February 21 2013

VAWA, the Political Sideshow

Charlotte Hays

Fasten your seatbelts: The Violence Against Women Act, passed in the Senate, goes to the House of Representatives for a vote.

The bill, which was originally signed into law by President Bill Clinton, needs an overhaul before being renewed. I outline some of the problems with VAWA as it is currently written today at the Daily Caller.  

But the discussion is not going to revolve around whether the bill should be passed as is or improved. It will revolve around nasty attacks on those who oppose it, who will be pilloried as being “against women.”

Senator Marco Rubio, who courageously voted against reauthorizing VAWA in the Senate, is getting a taste of this vitriol. By the way, Rubio had said he was open to a different version of VAWA with some changes.

The Democratic attacks on Rubio are cynical but typical. Andrew Stiles does a great job of characterizing the modus operandi of such VAWA supporters:

 Democrats have nearly perfected the following exercise in cynical electioneering: 1) introduce legislation; 2) title it something that appeals to the vast majority of Americans who have no interest in learning what is actually in the bill, e.g., the “Violence Against Women Act”; 3) make sure it is sufficiently noxious to the GOP that few Republicans will support it; 4) vote, and await headlines such as “[GOP Lawmaker] Votes No On Violence Against Women Act”; 5) clip and use headline in 30-second campaign ad; and 6) repeat.

Democrats are describing the VAWA debate as the next skirmish in what they are peddling as a Republican “War on Women.”  Why are they so wedded to the “War on Women?” “It’s important to point out why the White House is doing this,” my boss, Sabrina Schaeffer, executive director of IWF, said to Stiles. “Unmarried women. They are a critical base for Democrats, and the basis for the ‘War on Women.’ What’s concerning is that it worked.”

The VAWA debate will undoubtedly be cynically used by Democrats to appeal to single women. This political ploy will be far more important to them than discussing whether VAWA, as written, is the best vehicle for protecting women or whether the $400,000 plus spent yearly on VAWA projects is the best use of the money.

The press, unwilling to get behind the political name-calling and actually explore these matters, will help them.

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