Dear Madame L,
Did you hear that the Republicans are planning to oppose the "Violence Against Women Act" when women Democratic senators introduce it again this month?
The Republican Party would be making a huge mistake, don't you think, especially since they supported the bill when it was first introduced in 1994?
It seems to me like opposing this would be a bizarro act of political seppuku---especially after Rush Limbaugh's recent verbal assault on a young woman, and recent and ongoing Republican attempts not only to make even medically necessary abortions harder for women to obtain but to make contraception and even general medical care harder for women to obtain.
Do They Want to be Known as the Party That Hates Women?
Dear Reader Who Doesn't Hate Women,
Is it all right if Madame L calls you that? Madame L hopes she's right in assuming that you support this legislation.
Madame L thinks the Republican Party is going to have to do a quick turn-around on women's health and safety issues if it wants to retain the support of very many women in this country.
Madame L has read also that Republican presidential primary front-runner Mitt Romney is going against his work as governor in Massachusetts in favor of health care for women, and that he even promised to end Medicare if he's elected president. (Madame L has read that Mr. Romney, who just turned 65, hasn't enrolled in Medicare because he won't be needing Medicare for himself --- a luxury that most people simply don't have!)
But, Madame L digresses. Here's an excerpt from the New York Times article about the proposed bill:
"'I am furious,' said Senator Maria Cantwell, Democrat of Washington. 'We’re mad, and we’re tired of it.'
"Republicans are bracing for a battle where substantive arguments could be swamped by political optics and the intensity of the clash over women’s issues. At a closed-door Senate Republican lunch on Tuesday, Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska sternly warned her colleagues that the party was at risk of being successfully painted as antiwoman — with potentially grievous political consequences in the fall, several Republican senators said Wednesday."
The article goes on to note that conservatives are feeling "trapped" by the introduction of this legislation at this point. Madame L notes that she hears their tiny violins and doesn't want to hear the chorus.
Again, quoting from the Times: "The legislation would continue existing grant programs to local law enforcement and battered women shelters, but would expand efforts to reach Indian tribes and rural areas. It would increase the availability of free legal assistance to victims of domestic violence, extend the definition of violence against women to include stalking, and provide training for civil and criminal court personnel to deal with families with a history of violence. It would also allow more battered illegal immigrants to claim temporary visas, and would include same-sex couples in programs for domestic violence."
Madame L thinks this is a law whose time has come, again and again, and anyone who opposes it, for whatever reason, really does hate women.