Faced with accusations that their opposition to renewal of the Violence Against Women Act is a sign that they've taken a very unpopular "pro-woman beating" stance, Congressional Republicans are hurriedly drafting their own version of the bill to prove that they don't hate all women. Their version will be sort of like the Democrats' version of the bill, with the less savory bits stripped away — you know, the part about protecting undocumented women, and gay women, and Native women who are beaten by non-Native men on reservations.
Since 1994, the Violence Against Women Act has been just about the only thing that both parties can agree on in Washington. Since it was first enacted, it's been renewed with little political resistance several times, and is up for renewal again this year. But this year is a special year, because this year is the year that the GOP decided that the best way to distract America from the fact that their economy-fixing ideas aren't the magic tea party bullets they advertised is by attacking women's rights. And so this year, when VAWA came up for renewal, it experienced fierce resistance from right wingers who didn't think they'd pissed off women enough.
Concerned, party stalwarts like Alaska's Lisa Murkowski and Maine's Olympia Snowe began to worry that maybe the party wasn't acting in its own best interest when it gave the double middle finger to half of its potential voters, that perhaps the GOP had overemphasized the pull of the angry, abusive, domineering white man vote. After all, your vote doesn't count for extra if you hate immigrants, have a penis, write in all caps when you're mad, and feel entitled to run everything. Even though it sure might feel like it should.
The Senate GOP's version of the bill is sponsored by Iowa slam poet Chuck Grassley and Texan Kay Bailey Hutchison, and it does pretty much exactly what the Democrats' version of VAWA does, but it strips away the more queer/brown aspects of the bill, like the part that would give undocumented women temporary visas, protect gay, lesbian, and transgender individuals, and allow Native American tribal leaders to prosecute non-Natives for committing acts of violence against Native women on reservations.
Florida Republican Sandy Adams is a sponsor of the House GOP's version of the bill, and while the legislation is still being drafted, she boasts that, like the Grassley/Hutchison bill, the House bill will not broach "controversial issues" that will "detract from VAWA." Republican Kristi Noem of South Dakota concurs, saying, "unfortunately, in Congress there are some who'd like to make this a political play. They'd like to make a cheap shot and try to politicize it in an election year."
Yes. SOME PEOPLE (ahem- Democrats) want to make it POLITICAL (ahem- protecting vulnerable populations of women that the GOP doesn't really care about) in an ELECTION YEAR (women are kind of sick of the pee-filled balloons the GOP keeps hurling at them and the GOP is finally starting to realize that women have been allowed to vote for quite some time now).
Barbara Boxer says that the bill only served to make it clear that no woman should be excluded from protection under the Violence Against Women Act. But the GOP has accused Democrats of "politicizing" the act by forcing them to confront the fact that, as a party, the GOP seems to think that some women are more deserving of protection from violence than others.
Do you see now? The GOP loves women — as long as they're not gay, immigrants, or Native American. And especially if they're gay immigrants being beaten by white people on Native American reservations. Caring about those women would only detract from how much they love you.