White Republican women, to be more precise.
What you’ll see in this clip is a “question-and-answer” – we use that term advisedly since it’s a lot less of an attempt to get information than it is to vent a spleen. At issue is HB 956, a bill by Rep. Julie Stokes (R-Kenner) which would codify some federal law into Louisiana law with respect to wage discrimination. In other words, it’s an equal-pay bill. But what makes HB 956 different from the gaggle of other equal-pay bills filed by Democrats in this legislative session (none of which appears to have any chance of passing) is that Stokes’ bill doesn’t create a new cause of action under wage discrimination by gender.
And that’s the crux of the equal-pay issue from a policy standpoint. The equal-pay thing is an issue the national Democrat Party is pushing in an effort to demonize Republicans and sustain the “#waronwomen” narrative that conventional wisdom says was a big winner for them in 2012 (but as Michael Medved points out really isn’t; exit polls show that Democrats do really well with black and Hispanic women, not quite so well with white single women and disastrously poorly with white married women). But what drives equal-pay legislation at the state level is trial-lawyer money; discrimination suits with brand-spanking-new causes of action behind them can open up a brand-new boom industry in the legal field and make a special-interest group which represents a key donor cohort to the Democrat Party rich.
That’s why when Stokes brought a bill that was crafted with the approval and participation of the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry which would advance the supposed policy aims of the equal-pay crowd without the prospect of filling up court dockets with new lawsuits, the black Democrat women on the House Labor committee walked out on her yesterday in a big huff – naturally, without a bunch of new lawsuits the trial lawyer campaign donations wouldn’t be flowing, and since nobody could actually voice that concern the only thing to do was be as ugly and uncivil as possible to distract from the issue.
But not before Rep. Pat Smith (D-Baton Rouge) showed off a special sort of nastiness by accusing LABI vaguely of racism for endorsing a bill by Stokes and not the Pat Smiths of the world – none of whom have ever consulted with LABI on an equal-pay bill – and accusing Stokes of carrying water for white male privilege.
The clip goes about nine minutes. Enjoy.