Wednesday, August 27, 2008

"McCain opposes equal pay"

That seems to be the main message coming out of last night at the convention... that and opposing energy independence. Ramesh Ponnuru considers the former a "smear":
Right: Opposing the Lily Ledbetter Act means approving of unequal pay for women. What a disgusting comment.

Lily Ledbetter, who spoke last night, was a woman you may remember who was involved in that really atrocious Supreme Court decision of last year(Ledbetter v. Goodyear), where the court decided that you only have 180 days since the initial act of discrimination to seek redress in court... even if you don't find out about it until much later... and since Ledbetter had been receiving unequal pay for decades, she was outside the window and thus screwed. I have no idea whether that's a correct reading of the law or not, but it's quite obvious wasn't a just reading, and it seems ludicrous to say that you have 6 months to discover whether or not you're receiving discriminatory pay or not... it's a terrible loophole that should be closed... Democrats agreed, and they did what you're supposed to do according to conservative legal scholars: they made a new law. The House passed it, but Senate Republicans filibustered, with the threat of presidential veto backing them up. John McCain supported the filibuster.

Does that mean McCain opposes equal pay? Well, as Kevin Drum says, he sure doesn't seem to mind it much. Right now you essentially have no recourse if you are the victim of wage discrimination, and John McCain doesn't appear to give a damn... he certainly didn't propose any changes to the bill, or offer a counter proposal.

So maybe if we say "John McCain doesn't support equal pay for equal work" then Ponnuru will be satisfied? Somehow I doubt it.

It's very likely that I'm wrong about this, but this strikes me as an incredibly damaging message for McCain if it gains any traction. Though it seems a lot of women just refuse to believe that McCain is Anti-Choice, so maybe it will be the same way here.

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