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VAWA: Left’s Political Football

This afternoon, after some procedural gamesmanship, the House approved the Senate-passed Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), sending theunconstitutional bill to President Obama’s desk.  The President has signed numerous constitutionally questionable bills and certainly will not hesitate to sign this one.

The question many will ask is, what now?

Unfortunately, that question is hard to answer.  Over the past year, the Left managed to turn domestic violence into a political football.  Rather than debate the merits of the program and examine any honest critiques, far too many resorted to demagoguery.  By the end of the debate, the Left’s primary talking point was a Taylor Swift video parody.

The politicization of VAWA meant there was no appetite to evaluate the program.  Indeed, many in the GOP simply wanted to get the “issued resolved” and done with.  But expanding the framework of an ineffective program will not protect anyone from violence.  In fact, this five-year authorization will allow politicians to look the other way.  They can tell their constituents that they’ve done their part by renewing the Violence Against Women Act.

Of course, there is little evidence they have done ANYTHING to help prevent domestic violence.  Studies cited by proponents of the law acknowledge “the VAWA act did not appear to have a unique impact on most of the existing trends of domestic violence measured for this study, including the domestic violence incidence rate, rate of reporting to the police, and arrest rate.”  Yesterday, even Time was forced to ask the question: What’s Wrong with the Violence Against Women Act?  The piece went on to explain there is “little conclusive evidence that it has significantly reduced the incidence of violence.”

There were a number of very good reasons to oppose the House and Senate reauthorizations of VAWA, including concerns over tribal language, overfunding, etc.  No one on the Left should get away with smearing those who had legitimate concerns.  Passing an ineffective law will not keep Americans safe from violence.  That is something every lawmaker should be reminded of.

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