Mommy Wars Progress?

by Mona Charen

Often we conservatives are obliged to endure the leftward slide of American culture with no choice but to rail and fume. But sometimes, we see the culture correct in our direction.

We saw it when liberals changed their approach to America’s troops after Vietnam. No longer do they condemn the troops as “war criminals” and monsters as they did during Vietnam (led, incidentally, by John F. Kerry). Now, however much they despise American exertions of power globally, they are careful to praise the soldiers for their service.

Similarly, the “mommy wars” have changed coloration since they erupted during the 1990s. Recall that Hillary Clinton, running for First Lady in 1992, was contemptuous of the idea of “staying home and baking cookies.” 

Today, when a minor Democratic operative sneered that Ann Romney “hadn’t worked a day in her life,” the entire Obama administration assembled itself into ranks to apologize. Interesting. 

Part of this is obvious: The Obama administration has concluded that it needs a disproportionate share of the women’s vote to win in November and it cannot afford to alienate any segment, including stay-at-home moms. But it’s also evidence that the Left recognizes its mistake in disdaining women who choose to raise their kids as a full-time occupation.

Maybe we can agree that for those women who can afford it (and most of the women who choose to stay home are far from wealthy), choosing to raise children full time is a good thing for the kids and for society. Obviously, the choice is not open to everyone. But as technology permits more and more people to work from home, it’s becoming a little easier. 

President Obama said that he and Michelle could not afford “the luxury” of having her stay home with the kids on their joint salary. But the Obamas were together earning close to half a million dollars annually when the girls were young. That’s well above the $250,000 mark that Obama has elsewhere defined as a “millionaire” who needs to have his taxes increased. 

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