Today, Focus on the Family founder and chairman James Dobson vigorously promoted Gov. Sarah Palin on Laura Ingraham’s radio show. Responding to critics who say Palin as a mother of five — including an infant with Down Syndrome — might be too busy to be Vice President, Dobson declared it “a personal matter,” and lauded the fact that Palin still cooks for her children:
DOBSON: I think that is her choice. That’s a personal matter that’s in her own family. And she seems to be doing it well. She loves her kids, she loves her family. … When she was elected governor, she eliminated the position of chef at the mansion because she wanted to do the cooking for her own family. I mean, this is a very unique, special lady.
Of course, Dobson and his group haven’t always embraced career moms. In his book, “The New Dare to Discipline,” Dobson “blames the supposed crumbling of ‘moral values’ and [the] ‘anarchy that is now rumbling through the midsection of democracy’ on working mothers and ‘permissiveness.’” Jim Daly, president and CEO of Focus on the Family, cheered the fact that fewer women aim to be working moms, “a reflection,” he says, “of a renewed realization that nothing is more important than being there for your kids.”
Dobson has gone even further, painting a dire portrait of an exhausted working mom — whose 9-5 job pales in comparison to the 24-hour job of Vice President — who could “go over the edge” at any moment:
DR. DOBSON: Some women are able to maintain a busy career and a bustling family at the same time, and they do it beautifully. I admire them for their discipline and dedication. It has been my observation, however, that this dual responsibility is a formula for exhaustion and frustration for many others. It can be a never-ending struggle for survival. … Consider what it is like to be a mother of young children who must arise early in the morning, get her kids dressed, fed and located for the day, then drive to work, labour from nine to five, go by the grocery store and pick up some stuff for dinner, retrieve the kids at the child-care centre and then drive home. She is dog-tired by that point and needs to put her feet up for a few minutes. But she can’t rest. The kids are hungry, and they’ve been waiting to see her all day. [...]
On weekends, there’s housecleaning to do, clothes to be ironed and pants to be mended. … A little push in any direction and she could go over the edge.
Dobson does say that a mother “has that right” to choose to work, and that “it is nobody’s business but her’s and her husband’s,” but his dire warning paints a far different picture than his enthusiastic support of Chef Palin today.