The utter inanity of suggesting that Paul Ryan’s insistence that he be allowed all the family time he wants, as a condition of being Speaker (when he has consistently opposed parental leave) is somehow good for working parents (particularly moms) is earning the criticism it deserves. See, when a very, very powerful person demands an accommodation like that, he (or she) can get it. Thus, when other very, very powerful people (like Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg) say that a very, very powerful person’s ability to obtain an accommodation like that somehow strikes a blow for the rank-and-file working class, it proves they all live in an alternate universe, where the powerful believe their privileges were earned, and the powerless have only themselves to blame.
If Paul Ryan wanted to use this moment to earn some valid praise, he should declare himself willing to reconsider his views on parental leave, now that he’s finally aware that asking for it is justified, but getting it isn’t as easy for the rest of us as it is for the Speaker of the House. He won’t, of course, but, oh, if he did!