Rosen/Romney Knock It Off

Sometimes an individual in your favorite political party will do something minor but it comes off foolish, stupid, or cruel. It might be a simple matter of misspeaking; a gaffe. The heartless press dogpiles the poor bastard and it goes too far. You might try to salvage the situation; “hey the guy was trying to make a valid point but it just came out bad”. It never works. Once the press gets its panties in a twist the villagers with pitchforks start running around like hyperactive lemmings. There’s nothing that can stop the feeding frenzy. Every year innocent folks’ careers wind up ruined for a simple misunderstanding.

Other times someone in the other party will say something just as ham handed. When the press dogpiles on them you get to watch with a smug look on your face. Right?

Wrong! Fanning the flames over bad verbiage, small honest mistakes, and minor semantics is bullshit. It’s bullshit when it happens to you. It’s bullshit when it benefits you. Stay out of the sewer, leave the exposed underbelly alone, and rise above.

Beat your political opponents well.

Why am I mentioning this? Because some lefty yahoo named Hilary Rosen aimed a verbal jab at Ann Romney and framed it so poorly that it blew up in her face. She said (I’m paraphrasing) “Ann hasn’t worked a day in her life”. Ann Romney (or a handler) saw the opening and wisely karate chopped the jugular. She responded something like “raising kids is a job and it’s a hard one”. She’s right. We all know that raising kids is hard work. Rosen got her ass handed to her on a silver platter.

But it’s gone on too long. The press is in rut and the asshattery is flowing deep. It’s been bantered about and pushed clear to calling it “war on women”. Yes, it’s a juicy political moment. No, it’s not right.

Rosen, regardless of whether she’s a monster or a saint, was trying to make the point that a person who has never worked “at a paying job” is out of touch with the concerns of a person who does. She’s right. (Whether this is relevant issue when we’re discussing someone’s wife is another story.)

The fact that Rosen failed spectacularly in her delivery doesn’t change the valid observation. I’m going to put my Curmudgeonly foot on the land mine and contribute a Gem of Insight:

“A person who has never worked for someone else to draw a paycheck is largely unaware of what it’s like.”

None of this means that raising kids, cooking food, maintaining a household, etc… is easy. It’s just a totally unrelated challenge. Every bright eyed young adult who walks onto a job floor soon learns that pounding out widgets for XYZ corp is just one aspect of the experience. There is a minefield of taxes, overtime, seniority, pecking orders, skillsets, unwritten rules, office politics, career ladders, ass kissing flunkies, and endless seemingly unrelated horseshit.

A person who participates in the workforce learns that worksites can be fulfilling, a wretched hive of scum and villainy, or both.  They also learn it’s utterly unlike working within the household.  A stay at home mom (or dad) might think they know the score. They don’t. They’re naïve little butterflies in that arena.

Case in point; we once paid a fine responsible woman to provide day care. We dropped off our brood to play with her spawn and a gaggle of other kids she was watching.  She was working and working hard but she never left her house.  It should have been the perfect situation.  The kids were happy, loved, entertained, and welcome. Sadly she’d never worked for anyone but herself. Thus she was clueless.

Her hours meshed poorly with my job’s schedule and I struggled to take up the slack.  She had no idea what my problem was; it would remain forever incomprehensible to her. When there was excess snow on the roads all hell broke loose. I tried to explain “I need to drop off the critters a little early on snow days, lest I spend forever idling in traffic, and wind up shitcanned”. I might as well have been speaking Latin. It’s not that she was unsympathetic, it was that she couldn’t comprehend a commute that exceeded fuzzy slippers and a walk to the living room.  Surely everyone’s “commute” was like hers.

One day she decided to go on vacation. She’d earned a vacation but, as a person who’d never drawn a paycheck, she had no idea that the world doesn’t stop revolving while you’re out of town.  I asked for help/ideas to make or find temporary arrangements. She had no idea “arrangements” would be necessary. She’d never punched a clock, counted hours, filled out a W2, or attended a mandatory meeting. It was a different dimension of life.

She couldn’t fathom the world of work outside the home any more than I can relate to life in a Bolivian monastery.  Was she intelligent, kind, and responsible? Yes. Was she clueless? Yes, because she’d “never worked a day in her life”.  That’s what Rosen was getting at when she spoke so poorly.

Even if Hilary Rosen is the devil incarnate and Ann Romney has an actual halo, Rosen was trying to make an observation that is true. Anyone who’s had a real job knows it. Going apeshit over a bad delivery might make political points but it’s foul and grasping. Stop it.

