Mind your business.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Raw Story: "After losing women in midterms — Republicans will let Violence Against Women Act expire as their final act of Congress"

By: Wes Messamore
The Humble Libertarian

"One of the final acts of the Republicans in the House and Senate will be to allow the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) to expire in two weeks before their recess," scolds Sarah K. Burris Monday in an article for Raw Story.

The last time we all heard about the Violence Against Women Act was just before the election when Taylor Swift endorsed fmr. Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen (D) over U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R) for U.S. Senate in 2018, citing as one of her reasons, Blackburn's vote against reauthorizing VAWA.

Something for voters as well as Swift's impressionable fans to consider is just because a federal law has a certain name, that doesn't mean the law is good for whatever its name says.

It's like an actually complicated, sometimes hundreds of pages long, legal document written and rewritten and amended by a wake of lawyers and lobbyists and special interest groups.

I know I remember a time when a lot of conservatives thought opposing the Patriot Act automatically made you unpatriotic. 😆

Just because Blackburn and the Republican caucus generally oppose the Violence Against Women Act, that does not mean they are pro violence against women or apathetic about it.

There might actually be legitimate reasons to oppose a piece of legislation even if the name sounds good.

Of course the bill's sponsors are going to name it the best-sounding thing they possibly can that will make you sound really bad in a 30 second campaign ad for a voice actor to say you opposed it, or the first paragraph of an article about Taylor Swift endorsing your opponent over you.

Now I could be wrong about this, but I have a feeling something like 90% of the people who will utter the phrase "Republicans are letting the Violence Against Women Act Expire!" in hyperventilating tones IRL or on social media over the next few days would not be able to give you a concise and accurate summary of the major bullet points of what VAWA does.

Like I said, I could be wrong about that, and maybe every single one of them is reading the entire bill right now, but since even congresspeople have admitted to not reading these bills before actually voting on them...

...I'm going to have to say I seriously doubt the Twitterati is up on what they're complaining about.

Or that very many of them could likely tell you any of the reasons why someone might oppose VAWA. Like for instance the ACLU, which opposed VAWA (at first), "saying that the increased penalties were rash, that the increased pretrial detention was 'repugnant' to the U.S. Constitution, that the mandatory HIV testing of those only charged but not convicted was an infringement of a citizen’s right to privacy, and that the edict for automatic payment of full restitution was non-judicious."

There are many other parts to this bill as well, and it could take someone probably a solid week of research to figure out where all the billions of dollars are going. Just like the charity that spends $8 or $9 or even $9.50 out of every $10 it raises on overhead, do any of the people shaking their heads at the Republicans right now have any clue which government agencies and non-profits are getting the VAWA money, or how much of it is actually helping to prevent or respond to violence against women?

I'm not saying these government programs have that kind of overhead–– I'm pointing out that they easily could for all we know, so I'm encouraging people to look deeper than just the name of a bill before they make up their mind about it.

And also I want to suggest that therapy for victims of violence and other really important and valuable services like that are obviously good things, but is paying for them with money taken out of working people's paychecks without their consent the most reasonable, fair, or enlightened way to address these needs?

Eliminating violence against women is obviously something a vast number of people–– many of them in the top tier of power, influence, and resources in our society–– deeply care about.

Surely that means we don't need to tax workers to make sure these programs are funded.