Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Ann Romney Speaks. Echidne Listens.

More from the Republican Convention.  Ann Romney, the wife of Mitt Romney, gave a speech yesterday.  The transcript is here and the video here.

The purpose of the speech was to tell American women that if the Republican Party doesn't love them, well, Ann Romney does!  It's almost as good, honest.

I may be too nasty there, because Ann Romney wanted to speak about her husband and how much she loves him.  She also made this comment:

Sometimes, I think that, late at night, if we were all
silent for just a few moments and listened carefully, we could
hear a collective sigh from the moms and dads across America who
made it through another day, and know that they will make it
through another one tomorrow. But in the end of that day moment,
they are just aren't sure how.
   And if you listen carefully, you'll hear the men sighing
a little bit more than the women.  It's how it is, isn't it?  It's
the dads who have always had to work a little harder to make
everything right.  It's the dad's of this nation, single,
married, widowed, who really hold the country together.  We're
the fathers.  We're the husbands.  We're the grandfathers.  We're
the big brothers.  We're the little brothers and we are the
   You know it's true, don't you?
   I love you,  men!
   And I hear your voices.  Those are my favorite fans down

OK, she didn't.  It was that Evil Echidne who switched all the gender signifiers to their opposites, to show you how ultimately insincere I found that particular part of the speech was.  Women are loved because they have kinship ties to other people and because  they worry a bit more about the economy than the men.  Who also, of course, have kinship ties to all sorts of other people, but that has never been used as a justification to love them, in general.  It suffices for us wimminfolk, however.

Ann Romney does give specific examples of the Americans who suffer from the current economic situation.  I looked at those examples more carefully, given the pro-woman angle of this speech.  Here are few of those examples:

  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.
   Or how about that couple who would like to have another
 child but wonder how they will afford it?  I have been all
 across this country and I know a lot of you guys.
   And I have seen and heard stories of how hard it is to get
ahead now.  You know what?  I have heard your voices.  They have 
said to me, I am running in place and we just cannot get ahead.


 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.

Mmm.  Let's see what the Republican Party has done for those working women, recently:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said Monday that Senate Republicans oppose equal pay for women, citing as evidence their expected opposition to the Democrats' Paycheck Fairness Act in a scheduled Tuesday vote.

"They don't agree with this, they don't want women to make the same amount of money, so they're filibustering this," Reid said on the Senate floor. "They are filibustering us even getting on the bill."

More examples from Ann Romney:

You know what those late-night phone calls with an elderly 
parent are like, and those long weekend drives just to see how
 they're doing.
   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.

The Republican Party is very much opposed to any changes in the old health care system which made the local emergency room the only place of care for many of those worried working mothers.

And yet more from Ann Romney:

I  am not sure if men really understand this, but I don't
 think there is a woman in America who really expects her life to 
be easy. In our own ways, we all know better.  You know what,
 and that's fine. We don't want easy.  But the last few years 
have been harder than they needed to be.  It is all the little 
things, the price of the pump you could not believe and the 
grocery bills that just get bigger, all those things that used
 to be free, like school sports are now one more bill to pay.
   It's all the little things become the big things.  And the 
big things, the good jobs, the chance at college and the home
 you want to buy just get harder.  Everything has become harder.
We're too smart and know that there are no easy answers, but
 we're not dumb enough to accept that there are not better

So.  Given that the price at the pump went up partly because of the wars of the previous Republican president, what are we to conclude from this?  Given that the school costs are going up because of the decision of mostly Republican state governments with the desire to squash the public sector like an annoying gnat, what are we to conclude from this?  And given that college funding is also slashed by the same Republicans on state level, what are we to conclude from this?

The women Ann Romney speaks to (or so I imagine) are not at all worried that the Republican Party wanted to get rid of the Violence Against Women Act or that the draft platform of the Republican Party appears to include that bit about the Rapists' Fatherhood Rights.  Neither does she mention that her party is overwhelmingly white and overwhelmingly male, and that there are good reasons for that to be the case.

But whatever.  The big thing seems to be to point out that women are necessary in their traditional roles for this particular economic and social system to work, and that to praise them for their traditional work suffices to keep them faithful to the GOP.