• Senate GOP Tricked into Opposing Even More Rights for Women

    Mitch McConnellI think that somebody must have placed a chart upside down in the Republican playbook or something. Otherwise, I don't think there's any reasonable explanation for why they might think that an unceasing barrage of attacks against previously-settled women's rights would be a winning strategy

    With emotions still raw from the fight over President Obama’s contraception mandate, Senate Democrats are beginning a push to renew the Violence Against Women Act, the once broadly bipartisan 1994 legislation that now faces fierce opposition from conservatives

    Republicans are bracing for a battle where substantive arguments could be swamped by political optics and the intensity of the clash over women’s issues. At a closed-door Senate Republican lunch on Tuesday, Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska sternly warned her colleagues that the party was at risk of being successfully painted as antiwoman — with potentially grievous political consequences in the fall, several Republican senators said Wednesday.

    But, but, but… It's not the Senate GOP's fault! Democrats are forcing them into a corner, in which they have no option but to side against the better interests of half the American populace. They're innocent, I tells ya…

    "I favor the Violence Against Women Act and have supported it at various points over the years, but there are matters put on that bill that almost seem to invite opposition," said Senator Jeff Sessions, Republican of Alabama, who opposed the latest version last month in the Judiciary Committee. "You think that’s possible? You think they might have put things in there we couldn’t support that maybe then they could accuse you of not being supportive of fighting violence against women?"

    The legislation would continue existing grant programs to local law enforcement and battered women shelters, but would expand efforts to reach Indian tribes and rural areas. It would increase the availability of free legal assistance to victims of domestic violence, extend the definition of violence against women to include stalking, and provide training for civil and criminal court personnel to deal with families with a history of violence. It would also allow more battered illegal immigrants to claim temporary visas, and would include same-sex couples in programs for domestic violence.

    Aha! Those shifty Democrats managed to sneak in a bunch of stuff that might help minorities, poor people, non-citizens and the gays! Isn't that so like them? And who's the real victim of domestic abuse here? Good conservative senators like Jeff Sessions, that's who? Who sneaking in verbiage to help him, huh?!

    Though, you are forced to wonder, is there maybe something systemically wrong with your game plan when all that the opposition party needs to do to force you into most atrocious of political positions is throw in some help for a few brown people?

    Whoops, did you see what just happened there? The Democrats nearly tricked me into supporting extended rights for minorities. They are so insidious!

    Tags: Jeff Sessions, Lisa Murkowski, Men and Women, Republicans, Senate, Women's Rights


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