Monday, April 16, 2012

Silly season

If you've been paying attention to the political landscape for the past week, you might have noticed the latest controversy to grip the Presidential race for a couple of days.

Hilary Rosen, a Democratic activist, went on CNN and criticized Ann Romney this way: “His wife has actually never worked a day in her life. She’s never really dealt with the kinds of economic issues that a majority of the women in this country are facing.”

Let's forget about the statement for a moment. The discussion about working outside the home vs. staying home has been going on for more than three decades, and we're reached a rough consensus that women (and men) should be allowed to choose which path to take in that area. I think that's progress.

Me, I'm more interested in the whole all-news approach to politics.

Turn on the TV at almost any hour of the day, and you'll probably hear something about the campaign. The usual format is to have some "Republican strategist" and a "Democratic strategist" on to talk about some issue of the day. They usually aren't identified fully, and they go on the air with generally predictable views. In other words, few come up with anything interesting to say. So ... I ignore them. Give me David Gergen anytime.

In this case, though, Rosen said something that wasn't part of the prepared text of anyone. She didn't represent anyone but herself. All of a sudden, that viewpoint was a big story. Democrats are declaring war on Motherhood, etc.

A bigger question, though, is: Why? As in, why do we care what she has to say? And how did anyone notice through all of the clutter?

There's probably a legitimate discussion to be had about the role of a candidate's wife to be had in an election, although it probably ranks about 413th on the list of issues that matter. But worrying about Rosen's brief comment on TV seems like a waste of time.

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