18 October 2012

The Head Spins

I'm still trying to process Tuesday's debate. The whole Women In Binders thing has gotten lots of ink, but I'm hung up on a few other things - like the question about how to "limit the availability of assault weapons" which Romney failed to answer in the most meandering fashion ever:

ROMNEY: Yeah, I'm not in favor of new pieces of legislation on -- on guns...change the culture of violence that we have...good schools...do a better job in education...perhaps less violence from that...We need moms and dads, helping to raise kids. Wherever possible the -- the benefit of having two parents in the home, and that's not always possible. A lot of great single moms, single dads. But gosh to tell our kids that before they have babies, they ought to think about getting married to someone, that's a great idea.

Right. The way to limit the availability of assault weapons is to have married parents. How about we BAN ASSAULT WEAPONS?

And then there was that whole thing about workplace flexibility:

ROMNEY: I recognized that if you're going to have women in the workforce that sometimes you need to be more flexible. My chief of staff, for instance, had two kids that were still in school. She said, I can't be here until 7 or 8 o'clock at night. I need to be able to get home at 5 o'clock so I can be there for making dinner for my kids and being with them when they get home from school. So we said fine. Let's have a flexible schedule so you can have hours that work for you.

Hey! What about the fathers who cook dinner? What about the employees who need flexible schedules to accommodate medical needs, like chemo or radiation? What about middle-aged people taking care of elderly parents? Everyone needs flexibility, and you know what? A low-key attitude towards flex time makes for happier employees. In my admittedly idiosyncratic office, we just let someone take off three and half weeks so he could go tour coffeehouses and music festivals in Europe, because if you don't get to live your artistic dreams now, when's it gonna be? It was more work for me and my assistant, but I'm so glad we were able to be flexible and let our guitar player go play his heart out.

And you know what else?

ROMNEY: I know how to make that happen.

If you know how to make that happen, share it with us. Let us decide whether it sounds like a good plan. Because right now? It doesn't sound like you have any concrete, well-thought-out, workable plans, Mr. Romney. I've tried and tried to understand the magic math of lowering tax rates and scaling back deductions and how that could possibly help small businesses and it just doesn't make any sense. And if you just keep saying "I know how to make that happen", it's not helping.


Julie Marsh said...

It really does baffle me too, the idea that only women with children can benefit from flexibility. Furthermore, that we need to wait for it to be offered. Hard-working, skilled and dedicated employees need to make their needs and priorities known, so that we can start to counter this persistent assumption that flexibility is tantamount to laziness.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

It was an off-tone train wreck from beginning to end. I cannot fathom how any woman in this country could support him.

ConnieFoggles said...

And if he's so concerned about single parents, then he should support birth control through the Affordable Healthcare Act. And fund Planned Parenthood.

Gina said...

What he said: "But gosh to tell our kids that before they have babies, they ought to think about getting married to someone, that's a great idea."

What he meant: "But gosh to tell our kids that before they have babies, they ought to think about getting married to someone, that's a great idea, UNLESS IT'S SOMEONE OF THE SAME SEX."

leanne said...

Yes! (though I have to confess that I don't think "binders full of women" will cease to be funny for a long, long time)