Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, speaks to the media with members of Senate Republican leadership, Tuesday, July 30, 2019, after their weekly policy luncheon on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
As I wrote in a VIP post earlier this week, Democrats love to insinuate Republicans don’t give a d*mn about victims of violence, whether it be via a mass shooting (because Republicans support the Second Amendment) or whether it be domestic violence-related (because Republicans have not always been supportive of the Violence Against Women Act for legitimate reasons).
But sometimes the baseless insinuations backfire in a big way. Such was the case this week with Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and his Senate Majority PAC after several days of exchanging words with Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) over stalled efforts to renew/pass the Violence Against Women act.
Politico reports on how their sparring started:
The brouhaha began on Tuesday morning when Ernst spoke to reporters about a GOP version of reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act, where Ernst said Schumer does not want her to have any legislative wins.
“Basically anybody that’s up in 2020, Schumer doesn’t want to move on legislation sponsored by them,” Ernst said. She also cited her “presidential perks” bill, which would limit government funded benefits for former presidents and has passed the House, as another example.
Schumer has called the GOP Senate a “legislative graveyard” and bristled at the charge that he was the one slowing things down. He said Ernst’s version of the bill shows she “is simply afraid of the NRA.”
“Ask Sen. Ernst if she believes a boyfriend of a woman who has gotten a protection order issued against him should get a gun? Sen. Ernst evidently believes yes, because in the bill she’s putting forward it doesn’t have that provision even if it did in the House,” Schumer said. He advised that Ernst should push Majority Leader Mitch McConnell “to bring the House-passed bill on the floor and we’ll debate it. And we can debate her amendment, which the gun lobby wants but almost no other American wants.”
Fast forward a couple of days, when Schumer’s Senate Majority PAC tweeted out one of the most tone-deaf messages I have ever seen about a Republican member of Congress. They alleged Ernst was “sending a message that she’s not serving the needs of domestic violence victims”:
@joniernst is sending a message that she's not serving the needs of domestic violence victims and those in the most vulnerable communities. Iowans and victims of domestic violence deserve better than Senator Ernst #IASen
— Senate Majority PAC (@MajorityPAC) November 21, 2019
The problem with Schumer and the Senate Majority PAC playing the “she doesn’t care” card when it comes to domestic violence victims? Ernst is a survivor of sexual assault and domestic violence, something she opened up about publicly for the first time earlier this year.
Ernst pummeled Schumer in response:
Sexual assault survivor Sen. Joni Ernst has rejected Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s advice on domestic abuse and sexual assault legislation.
“I do not need to be mansplained to by Chuck Schumer. I am a survivor,” Ernst said Thursday.
“I’m not afraid of anyone, folks. I have been through the worst of the worst, and I am here today,” Ernst responded on a conference call with Iowa reporters.
— Joni Ernst (@joniernst) November 21, 2019
Not only is this issue personal for Ernst, she also understands that Democrats are playing games with VAWA in a critical election year. Schumer knows the House version of the bill will not pass the Senate in its current form. Ernst wants to work towards a compromise solution that will work for both sides, but instead Schumer and the Senate Majority PAC would rather manipulate female voters as they often do by way of suggesting Republicans don’t care about domestic violence victims.
That Schumer and Co. took this line of attack on her knowing she spoke earlier this year of her own horrific experiences with domestic violence and rape is appalling, and they should be roundly condemned by all sides (don’t hold your breath on that one, though).
— Based in North Carolina, Sister Toldjah is a former liberal and a 16+ year veteran of blogging with an emphasis on media bias, social issues, and the culture wars. Read her Red State archives here. Connect with her on Twitter. –