Yesterday, the United States Senate comfortably passed a re-authorization bill for the Violence Against Women Act. It passed comfortably, too, with a 68-31 margin, which obviously included a handful of Republicans (including some Republicans who even co-sponsored!)
One might ask, “Who are those 31 Senators and what do they think is ok about violence against women?” One might also ask about the chances of the bill passing a more Republican House. While I cannot answer the latter question, I can tell you that Texas' own John Cornyn was among the 31 who voted against the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).
The problem? Well, Senator Cornyn went to the editorial pages earlier this week, and we can get some clues there.
He initially complained that, “to argue that a minor policy disagreement indicates a lack of sensitivity toward battered women is simply beyond the pale.”
Ok. So what's this minor policy disagreement? Senator Cornyn first claimed that Republicans are mostly on the side of, you know, equality and common sense. Except there was one thing…
The overwhelming majority of Republicans believe it should be reauthorized, and I have cosponsored legislation to do just that. Our bill contains some commonsense proposals that would bolster VAWA and also remove a series of controversial provisions from the Democratic alternative.
Let's see, what are those controversial provisions? Oh. I know. It's the provision that broadens the protection against domestic violence to include more than just straight women.
Ok, Senator Cornyn – you're against Violence Against Some Women, I guess. That's ridiculously non-inclusive, but I'll give you the benefit of the doubt. I'll say that your disagreement doesn't “indicate a lack of sensitivity toward [all] battered women.” You still voted against the bill, however; one that many of your own party still agreed was sound policy. A bill in which every Republican woman voted in favor of…
You complained, too, that Democrats didn't take your proposed amendment and put them on the bill. I get that complaint. Some of your suggestions were even pretty damn good, such as an increase in funding to reduce the rape-kit backlog. (Maybe you should have proposed that amendment stand-alone.) But clearly, VAWA was still a good bill, just perhaps an imperfect one. Yet, instead of swalling the pill and complaining that Democrats would not take your amendments, you still voted against the entirety of VAWA…
Oh, I think I now understand. You are sensitive to batterred women, but you're just playing a different game. In your opening paragraph of the op-ed, you whined that “some folks are now trying to use VAWA as a partisan football to score cheap political points and raise campaign funds.” I didn't realize you were talking about yourself. You jerk.
Or maybe you aren't trying to score political points, and you're just an insensitive male politician fighting a war on women, after all.