What Fresh Hell Is This?

March 11, 2013

VAWA "Vote" Goes National

Remember this blogpost?

It was about how Representative Keith Rothfus lied (by omission)  about his vote "for" the Violence Against Women Act (which he actually voted against).

Well, the story's getting some national attention.

First at the Maddowblog.  In a piece quoting to this McClatchy story:
At first glance it seemed as though Republican Rep. Vicky Hartzler of Missouri had broken with the majority of her fellow conservatives in the House of Representatives last week to renew an expanded version of the 1994 Violence Against Women Act, which funds programs to assist survivors of sexual assault and domestic abuse.

A statement from her office proclaimed: "Hartzler votes to protect women from acts of violence."

“Violence against women, in all its forms, is unacceptable,” Hartzler said in the statement.

But Hartzler, who was elected with strong tea party support, had voted for a Republican amendment to the bill, which failed 166-257, and against the version that’s headed for the president’s desk to be signed into law.
Which was essentially the same lie that Rothfus told his constituents.  Steve Benen at the Maddowblog goes on to say:
A spokesperson for Hartzler told McClatchy "there wasn't any intention to deceive." Oh no, of course not. Hartzler opposed legislation, then issued press releases to make it seem as if she supported the legislation. Why would anyone think she intended to deceive?

What's worse, Hartzler wasn't the only one playing this cynical game.

A Democratic source emails this afternoon to note that Reps. Tim Griffin (R-Ark.), Tim Walberg (R-Mich.), Keith Rothfus (R-Pa.), Tim Murphy (R-Pa.), Steve King (R-Iowa), Robert Pittenger (R-N.C.), and Rep. Bill Johnson (R-Ohio) all did the exact same thing.

What happened to far-right conservatives having the courage of their convictions? If they opposed the Violence Against Women Act and felt the need to vote against it, then why pretend otherwise? Why try to deceive the public instead of explaining why they opposed the legislation?

Extremism is disconcerting, but by some measures, cowardice is worse.
The story's now at the Huffingtonpost:
When Congress passed the Violence Against Women Act reauthorization bill late last month, more than 130 House Republicans voted against it. But some of those same lawmakers are putting out misleading statements that make it look like they voted for the bill instead.
Misleading deception. Disconcerting extremism. Cowardice.

These are not good phrases to describe a politician's reputation.  And yet when you unethically claim to support a bill you actually voted against, the description is accurate.


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