The War on the War on Women Woman

Welcome to the Etch-a-Sketch.

Now, if you’re paying attention, you just learned the Achilles heel of the Romney campaign. If you haven’t been paying attention, that’s YOUR Achilles heel, which they intend to exploit.

I speak of course, of Ann Romney’s dirty crack.

ABC News leads off with this Orwellian horse-puckey:

ABCNEWS:

Ann Romney Fights Back: Debuts on Twitter to Counter DNC Advisor’s Insult — PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Ann Romney’s debut on Twitter couldn’t have come at a more opportune time. — Ann’s first tweet came just moments after Democratic strategist and DNC adviser Hilary Rosen lobbed an insult at Ann Romney …

It’s only an insult if it ain’t true, just like it’s only libel if it’s not true, and it’s only news if the soulless imbeciles at ABC news actually used facts.

They did not.

The logical argument was this: is there a war on women? and, if so, is Mitt Romney’s astonishing assertion that NO, Republicans aren’t engaged in it, OBAMA is engaged in it (false 90%+ figure of women’s job losses under Obama). Oh, and Ann Romney is Mitt’s advisor on female matters.

He put her in the cross-hairs. She was placed on the public stage by her own volition and by her ambitious husband. (This will be important later.)

Ann Romney as she sees herself

In a season of mendacity, it seems a strange thing that so blatant an untruth, a lie, a fiction would pass so easily through the catamite press corps(e), but there you have it.

See see the “firestorm” on Memeorandum this morning.

Hilary Rosen, a CNN talking head identified as a “Democratic strategist” made the logical statement in rebuttal that Ann Romney was not in the least qualified to discuss the travails of working women and single mothers in this economy, including the “unfortunate” statement “she’s never worked a day in her life.

By this, of course, it is CLEARLY meant that Ann Romney has never worked in a W-2 wages time clock commercial job in her life.

But the mendacious Romney campaign (who have issued lie after unchallenged lie throughout this poisonous primary season) intentionally misconstrued the word “work,” so that Ann Romney could pull herself into high dudgeon — even creating a Twitter account to plead her sooty purity as a voice for vee-jay-jays everywhere — that she’s raised several Orthodontically engineered children, which is “hard work.”

Perhaps.

Working mother?

But clearly she didn’t “work” in the context the statement was made in.

And she and her lying husband and his Cthuylu corps of advisors well know it. The lie is clearly intentional, and the phony outrage is all the more demonic for it.

But we live in a media age, and supporters of Romney cry great crocodile tears.

And the “civil” morons of the media and the “left” go right along, demanding that Hilary Rosen publicly APOLOGIZE to Ann Romney for the “insult” to her hyper-productive genitalia. Which Rosen did.

I will stipulate that Ann Romney has done “hard work” in raising her children in the lap of luxury — even though that assertion, in itself, is probably laughable. But the mere functioning of her reproductive apparatus no more makes her an “expert” on women’s issues than owning a cheap telescope (never used) makes one an astrophysicist.

playing to the fools

The fundamental argument here is so laughable that only the criminally insane and those who have sustained organic brain damage could possibly take it seriously.

But no: the Obama Administration and its functionaries all instantly distanced themselves from Rosen, even as the Right Wing Smear Machine sprang into sulphurous action. As per usual, all the Righties banded together and all the Lefties fled the field of rhetorical battle.

Has no one been paying attention, say, since George H.W. Bush based his 1988 election on smearing Dukakis as a “card-carrying member of the ACLU” and “Willie Horton”? (Implicitly, of course, that they were AGAINST civil liberties, as has been amply demonstrated in the intervening years — emphasis on “demon.”)

The functionality of Ann Romney’s lady parts no more makes her an expert on women’s issues than her imputed ability to drive two Cadillacs (at the same time, seemingly, a sort of Amazon Ben-Hur, astride the twin yoked mechanical beasts), or her assertion that, with nine figures in hubby Mitty’s account, she “doesn’t think of herself as wealthy.)

Someone is comatose here, and that needs to be pointed out.

