• Wed, Jan 29 - 9:30 am ET

I Don’t Care How You Feel About Cathy McMorris Rodgers, But Leave Her Kid And Her Maternal Age Out Of It

Cathy McMorris Rodgers Prepares For GOP Response To State Of The Union AddressLast night after the State Of The Union Address, Washington State Republican congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers gave the GOP’s rebuttal speech. Rodgers spoke of her humble beginnings, how she worked at a McDonald’s Drive-Thru, how she had an apple stand, and she also spoke of her son, Cole Rodgers, who was born with Down Syndrome.

This article isn’t about politics, or how disappointed anyone is or isn’t with our current president, or whether or not you identify as Republican or Democrat. It’s about how as a woman I’m beyond sick of other women and men tearing women down due to their political opinions, by not tearing them down due to their policies, but by getting real judgy about their personal lives. Let’s take a gander, shall we:

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It’s amazingly disrespectful to Rodgers, her family, her son and to women everywhere.

We’ve all seen horrific and awful things said about Michelle Obama. We’ve also seen horrific and awful things said about Ann Romney, and Sarah Palin. I can fully understand criticizing someone for their political beliefs, I’m all for that. I encourage that. But dragging a woman’s child into it, her maternal age, and the fact that you aren’t comfy with a woman representing the GOP? That’s disguising, and we can never expect to get ahead if we don’t call out those who are spewing their bile against women, regardless of their political beliefs.

Criticize policy, criticize beliefs about education, reproduction rights, healthcare and the economy. But we owe it to ourselves as women, and to those women with the strength and conviction to run for political office and to hold positions of power, not to bash their personal choices and for heaven’s sake, not their damn children.

(Image: getty images)

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  • CMJ

    The stuff they say about Wendy Davis is horrific as well. Just stop people. It’s not funny and it’s not cool.

    • Bethany Ramos

      It is so sad and gross. Public figures don’t deserve outright hate.

    • Rachel Sea

      No some of them really do, just not because of their families or their private doings (except when those doings are criminal). Every politician who spews hatred about women, minorities, and people who are LGBT deserves hatred. Those who condone vigilante violence against people who are not white, straight, and cisgenger deserve hatred. Those who do everything in their power to villify the poor deserve hatred.

      If I had a magic wand I would turn all those people into poor, queer, black women, and send them back to whatever era they tout as having been most golden.

    • Bethany Ramos

      Well, yes, I guess in this case, her poor kid doesn’t deserve it!

    • Rachel Sea

      No, her kid does not set public policy, and as far as I know he has not yet expressed any bigoted viewpoints which could harm his constituency and the greater population.

  • VĂ©ronique Houde

    This is SUCH an american thing! Here in Canada, we barely ever see politician’s families, and barely know anything about them except for their political opinions… Even in France, where for the first time, a newspaper published a story about François Hollande cheating on his wife with someone famous, there has been a lot of public outrage. Politicians are there to do a job, not to be judged for their personal lives. And this is a highly UNPOPULAR president we’re talking about! I just never really understood what a politician’s personal life had to do with him or her running the country. So what if Bill Clinton got blowjobs under his desk? Was he able to run the country? That’s what matters, really!

    • pixie

      Wait, you mean Harper has a family?!?!?!
      Kidding, I know he does, but you’re right, we pretty well never hear about them.

    • Jayess

      a family and a chinchilla, apparently. Things I never would have known without their “Awkward Family Photo” Christmas Card.

    • CrazyFor Kate

      I’m pretty sure most Canadians don’t know his wife’s name, or could find her in a group photo. Compare that to the Obamas, in the US and internationally. It’s a staggering difference. Hey, if Harper ever got caught having an affair do you think anyone would really care?

    • pixie

      Probably not. I don’t really ever recall any politicians having scandals in their personal lives on the federal and provincial levels. And you’re correct, I have no idea what Harper’s wife’s name is, same goes for the past couple PMs (back to Chretien) and the past few premiers of Ontario (back to Harris). I don’t even know if they were all married or not. But with all the news out of the US, I know Michelle Obama’s name and what she looks like.

    • ted3553

      Margaret Trudeau who had an affair with Ted Kennedy and then supposedly Mick Jagger but who hasn’t he slept with.

