Stop It, Ann Romney!

“Stop it! Stop it, RIGHT NOW!”

What parent hasn’t had that moment of “I’m at the end of my rope” frustration with a tired or petulant child? You know you shouldn’t yell. You know you’re supposed to remember all the good parenting stuff you’ve been taught — talk in a calm voice, get down to your child’s eye level, let your mini-whirling dervish know that even though he or she is spinning wildly, you are the steady presence of control who can and will calm them. And that, as the parent, you will ultimately get your way.

But sometimes there comes a moment when you know that nothing is going to change the situation unless you shock your child into stopping for a second or two. So you shift into uber-authority mode with a good, loud command to get their attention, hoping they’ll be so shocked at what you just did that they’ll fall in line.

That’s the kind of moment Ann Romney had this week when she was asked about Republican critics of her husband’s recent “inelegant” remarks about the hungry and the sick. Ann dropped that calm parent/political surrogate demeanor and went for the tried and true mom smack down:

“Stop it. This is hard. You want to try it? Get in the ring. This is hard and, you know, it’s an important thing that we’re doing right now and it’s an important election and it is time for all Americans to realize how significant this election is and how lucky we are to have someone with Mitt’s qualifications and experience and know-how to be able to have the opportunity to run this country.”

That’s right. She gave us the political equivalent of her I-can’t-take-it-anymore mom voice to get the attention of squabbling right-wing pundits and GOP doubters after her husband was caught on tape telling a room full of wealthy supporters that almost half of Americans are just whiny mooching victims who ought to be grateful to all his rich friend job creators. I also sensed there was a little frustration with our collective impertinence over whether Romney is worthy of Republicans’ support. Her tone made me think she was going to end with, “You’re going to be sorry when your father gets home!”

As Ann Romney seems to be channeling her mom persona in her recent political remarks, it occurred to me that with only about six weeks to go until Election Day, it might be time for the Republicans to turn from traditional campaign advice and consider how their race for the White House could have been different if they’d listened to a few other gems of wisdom we often hear from parenting experts:

1. Attachment – Attachment is the key to any healthy parent/child relationship, and the Republicans aren’t attached to Mitt Romney. That’s been clear since the never-ending GOP debates and long list of short-lived frontrunners like Herman Cain and Rick Santorum. The Republicans pretty much operated on “anyone but Romney” mode until it was clear he was going to be their only choice.

2. Respect – Children need to respect authority figures, and it’s clear that the hard core conservative right has no respect for Mitt Romney because he isn’t one of them. The extreme right is the arm of the party that’s in possession of the Super-PAC funding dollars earmarked to defeat President Obama. For those with the billions, it’s not about liking or respecting Mitt, it’s about hating Barack.

3. Communication – Your kids won’t listen to you unless you, as a parent, know the right way to talk with them. And for each kid, there’s a different way to get through to him or her. The Romneys have yet to find the right message to convince Republican power brokers and pundits that they’ve got their political backs.

Without these tools, parents can’t raise their children. And, similarly, political parties can’t help their candidate succeed.

Ann Romney had her chastising political bad mom moment in that radio interview, but I’m not sure it had the desired effect on her fellow Republicans or whether it will help to bring them in line through November. But I bet it stopped her grand-kids in their tracks.

Image via MittRomney.com

SCANDAL - ABC's "Scandal" stars Kerry Washington as Olivia Pope. (ABC/Craig Sjodin)
Black Celebrities Are the Flavor of the Season
369.the-eyes-have-it1
The Eyes Have It!
Donald Trump Tourette, Donald Trump insults, Donald Trump for president
Trump “Diagnosed” with Tourette Syndrome?
Ashley Madison, Jared Fogle, sex, rape, sexual affairs
Ashley Madison vs. Jared Fogle: Rape, Sex and Hacking in America
Payroll cards, are payroll cards bad for workers, Labor day, minimum wage, Walmart, fair wages
Let’s Just Rename It ‘Labor Exploitation Day’
SCANDAL - ABC's "Scandal" stars Kerry Washington as Olivia Pope. (ABC/Craig Sjodin)
Black Celebrities Are the Flavor of the Season
Alison Parker, Adam Ward, Virginia television shooting, gun culture. gun control in America, mass shootings in america
The Casual Feminist on the World’s Least Responsible Gun Culture
Pope Francis visits America, Pope Francis and abortion
Pope Francis, Abortion, and the Complicated Relationship Between Contrition and Mercy
Payroll cards, are payroll cards bad for workers, Labor day, minimum wage, Walmart, fair wages
Let’s Just Rename It ‘Labor Exploitation Day’
education teachers politics election season
Teaching is Political.
Iran nuclear arms deal, international relations, international travel impact on foreign policy
If You Knew More About Iran, Would That Change Your Opinion on the Nuclear Arms Deal?
Scott Walker and education, Scott Walker and the Common Core
Scott Walker’s Education “Oopses”
Labor Day and Mother Jones, Who is Mother Jones, labor unions and supprt for workiers
Labor of Love Day
Payroll cards, are payroll cards bad for workers, Labor day, minimum wage, Walmart, fair wages
Let’s Just Rename It ‘Labor Exploitation Day’
369.the-eyes-have-it1
The Eyes Have It!
Iran nuclear arms deal, international relations, international travel impact on foreign policy
If You Knew More About Iran, Would That Change Your Opinion on the Nuclear Arms Deal?
dying friends, friendship and death, denial about friend's death
Could I Have Been a Better Friend at the End?
women's lives, planning for the unexpected, Chinese adoption
Cushioning My Landing: When Emotions Collide with Rationality
11069864_385264318326651_7985163416737673298_n
A New York City Feminist on the Camino de Santiago
white people talking about race
Just a White Girl From the Suburbs
369.the-eyes-have-it1
The Eyes Have It!
Ashley Madison, Jared Fogle, sex, rape, sexual affairs
Ashley Madison vs. Jared Fogle: Rape, Sex and Hacking in America
women's viagra, Viagra, Flibanserin, sexual arousal, women's desire, sex after menopause
That “Little Pink Pill” Isn’t All It’s Cracked Up to Be
breast cancer, save the boobies, save second base, why is breast cancer awareness about sex
Campaigns to Save the “Boobies” and “Tatas” Do Women No Favors

Get our new weekly email
Broadly Speaking

featuring our best words for the week + an exclusive longread