Ann’s two Cadillacs, ‘Willard’ and ‘Ben’

Especially noteworthy are two sleazeballs at Politico, who write this bit of offal:

“There’s no such thing as a mom who’s not a working mom, so this was an unfortunate incident,” said Virginia Del. Barbara Comstock, a longtime Romney backer. “But it highlights some of the division that we’ve been seeing from the Obama campaign because they don’t want to talk about the fact that the Obama economy isn’t working for women.”

Utterly begging the question throughout, taking GOP talking points as gospel and pretending that they, in Olympian detachment, are “judging the facts” when their conclusions (implicit and explicit) belie the actual facts.

What we have to ask ourselves is this: are the reporters from ABC, Politico, et al so STOOPID that they don’t know what’s being pulled? (Hardly.) Or, rather, are they willing participants and collaborators  in what is transparent mendacity and Rovian lies?

What say you, sentient beings?

We EXPECT the cynical manipulation of OUR civility to barbaric ends, of course. But, inevitably, we of the left capitulate to Republican bullying tactics, and hide under our bedclothes whilste we wet our pants (or, panties, in deference to actual working women) in terror.

And it is getting OLD, people.

This entire phony controversy has been ginned up to distract from the irrefutable FACT that there IS a war on women, and four more bills were signed in Arizona and Wisconsin just this week, in case you were needing an exclamation point to drive it home.

But the soulless vampyres of the GOP/Romney Etch-a-Sketch machine know that merely gainsaying naked facts creates a false controversy, and, ultimately, reality — in the minds of the viewers of the swill that CNN, ABC, Fox, et al, ad nauseum produce like pink slime as a political additive to their rhetorical scheiss-burgers.

The Achilles heel of the Romney (or is that the Romany?) campaign is the Truth.

The Achilles heel of the rest of us, seemingly, is the Lie.

It’s really as simple as that.

I just want to see somebody have Hilary Rosen’s back, and somebody challenge Ann Romney’s affront.

She IS a part of this campaign, and, having made herself a public figure, is undeserving of any special benefit or protection. She has to face the same political ugliness that the Obamas have (where are the cries of wounded womanhood when Michelle Obama is called “The Mooch” and derided as a mad spendthrift, behaving as Marie Antoinette in the midst of this horrible Recession?), that Hillary Clinton has, that every other man and woman in the political arena must face.

The “iron maiden” of the Romney Campaign

But, such would be sane.

And again, the Morlocks have shamed the Eloi, even as they feast on their warm, tender flesh.

Get a grip America, before we truly become Amerika.

A man who will say anything to get into office will do anything once IN office.

Or haven’t you been paying attention.

You spoke correctly, Hilary Rosen, and I do not accept your apology.

Because you had nothing to apologize for.

The truth is the truth: Ann Romney has never done an honest day’s work in her life. Vee-jay-jays and output excluded.

Pity the poor multi-millionairess?

In a pig’s eye.

Courage.

======================

A writer, published author, novelist, literary critic and political observer for a quarter of a quarter-century more than a quarter-century, Hart Williams has lived in the American West for his entire life. Having grown up in Wyoming, Kansas and New Mexico, a survivor of Texas and a veteran of Hollywood, Mr. Williams currently lives in Oregon, along with an astonishing amount of pollen. He has a lively blog His Vorpal Sword. This is cross-posted — with minor modifications — from his blog.

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Author: HART WILLIAMS

A writer, published author, novelist, literary critic and political observer for a quarter of a quarter-century more than a quarter-century, Hart Williams has lived in the American West for his entire life. Having grown up in Wyoming, Kansas and New Mexico, a survivor of Texas and a veteran of Hollywood, Mr. Williams currently lives in Oregon, along with an astonishing amount of pollen. He has a lively blog, His Vorpal Sword (no spaces) dot com.

  • RP

    War on women…REALLY?

    How about a war on debt?
    How about a war on deficits?
    How about a war on wasteful spending?

    Is this really what it has come down to? Working women vs stay at home moms? Contraception? When they get our age will our kids thank us for making sure women did not have to pay for contraception when they are trying to survive the massive debts we are leaving them.?

