The Other Hilary

Fuck it; Hilary Rosen, the bar has your back.
When Democratic activist Hilary Rosen dissed Ann Romney Wednesday, saying she has “never worked a day in her life,” the president, first lady, and countless other Democrats swooped in and condemned the slam on the wife of presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney. Ms. Rosen apologized for her “poorly chosen” words.

...With one off-hand comment –suggesting that Mrs. Romney can’t understand women’s struggles because she hasn’t worked outside the home – Rosen handed a gift to Mr. Romney right when he needed it.

The Romney campaign has followed with a fundraising e-mail titled “War on Moms.” It says: "If you're a stay-at-home mom, the Democrats have a message for you: You've never worked a day in your life."

According to the latest census data, about 1 in 4 women with children under 15 is not working outside the home. That is a significant voting bloc – and most aren’t wealthy like Ann Romney. Mrs. Romney herself noted on Thursday that she has had struggles of her own, particularly with her health.

In addition, Mrs. Romney has carved out an image as an appealing surrogate for her husband, complete with stories about how exhausting it was to raise five boys. Polls show her favorability rating far exceeds her negatives.

So for Obama, the Rosen comment created a PR emergency on multiple levels: She had disrespected a big voting bloc and had gone after a candidate’s wife. Team Obama pushed the panic button.

~ Linda Feldman, Christian Science Monitor
Where the Democrats are concerned, Rosen's timing may have sucked, but I still see where she's coming from.

Mitt Romney has more money than God, and when you have that kind of money, life's usual problems tend to no longer be considered problems.

When you have Mitt Romney money, raising five kids is not a "struggle".  You can hire nannies.  You can ship them off to boarding school.  You can even pay someone else to nurse them, just like in the days of old-school aristocracy.

When you have Mitt Romney money, health is not an issue, so long as you don't have a terminal illness.    You can hire organic vegan chefs, personal trainers, and you never have to worry about being able to pay any hospital costs; in fact, you can pay those bills out of pocket if you so choose.  I ain't saying Ann Romney's problems are a joke, but the woman still has her sight, her hearing, her speech, four working limbs, and a couple of Cadillacs.

Come on, now.

When you have Mitt Romney money, Paris Hilton money, Britney Spears money, Brangelina money, late-great-Michael-Jackson money, or any kind of minimum-of-seven-figures money, people can talk ish about you all day every day and it ultimately won't mean a goddamn thing because it doesn't change the fact you'

So if you're a member of the aforementioned 1 in 4 moms, don't cry for Ms. Annie here if you ain't got her money. You ain't got ish in common with this woman, and I'm glad a woman like Hilary Rosen called her out.  I hadn't even heard of this Hilary before this week, but if she's anything like the old Hilary, we might be able to do some business.  In a recession like this, where an overwhelming majority of the population was bent over by the rich and economically fucked up the ass with no jelly, someone had to have the ovaries to point that out.

Let me be clear: I respect women (and men) who stay at home with their kids.  That's a very noble and responsible thing to do, particularly because it requires the sort of extraordinary sacrifice the rest of us heathens will never understand.  I mean, having kids is hella stressful work enough, but staying home every day for them seems (to me) like a very special kind of hell.

But let me be blunt as well; the reason I respect mothers and fathers who do this is that they generally don't have Mitt Romney money.

*shrugs*  These are merely the humble thoughts of a bartender.  Grab a stool, order a drink, and tell me: what are yours?


  1. Lifecoaster4/13/12, 3:34 PM

    Finally!!! Keep on preaching Ankh! And I cosign everything you and Hilary Rosen said. Yeah the wording was a bit off, but dammit the point was a bullseye. Ann Romney may have 5 five kids and MS, for which I empathize with her immensely, but she's also married to a billionaire. She will never know what it's like to have to work two jobs just to barely feed her family. She will never go weeks without medicine because she had to pay rent with her med money. Or to have to choose to pay certain necessity bills over others because one will shut off before the other. So with that in mind, the Romneys need to stop this "Upper Class Problems" bullshit and realize that 99% of this country, fuck it, this WORLD would punt babies to have their "struggles".

