Do They Think We Don’t Notice?

The MN GOP candidates have consistently held anti-women and anti-immigrant positions.

When they tell us how much they are ‘on our side’, or ‘reaching out to us’——–do they think we don’t notice their positions?  Is their strategy our ignorance?  Are they so used to the Fox News misinformed and ignorant voter, the ideology fact averse Republican their norm?   Because there ARE principled conservatives and there are  Republicans who are still in touch with objective reality; the far right extremist positions cannot satisfy them and does not appeal to the rest of us.  We have problems on the tribal lands here in Minnesota with violence against women.  We have Latino and other immigrant populations who are well aware of discrimination and antagonism directed against them.  They are not served by conservatives in our state legislature or by Minnesota Republicans at the federal level.  I predict that if the Violence Against Women Act comes to a House vote today, that our Republican representatives will vote against it, including Michele Bachmann (if she shows up for the vote) where Republican women in the Senate voted for the Act.

The “Violence Against Women Act” is expected to come up for a vote in the House today. 
It is NOT called the “Violence Against White Heterosexual Wives Act”. 
So, why is it that the GOP is fighting to exclude certain classifications of women from protection?  Do they WANT women to be abused? Do they think that would keep women in line, keep us pregnant after rape, keep us from seeking all that silly health care or making those decisions about our bodies and reproduction that they don’t want to entrust to us?  After all it was the GOP that tried to redefine rape as only the most violent assault on women, which would have defined out of existence things like statutory rape.  We know some of those conservative men have a cultural view that sexually predatory old men (with guns) and underage girls is desirable.  And apparently the GOP also has no objections to drugging women unconscious and THEN having non-consensual sex; they don’t want that to be rape either, per the defeated legislation that they have proposed since the 2010 election cycle.

Changes to the Violence Against Women statute were made to close terrible loop holes which allowed for violence against women who were NOT protected as they should have been.  Here is one example, extending coverage to Native American women where there were loopholes for women living on reservations.  For the GOP and the Tea Partiers, it’s a two-fer — allowing violence against women AND allowing violence against not-white people; they can satisfy and gratify their misogynists AND the racists in their ranks!  The right is wrong on the national level, and they are wrong on the state level here in Minnesota, as demonstrated by right wing blogger Mitch Berg in his endorsement of Dan Severson in his run for Senate.
From the WaPoAmerican Indians seek protection from abuse by non-Indians in House domestic violence bill

WASHINGTON — Diane Millich’s ex-husband was never arrested for any of the more than 100 times he slapped, kicked or punched her before showing up at her Colorado workplace and firing a 9 mm pistol, wounding the co-worker who pushed her out of the way.
When he was finally arrested in New Mexico weeks after the shooting, he was treated as a first-time offender.

Why? Because while Millich is Native American, her ex-husband is not and all the domestic violence took place on the Southern Ute reservation.
Under a 1978 Supreme Court decision, non-Indians cannot be prosecuted by tribal courts for crimes committed on tribal land. Last July, the Justice Department recommended that Congress give tribes local authority to prosecute non-Indians in misdemeanor domestic and dating violence cases. The pending renewal of the Violence Against Women Act seemed a good chance to do that.

Other groups that would receive protection in the expansion of coverage that would protect women from violence, by extending the definition of who the Violence Against Women Act would cover would be the partners – legal or not recognized – of same sex violence, which does occur although at a much lower rate than heterosexual violence, and immigrant women.  The suit against the failure to perform their duty by Sheriff Joe Arpaio and his subordinates in Arizona in HUNDREDS of sexual assault cases, and numerous domestic abuse cases, is a worst case scenario of what happens all over the nation in varying degrees.

Instead, the good ‘family values’ conservative hypocrites tried to WEAKEN the Violence Against Women Act, allowing for MORE violence against women legally.  There were an unprecedented number of entities lobbying on the act, the ones on the right, for changes weakening it.  The changes would be anti-immigrant, for specious and invalid reasons, but that appeals to the right.

From the Center for Responsive Politics :
… House language could leave tribal women worse off than they are under existing law, according to lobbyists for the tribes.

Most of the immigration groups supported Senate language that would preserve certain rights of undocumented women to call police, without fear of deportation, if they are being abused.