    Reality is a hard thing to swallow and right now no one in D.C. is even taking a sip.

  • CStanley

    Jill: “Let’s put on our civility hats.”

    Hart: “I gotch ur civility hat right here…”

  • http://hisvorpalsword.com HART WILLIAMS, Guest Voice Columnist

    RP: Obviously they have a strong reality construct, so I’d suggest that they all just go down to the corner. The unicorns will be coming by with the solutions that they seek very soon now. I fear we’ve slithered into a complete fantasy land. (Not a nice one, either.)

    CStanley: Thirty years of trying civility have worked against the barbarians not at all. But, as Einstein said, the definition of insanity is trying the same thing over and over again, expecting different results.

  • Rcoutme

    RP, I suggest you go reread my post on MMT. We can not be leaving our children a ‘debt’. We have a fiat currency. We can only be leaving them a potential for inflation. If the ‘debt’ is truly unmanageable we will not even be leaving them the inflation as it will occur before we leave this life.

  • dduck

    Or, rather, are they willing participants and collaborators in what is transparent mendacity and Rovian lies?
    I vote for that one.

    And, the lions really appreciated that last tidbit from O. (They do want more since Rosen was a little bit stringy.)

  • ShannonLeee

    When will politicos understand that the American public isnt interested in the details. Going after a candidates wife, right or wrong, is a major turn off and extremely damanging…which is why it should not be done. This cant be explained away because no one but other political junkies are listening.

    liberals would be smart to drop it and hope the voting public quickly forgets…. but liberals wont because they insist on insisting that they are right.

    this reminds me of Palin complex… she made a career off of being hated by liberals.

  • adelinesdad

    “liberals would be smart to drop it and hope the voting public quickly forgets…. but liberals wont because they insist on insisting that they are right.”

    I agree 100%. It astounds me that some liberals see this as a winning issue for them. It seems to me that some liberals of the feminist variety may have gotten a little overconfident about their recent good fortune handed to them by conservatives. Predictably, we are now seeing some of the less palatable side of feminism being not as closely guarded.

  • http://hisvorpalsword.com HART WILLIAMS, Guest Voice Columnist

    So, in essence, the hate trumps rationality and you’re happy to see the false meme spread because you don’t like feminists, or else you’re too purblind to notice that “work” is being used in two entirely different meanings here?

    Good luck with that.

  • ShannonLeee

    No, winning the WH so you can continue progressive policies is what trumps rationality.

    considering the recent polling that shows women so heavily in favor of Obama…this path is unneeded.

    Why give Karl a weapon against Obama. The man is a political genius. He plays the American people like the pied piper….right off of a cliff.

  • adelinesdad

    I have no problem with feminists. Like all ideologies, it does have a less palatable side.

    I understand the two different usages of work. We’ve hashed that out on a different thread. Rosen’s statement is still offensive, for reasons I specified in the other thread.

  • CStanley

    Yeah, Hart and others are treating this as though the whole issue was the use of “work” instead of “paid employment”.

    I agree that if that were the whole issue it would only merit a quick clarification and any further talk would be faux umbrage.

    The other issues though are that women who aren’t in the workforce due to a vocation of full time parenthood don’t want to be marginalized, and we don’t want to face the condescending attitude that our choice is a luxury. For many, it is the opposite of a luxury. That Ann Romney didn’t face the same set of sacrifices since her husband’s income was more than enough doesn’t change the fact that calling this choice a luxury is offensive to the rest of us.

    It would be like saying that a person of means is lucky they can choose to do volunteer or low paying work- that this is a luxury that they have. While true in a limited number of cases, such a statement would be offensive to people (notably including Barack Obama who initially chose community organizing over higher paying jobs) who make sacrifices for that vocation.

  • vanderleun

    Oh dear Hart…. let’s put back in those wonderful sentiments that you seem to have taken out without bothering to note it. In the original post you noted:

    “But we live in a Goebbels-style media age, and the poor Nazis of Romney cry great crocodile tears that those awful Jews are abusing the Nazi Brownshirts by repeatedly smashing their knees and jackboots with their Semitic testicles. And, to add insult to injury, they repeatedly smash the Brownshirts in the fists and elbows with their eyes and noses.”

