Women second-class citizens in GOP’s world
by Kevin Foley
Columnist
February 14, 2013 11:50 PM | 1201 views | 20 20 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Women, please pay close attention because your safety, perhaps even your lives, could be in danger.

Along with Hispanics and Latinos, another key voting constituency Republicans managed to scare off during the 2012 election cycle was women.

Their incessant talk of “legitimate rape,” forced transvaginal ultrasounds, banning contraception and shutting down Planned Parenthood sent women running to the Obama ticket by a 56 percent to 44 percent margin.

Rather than learn from their mistakes, however, the white conservative men running the GOP show have not moderated their views one iota.

Evidence of their intransigence is on display as the Violence Against Women Act comes up for re-authorization.

Violence perpetrated against women is a serious national problem that Congress finally recognized in 1994 when it passed the VAWA.

Some 22 million women in the U.S. have been raped in their lifetime. Nearly 64 percent of women who reported being raped, physically assaulted and/or stalked since the age of 18 were victimized by a current or former husband, cohabiting partner, boyfriend or date, according to the 2010 National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey.

The FBI says nearly one-third of female homicide victims are killed by an intimate partner.

The Violence Against Women Act provides $659 million toward investigation and prosecution of violent crimes against women, funds community violence prevention programs, offers protection to women evicted from their homes because of domestic violence, funds victim assistance services like rape crisis centers and hotlines, and much more.

The Act was easily reauthorized in the House in 2000 and again in 2005 but reauthorization failed in 2012 because conservative Republicans objected to extending the Act to same-sex couples and battered undocumented immigrants.

This week, Republicans in the Senate helped pass a VAWA bill, 78-22 with all 20 women senators voting for the bill. The legislation adds protections for gays, lesbians and immigrants.

But the Republican-controlled House, as usual, is stalling passage.

“We want to protect the women who are subject to abuse on tribal lands, and unfortunately there are issues that don’t directly bear on that that have come up, that have complicated it,” said House Majority Leader Eric Cantor.

The Senate reconciled the same issue and so can the House, but that’s not how Cantor rolls. Anything resembling a legislative victory for President Obama, no matter the public policy, must be quashed. That’s why the House bill is sponsored by 193 Democrats but nary a Republican.

It’s enough of a no-brainer that even Cantor’s party is pushing back.

“Now is the time to seek bipartisan compromise on the reauthorization of these programs,” said a letter to Cantor and House Speaker John Boehner signed by 17 House Republicans. “VAWA programs save lives, and we must allow states and communities the opportunity to build upon the success of current VAWA programs so that we can help even more people.”

Virtually all of the Republicans who signed the letter are from the Northeast. No GOP House member from Georgia signed it, nor did any Republican representative from the South.

“Imagine what message this would send to the women and girls of this nation … if we didn’t reauthorize this bill,” said Vice President Joe Biden. “Imagine the signal it would send to our mothers and our daughters that they are not entitled to be free of abuse.”

House Republicans don’t care about such signals, and it’s not surprising.

Of the 232 GOP U.S. representatives, there are just 20 women compared to 63 women in Democratic caucus. Boehner also failed to appoint any women to the 19 House committee chairs.

All of those assignments went to, yes, white conservative men.

Kevin Foley is a public relations executive, author and writer who lives in Kennesaw.
Comments
(20)
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Kevin Foley
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February 21, 2013
@ Rhinehart - I was wrong.

The National Crime Victimization Survey, which collects information on nonfatal crimes reported and not reported to the police from a nationally representative sample of U.S. households:

From 1994 to 2010, the overall rate of intimate partner violence in the United States DECLINED BY 64%, from 9.8 victimizations per 1,000 persons age 12 or older to 3.6 per 1,000.
Kevin Foley
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February 20, 2013
@ Rhinehart - National Assn. of Attorneys General statement:

Washington, DC—Congress needs to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act, a message conveyed in a National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) letter signed by 53 state and territorial Attorneys General and sent to Capitol Hill today.

