What Hilary Rosen Meant to Say About Stay at Home Moms
Ever since Hilary Rosen derided Ann Romney about her capacity to offer economic advice to her Presidential candidate husband Mitt Romney, Democrats have scrambled to denounce her remarks. Rosen is a paid CNN Commentator who has visited the Obama White House more times (35) than the former head of America’s troops in Iraq and Afghanistan General David Petraeus (9 times), more times than Energy Secretary Stephen Chu (16 times), and more times than Former CIA Director and current Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta (12 times).
For anyone who missed it, Rosen said to Anderson Cooper:
“What you have is Mitt Romney running around the country saying, 'Well, you know, my wife tells me that what women really care about are economic issues. And when I listen to my wife, that’s what I’m hearing.'”
And then Rosen’s controversy-sparking zinger: “Guess what? His wife has actually never worked a day in her life.”
Rosen apologized if she offended stay-at-home moms, and acknowledged that it is hard work to raise kids. Her supporters have rallied around her, largely defending her remarks by pointing out that she just misspoke by not saying “never worked a day in her life outside the home.” Rosen’s supporters also argued that the cultural battle over moms choosing to stay home with kids is now long-settled, and that besides only a precious few families truly have that choice. But their main argument is that Rosen was right to say that Ann Romney could not possibly be in a position to have insights into working women’s problems, which is the issue being discussed, as she does not work outside her home.
Rosen’s remarks reveal some of the basic Democrat divisive and sometimes hypocritical ground rules for political speech---which we will see more of in the next eight months:
- When the facts are against you or the Democrat Party, make personal attacks. Mitt Romney has rightfully pointed out that the economic downturn caused by Obama’s big taxing, government-growing agenda has disproportionately hurt women, because women lost the majority of the jobs that Obama’s policies destroyed. Tough stuff for Democrats to defend—so when the defending gets tough, the “Democrat tough” get personal.
- Democrats make the rules for who can speak on what subject. For example, because Ann Romney has been financially able to and chose to stay at home to raise her kids, she has no experience in the working world, therefore no authentic basis for having an opinion on economic issues and women in the working world. So, assuming some parallel application of this “rule,” no man could possibly have authenticity to speak about the issues surrounding abortion, because after all he could not have any experience in this area. Yet Bill Clinton spoke in ardent defense of his wife’s pro-choice views, and as President vetoed the ban on partial birth abortion, expressing his understanding of the need for the freedom to choose this supposedly rare but necessary procedure. And the Democrats and the press cheered him on.
- Whether wealth disqualifies you from having intelligent insights depends on whether you are Republican or Democrat. The Romney family’s wealth that enabled Ann Romney to stay home full time with their kids disqualifies her from offering serious commentary on economic policy. After all, if you are rich, how could you understand anything about the situation of or needs of the poor, or the working poor, or working women, or the middle class? But that only applies to the wealthy who are Republican or conservative. Democrats Ted Kennedy and John Kerry did not let their unearned (inherited in Kennedy’s case and married-into in Kerry’s) yet massive wealth interfere with their capacity to understand and speak for the needs and wants and rights of the poor, including their support for the unending expansion of the welfare state that has led America to our current entitlement and dependency crises.
The other absurdity in all of this is that all that Mitt Romney was saying is that Ann told him that women care about economic issues. How insulting to the intelligence of women for the Democrats to argue with that! Are Democrats actually trying to argue that women don’t care about economic issues, which of course translate into family economic stability, availability of jobs in the market for themselves and their kids, and their ability to pay their family’s rents and mortgages, etc.? That women are so shallow or ignorant that the economic devastation produced by Obama’s policies is something women either cannot comprehend or are unconcerned about?
Now that’s something for women to get “offended” about. Especially when contrasted with what the Democrats apparently believe is front and center in the minds of American women---birth control insurance coverage mandates and golf club memberships.
So what Hilary Rosen meant to say about stay-at-home moms is that if they are Republican or conservative, they are not permitted to speak on economic issues if their views contradict Democrat talking points. Even more to the point, what Rosen hoped to do was to turn voters against Romney by reminding Americans that they are wealthy. She tried to launch a stealth rocket in the Democrat-led class warfare.
This time, the Democrats’ tactic backfired on them. They ended up distancing themselves from, and apologizing for, Rosen’s remarks. But watch for upcoming Democrat attacks on Romney, and ask yourself if the attacks are (1) unjustifiably personal, (2) based on Democrat “rules” on who is allowed to offer an opinion or view on what, or (3) based on an anti-wealth double standard that accepts John Kerry’s and Ted Kennedy’s unearned wealth while despising the earned wealth of the Romney family.
Many women, stay at home or working, do understand and care about the economy and economic policy. And we are allowed to say so.