    Now that gives your blathering a fine scent, doesn’t it.

    [Note to self: screenshot.]

  • bluebelle

    The War on Women IS real– and so far it has been a winning issue for Obama– but the verbal campaign against rich stay-at-homes is a loser.
    The campaign tried to put out the flames immediately — but this is an election year so anything goes.

    I completely agree that women’s issues are not the only issues that we should be voting on. Economic issues will be huge and they are really Romney’s only hope

  • dduck

    Van, actually I liked the imagery of that paragraph, as I usually like most of Hart’s stuff. It may be all BS, but I can still like it; propaganda can sometimes be pretty.

    I was also thinking of the trials and tribulations of Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., whose lawyer says the nurses ran into his knee while he was walking his 2-day old baby. I laughed so hard when I read that, that I cried.

  • http://hisvorpalsword.com HART WILLIAMS, Guest Voice Columnist

    Two quick notes:

    First, I did not remove the paragraph in question, although I agree, in retrospect, with the wisdom of so doing.

    Second: It astonishes me that, having continually propagated the ugliest rhetoric and libel imaginable for decades as a matter of course, “conservatives” suddenly get the vapors if anyone ELSE uses language comparable to theirs.

    Hypocrisy? Of course not. Hypocrisy can only take place when shame is present, and shame is predicated on the existence of a conscience, and conscience upon the existence of a soul. You do the math.

  • zephyr

    “It astonishes me that, having continually propagated the ugliest rhetoric and libel imaginable for decades as a matter of course, “conservatives” suddenly get the vapors if anyone ELSE uses language comparable to theirs.”

    Hart, as all progressives know, democrats are expected to maintain higher ground than republicans when it comes to standards of behavior. It’s an old tradition.

  • dduck

    Hypocrisy? Of course not. Hypocrisy can only take place when shame is present, and shame is predicated on the existence of a conscience, and conscience upon the existence of a soul. You do the math.

    1 pair of horns, 2 cloven feet= SATAN.
    Quick hide Hart has uncovered our secret.

  • dduck

    Z, Well now we need the higher ground so we can S*** on the progressives.

  • rvail136

    This is a “moderate voice”? Wow…what happened? Used to be a good site. When did you start drinking the “Kool-Aide”?

    Rich Vail
    Pikesville, Maryland
    http://thevailspot.blogspot.com

  • http://hisvorpalsword.com HART WILLIAMS, Guest Voice Columnist

    Right after we unlearned how to spell “Kool-Aid.”

    But ad hominems are always appreciated in lieu of actual discourse.

  • dduck

    RV, This thread is in a HW mode so forgive us for blowing off some steam.

  • http://hisvorpalsword.com HART WILLIAMS, Guest Voice Columnist

    No: this is sophistry. The intentional misinterpretation of a work “work” is not an error that can be corrected by creating new lines of argument.

    If there is “right” and “wrong,” I rest my case.

    If not, then I accept yours, but it does not matter in that event.

    “Nothing is true; all things are permitted,” seems to be the summation of the latter position, to quote Hassan I Sabbah, who lends his name to the root term of what’s actually going on here.

  • DR. CLARISSA PINKOLA ESTÉS, Managing Editor of TMV, and Columnist

    To All : read the tmv rules for commenters. The rules for civil discussion here are to be about the topic. Discuss, debate, teach, opine about the topic. Ad hominem attacks against writer or commenter, highjacking the topic, will be edited or deleted as per our commenters’ rules that are found at the top of the Home page…

    then all is well and will be well.

    Thanks.
    archangel/ dr.e
    managing editor TMV

  • http://hisvorpalsword.com HART WILLIAMS, Guest Voice Columnist

    In conclusion, let me merely point out the obvious: in a post decrying the “taking quotes out of context” as a pretext for shifting the discussion, we have seen precisely that strategem played out here.

    Were the criticisms I level an aberration or a rarity, this thread would not have devolved into the very syndrome I spoke of. QED.

  • Dabb

    I did not find Ms. Rosen’s comment offensive at all.

