On TeaNN's Erin Burnett OutFront, "contributor" Dana Loesch was spewing a number of falsehoods regarding the Violence Against Women Act, including the defense of fellow St. Louis nutjob Phyllis Schlafly.
From the 03.15.2012 edition of CNN's Erin Burnett OutFront:
BURNETT: All right, John Avlon is with us. (INAUDIBLE) Elise Jordan is a former speechwriter for Condoleezza Rice also joins us and Dana Loesch, CNN contributor -- all right, great to see all of you with us. Let me start with you Dana.
It is something everyone thought would be over by now. I mean and it was interesting, he was actually talking about Newt Gingrich (INAUDIBLE) I wouldn't want to presume to tell Newt Gingrich what to do, but I thought it would be over by now. And you know sort of it seemed like he was saying that maybe Newt should get out although he didn't directly say it.
DANA LOESCH, EDITOR, BIGJOURNALISM.COM: Well there are a lot of individuals, Erin that are wondering whether or not Newt Gingrich should get out of the race. But at the same time, I was having a conversation with a friend a little bit earlier and we were discussing how the primary is a really good racket because the longer you stay in the longer you can really push to get higher speaking fees and maybe book deals and so on and so forth, but at this time, the delegate math. I just don't know if Newt Gingrich can make it happen, where it concerns delegate math. The fat lady is definitely warming up and everybody's been talking about this proverbial fat lady for a long time now. But it is -- you know it is different because the Super Tuesday this primary cycle, we had like 10 contests, but the Super Tuesday back in 2008, there were like 20, 21 contests --
LOESCH: -- so it is scheduled a little differently and it feels a lot longer.
BURNETT: Well I think Elise we've all learned a lot of lessons, whatever your political party may be about how to not schedule a primary season. What about this video though that the Obama campaign is putting out? Seventeen minutes, Tom Hanks narrated, Academy Award winning producer, a real image of a documentary, even though of course it is a campaign ad.
(CROSSTALK) ELISE JORDAN, FORMER SPEECHWRITER FOR CONDOLEEZZA RICE: Well I think it's pretty striking that the message seems like it's going to be disaster averted. Nothing really bad is happening in contrast in '08, where it was change you can believe in. And this video, he paid you know 300,000 for it. I think back in '08, someone in Hollywood would have done it for free. And I think that he's just very different phase in terms of how his supporters are getting behind him.
BURNETT: Kony's video has 100 million plus views, John Avlon. Will President Obama's video get that many views?
AVLON: The bar has been set. I'm going to say no in terms of that. I mean look this is a highly produced campaign video. Elise (ph) makes an interesting point though is that this is actually saying that wow, storm clouds were coming, we averted a disaster. It's not a narrative of triumph. It's a narrative of what could have been much worse.
BURNETT: All right. Let's talk about this issue about women. I mean this is becoming a bigger and bigger conversation and now of course you've got the act -- the violence against women act that Senate Democrats want to put forth legislation from 1994. They say it's finally time. Elise they, at the time, it was broadly bipartisan. Now, there are some Republican opposition to parts of it including would-be immigrants allowing you to say well if you're being used, you could get a visa. Republicans don't like that.
JORDAN: You can take it one of two ways, anti-women or anti- immigrant, whichever way you want to see it because their opposition is towards 5,000 u-visas (ph) that are given to the worst victims of domestic violence and those -- that's you know how many visas were given last year, they're up to 10,000 that can be given a year. It's a very small percentage of the nearly 5,000 visas we give a year.
JORDAN: So they can say yes, it's about immigration, but really I think it's just this backlash against women that we're hearing a rhetoric that just really isn't very helpful.
BURNETT: Yes, Dana, I mean how can justify voting against this bill?
LOESCH: Well --
BURNETT: I'm not saying you would. I'm asking you hypothetically.
BURNETT: I'm sorry if it came out that way.
(CROSSTALK) LOESCH: No, well I mean this is -- this is -- I think it's very brilliant maneuvering on the part of Senators Leahy and Schumer because they realize this is where they need to take the conversation in order to appeal to their base, but the problem is as Senator Grassley had pointed out is that you know in the past this had been unanimously approved, the reauthorization of this. I think it was back in like 2006 I think was the last reauthorization. But because of all of the provisions tacked onto it and Grassley, Senator Grassley's concern, his chief concern is that there are no safeguards listed this time with this.
I mean you know definitely people don't like to see violence against women and I know Phyllis Schlafly has a really good op-ed about this, about the act itself over at TownHall.com. But Grassley's concern was that there is no safeguards and this -- it is very easy to commit fraud in this system. There are no safeguards with this, the definition is very loose, it's very broadly defined and so the amendment that Grassley had put forward was to kind of -- was to remedy this.
BURNETT: John Avlon, I mean does it make sense to keep the immigration part in? I mean regardless of what you think about the issue, I think it's outrageous that someone was offended by it or not. We should be able to pass the violence against women act without having it turn into a conversation about contraception or immigration or whatever it is that may be your sticking point.
AVLON: That's right and let's be clear. I mean this is a political maneuver by Democrats, but it's a very smart one.
AVLON: There's a bill that had broad bipartisan support in the past to some proposals that are now controversial. And the fact that it now includes same-sex couples is one of the things that some conservatives find very, very troubling and offensive. But you know the question is whether Republicans are going to let that agenda drive them into this trap in effect and let this narrative deepen because it's been -- it's a part of a pattern and that's the point I think Democrats are trying to surf off of. From Planned Parenthood fights on down, this narrative exists because it reflects a fissure, a fault line within the Republican Party.
