Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mitt Romney's "Mothers Day" Ad reveals the height of republican hypocrisy

Mothers Day-a time when we all stop to honor the women in our lives for all of the hard work and sacrifices they make raising our future generations.

Or, if you are Mitt Romney, a perfect opportunity to exploit your wife's health problems and make her into a mommy martyr to pander for donations:
Ann Romney raised 5 boys. She successfully battled breast cancer and multiple sclerosis. But what does White House insider Hilary Rosen say about Ann Romney? "Guess what, his wife has actually never worked a day in her life." And Bill Maher, who gave $1 million supporting Obama, attacks: "Ann Romney has never gotten her ass out of the house." Happy Mother's Day from Barack Obama's Team!
Interesting attack, considering the source. More below the fold.

So that is what two people on our side said about Ann Romney. Unfortunate comments, no doubt. I don't endorse them. But before we start stirring up the poutrage, let's have a look at what Mitt Romney and friends have said about mothers like me (unwed, single, using public assistance) over the years: •Ronald Reagan:
Reagan...publicly insulted single mothers raising children with the help of federal assistance by calling them "welfare queens," thus setting the stage for the dramatic retrenchment of aid to families headed by women. At the same time, Reagan refused to raise the minimum wage and instilled in the national psyche a belief that higher wages for the lowest level workers cost jobs (snip) Then, as now, the largest group of minimum wage workers was adult women. Translation: more women and their children in poverty, more women holding two low-paying jobs to make ends meet and less food on the table, period. Well, all except catsup, which Reagan tried to have declared a vegetable as he cut school lunch programs.
Side note-Reagans dreams of liquid tomato based products as a food group came true this past year when the GOP-controlled congress declared pizza a vegetable)

Newt Gingrich-Once proposed that states end aid to poor single mothers and their children be sent to orphanages that would be built with the saved money.

Michelle Bachmann-Proposed a bill that would punish Single Mothers by giving tax breaks for “Family Formation”. Also Signed a pledge that suggested children born under slavery were better off than children living in single parent households (note-so did Rick Santorum)

Rick Santorum -Stated that single mothers are "breeding criminals, "destroying the fabric of society, and "need a kick in the butt"

Senator Jim Demint-Said gay people AND single mothers should not be allowed to become teachers. •

Ann Coulter In a July 2011 column where she hailed Casey Anthony "single mother of the year", stated that "not giving up an illegitimate child for adoption ought to be considered child abuse."

Wisconsin GOP legislators Senator Glenn Grothman and Representative Don Pridemore proposed a bill that would direct the state to prepare educational materials that blame “nonmarital parenthood” for child abuse and neglect. Pridemore took it a step further and said that women should stay in abusive marriages. For the kids!

And as for Mittens himself? While he has been quick to rush to the defense of Ann, and has great applause lines like "All mothers are working mothers", he's made it clear that only certain kinds of mothers deserve his respect. In fact he recently told Chris Hayes that they should be required to have jobs so that they can have “the dignity of work”. Because when Ann Romney stays home with her kids, it’s the hardest job on the planet. When a single mother on welfare does it, it’s lazy and undignified.

And then, of course, there is the time he allegedly pressured a single mother to give her baby up for adoption, under the threat of excommunication from the church (source)
Peggie Hayes had converted to Mormonism as a teenage along with her family, and told the book’s authors, Boston Globe reporters Michael Kranish and Scott Helman, that for a long time she found comfort in the faith’s teachings. After returning to the congregation as a 23-year-old divorced single mother, she soon got pregnant with a second child. Knowing she was in need of financial assistance, the Romneys arranged for her to do odd jobs for members of the congregation.

“Mitt was really good to us,” Hayes told the authors. “He did a lot for us.”

But while Hayes considered Romney a friend, he was also her bishop—which meant it was his job to pass along sometimes-harsh church counsel. The tension between the two relationships came to the forefront one day when he came over to her apartment, and encouraged her to turn her son over to the church’s adoption agency when he was born. (The church’s position is that if a happy marriage between parents of a newborn seems unlikely, adoption is preferable to single parenting.)

Hayes was offended by the suggestion, and told Romney she would never give up her son. But, according to Hayes, Romney told her, “Well, this is what the church wants you to do, and if you don’t, then you could be excommunicated for failing to follow the leadership of the church.”

Though she was defiant, the authors write, “In that moment, she also felt intimidated. Here was Romney, who held great power as her church leader and was the head of a wealthy, prominent Belmont family, sitting in her gritty apartment making grave demands.”

Hayes acknowledged the seriousness of excommunication: “This is not playing around. This is not like, ‘You don’t get to take Communion.’ This is like ‘You will not be saved. You will enver see the face of God.’”
Look, I will be the first to admit, I have a very hard time relating to a woman who spends more money on a hideous parrot shirt than I make in an entire month, who complains about the hardships of living off of her husbands stock portfolio, and says things like "I love the fact that there are women out there who don’t have a choice and they must go to work and they still have to raise the kids." But you know what? I would be more than happy to lay off of Ann Romney. I would love to see the day arrive where we embrace ALL kinds of mothers-single moms, working moms, welfare moms, trust fund moms-whatever floats your boat. Families come in all shapes and sizes. Unfortunately the GOP hasn't gotten that memo though, and probably never will.

Mitt, a word of advice. This is not going to work, because women aren't as stupid as you seem to think. You can trot your wife out to try and make you look good all you want, it isn't worth a hill of beans when you do things like endorse the Paul Ryan budget, which slash funding to the very programs that help families and mothers - especially single mothers - who aren't married to multi-millionares survive. If you want to close that 20 point gender gap you need to start supporting policies that support women. But we all know that isn't going to happen.

In the meantime, if you want people to stop criticizing the mother of your children, you can start by laying off the mother of mine.

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