  2. I’m a stay at home mother and I have to admit that when I read the comment, I bristled but I think I understand why. Some of the first blogs I started reading on the internet were feminist blogs and I stopped reading them for two reasons – the unrelenting racism from white women and the anti-child attitudes. Some of the stuff I’ve read is straight child hatred.

    I don’t know that Hilary Rosen identifies as feminist but I know that many feminists identify as Democrats or at least liberal. It’s within that crowd that I’ve seen a lot of the condescension towards women who chose to stay at home full time; women who believe that stay at home moms are a bit backward and aren’t doing anything that difficult anyway. (I saw this attitude almost exclusively in white women, other women were happy enough to say they just didn’t want kids without having to compare women to livestock. Make of that what you will.) From some of the stuff I’ve seen, I don’t think it’s unfair for the Republicans to say that some left leaning women have a serious issue with women who parent full time.

    So I think I took it the wrong way because I’m used to people thinking that looking after kids full time requires no effort at all, regardless of class or personal circumstances. Ultimately though, you’re absolutely right. Hilary Rosen’s comment has nothing to do with me. I’m in nothing like Ann Romney’s position and I shouldn’t make it about me if it ain’t about me. As a matter of fact, if I had Ann Romney’s kind of money I’d probably be more likely to go out and work because paying for childcare would be a non-issue.

    1. Exactly. Rosen's comment is about Ann's class privilege, not her being a mom.

    2. After all, Ann could've just as easily been a childless housewife who doesn't have to cook, clean, or clip coupons.

    3. Let's also not forget, Hilary Rosen wasn't lying when she said Ann Romney had never worked a day in her life. In fact, you have to go pretty far back into the 20th century to find a First Lady who NEVER worked. Ann Romney had a rich daddy, married at 19 to a rich husband, so she has never seen a paycheck with her name on it.

      And I get kind of tired of people acting like the women who do work 40 (if they are lucky) or more hours a week DON'T do all of the same stuff for their kids and communities and clubs that the women who don't have paying jobs do.

      So my mom worked full-time (school teacher) so after she made us dinner every night she was up grading papers and planning lessons. But yeah, my mom was a great cook who would make great dinner every night, frequently get up and make us hot breakfasts in the morning (and lunch if we wanted to take it in), who sewed like mad, ironed our outfits for the next day or entire week, made things for us to take to class parties, and who would slip into our performances and stuff on her breaks.

      So I remain unimpressed at women who only have to do HALF of that, esp. since after a few years, you get the house to yourself to deal with 5 days a week. A working mom NEVER gets the house to herself to do housework or anything else. And let's be honest, at a certain income level, housewives farm a lot of work out, b/c I went to private school and a lot of my classmates who had SAHM had nannies and housekeepers, or I had friends whose moms spent all day at the salon or mall and who had to order take-out for dinner every night.

      So regular middle class housewives may not outsource, but they still aren't juggling and I get tired of people acting like the women who go to work everyday aren't taking care of business at home, b/c they are, just on a very compressed schedule and on a lot less sleep.

    4. Just as a funny side note to the privilege and how easy it is for them to maintain, I went to an alumni holiday party at the end of last year, and this white lady kept staring me down. It was annoying, but I assumed it was the usual, b/c I live in a "liberal" area that manages to have no black people, and people frequently don't know how to act.

      At any rate, another friend who went to the same event, but who I missed, asked me if I'd seen "X" there. And yes, adding in what I call the "white tax" for aging, I realized that the lady staring at me had in fact lived upstairs from my in my freshman entryway in college.

      My friend told me how this woman, who was the daughter of a CEO, was now married to a CEO, and she did manage to get a few years of work in before marriage but yeah, will never work again and didn't have to work much but has a fabulous house in one of the most expensive counties in one of the most expensive regions in the country. You know, where a crappy starter home that looks like it should be torn down requires that you win the lottery, and that is true AFTER the crash.

      But anyone who acts like women in this income bracket actually cook, clean and don't spend all day in spin and pilates classes is lying. And assuming the husbands don't have mistresses for this kind of thing, they regularly get whisked away for kid-free holidays.