BURNETT: It seems to show, Elise, too that the Republican Party -- we talk about why the Obama administration has put out a 17-minute video, because they think they have lost control over their narrative. The Republican Party certainly seems to have lost control over the women's narrative.
JORDAN: Definitely and I think what Rush did, his comments were so harmful to the entire health care debate to Republicans philosophical opposition to Obamacare and what -- by using that kind of vitriolic language, it just -- it totally destroyed -- it made the whole argument against for having Obamacare more attractive.
BURNETT: All right, well thanks very much to all three of you. We appreciate it. Well you have heard the slogan, if you see something, say something. Well now a few police departments across the country like in Grapevine, Texas are taking the campaign to a whole new level. Take a look at this.
Loesch, was lying as usual.
On her blog at Big Journalism, she baselessly accused "Democrats of starting a new war on women" and "playing games with WAWA."
A batch of new polls released this week confirmed the Democrats's worst nightmare: the majority of Americans strongly disapprove of the way in which the President is handling the economy and gas prices. The findings were a blow to a party that for weeks has pandered to women with the trumped-up bogeyman of an all-white male Republican party who wanted to gobble up all their birth control pills. The fabricated War on Women failed, and failed hard. Not ones to give up easily, Senators Schumer and Leahy devised another tactic: playing checkers with the Violence Against Women Act.
The reauthorization of the VAWA is unanimously approved every year since the it was passed in 1994; the latest reauthorization was in 2006. This year there is resistance and Democrats are anxious to exploit the resistance from Republicans. Why is the GOP resisting? The language of the VAWA has remained the same throughout both Republican and Democrat congresses, except now.
Democrats trotted out Sandra Fluke because the visual of President Obama verses a bunch of religious folk wasn't the bestoptic, but a woman against the progressive stereotype of a Republican was. (Rhetorical: is it "War On Women" to present them as victims and use them for messaging?) Unfortunately, Fluke didn't work out because a woman complaining of an annual $1k birth control bill when $9 per month birth control exists at places like Target and Costco doesn't cut a sympathetic figure. The polls cited above prove that the strategy to deflect from the economy didn't work, the attempt to frame radio talk host Rush Limbaugh as the "de facto leader of the Republican party" (rhetoric that's been around since I was in high school) failed and now his ratings are at an all-time high.
Democrats are now in damage control mode. The NYT assists by burying poll numbers; David Axelrod appeared on CNN last night prior to my appearance, wherein he parroted the "de facto" talking point and tried to portray Mitt Romney, the most moderate Republican in the race who was formerly vehemently pro-choice, as part of the "War On Women." It was a deflection from Erin Burnett's question: if he planned to petition the Obama super PAC to return the $1 million dollar donation from Bill "c*nt," "tw*t" Maher (his words, not mine). Axelrod declined, saying that Maher was "different," which apparently makes it OK. The difference is that Maher is a progressive and donated a million dollars.
Their message should focus on the shock of why Democrats, who claim to so strongly care for the well-being of women, would dare use federal assistance to victims of domestic violence as a political pawn? The answer is, of course, to score points in a battle to keep the public's attention off of their incumbent's abysmal record.
No, you lying little fartknocker, it's the REPUBLICAN Party that's using VAWA as a political pawn, NOT the Democrats. People like Loesch and her cronies are attacking Sandra Fluke for trivial reasons.
The REAL facts (not the RWNJ spin) on WAWA, via the Huffington Post's Nancy K. Kaufmann:
Until this year, the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) was the poster child for bipartisanship. First passed in 1994 under the leadership of then-Senator Joe Biden, it garnered overwhelming support when it was reauthorized in 2000 and again in 2005. Now, however, it too has become politicized, a casualty of the culture wars. Although the legislation to reauthorize VAWA (S 1925) still has bipartisan sponsors, it was recently voted out of committee in the Senate 10-8 on a strict party-line vote and final passage is by no means certain.
This year's reauthorization bill, introduced by Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Mike Crapo (R-ID), seeks to ensure that VAWA includes protections and services for all victims, regardless of who they are or what their abusers look like. It addresses the unique needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) victims, and those of immigrant victims, foreign brides, and Native women residing on tribal lands. All these populations have, thus far, been denied the full power of VAWA.
LGBTQ people encounter domestic violence at the same rate as the general population, yet a survey by the New York City Anti-Violence Project reported that in 2010 nearly half were turned away from domestic violence shelters and more than half of LGBTQ survivors were denied orders of protection.
Immigrant women without legal status are especially vulnerable to abuse, since going to the authorities carries with it the risk of deportation while the abuser may go free.
Finally, the bill would increase access to justice for Native women living on tribal lands. The numbers are stunning. Native women are 2.5 times more likely than other U.S. women to be battered or raped. One-third of Native women will be raped in their lifetimes. Two-fifths will experience the tragedy of domestic violence. And, their legal situation greatly complicates their access to justice. VAWA reauthorization would give tribes the authority to prosecute misdemeanor domestic violence-related crimes when the abuser lives or works in the jurisdiction of the tribe, or is the spouse or intimate partner of a tribe member. It is time to close the gaps in the law to ensure that rapists and abusers cannot commit crimes against Native women with impunity.
Reauthorization of VAWA is imperative. The costs to victims and their families and to society are too large to ignore. Opponents of VAWA are trying to make its renewal part of an ongoing culture war in which the needs of women have been buried in an avalanche of rhetoric that devalues women's lives in the service of an ideological, partisan agenda.The GOP is desperate to try anything to appease the ultra-right base of the party, which will hurt them come general election time.
Also, Loesch has falsely accused Media Matters For America's Eric Boehlert of being "like David Duke" and being "anti-Semitic." In fact, Boehlert (a mainstream liberal) and Duke (a far-right white nationalist) are complete opposites.