Juan Williams versus “corporate wives”
Liberals have already said some very stupid things about Ann Romney, and they’ll say plenty more in the days to come. They’ll have a hard time getting over the nitwit bar set by Fox News commentator Juan Williams on Tuesday night. I still think Williams was treated very unfairly by NPR, but that doesn’t mean he gets a pass for what he says now.
Comparing the speeches given by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and the prospective First Lady, Williams observed, “Mitt Romney’s wife, Romney, on the other hand looked to me like a corporate wife.”
“And you know the stories she told about struggle? Eh. It’s hard for me to believe,” he sneered. (Quite literally. You’ve got to watch the video below to absorb the full impact of his dismissive shrug.) “It’s hard for me to believe. She’s a very rich woman, and I know that, and America knows that.”
Asked by his astonished co-panelists what he meant by “corporate wife,” Williams elaborated: “It looks like a woman whose husband takes care of her and she’s been very lucky and blessed in this life. She’s not speaking, I think, for the tremendous number of single women in this country, or married women or separated – actually she did not convince me that you know what, ‘I understand the struggles of American women in general.’”
Right, and if you were listening to Mrs. Romney’s speech, you heard her tell the story of how she was born in a palace made of solid gold, nursed by her royal mother upon a throne carved from a single massive diamond. She pretty much admitted to living her entire carefree life in the lap of luxury, didn’t she?
Oh, no, wait, that’s not what she said at all. Here’s the part Juan Williams apparently missed: “I am the granddaughter of a Welsh coal miner who was determined that his kids get out of the mines. My dad got his first job when he was six years old, in a little village in Wales called Nantyffyllon, cleaning bottles at the Colliers Arms. When he was 15, dad came to America. In our country, he saw hope and an opportunity to escape from poverty. He moved to a small town in the great state of Michigan. There, he started a business – one he built himself, by the way.”
Well, she was rolling in dough by the time she met Mitt “Moneybags” Romney, right? On the contrary, she spent a good bit of time rolling dough for dinner, which included “a lot of pasta and tuna fish,” although they probably were not consumed in the same meal. Here is Mrs. Romney’s account of her early married years, which Juan Williams apparently slept through while dreaming up the weirdest possible term to insult Mitt’s “corporate wife”:
“There were many reasons to delay marriage, and you know? We just didn’t care. We got married and moved into a basement apartment. We walked to class together, shared the housekeeping, and ate a lot of pasta and tuna fish. Our desk was a door propped up on sawhorses. Our dining room table was a fold down ironing board in the kitchen. Those were very special days.
“Then our first son came along. All at once I’m 22 years old, with a baby and a husband who’s going to business school and law school at the same time, and I can tell you, probably like every other girl who finds herself in a new life far from family and friends, with a new baby and a new husband, that it dawned on me that I had absolutely no idea what I was getting into.”
But after that everything was a breeze, because childbirth, breast cancer, and multiple sclerosis are completely painless for rich people.
There’s a whole lot of foolishness packed into Williams’ strange critique… beginning with his apparent inability to offer a single word of analysis about the speech he was paid to study and review. In one concentrated blast, he emitted some of the most persistent liberal myths:
1. Only rich corporate executives can afford to let their wives stay at home and raise the kids. (That’s what he meant by “corporate wife,” for those still trying to figure out what the hell he was thinking.)
2. Success and wealth are products of “luck” and “blessing,” not personal risk, sacrifice, and hard work. This has become the foundational belief of the intellectually degenerate Democrat Party. The moment you stop thinking of the wealthy and successful as lottery winners is the moment you stop being a Democrat.
3. No one who is not currently suffering in some way can “speak for” people who are struggling to make ends meet. Liberals are automatically granted an exemption from this requirement, without the slightest bit of introspection. That’s how political wife Michelle Obama, with her $300k no-show Chicago hospital job, is somehow portrayed as being more in touch with “the struggles of American women in general” than corporate wife Ann Romney.
4. Different Democrat constituencies require special sympathy and policies that are different from, and take priority over, general American prosperity. The largest of these constituencies, by far, is the first group Williams mentioned, and the one he set aside most prominently: “the tremendous number of single women in this country.”
Williams was not invited back to the Fox News panel afterwards, although the other commentators insisted it wasn’t because of his comments. Host Megyn Kelly rendered this final verdict: “Ann Romney may have improved Mitt Romney’s standing with women. You know whose standing did not improve with women tonight? Juan Williams.” She and co-host Brett Baier laughed it off and promised Williams would return the next day. Hopefully he’ll step up his game a little, and give us something we couldn’t get by trolling the message boards at MoveOn.org.
Update: Courtesy of my old friend Ed Morrissey at Hot Air and one of his Alert Readers, Juan Williams had a very different take on the personal tribulations and sympathies of a previous prospective First Lady of great wealth:
“The senator’s wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry, also offers a strong link to independent older women, especially widows and divorcees. In her interview with Barbara Walters, Heinz Kerry revealed that a doctor once recommended she have an abortion because of medical problems, but a miscarriage ended the pregnancy. That personal revelation cut a clear path for her husband to the abortion rights position central to the concerns of so many single women voters. Regardless of whether female voters are ultimately swayed by the women of the Bush or Kerry clans, one thing’s for sure: Their vote certainly isn’t being ignored.”