How was this controversial?
In 2005, Jamie Leigh Jones was gang-raped by her co-workers while she was working for Halliburton/KBR in Baghdad. She was detained in a shipping container for at least 24 hours without food, water, or a bed, and “warned her that if she left Iraq for medical treatment, she’d be out of a job.” (Jones was not an isolated case.) Jones was prevented from bringing charges in court against KBR because her employment contract stipulated that sexual assault allegations would only be heard in private arbitration.
Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) proposed an amendment to the 2010 Defense Appropriations bill that would withhold defense contracts from companies like KBR “if they restrict their employees from taking workplace sexual assault, battery and discrimination cases to court.” Speaking on the Senate floor yesterday, Franken said:
The constitution gives everybody the right to due process of law ... And today, defense contractors are using fine print in their contracts do deny women like Jamie Leigh Jones their day in court. ... The victims of rape and discrimination deserve their day in court [and] Congress plainly has the constitutional power to make that happen.
Easy call, right? Well, not if you're a Republican, eager to protect a right of corporations to rape its employees.
Of the 40 Republicans in the Senate, only 10 voted for the Franken amendment, including all four women in the Senate GOP. Of the six Republican males who voted for the amendment, all of them represented states outside the deep South -- Bennett (UT), Hatch (UT), Grassley (IA), LeMieux (FL), Lugar (IN), and Voinovich (OH). The other 30 men, including luminaries like David Vitter, John Ensign, and John McCain, didn't think the amendment warranted passage.
This is interesting. According to Republicans, a fake pimp and ho, reported to the police, was apparently so beyond the pale that they've worked to strip ACORN of all federal funding. But denying employees actual redress from gang rapes is no big deal?
Will the GOP soon introduce a new Constitution Amendment that reads, "Congress shall make no law respecting the ability of corporations to gang rape their employees"? Is support for corporate gang rape already in the GOP platform, or does it need to be added at their next meeting? Is there a huge corporate gang rape lobby that is funneling millions into GOP pockets, or did they vote this way out of personal conviction?
As predictably regressive as the modern GOP has become, it's shocking to see that they still have the ability to shock.
For more discussion on this, see KingofSpades diary - BarbinMD