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Feb 12 2013

Sensitive to their lackluster showing

The US Senate has renewed the Violence Against Women Act, 78 to 22. (It’s odd that I’m pleased about the 78 rather than appalled by the 22. Low expectations strike again.)

The act expired in 2011, putting efforts to improve its many federal programs on hold. Last year both the Republican-led House and the Democratic-controlled Senate passed renewal bills, but they were unable to reach a compromise.

This year House Republicans, sensitive to their lackluster showing among women voters in the November election, have vowed to move expeditiously on the issue. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., has taken the lead in negotiating the terms of a House bill.

So…”Ok, bitchez, if you’re going to get all bitchy about it and not vote for us, fine, we’ll pass your fucking Don’t Hit the Bitchez bill. But don’t come crying to us when all the men run away because they can’t stand you telling them not to hit you.” Is that how that went? Not in so many words, maybe, at least not in public, but that’s basically the thinking? The principle is hell no, no laws against violence against women in the Land of Libertee, but expediency, well that’s another story, but damn those…ladies for making us ditch our principles.

13 comments

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  1. 1
    Hamilton Jacobi

    There will now be a six-month waiting period while Republicans attempt to gauge whether women are so grateful for this bone tossed in their general direction that they are no longer bothered by forcible rape mandatory transvaginal ultrasounds.

  2. 2
    F [i'm not here, i'm gone]

    I’m sorry, I’m yet stuck all the way back at expired/renewal. ‘TF?

  3. 3
    Ophelia Benson

    Ah I get you, you’re wondering why it’s not just a law, period, with no expiration date.

    That’s a very good question.

  4. 4
    shouldbeworking

    I’m another foreigner who wonders why laws in the USA come with expiry dates as if they were dairy products. Is it because of the Party for Small Government or an opportunity for congress critters to be seen doing some work?

  5. 5
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Shouldbeworking:

    Yes. Also the excuse given is that having a sunset date allows legislators to “re-examine” the law and “update it.” There are legitimate reasons to do that in some areas of law, but there are none for this. The real purpose is to ensure that the opponents have a certain date in the future when the law will automatically go away or they can use it as a bargaining chip against the opposing party.

  6. 6
    uberfeminist

    Perhaps because it’s a spending bill?

    The act actually contains programs. Bush tax cut had a timeout.

    It’s an easier way to pass a bill, just tell people it will expire if they are on the fence about it.

  7. 7
    Hamilton Jacobi

    Maybe in the future, when Quiverfullification reaches its apex and the wimmenfolk is no longer uppity, this law will not be needed.

  8. 8
    Martha

    What bloody principles? I’m sorry, but if a basic degree of honesty isn’t one of them, who cares about the rest of them?

    I honestly believe the nation is best served by two competing parties, if for no other reason than to force the dominant one to refine its ideas and policies. Alas, that only works if both parties are sane. Or at least part of the reality-based community.

  9. 9
    Martha

    ps– no, I’m not actually sorry. It was just a rhetorical device of some sort…

  10. 10
    Bruce Gorton

    Martha

    Actually I think a three party system would work better – mainly because of what we see with one party going nuts. That said, I am in South Africa, which is pretty much a one party state given that despite the ruling party’s stunning failures in law enforcement, basic service delivery, addressing the income gap, and corruption the strongest opposition is a party whose central economic platform appears to be lower wages and less job security.

  11. 11
    bad Jim

    There are some bad laws that deserve to be reviewed, like three-strikes and term limits and restrictions on taxation.

    We shouldn’t need a Voting Rights Act, and we shouldn’t have to renew it periodically, and it says something terrible about our country that we still depend upon it. Sure, federal review is an intolerable burden for an impoverished community, but the alternative is rank injustice.

    The original assault weapons ban was ridiculous in many ways, but its expiration may have facilitated some of the subsequent mayhem. The flaws in the legislation actually emphasize the pathology of the appeal of fantasy weapons.

    But the Violence Against Women Act? What are we supposed to reconsider? Apparently the Republicans have qualms about judicial involvement in violence directed at gays and Native Americans, perhaps the same qualms they have about the UN treaty on the rights of the child. It’s almost as though they knew their “Traditional Family” values were something they needed to hide.

  12. 12
    Martha

    Bruce, I agree that a parliamentary multi-party system is probably better than the two-party system we have. I don’t see a realistic way for the US to get there, though. So I’ll settle for two functioning parties. It may be the best we can do with a Constitution written 220 years ago by guys who would have forbidden political parties if they’d anticipated their development in a republic.

  13. 13
    medivh

    Martha: a good way to get away from a two-party system would involve a new voting system. Getting that past the current parties might be a struggle, but maybe if you convince the Republicans that it’s a weird and effective form of gerrymandering?

    Approval/range or MMP by preference, but now that I’ve mentioned other forms of voting, we might be in for a flame war… :(

    Regarding “happy about 78 rather than sad about 22″: I’m more happy that it’s a landslide. The difference being so large is great. The no abstentions bit means that it’s a horribly polarising bill, and the polarisation is finally working for reasonability. In this one case. Now, we hold out hope for House Republicans not sucking so much.

    My guess is we’ll be disappointed for another four years…

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