Continuing their winning string alienating half of the population, Republicans in the Senate are objecting to the renewal of the Violence Against Women Act.
The fight over the law, which would expand financing for and broaden the reach of domestic violence programs, will be joined Thursday when Senate Democratic women plan to march to the Senate floor to demand quick action on its extension. Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the majority leader, has suggested he will push for a vote by the end of March.
Democrats, confident they have the political upper hand with women, insist that Republican opposition falls into a larger picture of insensitivity toward women that has progressed from abortion fights to contraception to preventive health care coverage — and now to domestic violence.
“I am furious,” said Senator Maria Cantwell, Democrat of Washington. “We’re mad, and we’re tired of it.”
I’ll say this, Democrats are starting to upset the expectation that they don’t know how to press an advantage.
Republicans are whining that they support the Violence Against Women Act, they really do, but it’s just that this version raises objections. What would those be? I don’t know, the expansions in the legislation look uncontroversial to me. It expands its reach into Indian tribes and rural areas, increases availability for legal aid to domestic violence victims, adds stalking to the definition of domestic violence… ah, wait a second, think I’ve got it.
It would also allow more battered illegal immigrants to claim temporary visas, and would include same-sex couples in programs for domestic violence.
A-ha, this is about brown people and teh gays. See, armed with this measure, immigrant women will simply line up to get beaten by men just to get a visa and access some of those sweet sweet federal benefits. And it treats gay victims of violence like non-gay victims of violence, which is just incorrigible.
Republicans claim that Democrats are playing politics with the measure. I’d claim that the notion that we shouldn’t provide deterrents to getting beaten by a domestic partner if you’re gay or an immigrant isn’t quite a political matter. It’s a policy travesty.
I guess the good news for Republicans is that, if enough women get beaten as a result of the lack of a Violence Against Women Act, they may not be well enough to get to the polls in November.