January 10, 2013

It's Exactly The Same, Except It's Different

Saw this one on facebook today:
Those horrible, horrible Republicans! How could they do this?! I mean, it's not like the House leadership passed their own version of the VAWA, that was closer to the previous version than the one the Senate passed, which added some new provisions, right? Wait..they did?! Well, what the fuck, then, pink sign?!

Look, we all know that violence against women is awful. Domestic violence particularly so. That's why I find this graphic so vile--it uses this tragic topic for purely political purposes. It clearly implies that House republicans don't care about violence against women, and as a result, have decided not to renew this important piece of legislation. Well, here's the truth--the Senate added three new provisions for the new VAWA:

  1. It gives Native-American tribal authorities expanded authority to prosecute cases of violence that occur on reservations.
  2. It specifically bans discrimination against gays, lesbians, and transgender victims by domestic violence organizations that receive federal funds.
  3. It would raise the number of visas given to illegal aliens who are victims of domestic violence above the current cap of 10,000.

These are the sticking points for the House, at least as I understand them. I'll be honest--I don't really have any problem with any of them. I understand the apparent arguments being made against them. That they give undue authority to N.A. tribal police, that the law as written previously covers G/L/TG victims, so there's no need to single them out, and that the cap is there for a reason. I just don't see them as being as big of a concern as the House does. But here's the thing: if you want to have an argument on the merits of these additions, then HAVE THAT ARGUMENT! But to make people think that the House leadership just doesn't want to pass a VAWA, when in fact they've already passed their own version, is just disingenuous, overly partisan, and frankly, really disgusting. It's amazing to what depths people will sink when they feel the end (voting out republicans) justifies the means (creating some bullshit graphic that unfairly (and untruthfully) paints a picture of political opponents).