As Ed Morrissey observed this morning, President Barack Obama remains doggedly focused on eliminating the supposed gender pay gap in the United States. “Just how infuriating is this to Obama?” Morrissey asked. “It’s so infuriating that, er, his White House still has the same gender pay gap that it’s had since the beginning of his term.”
That’s right. A Washington Post story published on Wednesday revealed that the White House doesn’t live up to its own standards for the rest of America.
One of the key reasons is that more men hold the highest-paying, senior jobs in the White House, and more women hold the lowest-paying, junior jobs. Today, there are 87 male White House officials who make more than $100,000, compared to 53 female White House officials. The gap narrows, but persists, at the highest echelons of the White House.
The White House received a rare scolding from the press for its use of a misleading calculation which suggests that women continue to make 77 cents for every dollar a man makes. Reporters noted that, by this same imperfect calculation, women who work in the White House also make less than their male counterparts.
Acknowledging the controversy over the administration’s nakedly political attempt to sow the seeds of discontent between American women and their employers, the president’s official twitter account took to insisting that the gender pay gap was no myth:
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) April 10, 2014
On Wednesday, however, White House Press Sec. Josh Earnest displayed refreshing candor when he confirmed that the Post’s report was accurate and the White House does not live up to its own standards:
On pay equity, @presssec says: "i wouldn't hold up the White House as the perfect example here"
— Jennifer Epstein (@jeneps) July 2, 2014
Even though the White House was caught in this display of contempt for the country’s intelligence, Earnest still found time to scold the nation for not living up to the administration’s impossible standards:
“The statistics that cited about the country is about 77 cents on the dollar and here at the White House it’s 88 cents on the dollar,” Earnest said. “So the White House is doing appreciatively better than the country as more broadly. But we still have work to do at the White House.”
You have to admire the gall of an administration that admits it cannot be held to the standards it imposes on others, and it shouldn’t be. Even Jimmy Carter turned down the heat and wore sweaters during the 1977 energy crisis. There are no sweaters available for the Obama administration in this case because the crisis they are agitating that the nation address simply does not exist.
It is a rare moment when White House officials admit to such brazen hypocrisy, so savor it. You will probably not see its like again soon.