The real threat that the Ann Romneys of the world represent to the statist Left

I’ve been thinking (and if those aren’t ominous words, I don’t know what are).  I’ve been thinking about the Left’s attack on stay-at-home Mom’s, an attack that Hilary Rosen started, and that others have continued.  To refresh your recollection, let’s start with Rosen, who says that Ann Romney “has actually never worked a day in her life”:

While Rosen made a “fulsome” (i.e., offensive, disgusting, and insincere) apology, others doubled down on her behalf.  NOW President Terry O’Neill carefully explained that, if you don’t get paid for your work, it doesn’t count — which is precisely what my liberal Facebook friends have been saying, in an eerie echo of 1960s’ male chauvinist pigs.

The doubling down continued when Judith Warner, who writes for TIME Magazine, agrees that Ann Romney is “out of touch” with most women.  You see, Ann Romney comes from an intact family where the man is the primary breadwinner.  What could be more appallingly regressive than that?

And then, of course, there’s just the ordinary bottom feeder obscene ugliness than routinely emanates from the Left.  This kind of verbal violence is the Leftist equivalent of the old dictum that, if you have the law, argue the law; if you have the facts, argue the facts; and if you have neither facts nor law, pound the table.  If you’re a Leftist, you “pound the table” by calling women the most obscene names possible and threaten them with violence.

That’s the cursory rundown.  Now back to “I’ve been thinking….”  This is not just a war of tired old feminists who are trying to justify the fact that most of them paid illegal, undereducated women, many of whom speak little or no English, to raise their children.  This transcends Leftist feminist sensibilities and touches upon a core issue in statism — namely, who raises the children?

A small, but relevant, digression here:  One of the most interesting books I’ve ever read is Joshua Muravchik’s Heaven On Earth: The Rise and Fall of Socialism. The title is self-explanatory.  I highly recommend the book, simply because it’s so good, but I mention it here because of the chapter involving Israeli kibbutzim, which were intended to represent the purest form of voluntary socialism.  Part of the socialist experiment was that children would be raised, not within family units, but as part of the cooperative.  Only in that way could the kibbutz defeat unhealthy, selfish individualism and assure a new generation of people dedicated to the movement.

Except that’s not what happened.  Some moms were very happy to allow the collective to raise the children.  However, it turned out that the majority of moms, once those mom-hormones started roaring through their bodies, didn’t want their children whisked off to the collective nursery, no matter how nice a place it was.  They’d bonded with their babies, and they wanted to nurture those babies.  The kibbutzim were quickly forced to reconfigure to allow for single family homes.  Had they not done so, they would have lost too many families.

And now, back to the main point….

For the last many years, I have been the single most important influence on my children.  Yes, they go to school (public school, yet); and yes, they both have thriving social lives; and yes, I’ve been unable to insulate them from a Leftist pop culture that is hostile to traditional norms and to conservatives generally, but I’m still the most important person.  Of all the influences in their lives, I am the one who is most present, most consistent, and most trusted.  I’m sure they’ll pull away as they get older, and they may even rebel, but I’ll still be that little voice in their brain, imparting facts, values, and analyses.

I am the counterweight to the state.  Therefore, I am dangerous.  I am subversive simply by existing.  My love for my children is a dominant force that works its way into their psyches and that trumps the state-run schools and the state complicit media world.  Some mothers, of course, are entirely in sync with schools and media.  They happily reinforce the statist message.  But those of us who don’t are a powerful anti-statist force and we must be challenged.

The Left’s problem with Ann Romney transcends her husband’s wealth, her (and his) Republican identification, and her decision to work for her children, rather than for a paying employer.  The Left’s problem with Ann Romney is that she represents the triumph of the individual.  No wonder they hate her so much.

UPDATE:  Welcome, Instapundit and PowerLine readers.  I’m going to go all Beverly Hillbillies and say “Y’all come back now.”  And welcome to you, too, Hot Air readers.  Y’all should also come back now!

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Comments

  1. says

    They would have us believe that Michelle Obama, having worked for Leftist causes, is superior? Where were her children again, on the tax payer’s dime, vacationing in which country again for Spring Break?

     

  2. pst314 says

    “The kibbutzim were quickly forced to reconfigure to allow for single family homes.  Had they not done so, they would have lost too many families.”
     
    I believe that the decline of the Kibbutz was an important factor in the Left’s betrayal of Israel: The more Israeli Jews embraced freedom the more the Western Left grew to hate them and wish their destruction.

