Monday, April 16, 2012

RETHINKING THE ROSEN STATEMENT

"Michelle Obama is a pretty terrific woman I have to say, and I think that attacking her is a dumb strategy on the Republican's part,"
-Hilary Rosen, 2008

Romney and Obama
When the Ann Romney - Hilary Rosen controversy broke, I didn't write about it much because everyone else was, so what was I going to add? As I said in my WATN round up last week:
Rosen was trying to slam Romney as being rich and out of touch, but she did it so wrong and stupidly all women got from it was "I hate stay at home moms." Talk about self destructing on the "war on women" narrative. That's what you do with politics. If your opponent is wealthy, hit them on being out of touch and elitist. If they are poor, hit them for being clueless hicks. She just did it poorly.
It seemed like a tactical error, sending Rosen out to do some dirty work for Obama and she fouled it up hurting them more than it helped.

But lately, some other stuff has come out that makes me wonder. Consider Bill Maher's comments recently:
But what [Hilary Rosen] meant to say, I think, was that Ann Romney has never gotten her ass out of the house to work.

No one’s denying that being a mother is a tough job — I remember that I was a handful. OK, but there is a big difference in being a mother in that tough job, and getting your ass out of the door at 7 a.m. when it’s cold, having to deal with the boss, being in a workplace, and even if you’re unhappy you can’t show it for eight hours, that is a different kind of tough thing, isn’t it?
And maybe he's misinterpreting what Rosen meant but I wonder. Was it really about thinking stay at home moms are stupid and worthless? Was it really that old idiotic feminist canard about women who don't get out and work being not self actuated and having meaningless, oppressed lives? Was that seriously the narrative she was supposed to plant in the media and cultural discussion?

Because if it was, that's almost inexcusably out of touch with American culture. I mean, bad enough the federal government is attacking baseball (hearings about steroids, trying Clemens), apple pie (fattening food, Michelle Obama's fat kids crusade) and Chevrolet (driving cars is evil, taking over the company), but mom? Are you serious? Can they really be that unable to comprehend the people around them?

I get that most people don't really think fondly of Michelle Obama. She comes across as angry, bossy, and seems to dislike America and at least is uncomfortable with white people. I understand that Mrs Romney is pretty and seems to be a good mom and wife, so the contrast hurts the Obama effort. I get that Ann Romney seems to know how to dress and Mrs Obama's lack of fashion sense and taste is almost epic. I understand they're trying to find a way to fix the "optics" here so it helps the Obama reelection team. But is this seriously their approach? I'd like to think they aren't that stupid.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

There are different characters portrayed by the Coyote in the classic Warner Brothers theatrical cartoon shorts. One is the Coyote of the Roadrunner cartoons, condemned to hell, never to gain sustenance, always doomed to die excruciatingly every single time he tries to sate his hunger. I never rooted for the Roadrunner, not once.

The other was Wile E. Coyote, who appeared in the Bugs Bunny shorts, and who had a much different personality, and who also had lines to speak.

Wile E. Coyote, Supergenius, it said on his card, and how very impressed, in an amusing way, he was with himself. One couldn't help but cheer every time the annoying know-it-all found defeat at the hands of the rabbit.

The Obama people? Self-anointed Supergeniuses, all of them, with as little awareness of the role they play in the cartoon.

Mike James