Which violence victims should we protect?
It was a little over a year ago Americans were watching what seemed to be a bizarre and twisted reality show — a series of seemingly never-ending Republican presidential debates. But unlike most reality shows, where some contestants get the boot each week, the 2012 nomination cycle was like the reverse of American Idol, where Republicans frantically searched underneath every flag pin and Bible for possible candidates, and just added a new moron every week.
Intelligence didn’t matter (Rick Perry). Conservative values didn’t matter (Newt Gingrich). Living in the 21st century didn’t matter (Rick Santorum). And, as we all know, having a soul didn’t matter (Mitt Romney).
It seemed they would take anyone who hated gays, didn’t believe in climate change, and had really prayed about this decision and was convinced God told him/her to run for president.
At one point, there were so many names in the nomination pool that British author E.L. James could have penned another book — "50 Shades of White."
But the good news is there’s already a concise list of Republican men who apparently have no intention of running for president in 2016 — the 22 male GOP senators who voted "no" on the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). Two homegrown Utah boys, Senators Orrin Hatch and Mike Lee, voted against it, along with:
John Barrasso (Wyo.)
Roy Blunt (Mo.)
John Boozman (Ark.)
Tom Coburn (Okla.)
John Cornyn (Texas)
Ted Cruz (Texas)
Mike Enzi (Wyo.)
Lindsey Graham (S.C.)
Chuck Grassley (Iowa)
James Inhofe (Okla.)
Mike Johanns (Neb.)
Ron Johnson (Wis.)
Mitch McConnell (Ky.)
Rand Paul (Ky.)
Jim Risch (Idaho)
Pat Roberts (Kan.)
Marco Rubio (Fla.)
Jeff Sessions (Ala.)
John Thune (S.D.)
Tim Scott (S.C.)
While the bill passed without the support of Hatch and Lee, the very fact that they voted against it is appalling — to both men and women.
In short, the bill provides services like transitional housing and legal help for abuse victims regardless of their sexual orientation or immigration status.
And that’s where Orrin and Mike became unglued. As indicated by their vote, they don’t believe undocumented workers, Native American women, and, God forbid, women who like other women, are worth the ink it would take to sign this bill.
Orrin and Mike believe only members of the lucky sperm club are worth protecting — those who were born in the U.S., (but only in the last couple hundred years, because Native Americans were actually born here first), and women who were born with the DNA that make them attracted to men. The rest of you? Go get beaten in your own country! And if you’re a lesbian, surely you have enough upper body strength to fight back!
But honestly, this group of women shouldn’t feel too left out. According to their voting records, Mike and Orrin feel a lot of people and things aren’t worth protecting, like: the homeless, the poor, the middle class, the working poor, the working class, teachers, police officers, gays, the environment, science, veterans, contraception, undocumented workers, universal health care, education, the unemployed, women’s rights, Planned Parenthood and, of course, violence victims.
Look, I know Utah is a red state. I didn’t move here expecting our politicians to be championing things like green energy and gun control. But I don’t think it’s too much to ask that our elected officials vote to pass legislation aimed at protecting more than half of the population.
As Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), the bill’s sponsor, said before the vote, he couldn’t understand why anybody would vote against his legislation since it just expands protections to vulnerable groups.
"It is difficult to understand why people would come in here and try to limit which victims could be helped by this legislation. If you’re the victim, you don’t want to think that a lot of us who have never faced this kind of problem sat here in this body and said, ‘Well, we have to differentiate which victims America will protect.’"
Which is exactly what Utah’s two out-of-touch twerps have done (along with 20 other middle-aged white dudes). I just can’t help but think if a Violence Against Misogynic Senators bill had crossed their desks, Mr. Hatch and Mr. Lee would have been the first to sign it into law.
But, on the flip side of all of this, their vote has done at least one remarkable thing for females. As the GOP continues to alienate women, Hillary Clinton 2016 is looking more and more like reality.
If you don’t agree with their decisions to not sign the Violence Against Women Act, I encourage you to call your senators and state your disapproval.
Washington, D.C.— 202-224-5444
Salt Lake City — 801-524-5933
Washington, D.C. — 202-224-5251
Salt Lake City — 801-524-4380
Amy Roberts is a longtime Park City resident, freelance writer and the proud owner of two ill-behaved rescue dogs, Boston and Stanley. If you have a story idea, please e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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