Republicans Are Signing Their Own Death Warrant by Opposing the Violence Against Women Act

Commitment to a purpose or line of conduct is a necessary ingredient for success in nearly any endeavor whether it is sports, war, or a political agenda. In government, citizens expect their representatives to have as their primary commitment protecting every segment of the population, but Republicans have demonstrated their only interest is protecting the wealthy at the expense of the rest of the people. For the past year, the GOP has committed most of their time and energy to denying women their right to choose their own reproductive health, and regardless the negative publicity, they inexorably continue portraying themselves as the anti-women party. As the Senate began talks to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act on  Thursday, news of Republican opposition to protecting women emerged that reinforces the notion that Republicans hold women in the same regard as they do tax increases on the wealthy; they hate them.

The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) once had broad bipartisan support since its inception in 1994, but the latest Senate version failed to get a single Republican vote in the Judiciary Committee last month despite the bill’s five Republican co-sponsors. Republicans claim Democrats put “matters on that bill that almost seem to invite opposition,” according to Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) so “they could accuse you of not being supportive of fighting violence against women.” Republican opposition is expanding the bill to include Indian tribes and rural areas, free legal assistance to domestic violence victims, extending the definition of violence against women to include stalking, and provide training to courts to deal with families with a history of violence. It also allows battered illegal immigrants to “claim temporary visas” and would include same-sex couples in domestic violence programs.

Apparently, Republicans are not committed to dealing with violence against all women and Senator Grassley (R-Iowa) made the point succinctly. He said the legislation “creates so many new programs for underserved populations that it risks losing the focus on helping victims, period.” If Republicans were committed to protecting women, one would think they would jump at the opportunity to demonstrate their dedication to helping all victims including underserved populations. Diane Feinstein (D-CA) sees Republican opposition as “part of a larger effort, candidly, to cut back on rights and services to women. We’ve seen it go from discussions on Roe v. Wade, to partial birth abortion, to contraception, to preventive services for women. This seems to be one more thing.” Republican Senator John Thune thinks protecting women is not an issue worth addressing and that “there are lots of other issues right now that could be dealt with other than this onesuch as restricting the EPA from regulating greenhouse gases, immediately building the KeystoneXL pipeline, and restricting contraception coverage in health plans. Thune, like most Republicans, is committed to imposing religious edicts on women and helping enrich the oil industry instead of protecting women, and he has support from conservative activists.

A senior fellow at the conservative Concerned Women for America, Janice Shaw Crouse, labeled reauthorization “a boondoggle” that “vastly expands government” and “creates an ideology that all men are guilty and all women are victims.” The conservative icon Phyllis Schlafly called the VAWA a “slush fund used to fill feminist coffers” and demanded that Republicans stand up against legislation that promotes “divorce, breakup of marriage and hatred of men.” In the Violence Against Women Act’s thirty-nine pages, there are no references to breaking up marriages, promoting divorce, or encouraging hatred of men, but it is highly unlikely that conservatives have read the document and are up to their standard practice of fabricating lies to garner support from the religious right. As an aside, it is noteworthy that in many Christian denominations, battered women suffer because they do not subject themselves to a man’s will and should take their punishment in silence and wait for relief in the next life, but that is another article altogether.

The prescient point is that Republicans do not consider women worthy of protection and certainly not at the government’s expense. Senator Jon Kyl cited concerns “related to the additional sums of money and grants that would be available and the like,” but he is a huge supporter of maintaining $21 billion in oil subsidies to the obscenely profitable oil industry. In cost benefit analysis, the VAWA actually saves taxpayers $4.8 billion in direct property losses, medical and mental health care, police responses, victim services, lost productivity, death and reduced quality of life. In its first six years alone, the VAWA saved at least $14.8 billion that worked out to savings of $159 per U.S. woman.

