The PJ Tatler

The Parenting 1%

Don’t be fooled. The rain of scorn from the left currently being poured on Ann Romney is not about women’s rights or feminism. It’s not even about household economics or the impact of stay-at-home moms on education or the workforce. It’s about resentment.

Don’t miss the fact that liberals, all the way up to President Obama, are pushing the idea that what Ann did was a “luxury.” It’s just another jab in the class war, disguised as a feminist issue. What they’re really saying is women like Ann Romney can’t understand the plight of poor moms who have no choice but to work to support their families. On its surface it sounds like a women’s issue, but it’s also a subtle jab about how the “rich,” who can afford to do things like sacrifice one partner’s income, simply don’t understand the lives of people who struggle for money. And the imputation is that it’s unfair.

This is not about women. Like all liberal identity politics, it is never really about women/gays/minorities/whatever. It’s about “fairness,” which is really redistribution. And it’s about power — women are much easier to handle if they’re a uniform block that behaves a certain way. If you manage to diminish or ridicule stay-at-home moms enough that they’re driven out of the public debate, or if you dismiss Catholic women as a backward minority that doesn’t believe in medicine, then what you’re left with is a nicely manageable block of standard liberals that you can herd toward whatever policies you like. And that’s when the real fun starts.

I generally dislike pinning a political opponent’s views on purely corrupt motives. I don’t think that President Obama and his supporters’ policies are driven solely by resentment. But resentment is a political tool that they use to achieve their ends. The President’s uncritical support of the Occupy Wall Street movement is inseparable from his public derision of women who have the “luxury” of staying at home to care for their kids. It’s a calculated gesture to stoke resentment, which herds a political base together to ensure his reelection. None of this is news. But it is a great form of distraction. As long as conservatives and liberals are bickering over the role of women, who has the time or breath to spare to discuss entitlement reform, the administrative state, entrepreneurship, tax reform, Constitutional law, joblessness, welfare, school choice, public sector unions, missile defense, the UN’s powerlessness in Syria, Iran’s saber-rattling, the Eurozone crisis, North Korean brutality, or even a simple thing like what our president actually plans to accomplish if he’s granted a second term?