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The media narrative on the Hilary Rosen / Ann Romney controvery is way out of hand and the outrage is completely manufactured. Politico now asks: "Dem war on Moms?" That is the height of absurdity. Hilary Rosen herself is a mom. Is she warring on herself?

Most of the sources don't put her quote in context, they just take out the "she hasn't worked a day in her life" and then pile on paragraphs of irrelevant faux outrage from Ann Romney. Here is what Rosen actually said:

What you have is Mitt Romney running around the country saying, well, you know, my wife tells me that what women really care about are economic issues, and when I listen to my wife, that's what I am hearing.  Guess what?  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 in terms of how do we feed our kids, how do we send them to school and how do we worry - and why we worry about their future.  I think, yes, it's about these positions and, yes, I think there will be a war of words about the positions.


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Clearly, Rosen is not trying to say that Ann Romney has literally never done any work-- even if she had no children, she would have done chores around the house (presumably), would have done homework from when she was in school, would have helped her husband in various informal roles. As a mother herself, Rosen knows that raising children is 'work.'

Rosen is using the word 'work' to mean formal, paid work. As in "I went to work." Or "I'm out of work." When people use the word in that sense, they're clearly not saying that no work is done at home, that the uemployed never wash the dishes or mow the lawn. They're using the word work to mean formal work. It's a difference in semantics that the Romney campaign deliberatley-- and shrewdly-- took out of context, but that doesn't mean they're justified in getting away with it.

A proper rebuttal to Rosen's comment would be if Ann Romney produced some evidence that she once did formal, paid work-- perhaps a part time job in high school or college? Perhaps a summer stint as a lifeguard or something like that?

Rosen clearly wasn't trying to go after Romney's wife for the sake of spite; she was talking about Romney's quote that he uses his wife as his advisor on women's issues. She was pointing out that maybe his wife can't understand the economic hardships faced by the vast majority of women in this country. That maybe Romney should have more diverse advisors to tell him about what women face. That's a legitimate criticism. We have a guy running to be President, who seems to imply that all he knows about what women care about come from one woman who doesn't face the economic challenges most women care about? That's a problem.

There's nothing wrong with what Rosen said-- absolutely nothing-- except for purely tactical reasons of being susceptible to manipulation. But almost every we say is susceptible to manipulation- and the Republicans can't be allowed to get away with it without resistance.

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