Republicans say reauthorizing VAWA is a no-go because it extends protections to same-sex couples and illegal immigrants and that “if you don’t agree with everything that’s in it, they just attack you as being anti-women.” One of the co-sponsors of the VAWA reauthorization, Republican Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, gave a stern warning to her Republican colleagues at a Republican lunch last Tuesday that the party was at “risk of being successfully painted as anti-women, with potentially grievous political consequences in the fall,” and she is correct on both counts. Republicans are anti-women and they will pay dearly in the general election if they continue attacking women. Still, Republicans such as Roy Blunt who authored the amendment to allow employers and insurance companies to ban contraception coverage on moral grounds thinks the GOP is in the driver’s seat on anti-women issues. He said, “Our friends on the other side are in serious danger of overplaying their hand on this one,” allowing Americans to see that Republicans still think they have moral superiority to attack women’s rights with impunity.

It is nearly incomprehensible that Republicans are objecting to the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act on a plethora of fabricated issues. The truth of the matter is that Republicans do not consider women as anything but second-class citizens who are punching bags for conservatives and religious fanatics. They habitually vote against gender equality in pay, healthcare costs, reproductive rights, and protection from domestic violence. What is possibly most egregious is their objection to extending protection to native-Americans, undocumented immigrants, same-sex couples, and women who live in rural areas. Regardless of their alleged issues about the VAWA, Republicans are continuing a year-long assault on women that shows no sign of letting up regardless the negative publicity and anger in the women’s population, and if they think for a minute that men are going to sit idly by and allow their mothers, sisters, wives, and daughters to weather more abuse from Republicans in Congress or state legislatures, they are sadly in error. With women making up over 50% of the population and one-in-four women suffering from domestic violence, refusing to immediately reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act as it is written is a mistake they may not recover from.  Their commitment to continue their war on women may be the final straw that breaks Republican’s already severely weakened backs, and one hopes it is extremely painful because there will be no relief for electoral violence against Republicans.


24 Replies to “Republicans Are Signing Their Own Death Warrant by Opposing the Violence Against Women Act”

  1. I have rather marvelled at their naked aggression against women, their racism, their poor-hating and weak-beating, their increasingly fanatical commitment to everything that is destructive and unfair. Do they really think everyone agrees with them, or is there some reason they think it doesn’t matter?…

  2. as everyone knows by now I am not on the side of giving illegal immigrants free services. However in the case of violence against women I am totally in agreement with this Bill that quite frankly should say anyone in the United States who is battered or abused is subject to our assistance and to legal representation. The bill should probably also cover both sexes.

    Beside that point, once again I do not understand why they are doing everything they can to not get reelected. This is an issue that every woman and every person in this country on eight local state and federal level needs to be firmly in agreement with

  3. I get the total feeling that they just don’t care if anyone agrees with them and that they are free now and in the future to do as they wish against women. I still get the feeling that no matter at what level the fix is in

  4. The GOP has completely gone insane as a whole. They have imploded and after November there will be no more GOP (I hope). There has never been a party that deserves not to hold a public office like they do at this point.
    I live in Wisconsin so Walker already had me angered at the GOP and it has gotten considerably worse since. I use to vote across party lines but not this next election and maybe never again.
    They get this big corporate money to support them and they think they can get away with anything. It’s time WE THE PEOPLE show them who really is the BOSS.

  5. It’s not just about women. This is only one of many diversionary tactics the Republicans are using. They not only don’t care, they are arrogant to the hilt, which leads me to believe they have a much bigger plan and it ain’t a pretty one.

  6. What scares me the most is that the republicans could take the White House, Senate, and House in 2012. By suppressing voters, and rigging those machines they can win. I guess they think since they have some power now they are going for it all. They know they are going to have all this money from superpacs, and can damage any reliable Democratic candidate. People are confused and gullible. We live in scary times. Those eligible voters have been so dumbed down to fake talking points they can be fooled again. I fear for our country and for woman, minorities, gays and immigrants. By using the Southern strategy and brushing President Obama as a hater of white people they might succeed.

