Melissa Harris-Perry | March 03, 2013
>>> the renewal of the violence against women act has been more difficult than it should have been, that's because president obama and the democrats sought to expand those covered by the bill while republicans resisted and offered more of their own version of a very narrow bill this week. the democrats won, the more inclusive version passed the house with a vote of 286 to 138. 87 republicans joined 199 democrats to help send the reauthorization to the president's desk for signature. why did the republicans like house minority leader eric cantor who had been so obstinate that they let the re reauthorization die in the last congress, not only to relent but once again break the previously cherished hazard rule about bringing a bill up to vote that they knew would pass on a majority democratic vote? maybe my next guest had something to do with it.
>> as i think about the lgbt victims not here, the native women who are not here, the immigrants who are not included in this bill, i would say as sojourner truth would say, ain't they women ? they deserve protections, and we talk about the constitutional rights . don't women on tribal lands deserve the constitutional right of equal protect and not to be raped and battered and beaten and dragged back on to native lands because they know they can be raped with impunity. ain't they women ?
>> ain't they indeed. that reference is to the famed former slave and abolitionist sojourner truth and it came from her ain't i a woman speech a decade before the civil war . as in this case as the declaration coming at the start of an even longer fight. joining our conversation from milwaukee congresswoman gwen moore from mississippi. so nice always to see you, representative.
>> oh, it's great. i wish i could be there with you today.
>> so tell me, what do you think finally turned the tide of vawa?
>> let me tell you something, melissa. i can tell you that this is a real course in miracles , and it really demonstrates that our democracy, however flawed, really does work. there was a lot of momentum behind that leadership wall, eric cantor refusing to bring the bill to the floor. the 87 republicans there, tom cole , the only native american , a republican fighting to hard to get it to the floor on their side. the 1,300 groups, including law enforcement groups that supported the senate version and my identical version in the house of representatives , you just cannot stonewall a bill like this. we had native american tribes , something i had never even heard of, crawling all over the hill, and, of course, the -- the gap in the last election, the gender gap really was very persuasive as well, and so i think that you saw a wall come down because of democracy.
>> and so on that, let me ask a little bit about the politics of this because obviously they are looking at that gender gap . they are looking at this sort of continuing discourse about a war on women but boehner has broken that sacred rule twice, brought votes to the floor that he knew would pass but with only a minority of his party support. is he going to keep his job?
>> i can tell you that there are threats to his leadership about the sequester that's coming up if he were to break that rule. my own senator from wisconsin, senator johnson, was recently quoted as saying, hey, he should fear for his job if he were to give in on that. but i can tell you, it speaks volumes about the gerrymandering we've seen around redistricting. this is a flaw in their redistricting plan because the greater -- the greater public will out there is to do something about the sequester, is to do something about women 's rights, lgbt rights , to keep our economy on an even keel, and i just think that the leadership in the house of representatives is mismatched with the general public will.
>> jill, i want to ask you something about something the congresswoman has brought up twice, the sequester. we're excited we finally passed vawa and now the sequester would take the law and they gate it because there's no money to do it.
>> if the sequester lasts for a full ten month, that's 210,000 victims of violence that won't get the services they need. an ongoing problem with the republican problem, hostility towards women and if you look at the groups that the house vawa cut out of the bill, it reads like a who's who list of the groups the republican party has been increasingly hostile to, immigrants, lbgt people, native women , you know, low-income women in particular who are the main beneficiaries of vawa so, you know, the republican party , the strategy of only targeting their policies towards middle and upper class right straight men it rallies the base, but as that group wanes in number and in power it's not a good electoral strategy going forward, and i do look forward to seeing them losing more elections.
>> they definitely will. the way -- it is so -- it's -- eric cantor should be completely ashamed of himself and all of these people that vote against lbgt rights should not be able to have gay in their life. i'm not kidding, any songs by gay people , sorry, you can't listen to this. you can't -- you can't wear clothes that are designed by gay people , movies with gay people . do you understand that we are -- we're part of your -- and, you know, look at dick cheney . i mean, no gay kids. all these people, you know, god forbid they have gay kids and all of a sudden oh.
>> i love the idea of a gay-free lifestyle and i love it because i hate the idea of a gay-free lifestyle.
>> congresswoman moore, thank you so much for joining us and thank you even more for that for bringing soju jer truth back to us and asking the question ain't i a woman. cecile have more to talk about with this panel when we come back. not only should we be celebrating vawa but we still need to be building that wall because they are going after planned parenthood , again. olay