The Democrats have kind of stepped in it with the whole “gender pay inequality” BS they were hoping to turn into a 2014 campaign issue. During a photo-op President Obama signed an executive order allowing female employees of federal contractors to openly discuss their salary. He accused Republicans of “gumming up the works” on closing the wage gap. (Which is just a myth, BTW.) But then the White House was hit with reality.
Jay Carney had to answer questions about how female White House staffers only make 88% of what their male colleagues earn. White House Director of Communications Jennifer Palmieri thought she’d make light of the situation by tweeting that the news organizations all sent men to the front row to ask about gender pay inequality. Fox News reporter Ed Henry quickly responded that the White House sent a man to the podium.
It only got worse from there. The Washington Post slammed this graphic put out by the White House as being sexist.
It pictures two women, one in a pink dress carrying a handbag, the other in an orange dress, and both are wearing oh-so-practical stilettos. This is exactly what working women wear to work every day, right? All those women who are lawyers, and doctors, and cashiers, and investment bankers, and biochemists, and nursing assistants and architects and engineers and cashiers at the Piggly Wiggly? Perhaps this is why Obama was so focused on dry-cleaning bills at the White House signing ceremony? This is just not great messaging or symbolism for a White House that wants to also focus on women in minimum wage jobs. It screams “Sex and the City,” not “9 to 5.”
It didn’t get much better for Senate Democrats. Republicans took a look at their payroll records and found they also have a wage inequality problem.
It turns out President Obama isn’t the only hypocritical Democrat, in fact Senate Democrats have their own problems when it comes to equal pay. We pulled the official payroll records of various offices and calculated the average pay for men and women in each office for the most recent 6 month period available. Since some employees only worked a portion of the six month period, we calculated how much each person was paid per day in order to give an accurate representation. Here’s what we found:
- Mark Udall pays women 85 cents for every dollar that a man makes.
- Mary Landrieu pays women 88 cents for every dollar that a man makes.
- Mark Begich pays women 82 cents for every dollar that a man makes.
- Mark Warner pays women 75 cents for every dollar that a man makes.
- Gary Peters pays women 67 cents for every dollar that a man makes.
That means on average, these five Democrats on the ballot in battleground states pay women in their office 79 cents for every dollar made by a male employee.
The Washington Post also noted that Republicans have offered their own plans to address gender inequality. See how that works – Democrats make a big deal over something that’s pretty much a non-issue, forcing the other side to respond while taking the spotlight off of their many failures. But I digress.
While some media outlets picked up on the Democrats’ hypocrisy, they still have their defenders. The Daily Beast and Salon went on the attack against RNC press aide Kirsten Kurkowski, mocking her interview with MSNBC. Michael Tomasky even referred to female Republican Senators as “girls” to make his point that Republicans are sexist. Then he rambled about how the Democrats are going to win more and more female votes, (without mentioning the creepy data mining project they’re developing) in part because there are fewer wives staying home with the kids. I guess he missed the headline that more moms are staying home, in part due to the lousy economy they’re trying to distract us from.