The House bill, under a package of amendments that its sponsor was expected to introduce tonight, would make it harder for women to secure “U” visas, which were designed to encourage victims of serious crimes to come forward despite being undocumented.

“The House bill rolls back existing protections,” said Greg Chen, top lobbyist for the American Immigration Lawyers Association.

Lobbyists on the other side maintain that the current system lends itself to fraud, although there’s little statistical evidence to support that.

From the HuffPo, expanding on how this is anti-immigrant women:
Under current law, an immigrant woman who has been abused by her American husband can apply for legal status in her own right without her husband’s knowledge, in order to escape the marriage without being deported. The GOP version of VAWA strips out that measure so that the state could notify the suspected abuser that his wife was seeking citizenship, which Republicans lawmakers argue will help protect anti-domestic violence programs from immigration fraud.

This continues the GOP fiction that women lie about rape to obtain abortions, and lie about domestic abuse, and therefore should be ignored or not protected.  There is NO reason to believe that women are lying about violence; under the extension of the Violence Against Women Act, they would still have to demonstrate that they were, in fact, victims of violence.  There is no record of fraud in this regard, there is no procedural weakness that would permit fraud in the bi-partisan passed Senate version EITHER.  This is a feeble fallacy on the right that plays to ill-informed tea partiers and other hate group extremists on the far right.  The fact that Planned Parenthood opposes the House changes is probably enough to cause those groups to fall down on the ground in fits, foaming at the mouth.

So it was with amazement that I received the following email of praise for candidate Dan ‘Doc’ Severson for Senate, citing praise from our old friend (really, not sarcastically) Mitch Berg.  Mitch appears either to be harshly critical of the anti-immigrant policies of the GOP, which would surprise me, as he toes whatever the party line is, no matter how wrong or how bad, consistently, OR he thinks that immigrants are stupid and will vote against their own interests.

From the Severson email, where Mitch waxes ecstatic at some greater length and with delusional expectations:
Blogger Mitch Berg Takes and [sic] Honest Look at the Senate Race – Endorses Severson‏
Among the support our campaign has received, I want to highlight one in particular that means a good deal to me. Long time activists, who have carried the water for the MN GOP for decades, are those endorsements which I cherish most. Come October, they are the ones who will be fighting in the trenches alongside of us. – Dan “Doc” Severson

Mitch’s words, quoted in the celebratory email:
[Dan has] …got a long record of fighting the same fight the conservatives fought in 2000, that the Tea Party fought two years ago, and that the Paul crowd at least in part fights today – the fight to try to limit government – from an actual seat in the legislature. Dan’s not perfect, but he’s been plenty good enough in a place and time that’s counted
…We’ve already mined the good GOP districts for every vote they have. The long-term future of the Republican party as a vessel for the conservative movement lies in the tens of thousands of Minnesotans who have come here recently from places like Laos, Guatemala, Eritrea, Mexico, Vietnam, Russia, Somalia, from places with strong traditions of family, faith and honor – things the GOP is supposed to uphold, although which it seems to do imperfectly lately – and whose way forward in this country, like all previous immigrants, is hard work and entrepreneurship. Dan Severson has led the way on this. He’s forged links with immigrant and ethnic communities in Minneapolis and Saint Paul that are a first in Minnesota Republican politics, and may be nearly unique in the US outside of Florida and the heavily-Latino southwest. And that is the first step on the way to the future of the GOP and conservatism in Minnesota.

Severson goes on to link to an SitD post, with these words:
Mitch Berg understands that we as Republicans cannot continue to ignore conservative minority populations and expect to win another statewide election. Dan Severson is the only senate candidate who seems to understand this. He’s the only candidate who has spent the time building these relationships, and therefore, he’s the only one who can win.

Here’s the thing; the GOP, and the Tea Partiers HAVE NOT forged links to the immigrant communities ANYWHERE, least of all in the Southwest, as noted recently by the REPUBLICAN LATINA Governor of New Mexico in a Daily Beast interview. 

