|The good news is that the Senate voted 78 to 22 Tuesday to reauthorize and expand the Violence Against Women Act of 1994.
The bad news is that 22 people voted against something that should have been a no-brainer.
The expansion extends the act to include violence against homosexuals and Native Americans.
And 22 people voted against it.
Some conservatives said they were against it because it constituted an unjustifiable growth of the federal government’s reach into Americans’ lives.
Others object to the measure’s assurance that victims of same-sex domestic violence could avail themselves of federally funded crime victims’ rights groups and support programs.
Perhaps the richest objection of all comes from those who don’t like the section granting Native American tribal courts the power to go after non-Indians who attack women in Indian territories.
Are these turf-centric yahoos forgetting that this entire continent, at one time, was an Indian territory?
Those who don’t care for this portion of the proposal claim that prosecuting non-Native American men in Indian tribal courts will rob them of their Constitutional rights.
What’s the matter, Great White Fathers? Are you afraid that the tribes will seek revenge against you for years of injustice against their ancestors?
Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.), who has a good many Native American constituents, wants to revise the bill to allow non-Native American defendants in tribal courts to appeal to federal courts.
I can remember a time when a black person couldn’t get a fair shake in a trial conducted by the white man’s more recent ancestors.
But those courts weren’t conducted by tribes. They were conducted by Klans.
Now it’s bruised and battered women in the docket or, perhaps, the stocks. Women are practically the only group subjected to illegal violence that doesn’t have the legal right to call what happened to them a hate crime.
Well, it’s up to the House, where Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Penn.) insists that no bill will hit the floor until bipartisan support can be assured.
You might have noticed the distance from one end of the rotunda to the other has lengthened in recent years.
The GOP lags behind the Democrats in female support, and it doesn’t show any signs of trying to woo women, not even on Valentine’s Day.
If all this isn’t enough of an obstacle to overcome, the bill’s fiscal note reduces funding for anti-domestic violence programs from the level in the 2005 reauthorization.
Talk about adding insult to injury – and rape, psychological trauma, violence-induced miscarriages, etc.
To think the protection of half of the population of the U.S. could be weakened by inane sophistry and thinly disguised bigotry.
There are thorns among the roses this Valentine’s Day.
With apologies to Beyonce, some ladies can’t put a ring on it. If they survive, they’ll be lucky if they can put a bandage on it.