Thursday, October 08, 2009

NO is the Answer if You are a Republican

If perchance some Republican voter reads this blog they could explain to me the underlying logic in voting against a measure like this one. I would think that any reasonably sane person would think it would pass unanimously. I mean what rationale could there be for not letting rape victims have their day in court?

In 2005, Jamie Leigh Jones was gang-raped by her co-workers while she was working for Halliburton/KBR in Baghdad. She was detained in a shipping container for at least 24 hours without food, water, or a bed, and "warned her that if she left Iraq for medical treatment, she'd be out of a job." (Jones was not an isolated case.) Jones was prevented from bringing charges in court against KBR because her employment contract stipulated that sexual assault allegations would only be heard in private arbitration.

Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) proposed an amendment to the 2010 Defense Appropriations bill that would withhold defense contracts from companies like KBR "if they restrict their employees from taking workplace sexual assault, battery and discrimination cases to court."

Franken's measure simply allows victims of rape and discrimination to have their day in court. That's all. What is so hard and worrisome about that? Evidently there is some hidden deviousness here because Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) had the gall to accuse Franken of pushing a "political attack directed at Halliburton". WTF?

There is some good news, and it is that Franken's measure passed the Senate, 68 to 30.

There is some bad news however, and that is, 30 Senate Republicans -- 75% of the entire Republican Senate caucus -- voted against the Franken measure. What possible rationale could three-quarters of the Republican Senate caucus have for voting against this? If there is some saving grace it should be noted that at 10 GOP Senators voted for the amendment including all 4 of the female GOP Senators. I guess that's something.

This particular vote points out something that should give all of us pause and especially the Dems in Congress. The Democrats and President Obama are constantly prostituting their progressive agenda in search of the "bipartisan" solution. If this vote, on something so obviously legitimate and necessary, to give rape victims who work for U.S.-subsidized defense contractors a day in court, still has 30 out of 40 Republican senators saying "No" then the idea that the current Democratic majority will be able to reach constructive and progressive compromises with the GOP minority is quite clearly insane. It isn't going to happen no matter what compromises are made. The Republicans are against anything and everything. It doesn't matter if it makes sense or is right, the GOP is against it.

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