  3. says

    And just to help gin up outrage on the part of the base, there’s the fact that Ann Romney makes a virtue of being the homemaker and child-rearer. As Dennis Prager points out, “feminism” is more correctly called “masculinism”. Anything traditionally reserved for men is important and powerful, and it’s essential that it be opened up to women by any means necessary. (Anything traditionally reserved for women is to be cast off as the shackles of slavery.) Ann Romney and other conservative women choose to put on those shackles and make a virtue of it. To the feminist movement, that’s not a choice, it’s a betrayal.

  4. lovelalola says

    This is a great post with some excellent and novel revelations. I’m definitely sharing it all over. I really hadn’t considered your argument that conservative stay-at-home moms are targeted because of what they represent to the nanny state. And it rings true. But know that conservative women are not alone in their outrage over this continued and escalating attack on Ann Romney. There are some independent and even some liberal women out here who are in perfect agreement with you. 

  5. says

    As always, everyone’s comments really add so much richness and dimension to this discussion.  I’m heading out (moving my Mom into a wonderful managed care environment), but I’ll just say “I agree.”  I agree that femininity is no longer considered a virtue (and to Hell with that whole viva la difference thing); that stay-at-home Moms of all political stripes resent an attack on their perfectly valid choice; and that the Kibbutzim were certainly a failed experiment that enraged the Left.  They went from being socialist paradises, to being farms owned by nuclear families and worked by Arab laborers.  

    Gotta run.  Wish I could stay and talk, but I can’t.

  6. jaydickb says

    Even the Israelis figured out after a while (quite a long while) that kibbutzes don’t work economically either.  They have just about disappeared from Israel, replaced by “cooperatives” which are not nearly as collectivist.  Purchasing and marketing are shared, but each family has its own house and its own plot of land to till.  Thus, those who work harder and/or smarter have higher incomes.

  7. jerseyflash says

    How many lib women would like to have MS, breast cancer,give birth to five (5) BOY’S, be a food shopper, house cleaner and lover to your husband. Does it sound that easy to be a say at home mom, not being in touch with what is going on TODAY as opposed doing your thing back when times were good for most people ( PRE-OBAMA )

    There is an article I wish everyone to read about how Ercel and his wife ran there household ( Obamas Lived Way Above their MEANS/Sweetness & Light ) by Richard Henry Lee…Dated May 2nd 2009…Article buried in the ‘Opinions” section of the May 2,2009 edition of the Daily News (NY Daily News)  

    Wasn’t it the lib’s that asked the GOV to pay STAY AT HOME HOUSEWIFE’S 80K @ year..that was back when BUSH had this country rocking and rolling…DO YOU LIB’S REMEMBER ??????

    Now let’s talk about SUPER MOM…Sarah Palin…5 children, running a state and a small business

    I REST MY CASE    Palin/West 2012 and 2016       
         

  8. ScottJ says

    There is an interesting parallel between the Kibbutz movement experience with collectivism and the Jamestown Colony. It wasn’t so much that the Mom’s didn’t like it;

    ‘The problem was the lack of private property. As Tom Bethell writes in his book The Noblest Triumph: Property and Prosperity through the Ages, “The colonists were indolent because most of them were indentured servants, expected to toil for seven years and contribute the fruits of their labor to the common store.”
    Understandably, men who don’t benefit from their hard work tend not to work very hard.’

    More at:  www.cato-at-liberty.org/socialism-at-jamestown/

    There is also seems to be an element of Natural Law here. Mom’s taking care of their own kids and individuals working for their own family’s benefit seems to be more closely aligned with the natural order of things than enforced sharing schemes. 

  9. Owen Glendower says

    Well-said, thank you.  Found you through the Powerline link.
     
    Some people are saying that if Rosen had said, “never worked outside the home,” there would have been no controversy.  Maybe.  But so far I haven’t seen anyone point out how she twisted Romney’s words.  That’s where she went off the road.
     
    First, here’s Romney’s original comment, as quoted by Rosen:
     
    “My wife has the occasion, as you know, to campaign on her own and also with me,” Romney told newspaper editors, “and she reports to me regularly that the issue women care about most is the economy.”
     
