Friday, April 13, 2012

What Hilary Rosen Should Have Said.

Since Democratic "Consultant"[1] Hilary Rosen stated that Ann Romney wasn't really qualified to consult her husband on economic issues because she "hasn't worked a day in her life" the other night, the rebukes have been swift and hard. I mean, seriously, I haven't seen a white woman get beaten up this badly since the last time I logged on to World Star Hip Hop![2]

Even worse was Rosen's subsequent comment that the "old fashioned" Mitt Romney doesn't "see women as equals". I'm actually somewhat surprised that this comment didn't gain more traction.

Still, Rosen's initial comment was hamhanded, poorly worded, and offered no nuance whatsoever. With both political parties waging a "War On Women!" and the GOP losing badly, this poorly timed gaffe gave the Romney campaign an opening, and boy, have they tried to milk it for all it's worth or what?

Hol', up. Did she say "Let me give a shout out to all the Dads"?!?

Just stop it already. Please. Kill it with the slang. It's inauthentic and you're veering dangerously close to having this happen.

I'm gonna keep it two hundred here. While Rosen's comment was turrible, ignorant, sexist, and completely lacking in common sense, the Romney campaign is playing with fire by throwing Mrs. Romney in front of any mic, camera, or computer around and having her play the victim role. She was on the butt end of a bad comment by a person not-even-related to the Obama campaign, but she's no victim.

And that's where Rosen messed up. She could have made a far better point by simply saying that Romney's wife doesn't have the same pressures as the single mother working two jobs to make ends meet, or the stay-at-home-Mom of a blue collar husband. No, "struggle"[3] isn't purely a function of financial means (namely, a lack thereof), but to say you've got a point of reference to most stay-at-home Moms when you've been outlandishly wealthy most of your married life isn't really genuine.

Most stay-at-home Moms don't have two Cadillacs, nannies, maids, chefs, vacation homes, hell, most don't even have two homes. The life of a mother with outrageous means like Ann Romney exists in a non-parallel universe to your typical stay-at-home Mom. You know, Moms like my wife, who don't have all the aforementioned luxuries that make the job a wee bit simpler.

None of this really matters of course, since political discourse circa 2012 isn't about nuance at all. It's about taking a soundbyte and fairly (in this case) or unfairly running with it for your own political gain. I can't blame Romney for this. Given how adamantly and immediately (without qualification) most Democrats (the President and First Lady included) condemned Rosen's comment, I suspect this one is out of the news come Monday morning.

Oddly, my biggest takeaway here is the difference in how Democrats and Republicans handle digs at politician's spouses. While I was encouraged to see the Obama campaign come to Ann Romney's defense, it just illuminates how comparatively classless (and silent) Republicans have been when the FLOTUS has been attacked, in far more demeaning, and definitely more frequent manners.

You know, for stuff like this. Or this. Or this.

I'm still waiting for the GOP to condemn these guys.

I'm not holding my breath.

Question: Was Rosen's comment stupid, or merely poorly worded? Why isn't Romney doing better with women voters? Is the Romney campaign playing with fire by casting Ann Romney as the victim?

[1] Not to be confused with Obama surrogate. She is in no way linked to the Obama campaign. Rosen was a notable member of the Hilary Clinton campaign in 08'. So yeah, she's a Democrat, but she's really little more than a CNN employee in the grand scheme of things.

[2] If you aren't familiar with those world famous Waffle House fights, you're gonna totally miss that one.

[3] I suspect the "struggle" she's speaking of is her ongoing bout with Multiple Sclerosis. That is indeed a struggle, no quote/unquote needed. But it really has nothing at all to do with parenting. Keep the two issues separate, please.

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