    • pixie

      Before my time, hence why I am unaware of that. ;)

    • Lilly

      I know his wife has a name ending with an -een sound, like Pauline, or Maureen, or something. I know he has kids too, and that in one of the first family photos I saw they made me think of children of the corn, but that was probably 8 years ago so I assume they are older now.

      That being said I do remember premier Mike Harris leaving politics shortly after leaving his wife for his mistress.

      Although Rob Ford loves regaling the public with his private life..gave myself the shudders with that

    • JLH1986

      I was in middle school when Clinton was in office and said this then. Unless he was trading national secrets for head. IDGAF.

  • Joye77

    Wow, that is horrible! How could people be so ignorant?

  • G.E. Phillips

    Ugh. There’s truly an ass for every chair in this country.

  • http://ultimatemamacat.tumblr.com/ Hana Graham

    Holy ableism, Batman :( Eeeeve it’s too early for me to be raging!

  • JLH1986

    My rationale regarding politics is that if one side has to resort to picking apart things like this in order to “win”, they are doing politics wrong.

  • Maria Guido

    People are just the worst. THE WORST. Yuck.

    • Terry Teague SF

      Not me, I’m great!!!

  • momjones

    Instead of the vile attacks on Representative Morris-Rodgers’ Down Syndrome child, they should be attacking the stance the Republican Party (and which she did happen to mention) holds – eliminating health care for families who don’t have the same insurance plan she has, and cutting public education funds (which includes special education). But it’s Twitter, and sometimes the medium is not representative of our brightest and best.

  • Kay_Sue

    It seems we have forgotten, on the whole, that politicians are, at the end of the day, people. And people have personal lives that should remain personal.

    • momjones

      I agree with you completely. No one should ever attack a child. I do not think you will find any respectable journalist or pundit attacking her child. And because it is Twitter, the stupid comes out in full force. McMorris-Rodgers did, however, bring it up. She made the point, and in the next breath, she supported voting to eliminate the ACA for the 48th time. She is all on board for cutting funds to and/or privatizing public education (including special education). Again, the attacks are despicable, but I really think her talking about her Down Syndrome child emphasizes the hypocrisy of her party’s stance. She will always have health insurance; she will be able to afford the best care and support systems there are.

    • Kay_Sue

      That it emphasizes her hypocrisy is indisputable. These comments weren’t attacking her hypocrisy or even really her politics, though. They were attacking her, personally, and her child and family in a more roundabout way. That’s out of line, even if she brings up her personal life first. I realize you said you agree completely, but that makes the rest of your comment a little more confusing to me, to be honest. I’m not sure how it relates in that context. You don’t have to prove to me she’s a hypocrite–it’s pretty clear, honestly. I just don’t think that it should open her up to attack, and I especially don’t think it should open her child up to it.

      And yes, Twitter brings out the stupid…that doesn’t mean we have to accept it. Maybe if more people said, “What you are doing online is stupid, inappropriate, and morally repugnant”, we’d see more people making a connection between their online behavior and actual social appropriateness.

  • http://mother--bored.tumblr.com/ Aimee Beff

    This is seriously a thing? Gross. I don’t know why I’m surprised. It wasn’t OK to do it to Palin and it isn’t OK now. Instead, let’s talk about the scary fundie college Rodgers went to where the handbook contains such gems as:

    “… all female students must be in “proper” attire before they leave their rooms for a fire drill. If
    you happen to be sleeping in pajama pants, you must take the time to
    put on a skirt before you try to escape the flames. If you should perish
    then at least you’ll know you died for the cause of not tempting the
    fire fighters to lust after you.” [emphasis added]

    • CMJ

      Here’s what I am focusing on:

      This comment from McMorris Rodgers: “Republicans believe health care choices should be yours, not the government’s.”

      And then this: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/28/no-taxpayer-funding-for-abortion-act_n_4681743.html

      The hypocrisy is crippling.

    • http://mother--bored.tumblr.com/ Aimee Beff

      Ugh, that’s par for the course, isn’t it? “The government shouldn’t tell you what to do! Unless I don’t like what you want to do – in that case you better watch out.”

  • Rachel Sea

    Her opinions are vile, and disgusting, but that has nothing to do with her son.