    And here’s Rosen’s following paragraph:
     
    So it begs the question, is Ann Romney Mitt’s touchstone for women who are struggling economically or not? Nothing in Ann Romney’s history as we have heard it — hardworking mom she may have been — leads me to believe that Mitt has chosen the right expert to get feedback on this problem he professes to be so concerned about. [my emphasis]
     
    Note how she has twisted Romney’s statement.  Exactly where does Romney say that his wife is his “touchstone” or “expert” on economic issues affecting women?  Here’s what he said, again, as quoted by Rosen:
     
    “My wife has the occasion, as you know, to campaign on her own and also with me, and she reports to me regularly that the issue women care about most is the economy.” [my emphasis]
     
    Of course, without morphing Ann Romney into an “expert,” Rosen has no argument.  Because how does the fact that Ann Romney has never been a working-outside-the-home, economically-struggling mother invalidate the feedback she can provide to her husband on these issues?
     
    It obviously doesn’t.  Eleanor Roosevelt, being able to get out and around a bit more handily than FDR could, was a major conduit of information to her husband.  His biographers and hers note her great influence on him and the policies of his administration.  She was a tribune of the poor and a voice for black Americans long before that sort of thing was fashionable.  But of course, she had never been poor, nor had she been black, so what could she know about these things, right?
     
     

  10. says

     
    In the immortal exclamation of my brother:  BINGO!!
     
    You’ve nailed it here, BW — and to illustrate, this thesis elegantly explains the continuing push to get little kids into the system earlier and earlier.  Kindergarten, pre-Kindergarten, and now 4-year olds going to the local “educational” mill…..
     
    What ties it all together – despite the usual appeals to “working Moms” – is the need to get those kids out of the home where they may be influenced by someone other than the State and its minions.  The Zombie post that you link to drives the message home….
     
    Well Done!

Trackbacks

  1. The real threat that the Ann Romneys of the world represent to the statist Left…

    The real threat that the Ann Romney’s of the world represent to the statist Left is yet another of the many insightful posts by a mom in Marin whose blog Bookworm Room is a must add to your daily web surfing. She and I have become friends over th…

  2. [...] “I am the counterweight to the state. Therefore, I am dangerous. I am subversive simply by existing. My love for my children is a dominant force that works its way into their psyches and that trumps the state-run schools and the state complicit media world. Some mothers, of course, are entirely in sync with schools and media. They happily reinforce the statist message. But those of us who don’t are a powerful anti-statist force and we must be challenged. [...]

  3. [...] An interesting piece @ Bookworm Room echoes what I have been saying and thinking all week on this feminist hypocrisy… While Rosen made a “fulsome” (i.e., offensive, disgusting, and insincere) apology, others doubled down on her behalf. NOW President Terry O’Neill carefully explained that, if you don’t get paid for your work, it doesn’t count — which is precisely what my liberal Facebook friends have been saying, in an eerie echo of 1960s’ male chauvinist pigs. [...]

  4. [...] “…For the last many years, I have been the single most important influence on my children. Yes, they go to school (public school, yet); and yes, they both have thriving social lives; and yes, I’ve been unable to insulate them from a Leftist pop culture that is hostile to traditional norms and to conservatives generally, but I’m still the most important person. Of all the influences in their lives, I am the one who is most present, most consistent, and most trusted. I’m sure they’ll pull away as they get older, and they may even rebel, but I’ll still be that little voice in their brain, imparting facts, values, and analyses. [...]

  5. [...] Over at Bookworm Room the essence of this misstep was made crystal clear. The selfish feminists are now in full battle with selfless mothers. This line especially hit home: This is not just a war of tired old feminists who are trying to justify the fact that most of them paid illegal, undereducated women, many of whom speak little or no English, to raise their children. [...]

  6. [...]  I am the counterweight to the state.Therefore, I am dangerous. I am subversive simply by existing. My love for my children is a dominant force that works its way into their psyches and that trumps the state-run schools and the state complicit media world. Some mothers, of course, are entirely in sync with schools and media. They happily reinforce the statist message. But those of us who don’t are a powerful anti-statist force and we must be challenged. — Bookworm Room サ The real threat that the Ann Romneys of the world represent to the statist Left [...]

  7. Watcher’s Council nominations…

    The Noisy Room – Hiding Behind Names The Political Commentator – North Korea Camp 14: Why rogue nations cannot be negotiated with! Joshuapundit-John Derbyshire And A Talk About Race Simply Jews – This is our dog, Peter Beinart! VA Right!……

  8. [...] Obama Campaign on Ann Romney and stay at home moms, but top o’ the stack was Bookworm Room’s The real threat that the Ann Romneys of the world represent to the statist Left. Aside from being an excellent dissertation in its own right, it earned mentions from Instapundit, [...]

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