What's love got to do with it: A message to Ann Romney

Dear Ann,

For the most part, I’ve been hiding under a pillow, humming “LA LA LA” loudly during the Republican National Convention, but I peeked out this morning to watch your speech on YouTube. There was one hilarious part, when you reminded me a lot of Marcel the Shell, but other than that, it made me a little sick to my stomach.

In case you don’t watch her, Marcel the Shell talks about what she uses to replace ordinary objects, due to her miniature size.
 “Guess what my skis are,” Marcel the [tiny] Shell asks.
“Toenails. From a man.”
“Guess how I strap the skis to the car?”
“With a human hair.” 
And so on. That’s all I could think about when you started explaining about your desk being a door propped on sawhorses, and your dining room table being an ironing board.

That was really roughing it, that period in the late 60’s and early 70’s when your father in law was the governor of Michigan and you had to sell stock to pay for stuff, chipping away at capitol. You didn’t work then, because Mitt wanted you to stay home.  And you suffered for it.  You didn’t have a real dining room table, but just an ironing board.  Poor you!  (I don't understand how you'd have an ironing board but not a table, but it is becoming increasingly clear that we have different priorities.)

Let me be clear, Ann: I’m not knocking you because your financial life has been easy. You didn’t ask to be born into white privilege.  You grew up in the affluent city of Bloomfield Hills, (median family income: $200,000 a year). You went to private school that currently costs $28,000 a year.  You couldn’t help that, just as so many at the other end of the spectrum can’t help that they were born into poverty.  That part isn't your fault.  But don’t pretend that when your ironing board doubled as a dining room table and you used a man’s toenail as a desk or whatever it was, you were seriously worried about where your next meal would come from, and whether you’d be able to afford medical care for your growing family, the way so many women and men in this country do.

To suggest that you come from humble roots because your grandfather was a coal miner in Wales and your father-in-law didn’t go to college is an exaggeration at best.  If most of us go back a hundred years, our relatives were from much humbler circumstances, and were less educated.  You've grown up with privilege due to stuff that was entirely out of your control:  your race, economic position, and other random circumstances of opportunity have served you well.  Don't pretend it was all hard work.

It’s not that you haven’t suffered, Ann. Tell us about that. You’ve had breast cancer, you have MS. You’ve had to look your own mortality in the face.  You've had to consider the possibility that your life would be shortened by a horrible disease, and face the very real and devastating knowledge that your abilities will be diminished, slowly, painfully, and predictably as M.S. takes over.  Doesn't that make you want to stand for something, something good?

What the humans have in common is that we laugh, cry, suffer, and love people who are going to die, and all the money in the world can't protect us from that.  You could have talked about that.  But instead, you described some minor furniture inconvenience from over 40 years ago as an example of your struggles.  Really?  That's it, Ann?  Is that what you think we care about?

 Let me recap your speech:
 I love Mitt.
You should too.
He’s a hard worker.
We struggled financially, just like you people, but he worked hard.
I love you women.
Mitt cares harder.
Vote for Mitt, he walked me home from the dance.
One time Mitt created a scholarship for students in Massachusetts.
I love Mitt.  

I’m sorry, Ann, but I find that a little patronizing.  We're smarter than that, and I think you probably are too.  The very same day you gave that speech, you people, to use your terminology, adopted a platform that, among other things:

  • Doesn’t mention climate change. Not once.
  • is 100 percent anti-abortion.
  • Claims that the environment is getting cleaner and healthier. Ann, seriously? Do you really think that the planet your grandchildren will live in is even close to as clean as the one you were born into?  Have you read even one thing in the past decade about energy, population, water, waste, food production, land use conflicts, or mass extinction?  
  • Bans gay marriage, saying, “the union of one man and one woman must be upheld as the national standard, a goal to stand for, encourage, and promote through laws governing marriage. We embrace the principle that all Americans should be treated with respect and dignity.” Ann, I don’t even know how those two sentences can be back to back. Maybe it’s just me, but I think allowing homosexual couples to legally marry would be one way to offer respect and dignity to at least 10 percent of Americans. 
  •  Favors tax cuts.  Seriously, Ann, how will we pay for everything, like those tuition vouchers you say Mitt stands for?
  • Opposes net neutrality.
  • Opposes restrictions on guns.  Woo hoo!   Annie get your gun!

If you really love women, and empathize with the hard lives that you profess to understand, you’d be ashamed to have anything to do with this platform.



  1. Replies
    1. Why thank you! Thanks for visiting and reading.

  2. Wow. You really got to the heart of the matter with this one. I have such a hard time deciding what to be the most depressed about with this party's platform. Thank you for calling bullshit so eloquently.

  3. Well done, Betsy. Well bloody done.

    And, off-topic but I feel compelled to confess it, Marcel the Shell makes my skin crawl.

    1. Thanks Jenny! (I think Marcel is kind of funny, but Ann, she makes my skin crawl...)

  4. Hey Betsy- Mel sent me here. Seems as if you and I share a few views. Mmmm....
    Nice to meet you.

    1. Why thank you! And thanks to Mel! I enjoy your blog.

  5. Thanks, Betsy! Yes, I'm open to hearing what A.R. says about her SELF; her passions, interests, fears, challenges, politics... her family, raising kids, the worries and cares that our children inspire... all that. Obviously someone wrote the cheesy, transparent speech for her in an effort to connect her to Mrs. Republican/American home-maker. Sadly, I think it work like a charm.

    1. Oh, let's hope it didn't work. Uggh.

  6. Excellent post. This has to be one of the top 5 you have written. I must confess, I did not listen to her because I just couldn't stand it. I've been storing up programming on the DVR for this week, I'm feeling like the ant in the fable.

    1. That sounds like a better use of time than listening to the RNC people. Make DVR's while the sun shines, as the saying goes.

  7. That speech was appalling in it's lack of substance. The only thing I could agree with her on is that, hey! Mitt makes me laugh too. Guffaw would be more like it. Give me Michelle Obama any day.

    1. Yeah, I wish I were laughing a little harder about it all. . . It's just a little bit too scary.

  8. Sad to say, I had to "defriend" at least 4 relatives on facebook because of the rabid pro-Romney comments. I mentioned to my cousin that I felt there was little difference between the rabid Republican extremist's thought process and a Muslim extremist - and now I am a pariah. Notice I said "thought process" - not actual deed or lifestyle. They are a touchy bunch. Oh well. At this point in my life, I am beyond caring, and I am thankful to be living in a country that leans more on the socialistic side. Seems more "christian" to me.

    That speech of Clint E's was so sad - and bizarre. I have an autographed photo of him from Unforgiven that I am now trying to sell....... perhaps now is a good time. Some Republican might pay good money for it.

  9. Here is an interesting perspective:

  10. And btw this is the best article I have ever read as a commentary on the conference.

    You should be hired to write the president's speeches.

    1. Oh, thank you, CC! And yes, the time is ripe to sell your picture of Clint. Maybe there's a tea party memorabilia website for that kind of thing....


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