SAN JOSE, May 15, 2012 With Mother’s Day-2012 behind us, the temporary cease fire in the war on women, or war on mothers, resumed on Monday. In case anyone missed it, Newsweek/Daily Beast senior contributor Michelle Goldberg took a second poke at Ann Romney, wife of GOP presidential hopeful, Mitt Romney, when she made a not-so-subtle insinuation that her thoughts on motherhood were similar to Hitler’s or Stalin’s.
Goldberg, appearing on MSNBC earlier this week, made a comparison between Ann Romney’s words in a recent article in USA Today written for Mother’s Day, to the two dictators’ efforts to use motherhood as a tool to increase the population within their countries.
This followed an initial attack on Mitt Romney’s wife when Hilary Rosen, reportedly a Democratic party strategist, made a remark that Ann Romney had “never worked a day in her life.” Such a statement was viewed as a significant volley in a “war” on traditional motherhood or stay-at-home moms. The Democratic Party was quick to discount how significant Rosen’s role was to the Party and made it clear that her comments did not officially reflect their views.
Rosen’s comments ignited a firestorm of viewpoints flying back and forth over the social media circuits. Jim Messina, President Obama’s campaign manager, wrote on Twitter:
“I could not disagree with Hilary Rosen any more strongly. Her comments were wrong and family should be off limits. She should apologize.”
Even Michelle Obama commented on Twitter on Thursday when she wrote that “…every mother works hard, and every woman deserves to be respected.”
And so, Ms. Rosen must have got the message, and she did apologize for what she deemed “poorly chosen words” because her comments had ignited a “faux war against stay-at-home moms.” Her statement included a direct apology to Ann Romney: “I apologize to Ann Romney and anyone else who was offended… Let’s declare peace in this phony war and go back to focus on the substance.”
The substance she may have been referring to is the substance at stake within the Presidential election which may be revolving around how women will vote this year and the outcome of the run for occupation of the White House. This may be the exact reason why Mr. Obama’s top political advisers moved quite rapidly to put distance between the president’s campaign and Ms. Rosen.
The same happened to some extent with Michelle Goldberg, although her apology was not directed to Ann Romney because she’s just a Democrat, not a Democratic strategist. Goldberg recently wrote: “So my apologies aren’t for Ann Romney, but for everyone else. I’m truly sorry to have given the right a pretext for another tedious spasm of feigned outrage…”
It is not entirely clear, but Goldberg may be referring to the tedious spasm of feigned outrage that first surfaced from the Democrats earlier this year to portray Republicans as hostile to women in the “war on women” exploding from the controversy in February when Sandra Fluke, a Georgetown University Law student and self-proclaimed reproductive rights advocate, testified in a mock up of a legitimate committee hearing staged by the Democrats that she needed Georgetown University to pay for her contraception because law students like her were expected to pay as much as $3000 over their college career for such services.
Republicans were demonized as initiating a war on women because they viewed the issue as one of religious freedom because it threatened a Catholic college with a government mandate that required the university to go against their basic religious faith. So, it seems that in order to shield the administration’s war on religion and religious liberty, the clever Democrats deftly shifted the substance of the debate into a “war” on the entire female gender.
The general public may now be confused whether to choose sides in the “phony war” or “to focus on the substance” because both messages seem to attract the attention of the media. It is understandable that the people are hesitant as the media demands our attentiveness to the “tedious spasm of feigned outrage.”
If someone with common sense stands back a few paces to look objectively at all the rhetoric flying back and forth, it doesn’t take much intelligence to determine that 2012 is shaping up to be a “mother” of historical political contests, to put it in a more appropriate perspective.
Especially with the recent announcement from President Obama regarding his support of same sex marriage, this year’s presidential election is surprisingly becoming very divisive over gender issues and sexual values. This year’s presidential election may not be spinning off track into a sidetracked “phony war,” but it may be the very core of a very real war of ideas.
It is also increasingly more apparent that the lines seem to be drawn, not only between Democrats and Republicans, but between those who seriously cherish religious and other fundamental liberties that were established by the founding fathers and those who adamantly want to expand the concept of civil rights to include governmental protections for those with specific sexual life-choices.
It is also clear that theatrical antics and hypocritical hyperbole of both camps are on full display during this election year. Is it any wonder why voters who observe the unfolding political circus would rather change the channel? With the political rhetoric at full throttle this year, one may wonder whether the respective political forces are at war with mothers, or at war with women, or whether “we the people” are again at war with ourselves over what we truly believe in.
The real “war” that may be raging in the U.S. this year may more clearly represent an internal battle over the fundamental values that are at the foundation of what has enabled generations of America to enjoy the blessings of liberty for so long. The real battle may be over whether we still truly believe in the choices our founders made for us over 200 years ago, or whether a nation conceived in liberty and predicated upon mutual trust and the consent of those who are governed can continue to endure.
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