Since its passage in 1994, VAWA transformed the response to domestic violence at the local, state and federal level, REDUCING DOMESTIC VIOLENCE RATES BY 50 PERCENT. Reauthorizing VAWA will not only permit critical services to victims to continue uninterrupted, but will also target three key areas where data shows efforts should be focused to have the greatest impact. These are:

• Consolidating and strengthening programs aimed at both prevention and intervention

•Developing and implementing best practices, training and communication tools to prosecute and punish perpetrators, and help victims

• Improving training for those who interact with victims to recognize the warning signs and react meaningfully

Steve Rhinehart
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February 21, 2013
Mr. Foley, if you can blithely ignore the report I quoted, and come up with some statement sigend by 53 people, for which you offer no tangible documentation, then I certainly feel free to label your response as "Hoggwash:.
Kevin Foley
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February 20, 2013
@ Middleton - I'm happy to engage in a debate with readers. This is a public forum, after all. Is it just a one-way, "bust your chops" discussions you prefer?

Speaking of "rude" you should read the posts I get a little more closely.
George Middleton
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February 20, 2013
Kevin, you do not debate. You call names, insult and demean.

And that is not just in your schoolyard squabbles with readers. It also is present in your writing.
Steve Rhinehart
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February 20, 2013
Mr. Foley, your claim that the VAWA curbs violence against women is not borne out by statistics.

This one, for example, available by just googling "increase in domestic violence"

If you would like, I can provide you with a link to the entire article.

"New York, December 18, 2008) - A new government report showing huge increases in the incidences of domestic violence, rape, and sexual assault over a two-year period in the United States deserves immediate attention from lawmakers and the incoming administration, Human Rights Watch said today. The statistics show a 42-percent increase in reported domestic violence and a 25-percent increase in the reported incidence of rape and sexual assault"

Kevin Foley
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February 18, 2013
@ Middleton - Um, you might want to re-read the column. This time, as you read, also comprehend.

Senate Republicans joined Dems to re-authorize VAWA...did they do that because it didn't "curb the problem"?

George Middleton
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February 18, 2013
Foley, if it curbed the problem, why do we still have he problem, after almost 20 years?

Also, if, as you say, Senate GOP members joined in renewing, why are you painting all GOP with your poison brush?

You are the one who needs to comprehend. You also might try putting all the facts in your writing, instead of just the ones that support your liberal views.
Kevin Foley
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February 19, 2013
@ Middleton - Guilty. I present facts that support my views. Thanks for noticing.

Tell you what, if I make your head hurt so badly, stop reading.

George Middleton
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February 19, 2013
Stop reading? Not likely. I will continue to rad and bust your chops every time you don't cover both sides of an issue.

BTW, I am not sure who told you that it is permissable for a columnist to argue with and insult readers but when I used to write for a newspaper, back in the late 1990's it wss a definite no.

You seem to be the only MDJ colunist who engages in this rude activity. Why is that?
Kevin Foley
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February 16, 2013
@ Still Yawning - I do agree with D.A. King (and Tip O'Neill, the Democratic lion who coined the phrase): All politics are local.

There are a lot of progressives like me in Cobb County. The difference is, they won't speak up out of fear of being the target of mindless, disdainful attacks like yours.

I'm not the timid sort. I reckon if I present well researched and written opinions like this one about how Republicans really regard women, others may follow my lead.

Notice you don't try to explain why I'm wrong. You just whine because you don't like opinions when they fail to affirm your own presumably narrow views.

Thanks for reading. Or not.
George Middleton
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February 18, 2013
Kevin, I have been reading your stuff ever since the MDJ saw fit to unleash your bitterness on the people of Cobb County.

I am still waiting for your first "well researched and written" opinion. This one is about as far afield from that concept as one might get.

Your opening remark is a "scare tactic" with zero credibility.

You criticize the GOP for not jumping on the liberal bandwagon on the Fiolence Against Women Act, but present no evidence to show that the original act of 1994 has doine anything to curb the problem The reason is simple. The act was designed to punish offenders, not prevent the offene.

The entire content of your column is designed to appeal to the emotions of the non-thinkers, instead of the intellect of the thinking public.

