Reminder: Congressional Republicans are Terrible People

The good news is Senate Democrats defeated an amendment introduced by Republicans that would have stripped protections for Native American women from the Violence Against Women Act. The bad news is Senators Tom Coburn and John Cornyn believe protecting Native women from being raped is “unconstitutional” and a “special interest.”

“What we’ve done with this solution is to trample on the Bill of Rights of every American who’s not a Native American,” Coburn said. “And I have no doubt — I am a hundred percent certain that this portion of the bill is going to be thrown out by the first federal judge that hears it.” [...]

Senate Minority Whip John Cornyn (R-TX) said the provision was a product of the “unconstitutional demands of special interests,” characterizing it as the reason for his opposition to the bill.

To say this ‘tramples on the rights of non-native Americans’ is to say that we’re trampling on the rights of rapists and domestic abusers to commit rape and beat their girlfriends without consequence which, last time I checked, is not included in the Bill of Rights. Maybe I should read it again to make sure I didn’t miss that part.

As we’ve covered here before, Native American women are twice as likely to be raped as other women and the overwhelming majority of attackers who assault and abuse Native Americans are non-native, American men who do not fall within the jurisdiction of local tribes.

In some rural villages, rapes are 12 times more common than the national rate, and for Native American women, generally sexual assault is more than twice as common as the national average, according to The New York Times. The Alaska Federation of Natives cites a 2010 report by the University of Alaska Anchorage Justice Center, finding that while only 15.2 percent of Alaskans are Native American, they are the victims of 50 percent of the domestic violence and 61 percent of the sexual assaults committed in the state. [...]

The men who commit these crimes are often not Native American themselves. Indian Country reports that “non-Indians commit 88%” of rapes and domestic violence against Native American women, but they are beyond the reach of local justice: “antiquated jurisdictional laws” prevent tribal justice systems “from prosecuting non-Native criminals.”

A “special interest.”

No thanks to Republicans, Senate Democrats passed the Violence Against Women Act today by a margin of 78 to 22. And the question once again is this — will Republican leadership in the House allow the bill to come to a vote? The bill will pass if they allow it to be voted on, but Speaker Majority Leader Eric Cantor still has a host of objections and perceived slights.

Update… Marco Rubio, the GOP’s next great hope, voted against the Act today along with 21 other Republican men. All Republican women in the Senate voted for the act.

I’m sure this is all a part of their outreach effort.

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  • 1933john

    Cowboys and Indians anyone?

  • GrafZeppelin127

    I’ll say it again: Republicans have no idea why people who don’t vote for them, don’t vote for them.

  • bphoon

    It is beyond me to try to figure out how people like Cornyn and Coburn come to the conclusions they do in these kinds of matters. They posture and hurrumph about the Constitution and “special interests” when it comes to protecting people who are challenged to protect themselves but when it comes to actual special interests, they’re all for them. They spew idiocy and expect people to take them seriously. It really says something, in my opinion, about the people who keep voting these guys into office to represent them. I’d be (well…I’m “represented” by Pat Roberts, Jim Moran and Lynn Jenkins, so I am) embarrassed to be “represented” by such people.

    Despicable. Assholes.

  • mrbrink

    They are some sick fucking degenerates.

    When you take into account this, and the fact that they’re trying and succeeding in shutting down and defunding women’s health care clinics and abortion providers in several Wingnut party-controlled states, many of which are home to several American Indian Reservations and tribes, it makes this all the more repulsive and sadistic.

    In North Dakota, home to four Native American reservations, spanning hundreds of small communities and approximately 27,000 inhabitants, the psychopathic Republican party in that state are on the verge of not only shutting down the last abortion provider in the state, but they’re on the verge of passing a Fetal Personhood Amendment, just like the Republican party platform calls for, under the guise of protecting women and to ensure, as state Sen. Margaret Sitte (R) explains with the GOP’s cult-like off-to-glory-face: “that women have adequate health care and the follow-up care that they need.”

    In the same conversation, state Sen. Magaret Sitte said of the bill she sponsored to give personhood rights to rape-babies: “We are intending that it be a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade, since Scalia said that the Supreme Court is waiting for states to raise a case.”

    They all need to be physically restrained and locked away in a padded room. They should be treated as mental defectives and their opinions mocked and discarded until the day they die.

  • muselet

    It’s something of a cheap shot to call Republicans anti-woman, but they’re making it really hard to draw any other conclusion.

    –alopecia

  • villemar

    I have a Lakota friend who made we aware of the great outreach Obama has made to the Native American community in both campaigns and during his Presidency. You can safely add them, along with Hispanic/Latinos, Aisans, African Americans, Arab Americans, Persian Americans, etc. to the column that vastly and overwhelmingly support this President and his encompassing of Democratic Party core principles. I guess the GOP is not leaving any stone unturned in their quest to alienate every possible non-older-white-male demographic.