The phrase is tossed around like a kite in a vicious wind. When stated by politicos, it is said with a shrug and infers that politics is a dirty business, politicians will be politicians and, well, that’s just politics…wink, wink.
And so said the besieged Hilary Rosen on yesterday’s Meet the Press when host David Gregory taunted Ms. Rosen on her first visit to MTM, following Rosen’s controversial remarks on Ann Romney that last week had caused such a stir. ” Ann Romney never worked a day in her life,” Rosen had said, although clearly what she meant to say is that the privileged Mrs. Romney was hardly the poster-girl for most American working women. Rosen’s ill-chosen words – not her spot-on point- quickly became fodder for the Republicans to disguise their assault on women.
There is much I can say about Hilary Rosen and her pathetic retreat in response to the Republican assault, including saying: that’s politics. And there is even more that I can say — and have said — about Hilary Rosen; the privileged Ann Romney; the misogynistic bent of the Republican Party; the Republican women who are allowing themselves to be used by the GOP’s right-wing coalition and more.
But today I am stuck on Ms. Rosen’s response to David Gregory when he justifiably pointed out that the Democratic Party, to which Ms. Rosen aligns herself, bailed on her at the first sign of trouble. “Everyone in the Democratic Party wasted no time running immediately in the other direction [in the face of Rosen’s remark on Ann Romney] including the president who called Ms. Rosen’s remark an “ill-advised” statement by someone on TV,” David Gregory said.
Ms. Rosen’s response: “That’s politics,” followed by a sigh, a shrug of her shoulders, a smirk-filled smile.
I share Ms. Rosen’s sigh, feel my shoulders shrug, but you are not going to get a smirk-filled smile from me. What you will get from me is disgust. Disgust because our politicians have become so immoral in their quest for power that to coin a phrase, they’d sell their own mother under the bus to get where they want to go. And that goes for Ms. Rosen as well, who gave ground because, ugh, that’s politics. Was she told by the Party to relent because this was not a battle to be picked? Was she protecting her position within the Party hierarchy? Any way you look at, Rosen’s retreat served the Republicans, who on this one came out ahead. And while that’s politics might be a mantra that soothed the bruised flesh of Ms. Rosen who willingly accepted the machinations of today’s politics, it did no such thing for me, and frankly, I hope not for you, either.
Politicians were once our revered citizens, our noble brethren, our altruistic, our compassionate, those who served our nation. I imagine some still are. But narcissism has replaced selflessness and patriotism has been usurped by disloyalty. What’s good for the Party trumps what’s good for the people, the new rule the norm rather than the exception.
Catch phrases have become part of our lexicon. Think of the many and varied repeated ad nauseum. We use them and they fill a niche in our political discourse such as damage control, attack ads, swift boat. But here’s one we should not use, a phrase we should delete from all political conversation: That’s Politics. Because that’s politics isn’t a phrase at all but rather a sad commentary on the state of our nation’s