    Ann Romney stated she had a choice, and she chose to be a stay at home mom. Good for her. I wish I would have had that choice also. In fact many many many women would like to have had that choice. Instead many many many women must work out of the home in order to feed and clothe their children and put a roof over their head. Ann Romney has never had to worry about those issues. All she had to worry about was her choice of staying home or working outside the home. It is Ann Romney that has no idea of what the average women goes through day after day. And I really don’t feel Ann Romney cares.

  • bluebelle

    The only person who isn’t exhibiting all of this faux outrage on the right is Ann Romney.
    Were conservatives as shocked and outraged about all the criticism that has been leveled at the head of our current First Lady??

  • DORIAN DE WIND, Military Affairs Columnist

    “Were conservatives as shocked and outraged about all the criticism that has been leveled at the head of our current First Lady??”

    I find that to be a legitimate question, Bluebelle, but one that will not be answered — only circumvented or rationalized.

  • adelinesdad

    Dabb,

    The notion that being able to stay at home is unique to the privileged is false. I wouldn’t question your situation, but in general women of varying socio-economic backgrounds can and do stay at home at roughly the same rates, or even higher at lower incomes.

    I’ve lost count on how many times I’ve posted this in the various threads. I honestly would appreciate an explanation on how this can be reconciled with the assumption that staying at home is not an option for the middle or lower class:

    http://www.census.gov/population/socdemo/hh-fam/cps2007/tabFG2-all.xls

    http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/facts_for_features_special_editions/cb11-ff07.html

    And, the caveat that I’ve given on other threads applies: Ann Romney is very rich. There’s no question. My point here is about SAHMs in general, not Ann Romney.

  • adelinesdad

    Bluebelle and Dorian,

    Due to time constraints, my involvement in political expression is pretty much limited to TMV. I don’t frequent partisan blogs because I find them mostly repulsive and a waste of time. If you can point me to where an author at TMV has made criticisms of the first lady’s chosen lifestyle, or if you’d like to summarize what you have heard elsewhere, I’d be happy to offer my view. If authors and commenters at TMV continue to defend those making unjustified criticisms of the first lady, or, more importantly, making false assumptions about the kinds of people that share her lifestyle, I’d be happy the engage them with data as I have here.

  • adelinesdad

    To be more direct, my point is: why not engage the people on this thread rather than bringing up people with faux outrage on other blogs that people who comment here avoid in part because of their faux partisan outrage?

    Unless you are referring to faux outrage on this thread, in which I’d say most of the outrage I’m seeing here is coming mostly from Hart’s OP.

  • http://hisvorpalsword.com HART WILLIAMS, Guest Voice Columnist

    adeline’s dad:

    Because all of us do not live in a self-circumscribed universe.

    Your lack of knowledge of the blogosphere (blogosmear in this case) is NOT a constraint on everyone else.

    And it is manifestly unreasonable to claim that because you are willfully blinded, that all others must, therefore, pluck out their own eyes.

  • adelinesdad

    Hart,

    So before I can be engaged, I must answer for the sins of people who are perceived to be on “my side” (regardless of whether or not I think the are on my side)? My argument against unjustified criticism and incorrect facts is not valid because some conservative said something somewhere that I didn’t respond to?

    Seems like quite a high bar that doesn’t lend itself well to civil discourse, since it means anyone can be excused for saying anything since they can avoid criticism by finding something someone said that wasn’t also criticized. But, It doesn’t seem like civil discourse is what you are after anyway.

  • DORIAN DE WIND, Military Affairs Columnist

    @Adelinesdad (since you mentioned my name):

    I am not about to delve into thousands of posts and comments to see if you have ever failed to protest an unfair criticism made about the First Lady for two reasons.

    My comment wasn’t specifically directed at you, but such criticisms of the First Lady are abundant — believe me.

    Second, you yourself know better than anyone else whether the shoe fits or not.

    If it does, wear it; if it doesn’t don’t worry about it — as I (try to)do –either way — when my posts and comments are criticized fairly or unfairly.

    Wish you well.