    5. A very thoughtful comment! As a PTA, stay at home mom, running two businesses and working part-time out of the home when my husband can watch the kids on the weekend, I can tell you that Hilary was speaking on behalf of people like me. It's about the economic policies and how they promote or hinder causes important to families. She is an opportunist, undermining a women's ability to know what Hilary really meant, which is insulting in and of it's self!

  3. I agree that Rosen's comments were poorly phrased but like you I understand the point she was trying to make.

    I have no desire to be a parent but that doesn't mean I don't respect being a parent. Because I realize the sacrifices and the commitments that it requires to be a good parent, that's why I have no desire to be one myself. Mad props to those who are excellent parents but it's not for me.

    And as much as I despise the woman, I actually defended Sarah Palin when people gave her crap about going to work and not being at home to support her infant. They don't know that woman's business.

    But I do find it interesting that with all the crap Republicans have pulled and all the rights they've tried to strip from women, THIS is the issue that have so many people outraged. Not the contraception issue, not the misogynistic comments from the Republican presidential candidates but this.

    Curiouser and Curiouser.

    1. Excellent observation.

      When career-oriented women want to control their reproductive systems so that they don't get saddled with unplanned children they can't afford, the Republicans threw them under the bus.

      But when Rosen appropriately calls out Ann Romney's class privilege, the Republicans rush to defend stay-at-home moms who have nothing in common with the Romneys.

    2. Great point. Black folks can't be like that. Barack and Michelle are examples of the " American dream" , yet they are still be called welfare kings and queens.

    3. I'm so over the butthurt of white people in general when a white woman is "attacked.

      And it's why I can't take white women seriously in general b/c they certainly don't get upset when Michelle O. is insulted, or they try to co-opt the discussion by complaining about all of the misogyny that Hilary Clinton faced.

      I'll just go there...Hilary isn't ugly, but she isn't fine either, and she is pretty average figure wise, but I don't recall her ever being called fat or ugly. They threw the barbs about looks at Chelsea. But Michelle O. has been called all kinds of things but I'm not going to waste my time typing, and you get crickets from them.

      They don't give a damn when black women are abused, but look at the cross-eyed and they want to act like it's murder.

  4. Oh I wish I had a nanny to help after the birth of our four children, but alas we had to do it alone. During my wife’s hospital stays I cooked- cleaned and cared for my children as best I could. I dressed them and sent them off to daycare before going to work. My neighbor was kind enough to comb their hair (for the next day) and watch them until I got home from work. Then we would head out to see mommy at the hospital. Course we had to worry about the bills afterwards because everything wasn’t covered by the insurance. I had my wages garnished at one point by our hospital when we fell behind. As our family grew we had to pay for a myriad of babysitters so that both of us could work. Its a hard job for any parent who has not the luxury to draw from such resources as the Romneys.

    Wealth (and old money) shields people like Ann Romney from the everyday privations experienced by common folk. Romney’s wife has very little in common with a voting block that has seen its median income decrease in the past decade. Many potential voters have lost both job and home; most don’t know where their next meal is coming from half the time. Romney’s pro-cooperate stance (Corporations Are People) is a slap in the face of the common worker. The fact that big oil bankrolled his campaign assures billions in future subsidies for oil companies.

    In Ann’s defense many critics point to struggles with her health, as if that somehow equates to poor working mothers who’ve had to work sick sometimes to put food on the table. These mothers can’t afford to take off- or seek specialized medical care. Ann Romney has access to the best doctors her money can buy; so this puts her completely out of touch with most women. The po' child never had to worry about losing a job- or standing in the unemployment line, or going a day without food. Frankly the only thing a rich stay-at-home mother has to worry about is if her servants are stealing from her. Or which of her Cadillac’s she’ll be driving that day. She has to agonize over what exclusive upper-crust boarding school to send her children to. The parties she has to plan oh my! I feel so sorry for the poor dear.

