Saturday, March 02, 2013

Republican War Against Women Is Backfiring


We covered Boehner's bungling of the whole Violence Against Women Act fiasco on Thursday. Another self-inflicted disaster in the Republican Party's pointless War Against Women. Here was the key paragraph, politically speaking, in case you missed it:
So this morning they voted, first on the GOP fake version and then on the actual Senate bill. Their own crazy thing failed 166-257, only 2 old school, right-wing, misogynistic Democrats (Lipinski and McIntyre) voted with the GOP on it. 60 Republicans voted with the Democratic leadership against it. (Boehner didn't vote.) Immediately afterwards, they voted on the Senate bill and it passed overwhelmingly 286-138. All 138 votes favoring violence against women were Republicans, of course, but 87 Republicans voted with the Democrats-- Boehner's biggest defeat so far. Almost every Republican in a vulnerable district voted with the Democrats-- even the most senior GOP leaders who have been given free reelection passes by DCCC head Steve Israel-- like Paul Ryan (R-WI), Buck McKeon (R-CA), Fred Upton (R-MI), Dave Camp (R-MI), Ed Royce (R-CA), John Kline (R-MN), Greg Walden (R-OR), Mike Rogers (R-MI), Darrell Issa (R-CA), and Chief Republican Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-CA). No, they're not suddenly liberal; they just afraid-- unlike the crackpots (mostly from the South) who were proud to let their freak flags in their War On Women fly.
Endangered New York Republican Tom Reed took the coward's way out and managed to avoid voting on either bill. Many of the 138 pro-violence against women Republicans are in deep red Confederate districts and they're not worried about general election accountability, only about the possibility of being primaried from the fringe right. Extremists like Steve Stockman (R-FL), Trey Radel (R-FL), Paul Broun (R-GA), Louie Gohmert (R-TX), Joe Wilson (R-SC), Patrick Murphy's best pal Bob Pittinger (R-NC), date rape doctor Scott DesJarlais (R-TN), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Steve Scalise (R-LA), and Mac Thornberry (R-TX), for example, could vote to take away the right to vote from women without having to worry about being defeated. Many don't even have functioning Democratic parties in their districts. In the Texas panhandle Mac Thornberry didn't even have an opponent in November and on the other end of the state, a clown like Gohmert was reelected with 72% of the vote.

Then some Republicans-- the ones with statewide and national ambitions, generally-- were smart enough to vote in favor of the bill. Remember when silly little tiny North Carolina closet queen Patrick McHenry used to brag that he would be further right than anyone else in the House? Now that he wants to be the first little tiny closet queen to hold a North Carolina Senate seat, he's changed his tune. While the North Carolina extremists he usually votes in lockstep with-- Virginia Foxx, Renee Ellmers, Richard Hudson, and George Holding-- all voted in favor of violence against women, this was little, tiny Patty voting with North Carolina progressive Democrat Mel Watt!

Shelly Moore Capito already announced she's running for the open West Virginia Senate seat. She voted with the Democrats Thursday. So did David McKinley, who's also flirting with a run for that seat. And over in Wisconsin, Paul Ryan still isn't thinking of himself as someone who peaked too soon; he still wants to run for something. Suddenly he broken with the extreme right and voted with the Democrats. Wisconsin Republicans Ribble, Sensenbrenner and Petri have no ambitions beyond their own districts and, unlike Ryan, they all voted with their own reactionary party-- while Ryan clasped hands with his neighbors Mark Pocan and Gwen Moore. In Nebraska, where Lee Terry announced he's looking at the open Senate seat, only one Republican voted with the Democrats-- Lee Terry.

And almost every Republican on the early DCCC target list-- from Andy Barr (R-KY), Dan Benishek (R-MI), Michael "Mikey Suits" Grimm (R-NY) and Mike Coffman (R-CO) to John Kline (R-MN), Scott Rigell (R-VA), and Dan Webster (R-FL)-- no matter how reactionary they usually are, voted with the Democrats and for the Violence Against Women Act.

But there were a few fools who couldn't quite put the calculus together enough to make a smart decision for self-preservation. This list of anti-women Republicans are in districts where Thursday's voted against the Violence Against Women Act could come back and bite them in the ass next year. The percentage next to each name is how well Romney did in the district.
Michele Bachmann (R-MN)- 56.5% and Bachmann scraped by with 51%
Kerry Bentivolio (R-MI)- 52.3%
John Campbell (R-CA)- 54.8%
Steve Chabot (R-OH)- 52.4%
Randy Forbes (R-VA)- 50.1%
Scott Garrett (R-NJ)- 50.5% (2008 number)
Tim Griffin (R-AR)- 54.7%
Randy Hultgren (R-IL)- 54.2%
Bill Johnson (R-OH)- 55.2%
Mike Kelly (R-PA)- 55.6%
Steve King (R-IA)- 53.4%
John Mica (R-FL)- 51.8%
Tom Petri (R-WI)- 53.1%
Joe Pitts (R-PA)- 52.4%
Reid Ribble (R-WI)- 51.3%
Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA)- 54.7%
Chris Smith (R-NJ)- 53.6% (2008 number)
Steve Southerland (R-FL)- 52.3%
 Tim Walberg (R-MI)- 51.0%
Frank Wolf (R-VA)- 49.9%
Wrong districts to get a bloc of voters the size of the women's vote against you. Of course, that's just my opinion.

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