If you planned on voting for Mitt Romney this November, there's something MSNBC panelist Michelle Goldberg wants you to know: His wife, Ann, wrote a column in USA Today recently, and she made a reference that channeled Hitler and Stalin.
That's part of what Goldberg took away from Ann Romney's Mother's Day op-ed. Here's the part Goldberg means in regards to the dictators:
Cherish your mothers. The ones who wiped your tears, who were at every ball game or ballet recital. The ones who believed in you, even when nobody else did, even when maybe you didn't believe in yourself.
Women wear many hats in their lives. Daughter, sister, student, breadwinner. But no matter where we are or what we're doing, one hat that moms never take off is the crown of motherhood. [Emphasis added]
There is no crown more glorious.
Here's what Goldberg had to say about it:
"I found that phrase 'the crown of motherhood' really kind of creepy, not just because of its, like, somewhat you know, I mean, it’s kind of usually really authoritarian societies that give out like 'The Cross of Motherhood,' that give awards for big families. You know, Stalin did it, Hitler did it."
She went on to call it "insipid, condescending praise."
NewsBusters has the video:
Noel Sheppard called the comment "sickening." Mediaite's Tommy Chistopher, on the other hand, predicted outrage but wasn't as outraged himself. According to him, you can't win by attacking a politician's wife -- but he thought Goldberg had a point:
Even if you found Ann Romney’s politicized glee at the faux outrage that the Rosen flap incited, even if you think she’s “insufferable,” hell, even if she is insufferable, you’ll always lose by saying it out loud. That’s because, legitimately, she has a right to be all of those things, and worse (or better), because she’s not running for office. Better to focus on the guy who is.
If nothing else, I learned something new today. The Nazis did, indeed, give out the Mother’s Cross of Honor, while Stalin’s Soviet Union had a whole series of Motherhood Glory medals that you can own for about $600. Who knew that those “World’s Greatest Mom” mugs were an extension of fascist totalitarianism?
But the obvious question seems this: Is Ann Romney's praise of mothers really an attempt to fortify the totalitarian state, as was the case in the Hitler and Stalin regimes? Common sense has the answer. And that leaves Goldberg's comments scrambling for relevance.