and social network communications media on this for the past 24 hours. Elizabeth Scalia nailed it well here.

There is irony in Rosen sneering that Ann Romney knows nothing about working women, while she, Rosen, supports an administration that pays its female employees less than men. But I digress.

Rosen seems to truly not get why people, especially women (both working and at-home) took offense at this. In Rosen’s shallow world, where formal credentials matter to an excessive degree, and “what you do” matters far more than the person you actually are, Rosen’s remarks were seen for the rather elitist, class-warfare cues they were, (those rich Republicans are so out of touch with the struggling proletariat) but more importantly they brought back memories of Hillary Clinton saying she wasn’t “some little woman standing by her man, baking cookies…” and of Teresa Heinz-Kerry’s wondering if Laura Bush had ever worked a “real” job and the understanding that Michelle Obama had a $300,000 a-year job created for her out of whole cloth, and then discontinued when she left for the White House.

One highly doubts that if either Bill Clinton, or John Kerry or Barack Obama had suggested he looked to his wife to get a sense of women’s economic concerns, Rosen would have for a moment thought those women lacked expertise in the realities of raising a family and earning a paycheck. And yet, Hillary Clinton, while she surely worked, had a governor’s mansion and a lot of help; she was never driving kids to soccer in a beat-up car; she probably never had to figure out how to stretch a pound of chopped meat through supper and the next day’s lunch while wondering if she had enough gas — at $4 a gallon — to get to work the next day; Teresa Heinz Kerry, of course, also had the help — the servants, cooks, chauffeurs — and Michelle Obama’s paychecks and circumstances hardly relate to the realities of most working women.

None of these women have lived the “reality” of most working mothers, any more than Mrs. Romney has. None of them.

She’s really only getting started here.

Well, excuse me, but I really must ask, how the hell does Rosen know what Ann Romney does or does not know? Does Mrs. Romney staying home mean her curiosity and intellect were drained from her, and she therefore reads nothing, explores nothing, studies nothing?

Ann Romney has at her disposal precisely the same economic records and reports that the privileged Mrs. Clinton, Mrs. Kerry or Mrs. Obama would use to educate themselves on the issue, of “struggling working moms”. For all Rosen knows, Mrs. Romney has, through observation and study, become a freaking genius on the economic realities of working women, because learning is not confined to classrooms (in only the “correct” schools) and human people have the capacity to understand a great deal, and even to become wise on some issues, because they are interested and curious, and because they think.

Of course, I don’t know what Ann Romney knows or doesn’t know, either — but as a woman who preferred to give up a salary in order to stay home with her kids, even though it meant rolling coin for haircuts, I’m willing to give her a benefit of a doubt. I’m willing to actually find out what Romney knows before sneering at her.

I know Elizabeth Scalia, and she wouldn’t sneer at Ann Romney or any other woman devoted to raising her children and serving charitable organizations and countless needy while supporting her husband’s goals to serve the country no matter what she knows or doesn’t know. And that’s the point that’s so clearly at the center of this illustrative series of events.

The ‘war on women’ claim in the 2012 presidential campaign is bogus, while the real one that wages on was launched quite a while ago by the pro-abortion contraceptive culture most visibly at work in the January takedown of the Susan G. Komen foundation by Planned Parenthood over Komen’s plans to stop funding the abortion giant, and the late January announcement by HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius that contraception, sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs would become mandated insurance coverage as “preventive care” for women.

Elizabeth has a lot of links on that blog post worth reading. Including in the updates.

UPDATE III:

Rosen makes apologetic statement and writes: “Let’s declare peace in this phony war and go back to focus on the substance.”

If by “substance” you mean the real phony war, which is the Democrat’s utterly fabricated “GOP war on women”, then I have to say is: Dear Ms. Rosen, You guys, first!