  5. Forgive me...
    "Romney’s pro-corporate stance..."

  6. Just when I thought I'd be agreeing with the whole post, there comes the HR Clinton comment. No offence meant, yours is an excellent bar to visit, but you folks in the US need to look outside your country and your mainstream media a little. Just enough to understand that "will totally obliterate Iran if it attacked Israel" is the words of a genocidal maniac who wishes to propagate the oooh-look-the-middle-east-OMG-let's-bomb-them-before-they-bomb-us-or-Israel bullshit spreading baseless fear and xenophobia. Nobody, absolutely NOBODY gets to where the 'old Hilary' is without 'compromising' with the corporate oligarchs, to put it mildly.

    1. Keep the mind, this is country which also produced Palin, Bachmann, and now Ann "Couple of Cadillacs" Romney. While Clinton most definitely is a flawed politician, she tends to project an intelligence and fortitude which the aforementioned women lack.

    2. In other words, she's a sort of palate-cleanser for political women who leave a really nasty aftertaste.

  7. A quote: Moreover, I agree with every line of it.

    "It seems that 'we have never gone to war for conquest, for exploitation, nor for territory'; we have the word of a president [McKinley] for that. Observe, now, how Providence overrules the intentions of the truly good for their advantage. We went to war with Mexico for peace, humanity and honor, yet emerged from the contest with an extension of territory beyond the dreams of political avarice. We went to war with Spain for relief of an oppressed people [the Cubans], and at the close found ourselves in possession of vast and rich insular dependencies [primarily the Philippines] and with a pretty tight grasp upon the country for relief of whose oppressed people we took up arms. We could hardly have profited more had 'territorial aggrandizement' been the spirit of our purpose and heart of our hope. The slightest acquaintance with history shows that powerful republics are the most warlike and unscrupulous of nations." Ambrose Bierce, Warlike America.

    In this case we’re not going to war solely for Freedom and Liberty, or to protect our sovereignty from the maniacal ambitions of those madmen in Iran. It’s for the oil that sits deep underneath those centrifuges and ultimately, the expansion of the American Empire.

    Another quote:
    “Every war when it comes, or before it comes, is represented not as a war but as an act of self-defense against a homicidal maniac.” George Orwell

    That’s what our government has routinely told us to justify its war of attrition. That’s what the Bush Doctrine was all about.

    Pre-emptive strikes:
    "We cannot defend America and our friends by hoping for the best. We cannot put our faith in the word of tyrants, who solemnly sign non-proliferation treaties, and then systemically break them. If we wait for threats to fully materialize, we will have waited too long — Our security will require transforming the military you will lead — a military that must be ready to strike at a moment's notice in any dark corner of the world. And our security will require all Americans to be forward-looking and resolute, to be ready for preemptive action when necessary to defend our liberty and to defend our lives."

    Diplomacy is merely a smoke screen for the ill-informed. The intent of this nation has always been to take what it wants (by force if necessary) under the guise of good intentions.

  8. @angelsandimensions & M. Gibson...Amen! And amen again!

    For a quick moment of ill-infomed insanity, I thought about supporting Hill (could've just been my total disdain for the Changeling from day one, and after they schemed him into the nomination, my pississitude that McKinney didn't stand a snowball's chance, even though she was the only one who really deserved it).

    As for the Rosen - Romney feud, I'm on the fence, because it doesn't matter how much money you have, or have not, when it comes to raising decent and respectful, loving kids - who love you back. Just my 2 cents.

    Dirty Vodka Martini Ankh - shaken, not stirred. Thanx! :D

    1. Politicians are a breed unto themselves. Everything they do is in pursuit of the perfect image, their families included. These folks just want their kids to smile and behave in public.

      What stresses (good) parents out is fear, more specifically, the fear of not being able to take care of their kids' needs. When you have Mitt Romney money, even that fear is grossly alleviated. It also gives you more time for nurturing your kids in a loving manner.

      Rosen's point, however, is more about class and less about motherhood, and I think some folks are deliberating missing.

