December 5, 2009

You'd think rape would be one issue Republicans would be smart enough not make into a partisan issue, but no. They couldn't help themselves.

Franken passed an amendment that was attached to a defense bill that would withhold government contracts from companies that refused to let employees bring rape cases before the courts. It should be tough voting against rape, but thirty Republicans did just that and now they are whining the night away because bloggers and some MSMers have highlighted their atrocity. And in their usual silly reality, they are blaming Sen. Al Franken because they are getting hammered over their malfeasance.

Al Franken fallout has GOP fuming

The Republicans are steamed at Franken because partisans on the left are using a measure he sponsored to paint them as rapist sympathizers — and because Franken isn’t doing much to stop them.

“Trying to tap into the natural sympathy that we have for this victim of this rape —and use that as a justification to frankly misrepresent and embarrass his colleagues, I don’t think it’s a very constructive thing,” Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) said in an interview.

“I think it’s going to make a lot of senators leery and start looking at things he’s doing earlier on, because I don’t think it got appropriate attention ahead of time.”


Franken, who declined to be interviewed, has said previously that the measure was inspired by the story of former KBR employee Jamie Leigh Jones, who alleges that she was drugged, beaten and gang-raped at age 19 when stationed in Baghdad. She fought the arbitration clause in her contract, and in September the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit ruled that Jones’s sexual assault allegations were not “related to” her employment, allowing her to proceed in court. KBR is fighting the ruling.


“I don’t know what his motivation was for taking us on, but I would hope that we won’t see a lot of Daily Kos-inspired amendments in the future coming from him,” said South Dakota Sen. John Thune, No. 4 in the Senate Republican leadership. “I think hopefully he’ll settle down and do kind of the serious work of legislating that’s important to Minnesota.”

Aides point out that despite attacks on Republicans by liberal commentators like Rachel Maddow and Keith Olbermann and on blogs such as Daily Kos, Franken never appeared on any of the shows or on the blogs to make a partisan argument about the matter, saying that the senator turned down entreaties to do so.

Also, they point to the 10 Republicans who voted for the amendment as proof that it wasn’t a partisan measure.

“Sen. Franken has been proud to partner with both Republicans and Democrats to find common-sense solutions to the problems we face,” said Jess McIntosh, his spokeswoman. “He’s been working hard for Minnesota since he got here five months ago and has already introduced 10 bills — four of which were introduced with Republican co-sponsors, and two already passed the Senate with broad bipartisan support.”

Cornyn should be embarrassed by the Republicans, but instead tries to say they were misrepresented. Really? Did he vote yes or no? That's the only question that should be debated. All the Republicans who voted against Franken's measure have a lot more to answer for. Bad PR is just the beginning.

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