Among the people who are disappointed with President Obama, none has more reason to be disappointed than those who thought he was going to be "a uniter, rather than a divider" and that he would "bring us all together."
It was a noble hope, but one with no factual foundation. Barack Obama had been a divider all his adult life, especially as a community organizer, and he had repeatedly sought out and allied himself with other dividers, the most blatant of whom was the man whose church he attend for 20 years, Jeremiah Wright.
Now, with his presidency on the line and the polls looking dicey, President Obama's re-election campaign has become more openly divisive than ever.
He has embraced the strident "Occupy Wall Street" movement, with its ridiculous claim of representing the 99 percent against the 1 percent. Obama's Department of Justice has been spreading the hysteria that states requiring photo identification for voting are trying to keep minorities from voting, and using the prevention of voter fraud as a pretext.
But anyone who doubts the existence of voter fraud should read John Fund's book "Stealing Elections" or J. Christian Adams's book, "Injustice," which deals specifically with the Obama Justice Department's overlooking voter fraud when those involved are black Democrats. Not content with dividing classes and races, the Obama campaign is now seeking to divide the sexes by declaring that women are being paid less than men, as part of a "war on women" conducted by villains, from whom Obama and company will protect the women — and, not incidentally, expect to receive their votes this November.
The old — and repeatedly discredited — game of citing women's incomes as some percentage of men's incomes is being played once again, as part of the "war on women" theme.
Since women average fewer hours of work per year, and fewer years of consecutive full-time employment than men, among other differences, comparisons of male and female annual earnings are comparisons of apples and oranges, as various female economists have pointed out. Read Diana Furchtgott-Roth of the Hudson Institute or Professor Claudia Goldin of Harvard, for example.
When you compare women and men in the same occupations with the same skills, education, hours of work, and many other factors that go into determining pay, the differences in incomes shrink to the vanishing point — and, in some cases, the women earn more than comparable men. But why let mere facts spoil the emotional rhetoric or the political ploys to drum up hysteria and collect votes?
The farcical nature of these ploys came out after House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi declared that Congress needed to pass the Fair Pay Act, because women average 23 percent lower incomes than men.
A reporter from The Daily Caller then pointed out that the women on Nancy Pelosi's own staff average 27 percent lower incomes than the men on her staff. Does that show that Pelosi herself is guilty of discrimination against women? Or does it show that such simple-minded statistics are grossly misleading?
The so-called Fair Pay Act has nothing to do with fairness and everything to do with election-year politics. No one in his right mind expects that bill to become law. It will be lucky to pass the Senate, and has no chance whatever of getting passed in the House of Representatives.
The whole point of this political exercise is to get Republicans on record voting against "fairness" for women, as part of the Democrats' campaign strategy to claim that there is a "war on women."
If you are looking for a real war on women, you might look at the practice of aborting girl babies after an ultrasound picture shows that they are girls. These abortions are the most basic kind of discrimination, and their consequences have already been demonstrated in countries like China and India, where sexually discriminatory abortions and female infanticide have produced an imbalance in the number of adult males and females.
A bill to outlaw sexually and racially discriminatory abortions has been opposed and defeated by House Democrats.
Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, Stanford.