Still waiting for "well reasoned and written."
Bob Sabin
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February 20, 2013
I'll explain why you're wrong. Because Republicans respect and revere women. Almost half of our members are WOMEN - Hello! The fact that SOME don't want tax dollars to pay for abortions via Planned Parenthood or that we don't feel that COMPANIES should be required BY THE GOVERNMENT to provide FREE birth control (or being mandated BY THE GOVERNMENT to provide anything) - when very few other medical services are completely free.

Lie: We don't want to put Planned Parenthood out of business. We just don't want to be forced via tax $ to fund abortions.

Lie: We don't want to BAN contraception! Most of us use or have used contraception. When you can go to a clinic at school or in the community and get a free prescription, why should an employer be forced to provide it against their philosophical doctrine?

When you don't outright lie, Kevin, you will gain some respect from MDJ readers. Until then - plan on getting pummelled and discredited.
Bob S
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February 16, 2013
Foley invariably either stretches the truth or outright lies to set the stage for his weak arguments every week. This week he improperly implied that Republicans stand for the "legitimate rape" comment and are uniformly behind "banning contraception and shutting down Planned Parenthood." What world does he live in?

Then he closes with the fact that no women are Chairpersons as appointed by John Boehner - but have all been given to, heaven forbid, WHITE CONSERVATIVE MEN! Are the Dems now making their committee appointments to anyone in order to have a demographic mix "that reflects America?" Ask Harry Reid - or better yet - look at Obama's cabinet. Lots of White Men there....
@still yawning
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February 15, 2013
For reasons known only to God, the MDJ has given Foley a bully pulpit in this paper. A good newspaper presents all sides of an issue and allows the reader to come to his own conclusions. The MDJ does this, but with Dionne, Sanchez, Henry, Pitts,Press, Parker and Estrich among others, I do not know why we need a home grown progressive spewing his liberal thoughts each week, (and posting on D A King's,Borden's and Dr Fein's articles like a slavering attack dog).

I seriously weighed cancelling my subscription because of my aforesaid feelings about having enough Progressive pap without a home grown irritant.

Foley hungers for the limelight so strongly that he takes the "other" side on almost any issues. The responses to him and his columns, with the notable exceptions of Lib in Cobb and Pellegrino, are almost universally opposed to his opinions.

Is his hunger for being noticed so strong that he rather be scorned than ignored?
Bob Johnson
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February 15, 2013
Do you have any original ideas? All I see is the same old liberal talking points.

For the record Bob Barr 1, Kevin Foley 0
Devlin Adams
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February 15, 2013
Bob, an original idea is a totally foreign concept to Foley.

Spin doctors are like that. They take the same BS, put a little meringue on top and hope you don't notice that it is the same old stuff.

Foley is not even a very good spin doctor. Everybody, and I mean everybody, sees through him. He is as transparent as a glass of mountain air.
stillyawning
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February 15, 2013
Seriously, Bob Johnson, DOES he have any original ideas?! His columns are a sure fire cure for insomnia. I actually search for something new each Friday or in his predictable barrage of replies but it's the same regurgitated crap he spews out endlessly. He can't stand Dr. Fein. He adores Rich Pellegrino and Jerry Gonzalez. Come on, Marietta Daily Journal. How much longer are you going to put up with this guy? Are you going to demand Kevin Foley/Lib in Cobb at least comes up with more Left Wing Lunacy or do we have to keep hearing the same old, same old?
Kevin Foley
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February 15, 2013
Do you have any original comments?

Were you at the debate? If so you should have come up and introduced yourself. Don't be shy.
stillyawning
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February 17, 2013
No, Kevin, I wasn't at the debate I had to work. However, a friend of mine was there and I believe the 2 things I remember him saying was that you were 'shamed' by Bob Barr and that you didn't have a pot to piss in.

I'm just wondering if you've always hated Conservatives/Republicans and been an angry guy or if this was something you've acquired recently. Did your parents raise you that way or did you make the decision as a young adult to be envious of others and demand they share their wealth with the lazy and unwilling and illegal. It must be difficult to put your feet on the floor each morning when you are filled with so much hateful and negative energy.
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