Posted by LibbyShaw
Some Republican senators are taking heat for voting against an amendment that would allow employees of military contractors to sue their employers if they are raped at work — and they want the Democratic senator who wrote the amendment to help them fight off the bad publicity.
In October, 30 Republicans voted against Sen. Al Franken’s amendment to a defense appropriations bill that would de-fund contractors who prevent their employees from suing if they are raped by co-workers. Since then, those Republicans have faced outrage for what critics say amounts to support for rape.
Instead of standing up to take responsibility for or clarifying their disgraceful votes, Republican cowards are instead attacking Al Franken, blaming him for their votes.
Jamie Leigh Jones — a former KBR employee who says she was locked in a container in Iraq after alleging she was raped by co-workers — to further his political agenda.Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) accused Franken exploiting the story of
“Trying to tap into the natural sympathy that we have for this victim of this rape –and use that as a justification to frankly misrepresent and embarrass his colleagues, I don’t think it’s a very constructive thing,” Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) said in an interview.
I guess Franken held a sledge hammer over Cornyn’s head and said if he did not vote against the anti-rape amendment Franken would crack it over his head.
What shameless cowards.
I could not agree more with Laura Clawson over at Daily Kos.
To summarize the Republican position: As women, we are not “average Americans,” and gang rape is not a “serious” issue. As women, no matter how powerful we become on our own merits, the Republican establishment will still be hoping for a man to come along and put us in our place.
Not every Republican signs onto these views — indeed, 10 Senate Republicans voted for the Franken amendment, giving the lie to the NRSC’s claim of partisanship — but this is the undercurrent of the party’s policies. This is what they’re hoping to get voters to overlook when they run a Sarah Palin or a Kelly Ayotte for office. This is why Bob McDonnell’s campaign for Virginia governor has been such a popular campaign stop for 2012 prospects: because of, not despite, his opposition to marital contraception and women in the workplace. This is why David Vitter (who voted against the Franken amendment) is still a senator in good standing with the party of alleged sexual morality.
You don’t have to go very far beneath the Republican surface claims of equality-but-not-really to get to the rock-bottom sense that women just don’t count, that our rights and our wellbeing are always subordinate to whatever interest of men they might conflict with. When it comes to it, even the (themselves sexist) notions of chivalry and protecting women come behind protecting the right of corporations to imprison their female employees to shield their male employees from rape charges and still get government contracts.
This latest vote against anti-rape legislation should be a chilling and sober wake up call for all women.
In October 2009, Sen. Franken tears into KBR’s front man. It is well worth watching.