In the past month, because they endorsed multiple (and sometimes bizarre) anti-abortion laws and denounced efforts to have contraception included in health insurance plans, conservatives found themselves advertised as making a “war on women.”
But last week they were able to turn the tables, because a Democratic operative said that the wife of Mitt Romney was, due to her great wealth, unfamiliar with the world of work.
Or, at least, this is how recent history has been recorded by rightbloggers.
The trouble started when Democratic campaign strategist Hilary Rosen — a frequent visitor, we have been much reminded, at the White House — said on Anderson Cooper’s show that Ann Romney “never actually worked a day in her life.”
Before we get into the rightblogger spin, we will ask those who might be interested to look at the context of Rosen’s statement:
“…What you have is Mitt Romney running around the country saying, ‘Well, my wife tells me what women really care about are economic issues.’ And, ‘When I listen to my wife, that’s what I’m hearing.’ Guess what? His wife has never actually worked a day in her life. She’s never really dealt with the economic issues that a majority of the women in this country are facing — in terms of how do we feed our kids, how do we send them to school, and how do — why we worry about their future.”
In fairness, let us also mention that Ann Romney has held volunteer and charitable positions, which constitute work experience; that raising children requires effort even from rich people, though admitted of a less hands-on variety than that experienced by the less well-off; and that she has had cancer and multiple sclerosis.
After attempting to explain her remarks (“it was wrong for Mitt Romney to be using his wife as his guide to women’s economic struggles”), Rosen gave up and apologized. President Obama publicly disassociated himself from Rosen’s comments and of the general practice of subjecting candidate’s spouses to political attacks — which was generous of him, considering the treatment Michelle Obama typically gets from conservatives.
Rightbloggers nonetheless portrayed Rosen’s original statement as an official Obama Administration policy against all women who stay at home and raise children like Ann Romney.
For example: on Thursday White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said, “I think we can all agree, Democrats and Republicans, that raising children is an extremely difficult job and that is true for all mothers as well as fathers.” But, he added, “we should also focus on where we disagree,” and reminded reporters of Republican opposition to the Lily Ledbetter Act.
The PJ Tatler reported Carney’s statement thus: “During today’s White House press briefing, spokesman Jay Carney declined to distance the Obama administration from Hilary Rosen… The Obama White House realizes that, having authorized Rosen’s attack, it is in no position to throw her under the bus now. So the Democrats’ war on motherhood stands.”
When it sank in that the White House wasn’t really backing Rosen’s remarks, some rightbloggers found it unsporting of them.
“Obama Throws Dem Strategist Hillary Rosen Under the Bus,” said Freedom’s Lighthouse. “Top Dem Strategist Hilary Rosen ‘Thrown Under the Bus’ By Dems,” said Liberty News Network. “Obama Personally Throws Hilary Rosen Under The Bus,” said American Commissars.
When Michelle Obama tweeted, “Every mother works hard, and every woman deserves to be respected,” Weasel Zippers wrote, “Michelle Obama Throws Hilary Rosen Under The Bus.”
“Hilary Rosen Thrown Under Bus for Denigrating Ann Romney and Moms, But She Only Said What Democrats Believe,” said Lori Zingano at RedState. “As always, the Left was quick to use and toss aside a woman when she became inconvenient…”
The idea that Democrats were the ones really conducting a War on Women was strongly promoted by rightbloggers, mainly by repetition.
“Democrats declare war on women?” asked Ed Morrissey at Hot Air (“Rosen has delivered the Left’s honest opinion about women who choose to stay home”). “Democrat’s ‘War On Women’ Continues,” reported Swimming Against the Current (“The is the sort of liberal arrogance we see and hear, over and over again from the pompous elites”). “The Real ‘War On Women’ Is Being Waged By The Democrats” said Chandler’s Watch (“Now the liberal harpies are beginning to take aim”). “DEMOCRAT ‘WAR ON MOMS’ DECLARED BY FEMINAZI HILARY ROSEN” yelled The Freedom Post.
As for the alleged Republican “war on women” — the one involving actual anti-reproductive rights legislation — that one, rightbloggers declared, was bullshit.
“It is entertaining to see the Democrats’ ‘war on women’ hoax blow up in their faces like a trick cigar,” said John Hinderaker of Power Line. “There is no Republican ‘War on Women,'” said Right in a Left World. “After weeks of boohooing over their manufactured ‘war on women,'” said Tad Cronn, “Democrats continue to prove that they are the party that hates women.”
Rightbloggers then speculated as to the mental illnesses that caused liberals to hate Ann Romney and, by extension, all mothers.
“You see, Ann Romney comes from an intact family where the man is the primary breadwinner,” said Bookworm Room. “What could be more appallingly regressive than that?” BR also compared Democrats to the “Israeli kibbutzim,” where early on “part of the socialist experiment was that children would be raised, not within family units, but as part of the cooperative.” Thus, “the Left’s problem with Ann Romney is that she represents the triumph of the individual. No wonder they hate her so much.”
