GOP opposition to the Violence Against Women Act is insane

The zeal with which some elements of the Republican Party are waging a war on women raises the question of whether the GOP has a not-so-latent death wish.

This is the 21st century, not the 1950s! American women are no longer the deferential little darlings of yore. A political party that can’t recognize that truism is only asking for trouble.

Bill Press assesses the situation HERE:

In one sense, the war on women is nothing new. It’s been raging longer than the war in Afghanistan. You can trace it back to decades of Republican opposition to early childhood education, child care, family and medical leave, equal pay, family planning, and every other government program designed to help women. But the current war on women started with successful Republican efforts, over 10 years, to kill what became known as the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which makes it easier for women to sue for wage discrimination. President Obama finally signed it into law on Jan. 29, 2009.

The war has only escalated in recent weeks. Republicans tried to overturn new rules of the Obama administration making access to contraception, with no co-pay, part of every woman’s basic health insurance. Rush Limbaugh called Sandra Fluke a “slut.” Rick Santorum said states should be able to make birth control illegal. Mitt Romney won’t say whether or not he’d have signed the Lilly Ledbetter Act. Senate Republicans voted for the Blunt Amendment, which would have allowed any employer to refuse to cover any kind of health care service by citing “moral reasons.” They are now blocking reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act and passage of the Paycheck Fairness Act.

Republican opposition to the Violence Against Women Act is especially odious. Written in 1994 by then-Senator Joe Biden to offer legal protection to women who are victims of domestic violence, it was passed, and has been re-authorized several times, with strong bipartisan support. Three provisions were added this year to extend protection to women in same-sex marriages, Native-American women and women immigrants who are here illegally. Because of those three amendments, all eight Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, led by Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa, voted against the bill. By their presumed logic, it’s wrong to beat up most women — but lesbians, Native Americans, and undocumented women are fair game.

UPDATE: Political analyst Charlie Cooks SUGGESTS that the GOP’s problem is one of too much testosterone:

For the past year or so, we’ve seen television ads for a prescription drug designed to help men with something called “Low T,” which turns out to mean low testosterone levels (who knew?). As I waded through tons of polling data and focus-group findings this week, it hit me. For the past couple of years, and especially during the presidential debates over recent months, Republicans have shown signs of the opposite problem: “High T.” The GOP has an excess of testosterone that may be hurting the party with some segments of women voters, specifically with those under 50, single women, and independent women.

The messaging and signals emanating from Republican presidential candidates, as well as from elected officials in Washington and in state capitals, seem to be aimed at only conservative, white men. This is a group that once dominated the electorate but is now considerably smaller than a majority.

UPDATE II: HERE‘s Ed Kilgore’s take on the GOP and the Violence Against Women Act:

If you’ve been following the debate in the Senate over the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, you know that Republicans are complaining that they don’t want the act to expire, but object to “poison pills” Democrats have added to the bill, particularly protections against domestic violence for undocumented women and for people in same-sex relationships.

But they are not handling the messaging of their position very well, and have retreated from their original filibuster threats (pretty standard now with respect to every piece of legislation they oppose), and apparently hope the bill is enacted without their votes but also without much publicity.

This GOP exercise in damage control, however, may not be enough to spare their presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, for whom the VAWA issue is becoming another in a long series of examples of his weaselly refusal to take a distinct position. He’s sort of for VAWA reneweal, but doesn’t think it should become a “political football,” and won’t say what version he’d support.




  1. Pat,

    I continue to be impressed with how you tow the party line for your Democrat brethren. Obama can’t run on his record. George Bush is long gone. The fiscal situation in government is getting much worse rather than better….

    Time to claim that Republicans want to starve children, kill your grandma and have a secret “war on women”.

    I wonder what all those Republican women think about that?

  2. doc: Several things:

    –The term is “toe” the line, not “tow” the line.

    –This isn’t about George W. Bush.

    –The Republican war on women is no “secret.” Far from it.

    –And as for what Republican women think about the war on women, I refer you to Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who recently told her fellow GOP legislators to “go home and talk to your wife and your daughters” about the party’s increasing tendency toward misogyny.

