Ann Romney, who suffers from multiple sclerosis, has taken up the sport of dressage as a form of physical and emotional therapy for her condition. The decision has, by all accounts, worked wonders for her. But for Adele Stan, the fact that Ann Romney has decided to get involved in dressage means that it’s time to remind people once again that the Romneys are wealthy, so as to create class resentment against the Romneys–thus perhaps making it easier for Barack Obama to win re-election.
Stan decided to excerpt a passage from a New York Times article on Ann Romney’s involvement in the sport of dressage, one which states that “Mr. Romney’s mention of the “couple of Cadillacs” his wife owned and the disclosure of plans for a car elevator in the family’s $9 million beach house in California . . . prompted criticism that Mr. Romney was out of touch with average Americans.” Stan adds that Romney also has a car elevator and friends who own sports franchises [The horror!--ed.], and writes that all of this shows that Romney “seems to be clueless about the way in which regular Americans live.”
Of course, neither the fact that Romney is rich, nor the fact that a number of statements of his (which can be counted on one hand) occasionally get taken out of context automatically lead to any kind of conclusion that Romney is “clueless.” If anyone here is clueless, it is Stan; she admits that she “had to look up” the word “dressage,” before writing her post–apparently, Stan is not only ignorant, but proud of her ignorance; she no doubt believes that by stating that she had to look up “dressage,” she will be viewed as some kind of common person of the people. It’s one thing to say that you had to look up a word to find out what it means. We’ve all had to do that. It is quite another to hold up your dictionary quest as some kind of badge of validation in your effort to show people that you aren’t as high and mighty as those nasty, evil Republicanses.
One would think that all of this is enough to show that the state of advocacy journalism at the Washington Monthly is not very good. At all. But wait, things get worse later on in Stan’s piece:
People diagnosed with nervous system diseases and disorders are often told to combat their pain and fatigue with demanding forms of exercise. The less privileged take up running, yoga or other physical activities. Now that her dressage story has left the barn, Mrs. Romney may want to consider a visit to the YWCA for a little hand-shaking with the women practicing restorative swimming — and consider the fate of the uninsured M.S. sufferer.
You know, I am willing to bet that Ann Romney–being an M.S. sufferer herself–knows a lot more about the M.S. community and who is a part of it than Adele Stan does. Stan, however, is not willing to be as generous. And why? Not because there isn’t reason to be generous, mind you, but because Stan is more committed to writing a hit piece against the Romneys than she is to actually writing a fact-filled post. I guess we shouldn’t be surprised that the so-called “reality-based community” continues to have an aversion to reality. But clearly, they do.
Mitt Romney is rich. Ann Romney is rich. The rich are different from you and me, but “different” doesn’t mean “worse,” “evil,” or “justified targets for third-rate mockery.” John Kerry was rich back in 2004, but people like Adele Stan weren’t writing stories on how out of touch he was, even though Kerry certainly said and did things to cause people to think that he might not understand the lives of average Americans (how many average Americans windsurf, after all?). The reason is obvious; Kerry, as a Democrat, was considered by the likes of Adele Stan as a worthy and deserving rich guy. Mitt Romney, as a Republican, isn’t. If Romney suddenly decided to become a Democrat and an Obama supporter, people like Adele Stan would magically change their minds and consider him a worthy and deserving rich guy. The issue is ideology and party identification. Pure and simple. And of course, people like Adele Stan never mention the inconvenient fact that Mitt Romney was smart and talented enough to make his own money while John Kerry had to marry into great wealth.
The Romneys are rich. Stan should come to peace with that. If she really cares about the underprivileged, then perhaps she can start writing some blog posts about how high the unemployment rate is on the Obama administration’s watch, how families are having trouble making ends meet, how people have to work multiple jobs in this economy in order to have any hope of getting by, and how parents are increasingly befuddled when it comes to figuring out how to be able to afford to send their kids to college. But writing such blog posts would require people like Adele Stan to (a) accept the fact that Barack Obama’s economic stewardship has been a disaster, and (b) remind people who vote that Barack Obama’s economic stewardship has been a disaster.
Which, of course, is the reason why people like Adele Stan will forgo writing blog posts about actual economic issues facing the average American voter. Instead, she will continue to write blog posts that focus on things like Ann Romney’s love of horseback riding, and how it supposedly shows that Mitt Romney shouldn’t be president.