Sunday, April 15, 2012

GOP two-faced on stay-at-home moms

Stay-at-home moms get much homage from Republicans – unless the moms happen to be poor.

A Democratic operative and talking head by the name of Hilary Rosen made a half-baked remark on CNN last week when she said that Ann Romney, mother of five and wife of Mitt, “has never actually worked a day in her life.”

Ann Romney
Dems, like Michelle Obama, almost beat Republicans out of the gate to condemn the tactless comment, which Rosen has since taken back. Nonetheless – surprise! – the GOP is exploiting the incident for political gain.

"I made a choice to stay home and raise five boys.” Mrs. Romney tweeted. “Believe me, it was hard work." Amen went the GOP chorus.

Ann Romney further confided on Fox News that her husband has considered her career choice more important than his: "He would say, 'My job is temporary...Your job is a forever job that's going to bring forever happiness.’"

During the welfare debate of the 1990s, however, the Republican Party pooh-poohed such reasoning. Needy, single moms who stayed home to raise children got scorn, not sympathy. They should get their lazy butts off the couch and get a job, the party said, by which the GOP did not mean a job inside the home.

The reasoning behind Aid to Families with Dependent Children, welfare as we used to know it, sounded a lot like Ann Romney’s defense of her stay-at-home role. A presidential panel wrote in 1935 that the program was designed to "release from the wage-earning role the person whose natural function is to give her children the physical and affectionate guardianship necessary not alone to keep them from falling into social misfortune, but more affirmatively to make them citizens capable of contributing to society."

But the mood changed by the ’90s as AFDC recipients morphed into Cadillac-driving, steak-buying, couch-lounging welfare queens in the GOP’s fervid imagination. Thus, the Republican Congress, along with Democratic President Bill Clinton, ended the guarantee of financial assistance to such mothers – the only entitlement program Congress has mustered the nerve to eradicate.

The truth is most AFDC recipients did work. The trouble was, both low-end jobs and their own lives were too unstable for them to sustain work. A child’s illness, babysitting problems, transportation issues would lead them to leave their jobs and use AFDC as a safety net until they got another low-paying job.

Another truth is that welfare as we knew had to end. It lacked popular support and gave the Republicans too big a club to use against Democrats. The replacement, however, should have been more humane.

But the point here is simply that, despite all the self-righteous indignation they have expressed over Rosen’s inferred put-down of stay-at-home motherhood, Republicans actually subscribe to that put-down for some women.

Ann Romney photo is by Brad Skidmore


  1. Hilary's comments were thoughtless. Trying, I guess, to portray Ann R. as a women of privilege who didn't have to work, Hilary's comment backfired and only served to portray her own insensitivity to the very difficult job of raising a family. Thanks for pointing out the hypocrisy of the Republican's outrage though. As usual, they create smoke and mirrors instead of dealing with issues that affect most Americans.

  2. Greg-
    As usual I think that your reports are right on the money, but for the sake of any readers who don't quite get it, let me just say this. I have a dear cousin from Milwaukee, who now lives in Florida, who has the most succinct way of expressing a point . He says "Don't get this "S***" twisted!" It was unfortunate that Ms. Rosen, spoken so concisely of Mrs. Romney, but we all know the truth about Mrs. Romney, and the truth was spoken! Any idiot that can't manage a life and it's responsibility on a budget in excess of $100 Million Dollars, is indeed an IDIOT, man or woman. I for one am so sick and tired of have-nots trying to take to take up for the haves that I could puke "pennies".
    I believe it is TRUE, that (at least since she's been married) Ann Romney, has not WORKED a day in her life. There are so many folk out here who survive on almost nothing, yet we have a world of folk running to the defense of this woman as if someone has spit in her face. Yes, illness is tough; and yes kids can be a handful; and yes having a husband who is just this side of "bright as a burnt out light bulb", can really be a task but, by no means is it hard work unless one has never broken a sweat in any form; physical or mental. I will say publically that I am a totally heterosexual male, who would trade places in a heart beat with this "over-worked" diva. The biggest problem would be having to put up with a "Wit-less Mitt"!

    1. You have a nice way of putting things, Mr. Wisdom.

  3. Stay at home mom may be an easier choice than you think. Many women struggle with this decision because they fear losing that 2nd income. Fear Not! If you want to be a stay at home mom and you have a computer with an internet connection, work for stay at home moms and your dream of being home with your children is a lot closer than you think!