JustMary at Be John Galt agreed; because she had chosen to be a stay-at-home Mom, she claimed, “I scare the left. I know I do.” She also knew, perhaps via similar investigative techniques, that “the most vocal of the lefty women” were “jealous of [Ann Romney’s] economic status, jealous of her marital status, or that her sons turned out to be wonderful human beings. Internally, they may wish that they had been able to stay at home, or wish that their life choices had been different. They may wish that their marriage had stayed intact. I can’t say.” Good heavens, why not?
“[Rosen’s] comments are a symptom of an underlying intolerance for values that exist outside pockets of liberal majority,” claimed Right Speak. That is, they represent (deep breath) “the mindset that traditional, conservative culture is bad as it exists outside the two coasts and other liberal centers of thought, such as higher education, it is dangerous, because the more it is allowed to be considered as mainstream, the more acceptable it will seem to all when legislation is passed one step at a time that eliminates and erodes many of the values the rest of the country holds.”
“I feel the left is riddled with insecurity,” explained AJ Strata. “They are intimidated by the rich, the powerful (see our military), the successful (another form of rich), and the happy. They thrive on sustaining the moment they revolted from parental oppression (be it religion, sexual orientation, taste in clothes, whatever). Why they even consider having or raising kids is beyond me. Maybe it is more of that lashing out and trying to prove they were right when they went full anarchist to leave the nest.” Whoever would imagine there were enough such people to elect a President? America must be in a very grave state.
Others saw something more sinister afoot.
“Did you ask yourself why Obama, Biden, Axelrod, and leftists of all stripes appeared to side with the pro-Ann Romney camp?” Ann Kane of the American Thinker asked. “Did it make you stop and think? Or did you buy into the distraction?”
What could she mean? “Leftists are talking like they’re so above the vitriol Rosen spewed,” Kane explained, but “as a result of the Rosen affair, we’re all focused on antiquated mommy wars which were settled 50 years ago; nobody thinks stay at home moms don’t work. But that doesn’t matter. All that matters is conservatives just keep swallowing the Left’s brain candy.”
And by so swallowing, Kane said, through this and in the Sandra Fluke and Trayvon Martin controversies, conservatives were unwittingly enabling the Democratic agenda, i.e., “more non-stop media coverage; more underground workers making the overthrow of capitalism a goal within their reach.”
At the same forum, Neil Snyder agreed: In fact, in addition to warring on women, the Democrats were also “waging a war on blacks… you name the issue,” he said, “and if there is a perverse dimension to it, the Democratic Party will be on that side.”
This would seem to us to make them very easy to run against and defeat. Not so, said Snyder, because “until now Republicans have been far too willing to go along rather than risk being portrayed by Democrats as anti-woman or anti-black and jeopardize their hopes for re-election.”
“All that matters to Obama’s corrupt Media Palace Guards is that Ann Romney is a huge plus to the Romney 2012 campaign and is therefore a threat to Obama’s re-election and therefore she must be destroyed,” said John Nolte at Breitbart’s Big Journalism. “The media was already scared of Ann Romney, but after what’s occurred over the last 48 hours, she will now be their primary target for the worst kind of personal destruction.”
Fooled us; we didn’t even know her name before this. But Nolte knew that Obama’s MSM minions were on the case. “How much do you want to bet Buzz Feed’s Ben Smith has already ordered his minions to locate her tanning bed?” he asked. “What does Politico’s Jonathan Martin have planned for Ms. Romney — no stranger to doing Obama’s oppo-research on private citizens is he.” (Nolte’s link indicates that last bit refers to Martin’s 2008 discovery of Joe the Plumber’s tax liens, in which a political reporter presumably could have no other interest.)
Nolte also saw a connection between Ann Romney and Sarah Palin — which was also picked up by others, including Palin herself. “This seemingly random attack on Ann makes more sense as a leftover attack on Sarah Palin that was dusted off and launched,” said The Other McCain.
William Jacobson at Legal Insurrection said “the line runs rather directly from Sarah Palin hatred to Ann Romney hatred” — that is, liberals hate Palin because “she’s happy. Unhappy people can’t stand happy people.” One finds happiness, Jacobson further explained, “through a stubborn refusal to accept the state as master not as servant,” which you must admit would make a great hook for a self-help book.
It remains to be seen whether female voters will be swayed by this approach. Meanwhile, Mississippi just passed a law targeting the state’s only abortion clinic; Arizona recently banned most such procedures after 20 weeks; and the Rhode Island legislature currently considers mandatory ultrasounds for women seeking abortions in the state. The way things are going, we can expect more of this sort of thing every week.
But someone said something unkind about Ann Romney, so maybe none of that matters.