  7. Isn’t Grassly’s part in all this who’s a deserving victim and who isn’t a bit weird?

    Remember, he was the one in 07′ who wanted to change the tax code on televangelist and other mega-churches who were obviously fleecing everybody, not just the government. He was on the “finance” committee at that time, but right after the investigation came up “inconclusive” he gets switched to the “judicial” committee
    …so, he “deserved” a new job after botching his “financial” job yet, he now votes on who is deserving and who is “undeserving” claiming some kind of conspiracy to expand spending on the “undeserving”…it’s all way too weird and surreal for me.

    And BTW, Senator, who are those who “deserve” since “victims” deserve to get, be it by a forked-tongue Televangelist or a violent predator?

  8. …yep, I get the feeling that they “think” the fix is in, yet they shoot like the Keystone Cops.

    It’s more like they are the “Borg” and cannot “see” or “do” anything if it is outside their orders or myopic scope of reality. Most are blinded or blackmailed into this predatory, destructive machine.

    One more thing; if they “openly” declared war on paper like as the South did, then they could be picked up for treason immediately. This way, they fight a guerrilla war like Castro did in Cuba…

  9. You and Leslie may be right, and then again, it might be the same tactic Hitler was using in 1938: behaving in a way to convince everyone “resistance is futile” so that no one offers resistance until it is.

  10. Not surprising at all. This is simply an expression of their true colors and lack of humanity. That said, the outrage and disgust towards these politicians is useless if people don’t vote.

  11. You might want to check out the Thrive movement. I don’t agree with all their idea’s and some of it is too far out there but they certainly explain some of the international take over of our world and just how far the movement has already gone.

  12. Keep up the fight. I have been keeping up with your state’s unreal battle for democracy. It really is comparable to a bad B movie not an American story. I see you are now last in the US for job growth. Really wishing you well from the west coast.

  13. Something I haven’t seen anybody discuss about the ongoing repression of women is how effective the religious right has been in taking away from women the right to even enjoy their own bodies. As everyone probably knows, the religious right has managed to keep any kind of useful sex education out of schools in this country. The consequences of this have been extremely injurious to women. I’m a mental health worker and it’s been well known inside the profession for the last 20 years that many sexually active high-school age girls have no practical knowledge of their own sexuality. They have no idea that their bodies are capable of giving them pleasure. And they don’t understand that, if they aren’t sexually aroused, intercourse will be painful all the time. So, especially in inner-city areas, sex for many girls becomes a process of continual trauma that they have to engage in if they want a boy friend. I can only guess at how this affects the kind of intimate bonding needed for a stable marriage or relationship. Bottom line is, fundamentalist prudery around sex education hasn’t stopped kids from having more sex earlier, it just punishes the millions of girls who have been conditioned to be sex objects and told their role in life is to cater to their boyfriends.

  14. Well, Dale, that’s the whole point. Women are supposed to service men out of “loving surrender”, and experience only the mystical joy of self-abnegation to a master. Female sexual pleasure is selfish, “unfeminine”, and downright uppity.

  15. If you live in Florida, at least you got one guy on your side! Support him with as many petitions as you can to get him on the ballot this November. Help this independent make sure that every person in this country is treated decently and fairly, and that these stupid laws that never should have come about since Roe vs. Wade are gone!

  16. …Oh now you just stop that “flirting” with old Reny! Stop it or his teeth will fall out laughing again!

  17. Unlike the Conceptual Wars the Right Wing has started in order to place more money in the hands of corporations by tugging at our heartstrings (War on Drugs, War on Terror), this War on Women is a losing battle for the mere fact that women can not only vote (as much as the Dominionists wish to remove that part of the Constitution): women still have their own way to fight back.

    A War on Sex against anyone who supports the War on Women would end this pretty quickly. Strippers, mistresses, and most importantly wives can withhold any intimacy to these businessmen and politicians who seem to think women have no value. While I don’t support outing closeted men, I’m sure there are plenty of Out gay men who’d be willing to step forward and name their secret lovers. Since contraception is on conservatives’ minds right now, surely there are women who want children who will take one for the team and show up in December with a love child and a process server to ask a politician for palimony & child support.