To give a broader perspective, not only on New Mexico, but on the larger southwest is an article from the Tucson Citizen describing the Southwester anti-immigrant (legal OR illegal) experience:

“Andrew Romano at The Daily Beast has an excellent article on his interview with New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez. He makes the argument that Mitt Romney would be wise to select her as his V.P. running mate, noting that Romney trails President Obama by as many as 56 percentage points among Latinos and by 20 points among women. But then he acknowledges the obvious – after John McCain’s disastrous pick of Sarah Palin in 2008, Romney is not going to take the risk of selecting another female first term Governor of a state not well known to the rest of the country “

Because Palin was so bad, and because Martinez IS a Latina, it is even more unlikely that she would be acceptable to Romney, or to the extreme right base.  They wouldn’t CARE that Martinez isn’t an air head, any more than they gave serious consideration to the excellent previous Republican governor of New Mexico as a presidential candidate.  The article goes on to explain WHY the right won’t get the Hispanic vote:

“Governor Martinez says there is “no doubt” that Hispanics have been “alienated” during the Republican Presidential Primary campaign with the hard right rhetoric that summed up the Republican approach to solving illegal immigration. Martinez scoffs at the Romney proposal of self deportation: “‘Self-deport?’ What the heck does that mean?” Well Governor, it’s the idea behind recent anti-immigrant laws in Arizona and Alabama: that if you make life miserable enough through harassment and intimidation they’ll just leave on their own. There’s just one little flaw – life in the U.S. with harassment & intimidation still isn’t nearly as miserable as life in Mexico, Guatemala or Honduras. And there’s the little side effect of making life miserable for American Citizens just because their Hispanic heritage makes them resemble someone who might be an illegal. Actually you don’t even need to be Hispanic. I live Cochise County and have gone through the Border Patrol checkpoint on Hwy 191 dozens of times. A white haired 60 year old guy of English & Irish ancestry, I’m always waved through. The one time I was stopped was when I had a friend visiting from Hawaii with me in the car. They demanded his ID and that he declare his citizenship. He’s of Chinese & Hawaiian ancestry, I guess he looked close enough to Hispanic be suspicious.”

I’m highly skeptical that Dan ‘Doc’ Severson (it is Doc SeverINson your imitating with your name, you dolt), has diverged from the party line sufficiently to win over Minnesota immigrant populations ANYWHERE in the state.  So unless he has drastically criticized the GOP position, as Governor Martinez has, which I doubt, Severson is either NOT going to get the GOP nod (which looks like it is going to Hegseth) OR Severson and Mitch Berg have no idea what immigrant populations in this country support.  Or maybe both are true – Severson won’t get the GOP nod, AND Mitch Berg and the GOP are dramatically out of touch with immigrants.  That is doubly true for immigrant WOMEN.

Despite the efforts of the GOP to suppress voters who come from these communities with their voter ID amendment, it is very likely that these communities will vote in unprecedented numbers in the 2012 election. The reason the right is trying to suppress broad voter participation is that they are NOT likely to support the old, white, narrow minded bigots in the GOP.

To underline how anti-women Dan Severson has been in his career, in his failed effort to run for Secretary of State in 2010, he bragged about trying to bill women who were raped for their rape kits. This is significant for the following reason as noted by RH Reality Check back in 2010:
Because the Minnesota Secretary of State’s office, beyond all of the other duties, also oversees the Safe at Home Program, a special service offered to victims of abuse and others who may have a need to conceal their addresses to avoid physical or emotional harm.

Safe at Home is a program offered by the Secretary of State’s office in collaboration with local victim service providers. This program became effective September 1, 2007 and is designed to help survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, or others who fear for their safety establish a confidential address.
The intent of Safe at Home is to allow its participants to go about their lives, interacting with public and private entities, without leaving traces of where they really live in an attempt to keep their abuser from locating them.

The GOP is anti-immigrant, the GOP is anti-brown and black people, the GOP is anti-women.  They lie about it, they believe that simply CLAIMING they are not makes it so, when their policies and positions clearly show that they seek to make life brutal for women and for immigrants and for native Americans while favoring old white rich people at every opportunity.  And they brag how well they are connected, how popular they are with these constituencies: they LIE, or they are delusional, or both.

That will be reflected in the House vote, today or later, on the Violence Against Women Act.  That will be reflected as well, in the 2012 election voter participation voting AGAINST the GOP. 

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