  • CStanley

    My argument against unjustified criticism and incorrect facts is not valid because some conservative said something somewhere that I didn’t respond to?

    Lol, a variation on that cartoon of the guy who can’t go to sleep at night because “someone was wrong on the internet.”

  • CStanley

    C’mon, Dorian. I. Your earlier comment that AD responded to, up you said that whether or not conservatives condone nasty comments about Michelle Obama is a legitimate question and now that AD pointed out why that’s not reasonable you are saying that conservative commenters here shouldn’t have to answer the question if we privately agree that such criticisms are wrong? You can’t have it both ways- either you expect conservatives to denounce those things or you accept that without further evidence that we support them you’ll assume we don’t.

  • CStanley

    The notion that being able to stay at home is unique to the privileged is false. I wouldn’t question your situation, but in general women of varying socio-economic backgrounds can and do stay at home at roughly the same rates, or even higher at lower incomes.< \blockquote>

    AD- i think there may be a legitimate reason that people are sidestepping your data.

    When you think about it, that data captures a very mixed picture of women in different kinds of situations. I think it could be laid our with three axes- one for the desire for career or raising kids full time, one for the woman’s own income possibilities, and one for the external income of her spouse (or other sources like govt aid or extended family.)

    So rather than proving that women at all income levels have a reasonable amount of choice, it’s likely that at the low end there are more women who might work for wages if it was rational but can’t earn more income than their childcare costs, while at the higher end there are fewer women whose preferences are constrained by economics.

  • CStanley

    Great, so i finally find out that the blockquote tag works instead of italics which has a glitch, and now i muck it up. Hopefully this will close my tag from the last post.

  • DORIAN DE WIND, Military Affairs Columnist

    CStanley says:
    April 15, 2012 at 8:57 am

    “C’mon, Dorian. I. Your earlier comment that AD responded to, up you said that whether or not conservatives condone nasty comments about Michelle Obama is a legitimate question and now that AD pointed out why that’s not reasonable you are saying that conservative commenters here shouldn’t have to answer the question if we privately agree that such criticisms are wrong? You can’t have it both ways- either you expect conservatives to denounce those things or you accept that without further evidence that we support them you’ll assume we don’t.”

    Hi CS

    While Adelinesdad can speak for himself (and I am sure he will), I would like to address your comment. However — and please take this in the sincere manner it is offered — I really do not understand what you are trying to say. Please give me one more opportunity to have a dialogue with you.

    Thanks

  • http://hisvorpalsword.com HART WILLIAMS, Guest Voice Columnist

    AD: I await any reasonable statement that is not merely snark.

  • CStanley

    Sorry, Dorian…I really need an edit button.

    What I was trying to say is that when you look at your first comment which AD responded to, you seemed to be saying that it’s important to you to know whether conservatives are consistent in defending against unfair criticisms of liberal as well as conservative women.

    But then you responded to AD saying that individual conservative commenters shouldn’t have to prove ourselves innocent of this hypocrisy because we know if the “shoe doesn’t fit”.

    Question is, while we know our own minds, how are we to know if you meant to direct that accusation against us personally, or for that matter how do we avoid having casual readers of this blog lump us in with all of these hypocritical righties that you have criticized on that basis?

  • DORIAN DE WIND, Military Affairs Columnist

    Thanks for getting back to me CS.

    Let me see if I can reply to your comments or clarify my own comments one by one.

    First:

    CS:

    What I was trying to say is that when you look at your first comment which AD responded to, you seemed to be saying that it’s important to you to know whether conservatives are consistent in defending against unfair criticisms of liberal as well as conservative women.

    DdW:

    I was agreeing with Bluebelle’s comment: “Were conservatives as shocked and outraged about all the criticism that has been leveled at the head of our current First Lady??” by saying: “I find that to be a legitimate question, Bluebelle, but one that will not be answered — only circumvented or rationalized.

    [I do not believe that I “seemed to be saying that it’s important to [me] to know whether conservatives are consistent in defending against unfair criticisms of liberal as well as conservative women.” All I was saying –and I stand by it — is that I agree with Bluebelle’s question as to where all the conservative shock and outrage was when criticism is leveled at the First Lady.]