    2. Americans always miss the class issue. We are so brainwashed by our media to become the utterly unattainable wealthy class that we can not discuss the poor and working classes. In a way, in this country we are programed to blame the poor. If you are poor, well, I guess you didn't work hard enough or you like living high off the hog on welfare checks. This thinking along with the one day I will be Bill Gates fantasy has dwindled any real chance of dialogue in our national media. We need to come to reality. The way Capitalism works is there has to be a poor, working class, and wealthy. That's the way it is. Its ugly and unforgiving.

      As far as Rosen's comments, I agreed with what she said as everyone else so I don't want to repeat my sentiments at nausea. Though she did phrase it the wrong way and unfortunately she gave the right wing a bullet point. But she was on point. Rich people don't know what it's like to sacrifice. Their rich they have a cushion against harsh reality.

      A side note, China is now starting the process of countering the U.S. dollar with the Yuan. Now that China is making this move to bring greater value to their currency, I wonder what this will do to future relations and if we are headed to another war.


    3. Ankh...As a parent (whether I was a good one or not, will ultimately be decided by my offspring, not this society), I agree with you 100% that what stresses (good) parents out is fear, but not specifically, the fear of not being able to take care of their kids' needs ("makin' a way out of no way" is just how my mother raised me and how her mother raised her with regard to "needs" vs "wants").

      I'm not deliberately missing Rosen's point (if my comment was one that led you to think that), I just don't think (good) parents should be trying to compare the haves vs the have-nots when it comes to parenting because, with or without Mitt Romney money, kids' NEEDS, at bottom, are psychologically the same. And if they're f*cked up psychologically - no amount of Mitt Romney money will alleviate that (until they recognize that they are f*cked up, and are ready to deal with it, that is - then yeah, Mitt Romney money'd come into play as to the qulity of care they'd receive).

      Can I have a few extra olives for my martini?

    4. Have all the olives you want. And reread this:

      Politicians are a breed unto themselves. Everything they do is in pursuit of the perfect image, their families included. These folks just want their kids to smile and behave in public.

      You're thinking like a normal parent. Members of their tax bracket, however, don't.

    5. Thanx for the olives.

      No, I got it the first time, and I'd venture a guess (cuz I don't really know anybody in that tax bracket) that you're right - about all politicians (we can throw in preacher's chillun too for that matter!). Last thing they'd probably want is a pesky kid, scandalously interfering with their lust for power and influence.

      "You're thinking like a normal parent." Thanx, I try.

      @Anonymous (1:51 pm)... to your side note, "China is now starting the process of countering the U.S. dollar with the Yuan. Now that China is making this move to bring greater value to their currency, I wonder what this will do to future relations and if we are headed to another war."

      An excellent point to ponder - Qaddafi's plan to unite all African nations under a single currency with the introduction of the gold dinar (they would then only sell oil and other resources for this currency - which would've definitely strengthened Africa's economical standing globally) is what got his sovereign nation invaded and him killed. Same thing for Saddam Hussein, who was moving to trade Iraqi oil in euros only - not the totally value-less US dollar:

  9. Following Rosen's tweets from the other side of the pond, and the reactions to them, I was confused that people whose opinions normally resonate with me were condemning her. I don't for a second think less of women who don't work for whatever reason they've chosen not to, but surely she was pointing out a very real fact about our society(ies) which discriminates women differently based on their race and class. Loved reading this post.

  10. AnotherPupil4/15/12, 12:12 PM

    Haven't really been pay too much attention to this manufactured controversy. I didn't understand the offense towards Ms. Rosen's comments but as a person who grew up in a home where my mother's labor was not appreciated by my sexist and misogynistic father hearing what she said reminded me of the numerous times where he would bash my mother for not "working". Because her labor had no dollar value, that meant it wasn't worthy in his eyes and others.

    What worries me more is that the corporate media has not talked about Hillary Rosen's ties to corporate lobbying. I feel that both the Democratic and Republican parties do not exist to serve the people; they exist to keep capitalism afloat. They are the right-wing (Democrats) and the reich-wing (Republicans) of capitalism.

    1. It's a manufactured controversy indeed.

      The point I'm trying to make is that in this particular instance, Rosen was right to call out a woman who has nothing in common with the average voter. Her struggle isn't their struggle, and the Romneys really need to stop trying to blend in and bond with the "common folks" - they can't.

