Pick a Side Part 2: VAWA

03 Mar 2013 09:10 pm
Posted by: Donna

In furtherance of my project to banish the egregious bogosity that is the “both sides do it” false equivalence to the bowels of hell where it belongs:

Last Thursday the House of Representatives finally reauthorized the Violence Against Women Act, or VAWA as it’s commonly known. VAWA, which expanded protections to abuse victims and set aside funding to achieve that, was first passed in 1994. It has been reauthorized twice since then, most recently in 2005. The act expired in 2011 and it has taken over two years to reenact it. Shockingly, the obstacle has come from Republican lawmakers due to their objections to expanded protections for women on Indian reservations, LGBT, and immigrants.

After much wrangling and attempted obstruction by GOP Senators, the Senate passed the expanded VAWA, with 22 GOP Senators voting against protecting domestic abuse and rape victims. In the House it passed 286 to 138, with all the no votes coming from Republicans, including all 4 of the GOP members of the Arizona House delegation. It’s worth noting that Arizona Reps. Schweikert and Gosar voted no not only on to the expanded VAWA that passed, but also to the failed watered-down Republican version of the bill. It’s also worth noting, credit where it’s due, that a sizable minority of GOP Senators and Reps voted for the measure.

Just so we’re clear, it’s not like the Democrats had tacked on amendments raising the top marginal tax rate to 50% and legalizing weed to the VAWA. The Republicans who voted against the bill did so purely to protect abusers and rapists. Lest you think I’m exaggerating take a gander at the people who lined up to lobby against it – a cavalcade of right wing religious zealots, mail order bride industry advocates, and a convicted wife beater. That’s the anti-VAWA side and that’s whose side those Republicans took when they voted against it. I’m on the other side. How about you?

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