    CS:

    But then you responded to AD saying that individual conservative commenters shouldn’t have to prove ourselves innocent of this hypocrisy because we know if the “shoe doesn’t fit”.

    DdW:

    Adelinesdad’s comment to Bluebelle and me was:

    Bluebelle and Dorian,

    Due to time constraints, my involvement in political expression is pretty much limited to TMV. I don’t frequent partisan blogs because I find them mostly repulsive and a waste of time. If you can point me to where an author at TMV has made criticisms of the first lady’s chosen lifestyle, or if you’d like to summarize what you have heard elsewhere, I’d be happy to offer my view. If authors and commenters at TMV continue to defend those making unjustified criticisms of the first lady, or, more importantly, making false assumptions about the kinds of people that share her lifestyle, I’d be happy the engage them with data as I have here.

    It was followed by this comment from AD– which I am not sure was directed at me:

    To be more direct, my point is: why not engage the people on this thread rather than bringing up people with faux outrage on other blogs that people who comment here avoid in part because of their faux partisan outrage?

    Unless you are referring to faux outrage on this thread, in which I’d say most of the outrage I’m seeing here is coming mostly from Hart’s OP.

    I replied to AD’s first comment as follows:

    @Adelinesdad (since you mentioned my name):

    I am not about to delve into thousands of posts and comments to see if you have ever failed to protest an unfair criticism made about the First Lady for two reasons.

    My comment wasn’t specifically directed at you, but such criticisms of the First Lady are abundant — believe me.
    Second, you yourself know better than anyone else whether the shoe fits or not.

    If it does, wear it; if it doesn’t don’t worry about it — as I (try to) do –either way — when my posts and comments are criticized fairly or unfairly.

    Wish you well.

    [I didn’t say anything about individual conservative commenters having to prove themselves, nor called anyone a hypocrite. I specifically said that my comment was not specifically directed at AD, but that such criticisms of the First Lady were plentiful, and that if AD was not part to such criticisms (“if the shoe fits”) then “don’t worry about it.”]

    As to your question:

    CS:

    Question is, while we know our own minds, how are we to know if you meant to direct that accusation against us personally, or for that matter how do we avoid having casual readers of this blog lump us in with all of these hypocritical righties that you have criticized on that basis?

    If you know in your own mind that you have responded equally fervently to unfair comments made by the “righties” towards the First Lady, then I say, Peace and Thank You — I am not here to accuse anyone in particular nor to ask you or anyone to prove anything. But, when I see statements made ad nauseam by numerous people about an issue or a person — here or elsewhere –I reserve the right to address those in my posts or comments, as you have the right to rebut them.

    Thanks for the dialogue.

  • bluebelle

    Wow- well as it was my question originally–let me just say that I was not specifically aiming it at TMV posters and commenters but at what general knowledge I assumed most educated people possessed about the criticism that has been leveled at Michelle Obama over the last years– and not in any oblique way either.

    If you would like me to google specific examples of it, I would be happy to do so. My only thought is that I am incredulous that there are so many on here who claim to be totally unaware of it

  • CStanley

    Bluebelle- where do you see anyone saying they’re unaware of that? The discussion is about whether we should each individually be held accountable for what other people say.

  • CStanley

    Rereading i guess i can see a potential interpretion of AD inviting you to summarize what comments about Michelle Obama you are referring to as though he doesn’t know that such comments exist, but that wasn’t how i took his meaning. I interpreted it to mean that he knows in a general sense that such things are said but doesn’t bother to spend time on blogs where they’d be part of the conversation so the opportu ity doesn’t arise to criticize anyone for what is said. The same would be true for me.

  • adelinesdad

    CStanley:

    “So rather than proving that women at all income levels have a reasonable amount of choice, it’s likely that at the low end there are more women who might work for wages if it was rational but can’t earn more income than their childcare costs, while at the higher end there are fewer women whose preferences are constrained by economics.”

