I don't normally get my news from The Daily Show on Comedy Central though I'll admit it does frequently make this political junkie giggle before going to sleep. Well today with house and mass email stress via the Girl Scouts, I didn't catch Charlie Gibson at 5:30 p.m. CST like usual. Sad, I know. So Jon Stewart and The Daily Show was my primary news source for Wednesday, October 14, 2009.
And on that "news source" I learned about the most frightening vote from Congress I have ever heard of. So frightening, I'm going to tell you about it but I'm going to suggest you are seated before you read the rest of this. And if you are a Republican or live in a Republican state, I'm going to suggest you start perfecting the fine art of being embarrassed for someone else.
Minnesota's Al Franken proposed a bill to make the government quit hiring military contractors who prohibit their employees to report on-the-job rapes. Woohoo Franken! A little surprised (ok a lot surprised) that companies can decide a federal law and violation of human rights doesn't apply to them but in some ways, maybe that's neither here nor there. What is here and there though is that THIRTY REPUBLICAN SENATORS VOTED AGAINST THE ANTI-RAPE BILL.
How do you vote against an anti-rape bill? How do you say rape is a terrible crime that is both illegal and inhumane but yet allow companies, in fact companies that you Senator hire, to have a "mums the word" policy on it? You force these women into hush-hush situations and that's OK!? Do you even have a mother? Would you ask your mother to keep such a crime a secret?
A senator from Alabama said he voted against it because the government shouldn't be interfering in private company contracts, even if they do prohibit the report of a violent, invasive crime and therefore render the victim truly helpless and give a get-outta-jail-free card to the rapist. Point 1 - um, yeah you should. Even from a purely legal standpoint, its the law and laws are only as good as their enforcement. What good are laws against rape if the crime can't be reported and thus not punished? Point 2 - private company contracts aside, this bill was just saying that the government shouldn't hire companies with these practices. You are part of the hiring body and therefore you can hire at your discretion. So why are you hiring companies with such horrendous policies? Point 3 - The US government can tell other countries what form of government they should have, tell me to pay income tax and potentially require health insurance but it can't require itself to only hire ethical companies? Bull crap.
I'd like to note that while I am generally really proud to be from the great state of Texas where we play some of the best football, make AMAZING salsa and are home to George Strait, I am not standing as tall today. My own Senator, John Cronyn, voted against this bill. John, you are an embarrassment to the state of Texas, the US government and yourself; I'm glad I did not vote for you and I hope your press people read this and shudder a little about it. To the other John, McCain that is, I had a lot more respect for you pre-this-vote. I thought you could have been a decent president and in many ways was pretty bummed that we didn't see eye-to-eye on more. This however has destroyed much of my faith in you. I'm glad I didn't vote for you and I'm glad I'm not from Arizona (however as noted above, Texas apparently isn't much better though I assume Hutchinson voted with Franken since she's not on the vote-against list and 98 senators voted...).
To all 30 of you schmucks, which is as vulgar as I'll get because my mother reads this and it feeds into my Facebook so potentially Girl Scout volunteers also read this, I'm sure you have a tough, thick political skin and hear about the opposition to your politics daily. This though was infringing upon the Hippocratic oath and as the leaders of millions, you should have to abide by this just as doctors do. I truly hope that at some point in your lives you look back on this and think "that was truly a stupid, hurtful, unethical and embarrassing vote. If given the chance, I would change my actions."
Hmmph. And THAT folks, is EXACTLY how I feel about all this.