Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

The Pro-(R)ape Party

I think it’s a reasonably well accepted fact among educated individuals that Republicans aren’t known for believing in or supporting women’s rights. Whether it’s the traditional party policy of standing against a woman’s right to choose, conservative gubernatorial candidates joking that rape victims should “relax and enjoy it,” presidential nominees voting against equal pay legislation for women, or the unofficial GOP spokesperson Rush Limbaugh himself popularizing the term “feminazi” to describe women who refuse to live their lives barefoot and pregnant in front of the oven, Republicans have come up with plenty of creative ways to demean women and oppose gender equality.

Image from Republicans For Rape

Still, it’s not every day that we see conventional Republican disrespect for women show up in the voting records of thirty United States Senators. But a couple of weeks ago, we were actually treated to that spectacle.

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.”

Think Progress

I know this is old news, but I hated that it hadn’t been diaried here on The Moose. If you haven’t already, you should really give the speech Franken gave on the Senate floor a look:

Franken’s amendment passed with bipartisan support by a 68-30 vote. The thirty who voted against the amendment were all Republicans, and all men. We need the following video running on TV in an endless loop come 2010:

The thirty pro-rape Republicans, each delivering a “nay” vote on the Franken amendment:

Alexander (R-TN)

Barrasso (R-WY)

Bond (R-MO)

Brownback (R-KS)

Bunning (R-KY)

Burr (R-NC)

Chambliss (R-GA)

Coburn (R-OK)

Cochran (R-MS)

Corker (R-TN)

Cornyn (R-TX)

Crapo (R-ID)

DeMint (R-SC)

Ensign (R-NV)

Enzi (R-WY)

Graham (R-SC)

Gregg (R-NH)

Inhofe (R-OK)

Isakson (R-GA)

Johanns (R-NE)

Kyl (R-AZ)

McCain (R-AZ)

McConnell (R-KY)

Risch (R-ID)

Roberts (R-KS)

Sessions (R-AL)

Shelby (R-AL)

Thune (R-SD)

Vitter (R-LA)

Wicker (R-MS)

Both of my worthless Senators are included in that list (Sessions, Shelby). Sickening.

We already knew Republicans approved of certain types of rape — primarily the raping of the Constitution, so long as it was being done by one of their own —  but to see 75% of GOP Senators come out against an amendment designed to protect the rights of rape victims is really staggering. These thirty Republicans now have a website dedicated to them, aptly titled Republicans For Rape. And let’s not forget, this is the party that is obstructing health care reform because they’re in the pocket of the insurance companies, which, by the way, consider rape a pre-existing condition. A pro-rape party if ever I saw one.

Seems to me Republican women are one of two things: Stupid or self-loathing.

Now, in all fairness, it is worth noting that Democratic sleazeball Senator Daniel Inouye of Hawaii is considering watering down or eradicating the amendment entirely. From Raw Story:

Inouye’s office, sources say, has been lobbied by defense contractors adamant that the language of the Franken amendment would leave them overly exposed to lawsuits and at constant risk of having contracts dry up.

PLEASE contact Inouye and show your support for Franken’s amendment!


722 Hart Senate Office Building

District of Columbia 20510-1102

(202) 224-6747 FAX

(202) 224-3934 PHONE


300 Ala Moana Boulevard, #7-212

Honolulu, Hawaii 96850

(808) 541-2549 FAX

(808) 541- 2542 PHONE

Or contact via webform.

Honestly, it’s bad enough that any elected officials would oppose an amendment designed to protect the rights of rape victims, but let’s not add Democrats to the list. We need to act QUICKLY. Franken’s amendment is in danger, and decisions are being made NOW.

“The defense contractors have been storming his office,” said a source with knowledge of the situation. “Inouye either will get the amendment taken out altogether, or water it down significantly. If they water it down, they will take out the Title VII claims. This means that in discrimination cases, they will still force you into a secret forced arbitration on KBR’s (or other contractors’) own terms — with your chances of prevailing practically zero. The House seems to be very supportive of the original Franken amendment and all in line, but their hands are tied since it originated in the Senate. And since Inouye runs the show on this bill, he can easily take it out to get Republicans and the defense contractors off his back, which looks increasingly likely.”

A Democratic aide on the Hill, also with knowledge of the situation, confirmed the account, as did a source who works on defense contracting matters outside of Congress. “The contractors are putting on a full-court press on this amendment… they are all doing it,” said the latter source.

A spokesman for the Senate Committee on Appropriations said that “the committee does not comment on ongoing conference negotiations.” But another source with knowledg
e of the situation stressed that it was premature to say that any decision has been made. Indeed, even the Hill source said that the situation is fluid and could change before the bill is sent out of committee — likely in the next few days.

The Huffington Post

We can’t afford to waste time on this. This is an important amendment. Don’t let the lobbyists and their Congresscritter lapdogs screw it up!

And now, for your viewing pleasure, some relevant Jon Stewart goodness:

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
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Political Humor Health Care Crisis



    to let your reps and senators know how you feel about this.

    I had another thought. When something like this comes up we should be able to look and see which of their colleagues they talk to the most. Then we could flood their offices with emails too. They might say something to the one we are trying to influence. A comment coming like that would get any politician’s attention.


    By vile creatures I mean both Halliburton and the Republicans in Congress.

    And another thing.  Why do these rightwingers get so much frigging airtime?  During the Chimp’s Reign of Terror one might have assumed the Democrats didn’t exist we saw so little of them.  A panel show like MTP would have 3 or 4 neoncons and one moderate for “balance”.

  3. DeniseVelez

    names of all the wives and daughters and sisters and nieces, and granddaughters of these assholes.

    Wonder how they really feel about hubbies who would allow them to be raped?

  4. (even when he isn’t one): juxtaposing KBR and Acorn was brilliant.

    WTF are we doing condoning anyone waiving their right to sue for sexual harassment?  Moreover, how are we mistaking gang-rape for “sexual harassment”?  I’m pretty sure gang-rape implies significantly more breaches of the law than pinching someone’s ass: kidnapping and forcible confinement not least of them, and refusing to stand still while the victim’s father puts a bullet in your goddamn head among them.

    And pardon me for being an old dad of young daughters, but let’s not forget that the “woman” in question was 19 years old.  Apparently we deem “adults” her age as too young and irresponsible to drink alcohol, but we do allow them to sign legal contracts that give away their rights to defend themselves from kidnapping and torture.

    I’m sorry, but I’ve read plenty of government Request For Proposals, and they are full of all sorts of abstract requirements.  It would be nothing unusual to add a clause that said “Contractor shall not require employees or subcontractors to sign any documents whose intent is to abrogate their basic human or legal rights.”

  5. Hollede

    I have started a number of diaries over the past couple of weeks, and have not even been able to finish my tubes this week, as I have been getting REALLY PISSED OFF by the repugnants.

    Thank you for writing such a fine diary about this important issue!

  6. louisprandtl

    The real goal, obviously, should be to ensure that no one is denied access to justice and that arbitration agreements are nonbinding in criminal acts. In fact, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit ruled last month in Jones’s favor, agreeing that the alleged gang rape wasn’t related to her employment and that she, therefore, wasn’t bound by the company’s arbitration agreement.

    Jones’s painful ordeal is far from over, and her byzantine route to justice has been indefensibly arduous, but at least now she can have her day in court. Though it appears that there are plenty of bad guys in this story — may they get their due — the 30 Republican senators have been unfairly smeared for doing the harder thing, for the right reasons.

    In the end does her column make any sense to anybody?  

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