We expect a final vote from the Senate on the reautorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Monday evening or Tuesday – the vote is scheduled for 5:30 Monday.
Republicans have been stumbling over themselves to excuse their refusal to reauthorize the Act. They objected to a slew of provisions in the Senate version of the bill, including protections given to Native Americans and to LGBT individuals. Yes, we know Republicans hate anyone who isn’t a white, Christian, rich male — but this seemed a little absurd, even for them. Especially now, as they attempt to rebrand themselves.
But today, Sahil Kapur at Talking Points Memo exposed the folks behind the opposition to the VAWA, “Heritage Action and FreedomWorks, two well-financed right wing activist groups, are lobbying to scuttle the reauthorization.” You see, the VAWA treats men unfairly.
Now it all makes sense. It really is as simple as it appeared from the beginning – they are seeking to protect abusers because it seems they identify more with the abusers than they do with the victims. Of course, this doesn’t stop them from advancing themselves as the victim du jour.
Julie Borowski, writing for Freedom Works (if a woman is against the VAWA it must really suck, right?), shoves the goal posts all the way to the other side of the field, lamenting, “What exactly counts as domestic violence? The newest version of the VAWA, S.47, contains very vague and broad definitions of domestic violence. A man that raises his voice at his partner, calls her an offensive name, stalks her, causes her any emotional distress, or simply just annoys her can potentially be prosecuted under the VAWA. Calling your spouse a mean name is not advised or polite, but it isn’t the same thing as violence towards her.”
Oddly, her words echo those of Heritage Action, which threatens that they will be including votes on the VAWA on their “scorecard”. Vote NO or else!
Good thing they got a real live woman to espouse their ideas, eh? But truly, we can’t be prosecuting men for calling women names, after all, who would be left to run for office in the Republican Party? Unfair, indeed.
We note that Julie throws stalking in among the lesser offenses, as if it were equivalent, when actually stalking of either gender is too often a precursor to violence. Stalking anyone is not okay, so Julie needs to brush up on her goal posts.
Naturally, Julie/Freedom Works shill is wrong about the Violence Against Women Act. If this wasn’t clear before, then by the time she wrote this, it was, “Supporters of the law portray men as natural predators that are never on the other side of domestic violence.”
No, Julie. Sorry. No one ever suggested that. In fact, Vice President Joe Biden (a man, just in case Julie can’t recognize one unless their knuckles are dragging through the mud of false equivlance that leads to their wallet) actually authored the original Violence Against Women Act. Maybe Julie needs to stop hanging around with Freedom Works men if she sees all men as predators.
Most men are not predators, but those who are kill 3 women a day in the United States, and those stats are when we have a fully funded Violence Against Women Act. It’s reasonable to expect violence against women to increase by 60% (back to the rates pre-VAWA) if the act is left unfunded over the long-term. Domestic violence is a leading cause of death for American women. It’s an epidemic, so it’s beyond bizarre that Julie is so worried about portraying the people who commit violence against partners as the victims of mean old man haters.
Who’s the victim here, the women and men who end up dead at the hands of a violent ex/partner, or the men who feel that even though more men commit violence against women than women do against men, addressing predominantly women’s safety and liberty hurts their feelings. Go tell it to the families of the victims, Julie. Go tell it to their kids.
Supporters of liberty for women do not hate men; rather, they love families. They are trying to protect the victims of violence and their children, so that we can have a better country with happier families and healthier children. If a partner of either gender stalks/and or attacks a partner or ex-partner, we should seek to protect that person.
Julie/Freedom Works/Heritage Action seem confused about why this is a federal matter – apparently the big money behind Freedom Works has never had to move to another state in order to avoid a predator, or dealt with draconican local laws that aren’t enforced because some people read articles like Julie’s and are all het up over the infringement on the rights of some people to kill their partners. It’s not shocking that those with enough money to buy our legislators might not understand how things are for regular Americans.
The new Senate version includes a provision to audit all of the untested rape kits in this country. Freedom Works/Julie claims to be all upset over false accusations. Yet, they ignore the possibility of clearing a wrongly accused person via processing the actual rape kit. Why are they against funding the science that would tell the truth? It’s not because all men are predators — that’s for sure. It’s because those who are don’t want to be caught.
If the GOP’s inability to rise above Freedom Works on the VAWA is any indication of the luck the GOP will have rebranding itself, GOP v 2.0 doesn’t look so great for them. It wasn’t that long ago, July of ’12, that the Republicans tried to pass a version of the VAWA that was pro-violence against women.
When your money is against a piece of legislation that has been in effect for a long time and has a proven track record of diminishing violence against women, it’s hard to smell like anything other than the party of women-hating predators. Whose fault is that? On the other side of the aisle, there are many men and women working together in order to advance liberty for all Americans. Republicans can join in at any time.
Listen to Sarah on the PoliticusUSA Pod on The Daily newsletter podcast here.
Sarah has been credentialed to cover President Barack Obama, then VP Joe Biden, 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, and exclusively interviewed Speaker Nancy Pelosi multiple times and exclusively covered her first home appearance after the first impeachment of then President Donald Trump.
Sarah is two-time Telly award winning video producer and a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.
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