    Your Republican buddies are losing the war on women, and they’ll pay the price at the ballot box if they don’t mend their ways. Them’s just the political facts of life, pal, and your pretending otherwise doesn’t change a thing.

    Upon reflection, I hope that you and your ilk remain blind to (if not actively supportive of) your party’s blatant sexism. Keep it up. It’s good for our side.

  3. Blatant sexism?

    The party that nominated a woman to be their VP candidate last time around and apparently favors a minority woman this time around?

    Sure thing, Mr. C.

    Thanks for the correction on tow and toe. Must be my water skiing past coming out with tow lines and all.

  4. doc: I think you mean a party that nominated an idiot who just happens to be a woman last time around.

    And thanks for sticking with the GOP’s misogyny. It helps our cause.

    By the way, I’d be interested in your opinion on GOP opposition to the Violence Against Women Act. The problem for the right-wing nuts seems to arise from amendments that include lesbians and illegal immigrants. I guess domestic violence against such women is of no great concern to some Republicans.

  5. Misogyny? Based on which comment that I made here?

    You wouldn’t be lying about me would you Mr. C.? That might get you kicked right off of this little blog.

    You calling this a Republican war against women would suggest that Republicans are actively and intentionally hurting women. That is bull.

    But coming from a party that views supporting free and unrestricted access to abortion as being in support of women’s rights, that isn’t so surprising.

    Here is a somewhat more balanced look at the Republican’s opposition to the bill.


    Both the Senate and House VAWA bills would step up efforts to prevent, report, and prosecute sexual assaults as well as expand VAWA’s protection to underserved populations, including Native American women, LGBT individuals, ethnic and religious minorities, and immigrants. These underserved groups suffer higher rates of domestic violence and sexual assaults than their white counterparts.

    For example, researchers have found that 3 out of 5 Native American women have been assaulted by their husband or domestic partner; and 1 out of 3 Native American women will be raped in their lifetime. Since nearly half of those assaults are committed by non-Native American men, VAWA would expand “federal law enforcement tools and [recognize] limited concurrent tribal jurisdiction to investigate, prosecute, convict, and sentence non-Indian persons who assault Indian spouses, intimate partners, or dating partners” in tribal territory. Senate Republicans objected to this provision, fearing that tribal criminal justice systems would not provide adequate due process or civil rights guarantees for non-Indian suspects.

    Another key provision in VAWA would expand protection for immigrants who are afraid to report domestic and sexual abuse because of their undocumented status. The VAWA reauthorization bill would give law enforcement and immigration officials a little more flexibility in granting U visas for undocumented victims. Senate Republicans claimed that this provision would open the floodgate for immigration fraud. “We cannot allow laws intended to prevent such abuse to be manipulated as a pathway to U.S. citizenship for foreign con artists and criminals,” wrote Senators Chuck Grassley, Orrin Hatch, Jon Kyl, and John Cornyn.

    VAWA would also redirect funding to provide more culturally specific victim support programs for ethnic and religious minorities that are “reluctant to turn to traditional domestic violence programs” and are “less likely to receive all the services they need.” Senate Republicans opposed this provision, arguing that “if every group is a priority, no group is a priority.” They maintained that there is insufficient data to ensure that Congress isn’t “wasting money” on “so many new programs for underserved populations.”

  6. By the way, your comment about Sarah Palin is more mysogynistic than anything I have posted here.

  7. doc: You think my calling Palin an “idiot” is mysogynistic?

    Then you’re an idiot, too.

  8. Certainly more than anything I posted here.

  9. dogrescuer

    I’m sure that that by adding protection to women in same-sex marriages, the right-wing religious crowd decided the Violence Against Women Act is evil and should be scrapped.

  10. jamcolo40

    Most of the GOP believes the earth is 6000 years old. The GOP is anti science and anti female. Basically the GOP is anti progress.

  11. James

    Goggle GOP congress that believe in young earth creationism. To many sources to list. Ron Paul said it at a town hall meeting.

    Heres a story

    40% of Americans believe in (Young Earth Creationism) YEC, with 52% among Republicans and 34% among democrats.

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