Former House member and current Senate candidate Pete Hoekstra, Republican of Michigan, asked if he’d work to repeal the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, had a gem of an answer:
“Will, you know, will repealing it be a priority? If you came back and said, you know, that’s really the thing that’s hurting my business the most. My guess is there are other things that we can do that have a higher priority in terms of what I, what I believe might need to be done. I think you know we need to create — that thing is a nuisance. It shouldn’t be the law,” replied Hoekstra.
If Lilly Ledbetter was the thing hurting someone’s business the most, that would signal they were discriminating to a truly astonishing degree; it’s an important but, all things considered, pretty mild remedy. But under those circumstances, Pete Hoekstra says he would fight to repeal that protection for women, rather than saying, “Hey, maybe you shouldn’t discriminate against every woman you employ.” Because there’s a word for a law that gives women a remedy for discrimination: “nuisance.”
Quick, everyone, repeat after me: “Romney surrogate calls Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act a nuisance.” No, Hoekstra isn’t technically a Romney surrogate in the sense of having endorsed him in 2012 and acting on behalf of his campaign, but we’re applying Hilary Rosen rules here, and Hoekstra is a member of Romney’s party with a public platform, making further evidence unnecessary.
If only we’d known we could apply this standard back when Hoekstra ran his racist Super Bowl ad.