There was always some question about whether there was anything that explained the long, pointless, childish GOP refusal to allow Sen Al Franken to be seated until every last legal option had been worn to a frazzle and the Minnesota electorate with it beyond the inherent stubbornness of bad losers to admit they lost. Well, maybe. Look at the first thing Franken did: submit a bill to embarrass a favorite Republican contributor/contractor and Cheney’s ex-corpo (yeah, right), Halliburton, by refusing to let them walk away scot-free from the Jamie Leigh Jones kidnapping and rape charges. The WaPo’s Katherine Parker is apparently having a problem understanding why they fell so easily into Franken’s trap. It’s a good question but the answer is ludicrously simple. to prevent the Pentagon from contracting with companies that require employees to resolve disputes over sexual assault and discrimination through arbitration rather than through the courts.
The impetus behind the amendment was the 2005 horror story of Jamie Leigh Jones, then a 20-year-old employee of Halliburton/KBR in Iraq, who alleged that she was drugged, gang-raped and held captive for 24 hours in a shipping container without food or water. When Jones sought legal recourse, the defense contractor argued that, under its employment contract, she had to pursue her complaint through arbitration rather than the courts.
No one hearing details of the alleged assault wants to be on the side of those who attacked her — or the company that refused to help her. If you’re a remotely savvy politician, that’s not a battle you want to join.
And yet the Pubs did just that, opening themselves up to this:
30 Republican members of the U.S. Senate have been getting phone calls lately from people asking, “Why do you support rape?”
These callers most likely are familiar with the fake Web site RepublicansForRape.org, which recounts the recent skirmish over Sen. Al Franken’s “anti-rape” amendment to the Senate defense appropriations bill.
Why, Katherine wonders, would they do that?
Politically, this couldn’t be worse timing for Republicans, who can’t seem to shake their white-male-patriarchal-oppressor image.