I listened to Ann Romney’s speech at the RNC – her “I am woman, hear me roar,” her naked pandering to women with her shrill cry of desperation, her little tale of how she and Mitt were so determined to be together that they got married like many other young, unprepared couples get married, broke, struggling, a team united toward a common goal (in their case, the goal being wealthy beyond their wildest dreams on the backs of the working class). Just like any two kids — well, except for two families with oodles of money. Oh, and Mitt’s stock portfolio (and no, he didn’t “build” that – it was, in fact, given to him) that they chipped away at while Mitt was in school. And yeah, parents who could afford to pay for educations at BYU and Harvard. It’s no wonder Mitt said glibly that kids should just borrow that hundred thou from mom and dad to pay for college.
But back to Ann.
I’ve got nothing against 50’s moms, I really don’t. In fact, I had one. But I don’t want one in the White House, and Ann Romney, in her role of “50’s mom redux,” is so seriously disconnected, so completely tone-deaf, so incapable of hearing what average people are saying, of feeling what average people are feeling, that she may as well be speaking Welsh. The Romneys spend money on vacation homes and cars and car elevators, and those things impact their income like taking a bus impacts ours.
Ann Romney thrilled the crowd with her “mom” and “women united” theme: “I want us to think tonight about the love we share for those Americans, our brothers and our sisters, who are going through difficult times, whose days are never easy, nights are always long, and whose work never seems done . . . And the working moms who love their jobs, but would like to work just a little less to spend more time with the kids, but that is just out of the question with this economy . . . And if you listen carefully, you’ll hear the women sighing a little bit more than the men. It’s how it is, isn’t it? It’s the moms who have always had to work a little harder to make everything right. It’s the mom’s of this nation, single, married, widowed, who really hold the country together. We’re the mothers. We’re the wives. We’re the grandmothers. We’re the big sisters. We’re the little sisters and we are the daughters . . . You are the ones that have to do a little bit more and you know what it is like to earn a little bit harder earn the respect you deserve at work and then you come home to help with the book report just because it has to be done . . . You know the fastest route to the local emergency room and which doctors actually answers the phone call when you call at night, and by the way, I know all about that.”
First of all, most of us don’t have concierge doctors who answer the phone at night. For us, that last resort is the emergency room, where cash is not required. And although she may have a husband who can’t be bothered to finish a meal with the family, and she may extoll the virtues of being the little helpmate, many of us have husbands and partners who share the cooking, the laundry, the childcare, and those late-night ER trips.
Teusday night, though, Ann Romney poured it on, sighing in faux compassion for the struggling peasants. “I hear you,” she cried. “I love you.”
But in April, she seemed positively gleeful that women had it so tough: “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. Thank goodness that we value those people too. And sometimes life isn’t easy for any of us.” But then again, she doesn’t really consider herself wealthy.
As the Raw Story noted, it’s all in the abstract for her. No struggles – no real struggles – have ever darkened her doorstep. Two wealthy, supportive families, a stock portfolio, and educations at the finest learning institutions in the country. And that was when they were just starting out.
I watched Ann Romney attempt to woo us, along with an already-adoring crowd, and I was nearly speechless with shock. Did this woman really attempt to convince women voters that her husband respects women, when he hems and haws about whether he would have signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act? Did this woman really attempt to convince us that her husband would “move heaven and earth” for Americans when he seeks to deny us healthcare under the Affordable Care Act (which he has promised to repeal on “Day One”), to deny women rights to abortion, secured under Roe v. Wade, to deny us Medicare in our old age, to deny poor people the basics needed for subsistence, and to deny millions of woman the necessary services provided by Planned Parenthood, an organization he would like to see completely defunded? Did this woman really say, “Mitt Romney is a person that admires women and listens to them, and I am grateful that he listens to me and listens to what I am telling him as well about what women are facing right now, and he’s listening and he cares?” Did this woman really say that Mitt considered helping others to be a “privilege?”
Tell that to the employees of companies Bain Capital closed, the lives that were wrecked because Mitt Romney ruthlessly, routinely, and relentlessly failed to exercise that “privilege” of helping his wife boasted of. Her naked attempts to pander to women is offensive; her pretense at having walked a mile in our shoes is completely disingenuous – remember, this is a woman whose husband doesn’t know how many dressage horses she owns; and her efforts to make us believe she and Mitt are just regular folks is just more evidence that she thinks of us as “you people” who should just shut up and do as we’re told (which is vote for Mitt, because she says so). The Romneys seek to derail the support base and safety nets for others that they themselves had by virtue of privileged upbringings; and they’re too narcissistic to see that they really didn’t build that.
Exmormon.org summed it up better than I ever could.
“1. You’re selling stock to support yourself. Right there, you’re disconnected.
2. Your parents are filthy rich. You have a backstop, a support-mechanism in a pinch. You’re disconnected.
3. You revel in living like common folk because you know it’s temporary. You’re disconnected.
4. You’re attending BYU and Harvard. You’re disconnected.
5. You’re clueless that you’re disconnected. You’re disconnected.”
And one more thing from exmormon.org: “Two words: pathetic and nauseating.”