Hilary Rosen, Ann Romney, and the perpetual outrage industry

But so much gets overlooked. Here’s an uplifting message tweeted by Bill Donohoe’s Catholic League: “Lesbian Dem Hilary Rosen tells Ann Romney she never worked a day in her life. Unlike Rosen, who had to adopt kids, Ann raised 5 of her own.” Writes journalist Lauren Ashburn: “As an adopted Catholic woman, I wonder how Donohoe can sleep at night.” Yet the anti-gay slur was drowned out by the Rosen ruckus.

And how about Romney adviser Eric Fehrnstrom, also on CNN, likening the boss’s coming general-election campaign to an Etch-a-Sketch? That had more than a scintilla of substance—is Mitt actually a political shape-shifter?—but mostly produced a week of mocking jokes about the shake-’em-up toy.

Presidential candidates have each syllable scrutinized, as they should—Mitt liking to fire people, Obama dismissing bitter hicks clinging to guns and religion—although here too, the professional punditocracy often ignores what they meant to keep the game going. Candidates for first lady also can be put in the penalty box: Hillary Clinton announcing she could have stayed home and baked cookies; Michelle Obama saying she was proud of her country for the first time.