The dust seems to have settled over last week's infighting about Mitt Romney's wife—whether she ever "worked a day in her life".
So it's time we took a look past the political games on both sides, and asked ourselves about the deeper values issue hidden in the subtext.
The first conversation, boiled down to its essence, went something like this:
Hilary Rosen: "Ann Romney has never worked a day in her life."
Barack Obama: "That's not fair. Being a stay-at-home mom is very hard work."
Mitt Romney: "How dare Obama claim that women are lazy?"
It's tempting at this point to explain how our political rhetoric became this silly, but that's another post. For exampe: the context of Hilary Rosen's remark. She was discussing Romney's use of his wife as an expert on the opinions of American women about the job market. She was not calling Ann Romney lazy, but pointing out that she had no experience in the job market.
The bottom line to take from this exchange is what both sides agree on: no matter how many au pairs, nannys, housekeepers, cooks, or maids you have to help you, being a stay at home mom is valuable, difficult, and dignified work—completely worthy of society's respect and support.
Which, of course, is why Mitt Romney, like most Republicans, has been such a strong advocate for all of those poor stay at home moms, who didn't happen to marry a millionaire, and have to do this tough job without a staff: