Last week the entire news cycle was hijacked over the faux outrage from a single remark made by political strategist Hilary Rosen, a Democrat who does NOT work for the Obama Administration. Rosen said: Ann Romney might not be the most qualified expert on women’s economic woes because she’s “never worked a day in her life.” What Ms. Rosen meant by her comment was that Romney was able to choose to stay at home and raise her children because of her wealth, meaning she never had to face the economical consequences of giving up an income in favor of full time motherhood like the majority of American women do.
Never mind the context of what Rosen said. The Republicans and the Romney campaign seized on the opportunity to make this into an issue of phony outrage about whether or not raising one's children constitutes "work" or not. In fact, Ann Romney started a Twitter account in order to take advantage of the situation with this Tweet:
With that, the Republican noise machine was up and running and the remainder of the week was spent on a fake war over "working moms" vs. "stay at home moms" and whether full time child care and mothering is considered work or not.
In fact the hopeful "First Lady To Be" (gulp) was so confidant with that ginned up outrage that she took another opportunity to beat a dead horse at an NRA Convention on Friday. (Pardon the equestrian pun there Ann, but you kind of stepped in this one yourself.) She strutted onstage to once again say what important work motherhood is, while also celebrating gun ownership just before turning the podium over to her husband. (See video here.) No doubt her comment on "the shot heard round the world" was meant to serve a two-fold purpose in her mind on guns and motherhood. "Boom."
This morning, thanks to MSNBC's Up with Chris Hayes, the Romney talking points that "all moms are working moms" don't exactly hold up with his views.
Yes, once again today's Mitt Romney would have a bone to pick with a past Mitt Romney, in this case the Mitt Romney of January 2012, to be exact. Hayes found a video where earlier this year Romney had a different view of the given "value" of stay at home moms vs. working moms, and the original argument of the economical factors of those choices was brought right back into focus:
But video from earlier this year, aired today on Up w/ Chris Hayes, shows Romney campaigning on the proposition that meaningful welfare reform should require parents with children to get out of the home and into the workforce. Responding to a question at a town hall event in Manchester, New Hampshire on January 4th, Romney described his position on work requirements for welfare recipients as governor of Massachusetts.
“I wanted to increase the work requirement,” Romney said. “I said, for instance, that even if you have a child two years of age, you need to go to work. And people said, ‘Well that's heartless,' and I said ‘No, no, I'm willing to spend more giving daycare to allow those parents to go back to work. It'll cost the state more providing that daycare, but I want the individuals to have the dignity of work.’”
That position has been conservative orthodoxy for years. Republicans have railed against the “culture of dependency” created by welfare programs, campaigning aggressively for policies that would force welfare recipients off the roles and “back into the workforce.”
Exactly. Not only do Republicans and Conservatives have a problem with that so called "culture of dependency," they also have a problem with the word "choice." Whether you're talking as Sarah Palin did about her "choice" to have a child who she knew would be born with Down's Syndrome as opposed to the abortion she briefly considered having, or if you're Ann Romney, who made the "choice" to be a stay at home mom, a choice that few women can afford to make: It's a CHOICE.
Romney is the wife of a billionaire who made his living buying out businesses, gutting them, and putting countless working moms and dads out of work at a profit, so that she could afford that very choice in the first place.
Once again the Conservatives wear their hypocrisy not on their sleeves, but in their pockets, contained in their wallets.
Be it abortion, health care, or being a stay at home mom. "Choices," and their value, not to mention the "dignity" involved, are only for those who can afford to make them.
This, I believe, was the point all along.