I’d say she understands perfectly how our political media works these days. The “watchdogs” have become part of the problem because they are frightened of the smear machine, not nearly as smart or as good as they think they are and, most terribly of all, rapidly committed almost exclusively to easy and fact-free storylines dreamed up by political operatives but which they are convinced they came up with all on their own. Every time a passel of TV pundits giggle and smile together about how they want some silliness to continue (see “Primary, GOP, 2012”) because they enjoy talking and writing about it (see “Journalism, Failed, Easy Way Out”), I flinch.
Anyway, like I said, this is true:
It’s like there’s this “national conversation” (everyone hates unions, rightfully, because everyone knows unions suck; women are whiny sluts and most people will side with the bishops; Tom Delay isn’t THAT corrupt, both sides do it) and then there’s this whole other conversation going on. I love when that happens, because those issues are ours, they belong to us, if only for the time before the professionals grab them and frame them. When that happens, when we become pundit-fodder, they’re all but proclaiming that hostilities have ended and they’re pushing us back into some boring, comfortable groove that they love like The Mommy Wars, something safe and familiar, because, Jesus, talking about mandated trans-vaginal ultrasounds and aspirin between our legs is uncomfortable. That’s a little too…real. It couldn’t last.
The war on women was over for political media the moment Mitt Romney’s handlers came up with a strategy, and Ann Romney and professional pundits then began discussing, framing, defining and then redefining the issue. They’re done with ordinary women and what I believe was our authentic anger on this. It’s now in the hands of the pros and it will be put into context and watered down and explained away.