I was reading an article from the New York Times about the Violence Against Women Act
that Democrats are planning to put on the table today. The legislation seeks to expand (both in financing and in scope) domestic violence programs all over the country. As both the daughter of a survivor and a survivor myself of domestic violence, I see this as a positive. However, reading between the lines of the article, I'm seeing what this is REALLY all about.
The past month has been crazy to say the least for Republican Congressmen and their supporters, and most notably for right-wing commentator Rush Limbaugh, whose admittedly vitriolic words toward Sandra Fluke opened a Pandora's Box in the midst of the Presidential campaign season. Several companies have expressed their desire to keep mentions of their company off the airwaves during Limbaugh's radio broadcasts, though it doesn't seem his program has suffered because of it. Now Democrats have decided to strike while the iron is hot by introducing legislation that they think Republicans will refuse:
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.
Democrats are claiming that Republicans are waging a "war on women" but it seems to me that the real
warmongers are the Democrats, attempting to use women as pawns on their re-election chessboard.
Some conservatives are feeling trapped.
“I favor the Violence Against Women Act and have supported it at various points over the years, but there are matters put on that bill that almost seem to invite opposition,” said Senator Jeff Sessions, Republican of Alabama, who opposed the latest version last month in the Judiciary Committee. “You think that’s possible? You think they might have put things in there we couldn’t support that maybe then they could accuse you of not being supportive of fighting violence against women?”
Does ice cream melt in the sun?
The two provisions that Republican legislators disagree with are the provisions allowing battered illegal immigrants to apply for temporary visas (which some believe would creates loopholes in the immigration process) and the provision which would include same-sex couples in dometic violence programs and afford them the same protections. (On a personal note, I see nothing wrong with same-sex couples receiving help in domestic violence situations. However I don't think temporary visas should be granted to immigrants in domestic violence situations, but they should also receive services and protection while they get their affairs in order, whatever the outcome may be.)
The question is will this strategy work? A Wall Street Journal/ABC News poll
showed Obama's approval among women rose 14 points from 40% in December to 54% in February. It should be noted that the poll was administered between February 16 and February 20, before Sandra Fluke was even on the national radar. However, a New York Times/CBS News poll
(with the poll administered between March 7 and March 11) shows Obama's approval among women dropped
12 points, nearly to its December numbers.
(x-posted from mividaloca99