If there are gender studies textbooks out there, surely they are filled with cases just like this one. A white, Southern male boss not only gropes female staffers on the job, but in fact defiantly defends his right to do so.
“Oh, shut up,” he counters when confronted by a colleague. “I do whatever I want to Yolanda!” There are elements of sex, power and even race at play here, since the state legislative employees he speaks of and treats like his property are black women.
That is the true-life story of now-former Kentucky state Rep. John Arnold, a Democrat, who was spared censure late last year by his Democratic colleagues in a party-line committee vote. The story continued this week when Democratic appointees to a legislative ethics commission, through a combination of two convenient absences and one crucial “no” vote, spared him further public reprimand and punishment.
Arnold's alleged victims, two Democratic staffers and one nonpartisan staffer, were livid at this week's vote. “We sacrificed trying to make things better for our agency and for protection of women,” said Yolanda Costner. “Women that are being sexually harassed here in Frankfort, you can just forget it. ... You just have to take a spanking on the butt, you have to take having your underwear pulled, you have to take being verbally assaulted, and nobody's going to care about it.”
That very day, the same state party's candidate for U.S. Senate, Alison Lundergan Grimes, denounced her likely Republican opponent, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, as having “yesterday's view of women.” Afterward, she refused to answer reporters' questions about how her political allies -- including a maxed-out donor to her campaign -- had probably protected a predator in hopes of protecting themselves and the narrow state House majority they risk losing later this fall.
There's a lesson here, but first there's another example to be found in this week's Equal Pay Day celebration in Washington. Washington Examiner readers have known for years not to trust the assertion that women earn only 77 cents on a man's dollar - a statistic that ignores both hours worked and type of job. Unfortunately for President Obama, this was the year the rest of the media figured it out too. Mainstream outlets finally discerned that using Obama's own crude and deliberately misleading calculation, his White House is a terrible underpayer of women. Some of his Senate Democratic allies - self-styled solvers of gender pay inequality - are even worse, paying them (again, by their own flawed method of calculation) as little as 71 cents on a man's dollar.
Now, be careful what conclusions to draw here. Neither these Democrats' defense of employers who take sexual license with employees and interns, nor their underpayment of female employees, prove that Democrats are hypocrites, or that the tenets of liberalism or feminism are false.
Yet both demonstrate just how abstract and theoretical are the priorities of the opportunists who claim to fight for women whenever there's an election coming up. To them, the actual treatment of real-life women does not matter much. As a goal, justice and fair treatment for women in the workforce is subordinate to a political cause they hold to be pro-woman as a matter of definition – a political cause that conveniently involves their own elevation.
This sleight of hand forms the basis of the Democrats' pitch to 51 percent of America's voting population. It looks like someone has declared war on women's intelligence.DAVID FREDDOSO, a Washington Examiner columnist, is the former Editorial Page Editor for the Examiner and the New York Times-bestselling author of "Spin Masters: How the Media Ignored the Real News and Helped Re-elect Barack Obama." He has also written two other books, "The Case Against Barack Obama" (2008) and "Gangster Government" (2011).