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SPOTLIGHT
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Patronizing paychecks

Published on -4/13/2014, 12:03 PM

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In a move as surprising as limos at a state funeral, the GOP has misplaced their ticket for the clue train. Yes, again. Just when you think they get it, party leaders move heaven and earth and that place due south to prove not only do they not get it, they never have gotten it and aren’t really comfortable around people who do get it. One suspects, secretly, they don’t want it.
What culturally tone-deaf antic guaranteed to awaken Beethoven did they pull this time? Glad you asked. Republicans shut down Senate debate on the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would have required employers to show why they’re paying male and female employees different salaries for doing the same job. Because the ultimate goal of the Free market is … free labor.
A U.S. Census study found women earn 77 cents for every dollar a man takes home. Why businesses continue to hire men in the first place when they could save 23 percent by putting women into those positions remains a total mystery. Undocumented women must make personnel departments shiver. Underage undocumented women with hyperactive thyroids: roll out the drool gutters.
The GOPers said they scuttled the bill because it wasn’t needed and would hurt women. And when it comes to hurting women, they do wield a certain amount of expertise. Corporations might be people, but women … well, we don’t need to go there, do we? Logic dictates what women need to do is incorporate. “I am woman. Hear me file a domestic patent infringement suit.”
Every single Republican voted against the bill and every single Democrat for it. Explaining her vote, Rep. Lynn Jenkins of Kansas said many women she knows find the Democrats’ attitude condescending. Not to mention vulgar and boorish and much too colorful for polite company.
Yeah. Easy to see how paying women the same wages as gentlemen could be considered condescending. Just like the 19th Amendment giving women the vote obviously was patronizing. And granting women control of their own bodies would be exceedingly supercilious.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell claims Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is only orchestrating this contretemps as a transparent stunt to restart his phony War on Women, in a doomed attempt to re-energize key elements of Democratic victories in 2012. Aahh, 2012. When was that? Fourteen, 16 years ago, right?
Harry Reid might be many things: Mormon, lawyer, boxer, capitalist tool, casino lackey — but dumb is not one of them. Energizing women never is a bad idea. After all, in the U.S., they outnumber men by more than 4 million. Live longer. Make up 53 percent of the electorate. And remain the only one of the two genders able to make more members of the electorate.
Besides, as far as stunts are concerned, the Democrats are rank amateurs. This is only their third failed stab at passing the Paycheck Fairness Act. That’s four dozen shy of matching the GOP’s cracks to repeal Obamacare. Registration for obsession school forms on the right.
The bad news is there’s still plenty of time. Midterm elections aren’t until November. At least seven more months of these shenanigans. By the time both sides are done, we can expect the floor of the Capitol Rotunda to look like it hosted three or four Game of Thrones wedding receptions.
Will Durst is an award-winning, nationally acclaimed political comic.
durst@caglecartoons.com
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