Several House Republicans are signaling support for the once-controversial Senate version of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), a development that carries political ramifications as the GOP seeks to repair its image among female voters in time for 2014.This is really starting to look pathetic. House Republicans allowed VAWA to expire last year because they considered it unacceptable that "women" should include lesbians, immigrants and Native American women. So once again, the Senate overwhelmingly—and yes, with bipartisan support—passed it. And once again, House Republicans just aren't sure if they can bring themselves to even hold a vote on it.
But at least, according to The Hill, some Republicans are starting to think about how opposing this heretofore uncontroversial legislation might have some negative side effects. Like, say, on Election Day in 2014. West Virginia Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, for example, said, "It is far, far past due to reauthorize VAWA." Gee, ya think?
Capito and a handful of other House Republicans are suggesting that maybe they should get over themselves and their weak-tea objections to the Senate's bill, but it's not as if they've had a change of heart and suddenly want to embrace those very women they've been saying do not deserve protection from rape and abuse. Republicans aren't about to have a change of heart on non-white non-straight women. But this just might be reason enough for them to have a change of heart on the bill:
The 2012 election cycle saw Republicans up and down the ballot face accusations that they were “out of touch” on women’s issues — a Democratic argument that gained traction with voters following inopportune comments about rape and pregnancy by Republican Senate candidates in Missouri and Indiana.Yeah. Turns out the Republicans' War on Women did not bode well for Republicans in the last election, and if they don't do something to change the perception that, you know, they're bad for women, they just might be looking at another gaping gender gap in next year's election.
National exit polling showed 55 percent of women voted for House Democratic candidates, compared to 45 percent who supported House Republicans.
The presidential race saw an identical gender gap in favor of President Obama.
That's the ugly reality House Republicans are starting to accept—especially those blue state Republicans who will be particularly vulnerable in 2014—which is why they sent a letter this week calling on their party leadership to hold a vote and pass the damn bill already. So will they?
Yeah. Don't hold your breath. Instead, sign the petition from Daily Kos and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee urging House Republicans to protect all women by passing the Senate version of the expanded, bipartisan Violence Against Women Act.