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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Don't tread on mom

Who says Social Security is the third rail of politics. Challenging motherhood is far more lethal.

Hilary Rosen, a Democratic talking head and Washington lobbyist, stepped into deep doo-doo the other night on CNN by declaring Ann Romney "never worked a day in her life." After universal condemnation from Barack and Michelle Obama on down, it's likely Rosen's work life as a pundit is about to go into eclipse.

Or is it?

In the nasty, brutish and downright ugly world of cable campaigns, Rosen may well become a hot property. After all, to succeed at the pundit game, the more inflammatory, the better. You need look no further than the ultimate misogynist, Rush Limbaugh, and what his rants against women from Hillary Clinton and the current FLOTUS to Sandra Fluke have done to cheapen the discourse.

Republicans, naturally, have been quick to pounce on Rosen's words. Ever since Limbaugh pounced on Fluke as a "slut" for testifying before Congress about contraception coverage, the GOP has been fighting a ferocious rear-guard action to close what is emerging as a yawning gender gap.

GOP pundits looking for solace have equated it to the Etch a Sketch gaffe, but that's a stretch.

Rosen is a hired mouth for a variety of causes while Eric Fehrnstrom is a trusted and close Mitt Romney adviser. Rosen quickly disavowed her words and apologized. Fehrnstrom has not.

More to the point, Fehrnstrom's indelicate utterance tracks far closer to truth that Rosen's cable TV moment. There is virtually no one in the United States who would suggest stay-at-home moms don't work. But there are clear differences between well-to-do families like the Romneys and the vast majority of American families where a decision to stay at home comes with real financial costs.

And we don't even need to get into the obvious fact that Ferhnstrom touched the rare nerve about Romney's lack of core beliefs in the way the loudmouth working mother's outburst do not reflect on the family that actually lives at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue -- who were lucky enough to gave grandma watch the kids.

Here's hoping this tempest in a teapot blows over soon and we can return to the real issues this nation faces. Oops, did I say return? I meant to say we might finally have thew cable talking heads talk about something of real importance to our national health and well-being.

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