Friday, January 25, 2013

Still the same political parties

Well, it's 2013, but if you think our two political parties have learned anything during the past year, think again.

Republicans are still Republicans:
Should a recently introduced bill in New Mexico become law, rape victims will be required to carry their pregnancies to term during their sexual assault trials or face charges of “tampering with evidence.

Under HB 206, if a woman ended her pregnancy after being raped, both she and her doctor would be charged with a felony punishable by up to 3 years in state prison:
Tampering with evidence shall include procuring or facilitating an abortion, or compelling or coercing another to obtain an abortion, of a fetus that is the result of criminal sexual penetration or incest with the intent to destroy evidence of the crime.

Sexual assault trials are infamously grueling for survivors, who are often subjected to character assassination and other attempts to discredit their accounts. State Rep. Cathrynn Brown’s (R) bill would add the forced choice between prison or an unwanted pregnancy to these proceedings.

And Democrats are still Democrats:
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell have come to a deal on filibuster reform. The deal is this: The filibuster will not be reformed. ...

What will be reformed is how the Senate moves to consider new legislation, the process by which all nominees - except Cabinet-level appointments and Supreme Court nominations - are considered, and the number of times the filibuster can be used against a conference report.

But even those reforms don't go as far as they might. ...

A pro-reform aide I spoke to was agog. "Right now, you have to negotiate with McConnell to get on a bill," he said. "Tomorrow, if this passes, you still need to negotiate with McConnell to get on a bill. It changes nothing on how we move forward."

Wow! Surprise, surprise, huh? Democrats caved. Who could ever have expected that? But there are only 53 Democrats in the U.S. Senate (plus two Independents who caucus with the Dems), and apparently we can't get all Democrats even facing in the same direction. (It requires 51 votes to change the Senate rules at the start of a new session of Congress.)

And Republicans are still batshit crazy. Well, that's no big surprise, either, is it? But I don't expect progress from them.

I guess I shouldn't expect it from Democrats, either - or not very much progress, at least.

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