OK

Goposaur in heels
On the extremely long list of reasons why House Republicans suck, refusing to renew the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) is definitely somewhere near the top. For 18 years, Democrats and Republicans have managed to agree that yes, it's a good thing to fund programs to combat domestic violence and help women and their children who are victims of abuse.

But of course that came to a screeching halt this year when House Republicans, unlike their just-slightly-more-civilized counterparts in the Senate, decided that only straight, white, American-born women deserve protection from domestic violence. Lesbians? Immigrants? Native Americans? Nah. Screw 'em. Insisting that all women should be covered by VAWA was, according to House Republicans, a transparent attempt by Democrats to politicize domestic violence and undermine the sanctity of traditional wife-beating. Or something.

But apparently, a few—a very few—House Republicans got the message from voters this year that their War on Women is not an effective electoral strategy. A whopping 10 House Republicans, several of whom lost their reelection bids this year, signed on to a letter to House leadership, calling for renewal of VAWA before the end of the year. And one of those 10 Republicans is even a woman! Take a bow, Rep. Judy Biggert! You're the lone lady voice standing up to your party leadership. Oh, and you're also on your way out the door, since you lost on Election Day.  

So where are the rest of the Republican women in the House? You know, the ones who in 2011 had themselves a little consciousness-raising session to insist that they are "pro-woman" too? Shouldn't they be leading the charge against their own party leadership, demanding protection for all women? Nah:

[Rep. Gwen] Moore said there are other House Republicans who didn't sign Tuesday's letter but who are quietly trying to get their party leaders to support the provision relating to tribal jurisdictional matters and back the Senate bill. Without naming names, she said there are Republican women who are "prominent in the caucus" pushing their leaders to support the broader bill.

Okay, first of all, there are "prominent" women in the Republican caucus? Would those be the same "prominent" women who were all passed over in November when their party decided that only white men could be committee chairs? Those prominent women?

And second, if the women of the House GOP are so gosh darned pro-woman, why aren't they willing to add their names to that letter? Why are they only willing to support renewing VAWA behind closed doors, in quiet anonymous voices?  

You'd think this would be the perfect opportunity for Republicans to demonstrate that they are not as anti-woman as their legislative agenda for the past two years has shown they are. You'd think. If they want to show that they're not as anti-woman as we all know they are, now is their chance because protecting all women from domestic violence really ought to be a bipartisan no-brainer.

Tell your representative to renew the Violence Against Women Act to protect all women from domestic violence.

Originally posted to Kaili Joy Gray on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 10:05 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos and Rape and Domestic Violence.

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