The left’s not-so-faux war on women
posted at 12:18 pm on April 13, 2012 by Howard Portnoy
The left, which has long accused Republicans of waging a war on women, lost an important battle in that war this week. On Tuesday, Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen fired off a shot that was meant for anti-feminist presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Instead the round went wide of its target and found Romney’s wife, Ann, whom Rosen haughtily claimed “never worked a day in her life.”
The fallout was such that Democrats great and small felt impelled to speak out in an attempt to put daylight between themselves and Rosen’s toxic comment. Even the president, who was in Columbus, weighed in, telling reporters with WCMH-TV, “It was the wrong thing to say. It’s not something that I subscribe to.”
Rosen herself tried to walk back the statement. Her first attempt, via a guest article at the Huffington Post, was clumsy and accusatory. By the second paragraph she was back in attack mode:
Spare me the faux anger from the right who view the issue of women’s rights and advancement as a way to score political points. When it comes to supporting policies that would actually help women, their silence has been deafening. I don’t need lectures from the RNC on supporting women and fighting to increase opportunities for women; I’ve been doing it my whole career. If they want to attack me and distract the public’s attention away from their nominee’s woeful record, it just demonstrates how much they just don’t get it.
That “apology” didn’t sit too well the people it was meant to mollify, so she made another attempt at putting out the fire—this time on TV—stating that it is time to “declare peace in this phony war and go back to focus on the substance.” From bad to worse, from the Frenchified faux to the good old English slang term phony.
With friends like Hilary Rosen, who needs enemies? Here the Democrats are, trying to nail down the female vote by persuading women that they, not the Republicans, have women’s backs. It’s a tough enough argument to make when women account for nearly three quarters of the jobs lost since Obama took the oath of office. But then Hilary Rosen has to skunk the numbers further by attacking stay-at-home moms who—like non-stay-at-home moms—each get one vote on Election Day.
But the reality is that the Democrats “war on women” is itself a “faux” war. It has been fought as an expedient—as a way, Hilary Rosen might say, “to score political points.” Consider that when Democrats recently found themselves on the losing side of a debate over a mandate that required religious institutions to buy contraceptives for its employees, they tried to reframe the conversation as a “women’s rights issue.” If that isn’t as blatantly cynical as anything the Democrats have accused the Republicans of doing, then I’ll eat my faux hat.
What’s more, the Democrats can’t make up their mind which side of the fence they’re on when it comes to matters such as whether women should work or stay at home and raise their children. As Michelle Malkin reminds us, in 2008 attorney Howard Gutman, a member of the Obama National Finance Committee, criticized vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin for spending time on the campaign trail, arguing, “Your responsibility is to put your family first.”
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