Read here how Obama is firing up racial and gender resentments to get out the vote. His policy is deepening the national divide by carving the electorate into blocs and inflaming racial and other tensions.
You can tell it’s an election year because so many noncrises are suddenly urgent priorities. Real median household income is still lower than it was in 2007, the smallest share of Americans is working since 1978, and the Russians are marching west, but Democrats are training fire on race, gender and the grievances of identity politics.
“We have this congenital disease, which is in midterm elections we don’t vote at the same rates,” President Obama said at a Houston fundraiser the other day. He means that the Obama Democrats are now what they call the “coalition of the ascendent,” made up of minorities, young people, single women and affluent, college-educated cultural liberals. The problem is that this year they may be a coalition of the disappointed, so Democrats are trying to scare them to the polls with pseudo-controversies.
Take last week’s East Room reception for feminist celebrity Lilly Ledbetter, when Mr. Obama declared that “today the average full-time working woman earns just 77 cents for every dollar a man earns; for African American women, Latinas, it’s even less. And in 2014, that’s an embarrassment. It is wrong.” He’s right that it’d be wrong, except he knows this isn’t close to true.
The “pay gap” is the ratio between median earnings for men and women, according to Census Bureau data. But adjust for hours worked, occupation, decisions about marriage and children, education and risk, and equal work means equal pay. The war on women is really a war on meaningful statistics.
Still, women don’t have it as bad as Attorney General Eric Holder, who in a speech last week departed from his prepared remarks to feel sorry for himself after a testy House hearing. “What Attorney General has ever had to deal with that kind of treatment?” he asked. “What President has ever had to deal with that kind of treatment?”
Mr. Holder should recall the treatment of his predecessor Alberto Gonzales before implying that his critics are racist, but then he sees Jim Crow everywhere. In his speech before Al Sharpton’s National Action Network, he said the right to vote faces “unprecedented, unwarranted, ugly and divisive adversity.”
Some 34 states now require voters to show some form of government-issued photo identification, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, up from zero in 2006. The states say such rules uphold public confidence in the integrity of the ballot.
And if the states are secretly trying to suppress minority turnout, they’re doing a lousy job. The Census reports that the black voting rate rose 13 percentage points from 1996 to 2012. At 66.2% black participation in 2012 surpassed the rate for non-Hispanic whites (64.1%).
Yet every Democrat seems to have received the white supremacist conspiracy memo. Last week Nancy Pelosi said at a news conference that “I think race has something to do with the fact that they are not bringing up an immigration bill. I’ve heard them say to the Irish, ‘If it was you, it would be easy.'” Yes, the Irish. Steve Israel of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee added that “elements” of the GOP are “animated by racism.”
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