    2. Agree fully. I want to roll my eyes when I see people with class privilege saying 'yeah, you know, I face the same problem'. No mate, you don't. Stop pretending that you do because when you do, you're insulting the struggle of the others and at the same time begging for sympathy that you don't deserve.

    3. AnotherPupil4/16/12, 10:43 AM

      I agree that what Rosen said made sense and I don't know why there was an attempt to make it seem like she looked down on stay-at-home moms. It's just that when I first heard the comment, it brought back some bad memories from over the years.

      Actually, just saw this on the Huffington Post on a forum I lurk on:

  11. In a recession like this, where an overwhelming majority of the population was bent over by the rich and economically fucked up the ass with no jelly, someone had to have the ovaries to point that out.

    *and walks out of the bar after paying everyone's tab*

  12. Ankhesen Mié said…
    Her struggle isn't their struggle, and the Romneys really need to stop trying to blend in and bond with the "common folks" - they can't.

    It was almost a year ago I think, when speaking to a group of unemployed Floridians Romney said, “I’m also unemployed.” See, I’m just like you… I can identify with your struggles and your fears. The politician builds their base through a sort of "politics of commonality.” Ostensibly with race and class being pushed aside we’re all Americans before we’re anything else; we’re all are in the same boat. Moreover as citizens of this great nation we have a common enemy. No doubt the economy affects us all; surely we’re all concerned about health care and rising taxes. So send me to Washington and with your help I’ll do something it.

    With this type of common ground approach he can build a constituency from all races- creeds and classes even if he doesn’t embrace those virtues himself. Course, once the politician wins office the remainder of their career is spent enriching themselves. I agree; it takes a different breed of person to be a politician. First and foremost it takes a narcissist. For no matter how humble and selfless they appear to be on the surface, they’re only out for number one.

    Ankhesen Mié said…
    Politicians are a breed unto themselves. Everything they do is in pursuit of the perfect image, their families included. These folks just want their kids to smile and behave in public.

    For Romney the politics of commonality purports, the more amalgamated our life-experiences are the less you're inclined to consider my wealth... my home in The Hamptons- my household of servants; or my wife’s numerous cadillacs. Their humble beginnings only become relevant when they need your vote; after that you're on your own. They will lie- cheat- bribe, defraud or use whomever they need to (including family members) to get that vote. They’ll parade their family out on the stage instructing them to stand- wave and smile broadly. To the press (and for those watching at home) they’re the perfect family. The future first lady is not above playing those games herself. There are publicists and other groomers behind the scenes who will transform her into Chaka Khan’s rendition of I’m every woman when they're through.

    There’s not one politician (either at the local, state- or federal level) that hasn’t lied to get his job- or lied to keep it once elected. We tend to confuse morality and politics sometimes; especially after the politician has pulled our religious/patriotic strings. But he’s not playing a song we haven’t heard before. Hypocrisy is the fuel that feeds political ambition. Hypocrisy is a tool to be wielded like a righteous sword. To that end it will get him elected time and time again.

    A quote: “Power don't come from a badge or a gun. Power comes from lying. Lying big and gettin' the whole damn world to play along with you. Once you've got everybody agreeing with what they know in their hearts ain't true, you've got 'em by the balls.” Senator Roark: Sin City

    A breed unto themselves indeed.

  13. **blog moderation***

    @ anglesandimensions

    Seriously...I don't know if you're deliberately trying to miss my point or what, but lose the snark. I'm well aware of HR Clinton's flaws; I have a fairly good memory of her behavior during the 2008 election, so no...I'm not saying we overlook her flaws or that we "have no better alternative" and I really wish you'd stop trying to start something on this blog by incorrectly assuming things just so you can say...whatever it is you're so eager to say.

    So either calm the fuck down or go away.


This blog is strictly moderated. Everyone is now able to comment again, however, all Anonymous posts will be immediately deleted. Comments on posts more than 30 days old are generally dismissed, so try to stay current with the conversations.