COMMENTARY | The Obama administration believes that touting gender wage equality is the perfect issue to stir up female voters and distract people from Obamacare and the bad economy. It might have worked too if the White House was not a glass house.
First came the hapless White House spokesman Jay Carney being thrashed, not only by Fox News, but also other outlets such as CNN, over the fact that the White House on the average pays women less than it does men. That seems to be true for a number of prominent Democrats, including Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill who is leading the charge in the Senate to force people to pay women the same as men.
Indeed it’s not just Democratic men who are behaving this way. Wendy Davis, the Texas state senator who proposes to be governor, also pays women less than men on the average.
In any case the statistic often cited that women get paid on the average 77 percent as much as men is somewhat misleading. Women tend to make different career choices than men, especially when child rearing is concerned. When one clears away that factor, the so-called gender pay gap all but vanishes.
Of course from the White House’s point of view, the actual facts about how men and women are paid matter less than how many women they can incite to go to the polls this November and pull the level for Democrats. The Democrats are facing another electoral abyss, partly because the party in power usually does in the sixth year of a presidency and partly because the Obama administration has conspicuously failed to fix the economy and has rammed through a health care reform law that has harmed millions of Americans.
The one thing that the White House and the Democratic Party is focused on as if with a laser is retaining control of the Senate. Nothing else matters. Hence the economic populism gambit which seems, at least for now, to have back fired.