Here's another story that did not get near enough attention in our mainstream/corporate "Liberal" media. The issue also demonstrates how politics have absolutely superceded any semblance of right and wrong.
First of all, the situation is ridiculous and criminal. A woman is hired to do clerical work in Baghdad's Green Zone. There, she claims to have been brutally gang raped by other employees of her company (a subsidiary of Halliburton). The company is "unable to locate" important components of her rape kit, and additionally tells her that, due to her employment contract, she is unable to seek a redress of grievances in court, and must submit to the company's internal arbitration proceedures. The Bush Justice Department failed to investigate.
She has taken the issue to court and Congress to get this fixed, and not a lot of people want to talk about it.
Second, a United States Senator wrote an amendment to a bill earlier this year to address just this sort of issue. The amendment requires Department of Defense not to contract (or sub contract) with companies that require mandatory arbitration clauses.
This amendment would prevent taxpayer dollars from contracting with companies that require employees to sign employment agreements restricting their ability to take sexual assault or sexual harassment claims to court.
I personally cannot think of a more bi-partisan stance than "keeping American women working in war zones from being sexually assaulted or harassed by people paid with American taxpayer dollars." This seems like a fairly simple loophole to close in the interests of justice. If you want to get paid by Uncle Sam, you've got to play by our rules, dammit.
So color me surprised when 30 GOP senators voted against this amendment.
Worse was their explanation: that the amendment was political in nature because it came from a liberal democrat. That the amendment was only written to make them look bad. They chose politics over policy and voted against the amendment (though it was later signed into law).
Luckily, not all Republicans let such base cynicism guide their votes. But if you look at which 30 voted against it, it is a verifiable laundry list of those GOP senators who overpoliticize everything: Brownback, Chambliss, Coburn, Cornyn, McConnel, Sessions, Shelby and Vitter.
Can you imagine the white-hot rage these same individuals, and their cheerleaders at Fox News and right-wing-talk radio, would exhibit if one of them proposed such an amendment, and 30 Democrats voted against it??? It would be the top item on news, and blogs and radio for at least a month. And after Chappaquiddick, Monica, and John Edwards' baby, you know I'm right.
If I behaved like they do, I'd have to ask: "Why do these 30 Republican Senators hate young American women? Why would these 30 Republican Senators want to protect sexual predators? Why would these 30 Republican Senators want to spend YOUR TAX DOLLARS to COVER UP RAPE?" (Said in a nasal and incredulous/inquisitive Hannity-like whine.)
But the altar of politics over policy is becoming the norm these days. It seems that shame has ceased to be a cultural factor in changing behavior these days. Now we just try to ignore those things we know are wrong, but allow to happen anyway.
That so many Republicans and their allies in the media take time defending those things I know to be wrong, well that drives me to find their words empty and without credibility again and again.
PS: And if Obama was the blind partisan most folks think he is, he could clean the GOP clock with issues like this. Add it to the financial state of affairs, the torture of prisoners and a raft of other issues, and he could pound them into the ground.