The authenticity of conservative women has always been under attack by radical orthodox feminists, but perhaps not as brazenly as by someone with such direct and frequent access to the corridors of the White House message machine as Hilary B. Rosen.
The D.C. career lobbyist and Democratic media strategist took to CNN's airwaves this week to craft a left-wing "War on Women" attack on the real moms of the GOP. Ostensibly aiming at Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney for his "old-fashioned" views of women, Rosen's mouth instead shot off in the direction of wife, stay-at-home mother of five, grandmother of 16, and cancer and multiple sclerosis survivor Ann Romney. Mrs. Romney, sneered Rosen, "never worked a day in her life" outside of the home and should have no voice on women's issues.
President Obama never met a payroll in his life, but that hasn't stopped him from dictating what business owners across the country should and shouldn't be doing. But I digress.
This was no accidental rhetorical drive-by. "Progressives" from Gloria Steinem to Patricia Ireland to Naomi Wolf have derided their conservative counterparts as female impersonators, fake women and men with breasts from time immemorial. It's SOP: standard operating procedure. In 1992, Hillary Clinton mocked women who stayed at home and "baked cookies and had teas." In 2004, blueblood Teresa Heinz Kerry, wife of Democratic presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry, sniffed that first lady Laura Bush (a former teacher and librarian before becoming a homemaker) never "had a real job -- I mean, since she's been grown up."
Alas, if you're a conservative mom, you're damned if you do stay home and damned if you don't. In 2008, Howard Gutman, a member of the Obama campaign's national finance committee, attacked GOP vice presidential candidate and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's ability to be a good parent and have a high-powered public life at the same time. "Your responsibility is to put your family first," Gutman lectured as he singled out Palin's Down syndrome baby and then-pregnant teenage daughter. "The proper attack is not that a woman shouldn't run for vice president with five kids; it's that a parent, when they have a family in need..." should get out of the public sphere and stay home.