Politic365

 
 


Headline

1:12pm September 13, 2012

GOP Pressure on Todd Akin Could Save Violence Against Women Act

1337256000000.cached

By Wade Henderson

The campaign-minded Republicans who condemned Senate candidate Rep. Todd Akin’s statements about “legitimate rape” could deepen their impact by backing the routine reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).

The well-documented comment from Akin sparked a firestorm of criticism from across the political spectrum. But most noteworthy was the outrage from Republican leaders, including Karl Rove, NRSC head Senator John Cornyn, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, American Crossroads head Steven Law, right wing pundits like Sean Hannity and Hugh Hewitt, and the editorial boards of the National Review and the Wall Street Journal.

Amy Kremer, chairwoman of the Tea Party Express, made the political case succinctly when she commented that “what he said is completely indefensible and changes the narrative of what’s going on here…If he looks at the bigger picture, he will do what’s best and step aside.”

Just as Akin attempted to parse “rape” from “legitimate rape,” House Republicans are championing a VAWA bill that deems sexual violence against some women to be less legitimate than when it’s committed against other women. Their bill leaves out specific policies to address domestic violence and rape involving college students, immigrants, Native Americans, and LGBT people. The Senate bill that included these provisions passed with substantial bipartisan support and a large majority.

In their consideration of the bill, House Republicans had a knee-jerk opposition to protections for these groups, which are seen by some as reliable Democratic constituencies, and have thus far refused to bring up the bipartisan Senate bill to a vote. Like Akin, they created laughably meaningless distinctions to defend what is ultimately indefensible. But unlike Akin, there was no similar firestorm.

In today’s polarized political climate, the widely held belief in Congress that rape is unacceptable and that VAWA is a noncontroversial bill that should be routinely reauthorized has turned out to be another pointless, partisan battle.

Should they so choose, the Republican leaders who have called for Akin to resign his candidacy could be on the doorstep of restoring the bipartisan consensus on VAWA that has evaporated in this Congress.

This is a matter of good politics and good policy. All voters would agree that their college-aged children should be protected from stalking, violence, date rape, and sexual assault; that someone’s immigration status shouldn’t hold them captive to abuse in the home; that women on tribal reservations shouldn’t suffer an epidemic of rape; and that domestic violence is still wrong regardless of the victim’s sexual orientation or gender identity.

The political moves by Republican strategists regarding Akin’s candidacy happen to be in the best interests of women, but they shouldn’t stop there. With little time left before the election, the same figures should continue to lead and encourage House Republicans to pass the bipartisan and inclusive Senate Violence Against Women Act.

Not only will they protect women – but they might actually get a few more votes.

Wade Henderson is the president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, a coalition of more than 200 national civil rights and human rights organizations.



About the Author

Guest Contributor
Guest Contributor





 
 

 
chi-lollapalooza-music-festival-live-updates-s-001

Chief Keef’s Sales, Gun Talks, Autism and Rebel Rap

Is Chief Keef worth the hype? Critics and commentators wonder if Interscope’s multi-million dollar investment in the 17-year-old gangster rapper from Chicago was worth it in sales.  His recent album, Finally Rich, sold a pr...
by Imani Jackson
16

 
 
michael-vick-a381668fc0e1f76f_large

The Most Important Game in Michael Vick’s Life

Some Athletes are very good in their sports, establish an incredible legacy off the field, enter the Hall of Fame for that sport and are completely unrecognizable to 60% of the U.S. population. The main reason being that unless...
by Jason Johnson
0

 
 
trainday11

Todd Akin: Happy Days vs. Training Day

The ongoing storm swirling around the GOP and Congressman Todd Akin may be focused on rape and abortion, but they center on an ever-growing cultural divide between their life experiences and much of modern-day America’s. ...
by Lenny McAllister
2

 

Advertisement
 
crisis3

#CrisisInChicago: Education Unity Over Unions to Stop Violence in Chicago

It may seem like violence is all about crime and values, but overlooking the role of decades of poor educational models impacting Chicago’s communities only continues the onslaught. Say what you want about bad parenting, ...
by Lenny McAllister
0

 
 
Jesse-Jackson

The March on Gun Shops Double Standard

Black leaders are applying double standards and inconsistent methodologies to our issues
by Lenny McAllister
1

 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>