Sunday, May 13, 2007

Time For A National Mother

Maureen Dowd has famously referred to Republicans as the “Daddy Party” and Democrats as the “Mommy Party,” since the stereotype is of Democrats as nurturer, Republicans as protector. There may be a grain of truth to that, but MoDo misses the bigger point so she can keep flogging her clever bon mot, which is about as outdated as a rerun of “Father Knows Best.”

Mommy hasn’t dished up warm cookies and milk since at least 1963--if she ever did. Daddy is “working late at the office” again, meaning he’s probably really boinking the associate down the hall, or pulling a Ted Haggard and trysting with a male prostie.

Last week I had lunch with a group of women and we all agreed that when we were growing up, Mom was the disciplinarian. “I don’t know where this ‘Wait until your father comes home’ stuff came from,” one said, “because it sure wasn’t like that at our house.”

Ditto. Which is why in honor of Mother’s Day, I say we need a National Mother. No, this is not an endorsement of Hillary Clinton. Egads, what an awful thought.

This country needs some real mothering right now. Someone who tells us to clean up our room, do our homework, and quit eating junk food. It’s called tough love--the real kind, that teaches responsible citizenship, as opposed to the “tough luck” we’ve been given by “compassionate conservatives” for the past 20 years.

“No TV until you’ve mowed the lawn and taken out the garbage,” my National Mother would say. “You watch too much TV anyway. And old Mrs. Jones next door needs her lawn mowed, too. Quit whining, she’s 80 years old, for crying out loud. You should be so lucky to live to that age.”

“Awww, mom! I was gonna hang out with the guys today!”

“You mean those delinquents Glenn and Bill and Rush? They’re bullies who pick on the little kids in the neighborhood. I thought I raised you better than that.”


“No more hanging out with those troublemakers, they’re going to end up in jail one of these days. Anyway, I need you to baby-sit this afternoon because I have to work late. Share with your sister, no junk food, and no TV.”

“That’s so unfaaaaair!”

“Life isn’t fair. You’re not the only one living in this house, you know. You need to do your part. Oh, and one other thing.”

“I love you. You’ll thank me for this some day.”


Motheirng is hard. National Mothering will be harder. I'm sure I'll hear all of the usual "we need to get the government off our backs" crap. But there's a difference between the government being on your back and the government being in your life. I want the government keeping us safe, making sure the food we eat and the medicine we take is healthy, educating our children, and keeping our house clean. I don't want the government snooping in my diary or reading my mail or listening in on my phone calls (something which my own mother would never, ever have done). I want a National Mother.

Happy Mother’s Day.