About Adaptive Curmudgeon

I will neither confirm nor deny that I actually exist.
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26 Responses to Rosen/Romney Knock It Off

  1. Joe in PNG says:

    In the broader, Machivellian context of “Politics is war by other means”, this was the perfect gift from the Obamas to the Romneys. Mitt was polling poorly with women, and this attack is helping him.
    In the same way, the lessons of 2008 appear to have been taken to heart by the Republican party: 1)McCain tried to play nice, and lost badly. 2) Obama will not play nice at all.

    Finally, if memory serves, Ann Romney has actually worked an actual paying job before she married Mitt, making this kind of a Moo point anyway.

  2. cspschofield says:

    The problem here is less one political hack slanging another, than it is the public perception of the Press. Time was when everybody intelligent enough to pour pee out of a boot know that reporters and op-ed writers were partisan hacks with a point of view that depended on the leanings of their management. Since then the Illiberal Media have sold the idea of Unbiased Reporting, as if it were even possible. People may know that the media is biased, but they have come to expect that to be an aberration rather than the ground state. It allows reporters to get away with idiocy that they should be caught doing.

  3. Scott says:

    First, I thought “Valid point!”; then I thought that the same analysis explains why Obama has been such a failure at getting the economy going again.

  4. I think you have missed the whole point and why some women are outraged.

    • I guess so. Tell me the point.

      • I’m sorry i almost missed this as it took you days to approve my rather innocuous comment.

        It’s about choices and being a snobbish Superior elitist dolt about the choices you didn’t make, underestimating/not caring/thoughtlessly assuming/devaluing what those other choices involve.

        The feminist movement was “supposed” to be about choices and the validity of choosing any path instead of women being stuck in a Victorian caricature of what men wanted us to be.

        Now this Hillary is being pillared because she has spoken what many stay at homes and home based business women have known for a long time. They don’t respect any decisions or path way unless it is one that they have taken. They minimize and devalue alll others because they can not understand such an alien existence.

        One dimensional thinking is what it is, taking a snap shot of a person now in no way gives a view into a whole life’s experience and women are tired of being caricatured by their very own.

        It would equate to me saying that Ms. Hillary is not and never be a mother because she had to buy her children and then unceremoniously dumped them off to be raised by others. Better to have owned a dog, Now was that a fair or accurate statement or just a blind bias? Hmmmmm.

      • “I’m sorry i almost missed this as it took you days to approve my rather innocuous comment.”

        I spent most of the last few days off grid and when I was in range of wi-fi it was impressively slow. That’s just how I roll (see: here). I do intend to respond in more detail but it’ll take a couple of days before I have time.

        Also, I had a kite to fly.

      • Mrs. Curmudgeon says:

        Grey Lady – please note that he’s not just being a sarcastic ass. I seriously found him and the kid out in the field flying a kite today when I got home from work.

  5. Kim says:

    “She’d never punched a clock, counted hours, filled out a W2, or attended a mandatory meeting. It was a different dimension”…… It’s not that providers don’t “get it”. We don’t work for YOU. We don’t care if you haven’t tried to figure out your schedule in advance. The parent’s poor planning is not the problem of the provider.

    • WRONG! All service providers work for the customer who pays for the service. Always. Never ever think anything else. The person who pays is the only reason for a private enterprise to exist.

      I took cash out of my wallet and gave it to her. That makes me the boss. Very clear, no middlemen.

      I hired her to provide day care for one reason only; to facilitate my job. “Figured out my schedule in advance” is not a problem, it’s the reason I hired her. You are correct that she didn’t care about it. I fired her and didn’t care that her income was slashed in half. (I was one of two customers. The other customer bailed shortly after and her income dropped to $0. That’s how it works.)

      Note: I still think she was great with kids and an all round good person. She just couldn’t understand the world of work and wound up failing as a business.

      • Deb says:

        You sir, are an idiot. I am a daycare provider, and the person who treats me as you treated your daycare provider would be shown the door in two seconds. Good. Bye.

        It’s *YOUR* job to work around *MY* vacations, not the other way around buddy. You wouldn’t last two minutes with me. And furthermore, my clients are not my *boss*. You don’t tell me when I can and can’t take time off.

        I bet she was glad to see you go – I would have done a dance.

      • Anonymous says:

        You failed her. Professional, and licensed, family child care providers do provide a service – they establish business hours, write up policies and enrollment documents, and proof their home with the safety of several young children in mind. We, and yep, I’m a professional family child care provider – nationally accredited and college educated – trust that clients will accept our conditions and work with us to ensure a positive environment for their children. Most of our clients do, and then there are the clients like you who expect us to be at their beck and call and leave in a snit when we won’t or can’t.