    As for the women who support the removal of their own civil rights, well, they’ll get what they deserve if these votes come to pass: a return to 15th century values in which Puritanism is the final word on what shoes they wear and what room they stay in whilst with child…

  18. Reynardine:
    I’ve been writing on Facebook and Twitter for months that the two lunatic wings of the GOP, the Conservative Right Wing Nut Jobs and the Tea Party Militia, have 8 cornerstones by which they govern: racism, sexism, elitism, fascism, greed, corruption, incompetence and arrogance; the moderates, who don’t believe in any of those eight, are leaving the party in droves. But, the REAL REASON why they keep doing these insanely stupid things (like the war on women) is two-fold: first, they’re are banking on voter suppression laws that all violate the Voting Rights Act of 1964…if they get enough big states’ Democratic voting base denied the vote, they’ll win; second, in case the first plan doesn’t work, is the tampering of the voting machines; as it turns out, there is evidence that voting machines in Ohio were tampered with by the GOP in 2004, insuring GW Bush’s re-election because, if John Kerry would have won either Ohio or Florida, he’d have been President. But, the GOP Nut Jobs and Militia are not counting on something to stop them: voter education…the best way for the forces of good (Demos/Progressives/Liberals/Independents/Non-Affiliated) to overcome these shameful GOP tricks is to educate ourselves. In addition, expect rich assholes like the Koch brothers and the “sugar daddies” of the GOP presidential nomination wannabes to pump all kinds of money into Super Pacs to distort, obfuscate, deflect and outright lie about Democratic candidates. Again, education is what is needed here. Nearly two-thirds of the voters in this country have realized that the GOP will stop at nothing to rig and/or steal the November elections to get and stay in power. As long as we refrain from voting for the GOP and Libertarians (unfortunately, they’re in this, too), we can stop this fascist corporate takeover of our government. If we vote the GOP into power in November, we’ll deserve the fascist corporate plutarchy plans of the Axis of Evil (GOP Nut Jobs and Militia; Libertarians). And, let me tell you, those plans are not pretty…if they’re voted into control of our politics, say goodbye to freedoms that are supposed to be guaranteed by the Constitution; say adios to nearly all, if not all, regulation, which would mean low-paying jobs (for those who can work), unclean air and water, unsafe food. Say hello to the two-headed President called the Koch brothers and Vice-President Grover Norquist. The Koch brothers, through their racket called ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council), have already bought just about every GOP politician in this country (not just the ones in DC) and even a few Democratic politicians. Sure, Mitt Romney would be “President” and whomever he chooses would be “Vice President”, but don’t kid yourself; the Koch brothers and Grover Norquist own all GOP politicians. With no regulation anywhere, especially of Wall Street, you can kiss your retirement plan goodbye; if you depend of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid to live, forget about those programs; they’ll be gone. We are so close to an FCP, thanks to the five corrupt Conservative pricks on the Supreme Court and their atrocious Citizens United decision, that all it’s going to take is the GOP getting control of politics in DC and more than 25 states. Have you noticed all of those stupid anti-female bills being passed in GOP-dominated legislatures? That’s no accident; it’s a coordinated effort by ALEC and the GOP politicians bought by the organization. The main thrust of the Occupy movement is to protest the big-money effect on our politics. In an FCP, the 1% are the only people allowed to vote and get any help from the government (by tax breaks). If you think I’m being an alarmist, that’s good; I’ve been sounding the alarm on Facebook and Twitter about what will become of our government if these fascist GOP bastards take over everything. If you’re scared by this prospect, you should be; the only way we can stop this is by making sure as few GOP politicians hold office as possible in the upcoming elections; not just the White House, US Senate and US House; all state governorships, state legislatures and even city politicians.

  19. You’re right. Let’s insist on picture voter ID’s in all states to avoid fraud.

    It stopped a lot of fraud here in Florida. Now, what remains is felons voting before their rights are restored.

    Tell you representative that you want the integrity of voting safeguarded.

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