Barack Obama is many things to many people. Among the groups claiming a special resonance with him are mothers like me. . . . Obama says that his mother "was the single constant in my life" and that "what is best in me I owe to her." She brought him up largely on her own.Excuse me, how did Washington lawyer Susan Benda become a mother? Have police apprehended and prosecuted the rapist? Or did Benda's husband die tragically? Because she writes as if the "invisible burden" of fatherlessness on her son's "little shoulders" was the result of her being victimized in some way. Benda (a former ACLU lawyer) omits from her narrative any reference to the circumstances that resulted in her son's fatherless, but if we may assume that she is neither a rape victim nor a widow -- surely she would have mentioned that -- then she was in some way responsible for her son's plight.
This is significant for me as an unmarried mother of a preteen son, and it surely resonates for other mothers raising their children without dads. Growing up without a father, my son has at times struggled to feel "normal." . . .
For my son, the issue is fatherlessness. Not having a father has been an impediment to "fitting in." . . . [I]n some intangible way he carries an invisible burden on his little shoulders. . . .
For these young people, the election to the presidency of a man who grew up without a dad signifies a seismic shift. . . . For my son, Obama's inauguration this week felt like a personal embrace.
Benda avoids any discussion of why her son is fatherless, because once you raise that question, it destroys the image she wants to create of herself as the heroic single mother. This is the very point that Ann Coulter makes in the second chapter of her new book, Guilty: Liberal "Victims" and Their Assault on America. Even if Benda consciously chose fatherlessness for her son (by artificial insemination), she would still insist on being seen as heroic. "Single mother" is a category that automatically confers heroic victimhood, as Coulter shows. Look at this bizarre passage in Benda's column:
For example, my son's tae kwon do teacher had the habit of talking to the students about their "moms and dads." I took him aside one day and suggested that the term "parents" might do the trick, with no child left behind. But there is a limit to how much a mother can protect her son from the word "dad." A mother can repeat to her child that there is no model "normal" family, but the world reflected and projected by television tells another story.The very word "dad" is a menace from which Benda feels obligated to "protect" the boy? And note the hostility to tradition evidenced by her scare-quotes around "normal." Contrary to Benda's assertion, there very much is a "model 'normal' family," a father, mother and their children having been recognized as such throughout human history, no matter how much modern revisionists try to tell us otherwise.
Regardless of exactly how Benda acquired her son (adoption? artificial insemination?) she cannot avoid the reality that fatherlessness is a bad thing. And so she seizes on the Obama presidency as validation, with Obama as the national father who can fill the role-model void in her son's life. And if you see it otherwise, you're just a hater!
UPDATE: Coulter's point about liberal "victims" could have been extended to include a couple of other "mascot" groups: The homeless and gays. But I'm guessing her publisher figured that one category of saints was enough for her to attack.