        A nice woman who provided a safe and healthy environment for your child while you worked certainly did not deserve such a rotten lesson … that the man who actually punches a time clock is the one who society respects as really working.

      • Kim says:

        No… actually, we work for ourselves. We provide a service. We pay our taxes. We go to mandatory redundant trainings, we have our homes inspected several times a year. So when a parent calls on a snowy morning and says “Hi… this is centeroftheuniverse… it snowed….i’m dropping the kids off 30 minutes before you open so I can get to work on time” we get a little annoyed with centeroftheuniverse. Because who do you think is going to shovel the sidewalk so centeroftheuniverse can walk up early? The provider…but, now she’s had little to no warning that it needs to be done earlier. (watch the weather channel, and call the night before and ASK)

        If you get invited to play golf on a Monday, most employees can easily manage that with no warning. But, when you know three months in advance that we are taking a week off, you wait until the last minute and suddenly want help. Providers can’t even go to Jury duty because we understand the parent’s work schedules. Do you know how hard it is to get out of Jury duty? Do you have ANY idea the amount of time involved in getting out of jury duty? It’s not just a simple “check the box”. DO you have ANY idea how much we would actually enjoy being locked in a large room of only adults and magazines for an entire day???? But, instead, we jump through all the hoops to get out of it so we don’t inconvenience our clients. (clients, not employers)

      • TIna says:

        I am assuming that you had a service contract? Hours of service outlined? When you pay for a service there are guidelines. It does not mean you own the other person. If you knew in advance what your work hours would be and the provider’s hours did not match- then you were stupid to have chosen her in the first place. That’s your problem, not the service providers. If you wanted to be the boss, you should have hired a nanny or an aupair and paid salary/wages and contributions (employer portion). and even then, people are entitled to take a vacation. You did not fire her- your needs and the service she provided did not match- so you canceled your service contract. Are you your physician’s boss, your barber’s boss, your phone company’s boss? Obviously not.

  6. Lorna says:

    No, it doesn’t make you the boss. A child care provider is providing a service. They are much like a grocery store, a beauty salon, or a bank. They set their hours according to what is convenient for them and a person ;looking for the service decides whether or not those hours are going to work. I have been a very successful provider for well over 20 years. My hours have changed with my age and growth of business. If you have a problem with my closing time of 5:00 pm, you’ll have to find a different provider who stays open later. Same goes for my opening time of 7:00 am. The client/customer does not dictate those times, neither do they pay my income or employment taxes, health insurance, disability, etc.. . You sir, are not the “boss”. You are a customer. Your mistake was your attitude toward this provider. Her mistake was not knowing how to manage a business.

    Your whole post on this subject was made moot by your rant against a “non-working” business woman and “non-working” stay at home moms. Get a clue.

  7. Kim says:

    (I wish I could edit)…. “Little to NO warning”. Not, *Know*

    • No problem. I edited “little to know” into “little to no”.

    • incognito says:

      Ooh – Cheap Shot – Just like the one described with derision in the original post – rich! You, my dear, are part of the joke. You keep on flaming Kim. You tell that ol’ internet who’s The Boss!

      Oops – Hah HA – Joke’s on ME! I misunderstood – I thought you were correcting the Curmudge – not yourself!

      But Kim – seriously. Calm down. If someone pays you – they are effectively your boss until such time as you decide to be unemployed. Being “your own boss” means that you have to bring business in, ie. paying customers, to pay you and to cover the costs of running your business. If you drive them away with policies that are are at cross purposes with the reason they hired your service in the first place, such as Curmudge’s daycare provider did, you lose business and therefore your paycheck. Simple.

  8. The Grey Lady says:

    Dear Mrs. Curmudgeon,

    As it should be, family first and always. Much better to have a kid with memories of flying a kite with AC then watching someone fiddle with a computer.

  9. Pingback: Apparently I’ve Stepped In It: Doubling Down | The Adaptive Curmudgeon's Blog

  10. David H. says:

    I get what you’re saying however, I believe the whole thing started with Mitt quoting his wife as saying something like most women were concerned about the economy. The fact that a lady may have decided to be a stay at home Mom, or Dad for that matter, has nothing to do with their understanding of the economy. My wife, and others, see it when they go to the Grocery Store, and the Gas Pumps… and our pay checks. What does someone having worked outside the home or not have to do with their understanding of the economy? Ms. Rosen’s comment, to me, came off as implying that someone that stays at home cannot have an understanding of our economy.

  11. Brian Dunbar says:

    People like The Grey Lady, Kim and others make me real glad I no longer have to deal with child-care people.

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