Last week a top campaign aide for Rep. Nan Hayworth (R-NY) jokingly claimed that Hayworth supporters should “hurl some acid” at female democratic Senators who claim to be fighting the War on Women but who pay their female staffers less:
On a Facebook discussion board maintained by local Democratic activists, Jay Townsend mockingly suggested throwing acid on female Senators who supported the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act but paid their male staffers more than their female staffers.
“Listen to Tom,” he wrote Saturday, in reply to another Facebook user who had criticized Republicans. “What a little bee he has in his bonnet. Buzz Buzz. My question today…when is Tommy boy going to weigh in on all the Lilly Ledbetter hypocrites who claim to be fighting the War on Women? Let’s hurl some acid at those female democratic Senators who won’t abide the mandates they want to impose on the private sector.”
“I posted a stupid, thoughtless and insensitive comment on a Facebook page,” Townsend later wrote on his Facebook page. “It was stupid because my words were easily misconstrued; thoughtless because my choice of words obscured a point I was trying to make, and insensitive because some have interpreted the comment as advocating a violent act.”
Poor little Townsend — he jokingly suggested using the sorts of violent tactics used against girls in Syria (because it’s funny, get it?!) but everybody missed the great point he was trying to make because his words were misconstrued.
Incidentally, the point he was trying to make was stupid because the false equivalency on paycheck equality is bullshit. A few weeks ago, the Free Beacon published a story claiming that female Democratic Senators employed female staffers whom they paid less than their male staffers, and that such was a “betrayal” of Lilly Ledbetter:
A group of Democratic female senators on Wednesday declared war on the so-called “gender pay gap,” urging their colleagues to pass the aptly named Paycheck Fairness Act when Congress returns from recess next month. However, a substantial gender pay gap exists in their own offices, a Washington Free Beacon analysis of Senate salary data reveals.
Of the five senators who participated in Wednesday’s press conference—Barbara Mikulski (D., Md.), Patty Murray (D., Wash.), Debbie Stabenow (D., Mich.), Dianne Feinstein (D., Calif.) and Barbara Boxer (D., Calif.)—three pay their female staff members significantly less than male staffers.
Murray, who has repeatedly accused Republicans of waging a “war a women,” is one of the worst offenders. Female members of Murray’s staff made about $21,000 less per year than male staffers in 2011, a difference of 35.2 percent.
That is well above the 23 percent gap that Democrats claim exists between male and female workers nationwide. The figure is based on a 2010 U.S. Census Bureau report, and is technically accurate. However, as CNN’s Lisa Sylvester has reported, when factors such as area of employment, hours of work, and time in the workplace are taken into account, the gap shrinks to about 5 percent.
A significant “gender gap” exists in Feinstein’s office, where women also made about $21,000 less than men in 2011, but the percentage difference—41 percent—was even higher than Murray’s.
Boxer’s female staffers made about $5,000 less, a difference of 7.3 percent.
The Free Beacon used publicly available salary data from the transparency website Legistorm to calculate the figures, and considered only current full-time staff members who were employed for the entirety of fiscal year 2011.
Of course, the Free Beacon made no mention that the Lilly Ledbetter Act was passed to ensure equal pay for equal work. As such a simple comparison of female and male staffers is pointless. A comparison of female and male staffers in the same roles would be required before Republicans can cry, “Both sides do it!” and no such comparison has been forthcoming. But who cares! Everybody knows that Republicans don’t deal in facts and logic.
Funny how those who oppose equal rights for women look for ways to prove that Democrats are worse than or just as bad on women’s rights as Republicans, instead of trying to — you know — do something about it.