By Chuck Ross
After a controversial campaign week when Barack Obama muddied the waters by endorsing homosexual “marriage,” he revved up a weekend effort to provide Mother’s Day e-cards to moms across the country.
He also issued a statement regarding Mother’s Day. But the result, according to Independent Women’s Forum chief Sabrina Schaeffer, was a “pretty lousy Mother’s Day greeting.”
That’s because it was politicized, she said.
At the White House website, visitors had the option of sending out Mother’s Day e-cards to, according to the site, “help you show some appreciation for the mom in your life.”
Two templates were offered to be sent through email, Twitter, or Facebook. One touted Obama’s Affordable Care Act with the caption “Being a mom isn’t a pre-existing condition” and the other was offered as thanks to the 1.2 military spouses across the country.
This comes in the context of women’s issues as a political flashpoint. From the debate over Rush Limbaugh’s comments about Sandra Fluke to the rhetoric claiming conservatives are pursuing a “war on women,” Obama’s focus on women’s issues has been called pandering. Fifty-six percent of female voters supported Obama in 2008.
Today he gave the commencement speech at the all-female Barnard College in New York City.
While e-cards are new, many presidents have issued Mother’s Day proclamations over the years.
In a 211-word statement issued May 3, 1934, Franklin Roosevelt urged Americans to provide mothers everywhere with the affection they deserve. He called for the “customary display of the United States flag on all government buildings, homes, and other suitable places.”
Most other presidents have offered yearly Mother’s Day proclamations. Up until Bill Clinton’s second proclamation, every president urged the display of the flag. Every proclamation since then has urged “appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities.”
But starting last year, Obama became the first president to cite his own political achievements in the document. The proclamations were reviewed at UC-Santa Barbara’s “The American presidency Project.”
In his 2011 proclamation, Obama wrote in a 625-word document, “We are striving to help mothers in the workplace by enforcing equal pay laws and addressing workplace flexibility as families balance the demands of work, child and elder care, and education.”
Most Mother’s Day proclamations pay homage to mothers and their importance in shaping the nation, such as Ronald Reagan’s 1981 address when he wrote of mothers: “They shape the character of our people through the love and nurture of their children. It is the strength they give their families that keeps our nation strong.”
But Obama repeatedly has promoted his political positions.
He has mentioned his Child Care Tax Credit, the Earned Income Tax Credit, and the First Lady’s “Let’s Move!” campaign.
In his proclamation this year, Obama talked about his Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act which, he writes, “continues to help women secure equal pay for equal work, and my administration continues to promote workplace flexibility so no mother has to choose between her job and her child.”
Obama also mentions his Affordable Care Act and the White House Council on Women and Girls.
The IWF’s Schaeffer told WND, “It’s unfortunate that the president used Mother’s Day as a way of furthering the ‘War on Women’ narrative. Sadly, this White House – and the White House Council on Women and Girls – helps fuel the insidious myth that women are a victim class in need of special protection from government.
“The Obama administration loves to tout the Lilly Ledbetter Act as a great accomplishment for women. The fact is, however, protective laws like this actually increase the cost of employing women – especially women of childbearing age – by creating the threat of lawsuits and uncertainty,” she said.
“Instead of recognizing women’s accomplishments, Mr. Obama continues to advance the notion that the workplace and society are openly hostile to women. And that’s a pretty lousy Mother’s Day greeting.”