    Yes, it is true that poor SAHMs may not see much of an option to work, since childcare would be prohibitively expensive. But, I think my objection to the claim that there is an association between privilege and SAHMs still applies. Considering poor SAHMs, whether they had a choice to work outside the home or not, still shows that associating SAHMs with privilege is both factually incorrect and demeaning to their struggles. Secondly, considering the middle class who appear to stay at home roughly equally with rich families further contradicts the assumption that being a SAHM is associated with privilege. Those middle class women did have a choice, in varying degrees I’m sure.

    If you want to say that rich people have easier choices, I’m certainly not going to argue with that. But it has repeatedly been argued, on this thread and elsewhere, that only rich people can be SAHM and other women must work. Even given that this argument is intended as a generalization, it is still factually incorrect (as there is no such trend) and demeaning to middle class and poor SAHMs who either (a) don’t have a choice but to stay at home, or (b) have a choice but make significant sacrifices to stay at home because they think it is important.

  • adelinesdad

    Dorian, bluebelle, and CStanley, regarding the Michelle Obama question:

    Whether or not Bluebelle was referring to specific commenters or conservatives in general, the idea that lack of criticism for one flawed argument invalidates criticism for another flawed argument doesn’t make sense. Or rather, it only makes sense if we assume that the argument doesn’t deserve criticism in the first place.

    Imagine I make a flawed argument (maybe not hard to imagine for some), and then you call me on it and explain why my argument is flawed. If I were to then say, “Well, I heard this other person make a somewhat related argument one time, and I didn’t hear you or those that agree with you on this issue criticize it.” Would you consider that relevant at all? I don’t think you would, or (I guess I shouldn’t speak for you) I don’t see how it is relevant. On the other hand, if you felt my argument was correct and I was being unfairly criticized by people not arguing in good faith, you might make such a claim on the basis that criticism is driven by partisan motives.

    What I’m getting at is this: Bluebelle’s question only makes sense under the assumption that the conservative criticism is unwarranted. But, that’s an odd response to a thread in which some commenters, including myself, are trying to explain why the criticism *is* warranted, at least with regards to some specific points (in my case, I’m arguing specifically against the assumption that SAHMs are inherently privileged). Wouldn’t it be more logical, then, to address my argument, rather than ignoring it and operating under the assumption that I am wrong? Civil discourse, I think, requires that we do the former.

  • adelinesdad

    Hart,

    I don’t know what you are referring to as snark. The closest I came was in my response to Dorian which I immediately after clarified with a more direct response. Unless you are referring to, “It doesn’t seem like civil discourse is what you are after.” I didn’t actually mean that snarkily. I didn’t honestly think that you claimed to be engaging in civil dialogue. Aside from the tone of your piece, I think it was this that caused me to think this way:

    “It astonishes me that, having continually propagated the ugliest rhetoric and libel imaginable for decades as a matter of course, “conservatives” suddenly get the vapors if anyone ELSE uses language comparable to theirs.”

    Here you say that your rhetoric is comparable to conservatives which you say is the “ugliest rhetoric and libel imaginable”. I was happy to hear that you recognized it. I took this as an admission that you weren’t interested in civil dialogue. If I misunderstood, I apologize.

  • CStanley

    AD, i completely agree with you on all points.

    On the issue of the data interpretation, i was similarly thinking about how the predominant Democratic interpretation asserts a contrast between wealthy and poor mothers while ignoring the vast middle ground. Since that middle income group contains a lot of SAHM’s who opt to stay home but only by making considerable sacrifice in lifestyle, it truly is insulting to be pushed into the false dichotomy of privileged mothers vs. poor mothers who can’t choose full time motherhood. I think Rosen’s criticism of Ann Romney had two prongs- one based on wealth and one based on lack of participation in the workforce, as reasons that Ann Romney isn’t a credible voice for women in general. Perhaps she didn’t think it through or perhaps she really doesn’t believe that middle class SAHMs can identify with a wealthy SAHM, but speaking personally i find irritating the implication that one must colllect a paycheck to have a voice on political issues. The other end of that spectrum of course is the criticism of Romney for saying that poor women must seek employment to qualify for govt aid, and i think it’s a valid point to say that women in that circumstance shouldn’t be told that their opinions don’t matter.