War on Women. Who is waging it?

Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen stepped in it last week when she said Ann Romney had not “worked a day in her life.”

Ann Romney’s response was, “I made a choice to stay home and raise five boys. Believe me, it was hard work.”

Rosen’s remark was dumb, Even if what she meant was that Ms. Romney has never held a job outside the home, Rosen knows better than to say it the way she did.  But this posting is not to defend her.

I wish Ann Romney had said something like, “I was very lucky.  For me, it wasn’t a choice between staying home with the kids and going to work.” She could have then gone on to praise women who need to leave their kids and work outside the home.

What Rosen’s comment did was to give the elephants and their megaphone, Fox News, grist for the mill to counter the other side pointing out that the Republicans are engaged in a war on women.

I am not going to attempt to list or even discuss the hundreds of bills passed that many assert are anti-woman; the Republicans will say these bills are not anti-woman, but pro-life.  I do not have the patience for this argument.

What is interesting is that Sean Spicer, a spokesman for the Republican National Committee, said, “I find it offensive that the Democratic National Committee is using a term like that [war] to describe policy differences. It’s not only bad, but it’s downright pathetic they would use a term like ‘war’ when there are millions of Americans who actually have engaged in a real war. To use a term like that borders on unpatriotic.”

Of course, Republican’s would not use that term so loosely, right?  That is what Spicer seems to be saying. If only.

The Republican National Committee has complained about Democrats waging a “war on Appalachia,” a “war on coal,” and launching a “trade war with Mexico.” Romney’s campaign accuses Obama of waging a “war on the entire coal industry,” a “war on carbon dioxide,” and a “war on the Catholic Church.” Romney has also said the Obama administration has launched a “war on free enterprise” and a “war on religion.” Not to mention the war on Christmas.

But, to get a real flavor for this hypocrisy, see John Stewart’s clip here.

* * * * *

It seems pretty obvious to any casual observer that the conservative wing of the Republican Party does not regard women as exactly equal to men. But, two examples:

Michelle Bachmann

In October 2006, recounting her life journey to an audience at the Living Word Christian Center, Bachmann talked about “receiving Jesus” at 16, studying hard, meeting her future husband at college, and earning a law degree. “My husband said ‘Now you need to go and get a post-doctorate degree in tax law.’ Tax law! I hate taxes—why should I go and do something like that?” she told the audience. “But the Lord says be submissive. Wives, you are to be submissive to your husbands.”

Bachmann said she never had taken a tax course, “never had a desire for it,” but “I was going to be faithful to what I felt God was calling me to do through my husband.” Later, when the opportunity to run for Congress arose, “my husband said, ‘You need to do this,’ and I wasn’t so sure.” She became sure two days later, after praying and fasting with her husband.

This whole submissive issue is Biblical and problematic for many.  I do not know if Bachmann was pandering to a fundamentalist church or if that is what she really believes. I am not sure which is worse.  Thankfully, she will probably never again be a contender.

Mitt Romney

Poor women, Romney said, shouldn’t be given a choice, but instead should be required to work outside the home to receive Temporary Assistance for Needy Families benefits. “Even if you have a child 2 years of age, you need to go to work,”

Defending his position, Romney said, “I wanted to increase the work requirement. I said, for instance, that even if you have a child 2 years of age, you need to go to work. And people said, ‘Well that’s heartless.’ And I said, ‘No, no, I’m willing to spend more giving day care to allow those parents to go back to work. It’ll cost the state more providing that daycare, but I want the individuals to have the dignity of work.'”

This is not old news, it was in January 2012.

Did his wife have the dignity of work?

* * * * *

Maybe there are more important issues in this election: the economy and jobs, for example, but Republicans have made their comeback on value issues—taking back the country and all. If that is what they created, the monster will not ask their permission to turn on them, which seems to be happening.

I really think there is not a lot of difference between the parties in taxing and spending, they are more alike than not.

And Presidential elections are more than dollars and cents.  Every four years, we have the Olympic Games, a source of national pride, and we have the Presidential election, a referendum on the nature of the Republic. It is these years that people become most engaged with politics and with the soul of the country, so I cannot argue that these issues are important. In the long run, maybe more important than which party occupies the oval office for the next four years.

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