Metropolitik: Umbrage wars begin in earnest
We had such high-minded aspirations for our weekend column. Maybe we’d talk about “The Obama administration’s disturbing treatment of whistleblowers,” as reported by The Guardian. Or maybe Rolling Stone’s “Why Obama’s JOBS Act couldn’t suck worse.” Instead, we’re going to talk about nothing.
Wait a second, don’t turn that page, come back here! Today’s topic has wide-ranging national implications. Sort of.
The political umbrage soared to outrageous heights this week after someone unaffiliated with any current campaign said something kind of true but also perhaps insensitive about someone married to someone running for president. To be clear: Hilary Rosen, a “Democratic strategist” and former president of the RIAA, said the following on CNN about Mitt Romney’s wife, Ann: She “has actually never worked a day in her life … she’s never really dealt with the kinds of economic issues that a majority of the women in this country are facing.”
That was in response to Romney leaning on his wife’s experience with womanhood following recent polls showing his candidacy flagging with the fairer sex. And, seeing as the Romneys are spectacularly wealthy, it was partially true, though it was also partially false. Not that the manufactured outrage unleashed on Twitter on Wednesday nightand then on Fox News on Thursday morning had anything to do with objective truth. (For what it’s worth, The New York Times reported that “Mrs. Romney has held a number of posts with Boston-area charities and advocacy groups.”)
See, the Romney campaign came out swinging this week against President Obama, turning the “War on Women” around on Democrats, repeatedly claiming that “92.3 percent of the job losses during the Obama years has been women who’ve lost those jobs.” Forget for a second that this absurd number has little basis in reality; this isn’t about truth, remember? This is about spin and the Romneys have enough of that to fill all the car elevators in the world.
Ann Romney responded to Rosen by creating a Twitter account and framing the critique as an attack on moms. “I made a choice to stay home and raise five boys,” she tweeted. “Believe me, it was hard work.”
(We believe you, ma’am. Our mom worked hard enough supporting us — and she had to work a job, too!)
But as the entire Democrat infrastructure rushed to throw Rosen under the bus, the fact remains: Mrs. Romney has had an incredibly fortunate life. She shouldn’t be punished for that, but nor should she be raised as a symbol of struggling mothers everywhere. The truth is, most mothers have to work hard not just raising their children but providing for them as well. The policy proposals of Romney and co. seem destined to further complicate that everyday struggle.
So, what does it all mean? Nothing really. However much each side may wish otherwise, this fake flap likely won’t have a noticeable effect on voters one way or the other come November. Though there is a lesson to be learned: Now that we’ve moved into general election campaigning, the meaningless back and forth will only multiply. Oh, and this: Best stay mum on moms.
Follow Brayden Simms on Twitter @metropolitik
Metro does not endorse the opinions of the author, or any opinions expressed on its pages.