Alex Blaze

Bush might really reject hate crimes leg

Filed By Alex Blaze | August 07, 2007 7:34 PM | comments

Filed in: The Movement
Tags: George W. Bush, hate crimes against LGBT people, Iraq War, Matthew Shepard Act

From the Washington Times:

President Bush is committed to vetoing the latest effort to expand federal "hate crimes" laws to include sexual orientation, even if it means sending a defense authorization bill back to Congress, the White House said.[...]

Mr. Fratto said the president, who has pushed for quick approval of spending for U.S. troops, would send the defense bill back to Capitol Hill if the hate-crime amendment remains attached.

The White House stopped short of saying it was opposed to the language because of concerns about religious freedom.

They're going with the "it's not sufficiently narrow" argument. More on that after the jump.

"The qualifications [in the bill] are so broad that virtually any crime involving a homosexual individual has potential to have hate crimes elements," said White House spokesman Tony Fratto.

"The proposals they're talking about are not sufficiently narrow."

Well, actually, no, and it's really starting to seem like those who are opposed to hate crimes legislation for legitimate reasons are a small minority of those opposed to the amendment. Because we all know that "sufficiently narrow" would mean a law that bans the prosecution of any case in which the victim is LGBTQueer, since it's not as broad as Fratto makes it sound, and he knows it.

What I really find interesting is the indication that Bush would reject funding for his war over hate crimes legislation. Either a certain someone's completely spoiled, or a certain someone doesn't really care about defeating the enemy (and y'all know where I'm falling on this).

Oh well. Even though the article is an example of the standard biased journalism over at the Times, they did throw in this gem of a quotation:

House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn, a South Carolinian who leads the House Democratic Faith Working Group, called that sentiment "grossly inaccurate and highly prejudicial."

"Absolutely nothing in the [bill] in any way constrains the freedom of expression or religion and I — who was born and raised in the parsonage of a fundamentalist Christian church — believe it is wrong to attempt to defeat civil rights legislation based on such a false claim."

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I think most know I have little respect for BushCo, but this is a new low. I'm sickened and dismayed.

beergoggles | August 8, 2007 9:55 AM

They should have attached the Matt Shepherd Act to the FISA bill and really made the Bushies squirm. In fact, if the Dems were really serious about the MSA, they would attach it to every single Republican sponsored bill to stick it to them.

I can't tell what's more disappointing - the obstructionism of the Republicans or the stupidity and spinelessness of the Democrats.

Denise Travers | August 8, 2007 8:29 PM

BG: Why is it "spineless" for Kennedy et. al. to have attached S1105 to the defense authorization bill?

To me, and to many, this is a bold move in direct defiance of Chimpy McFlightsuit. Rather than usher this much-needed legislation thru the House (already done, successfully) and the Senate, only to have it vetoed by the pResident, the bill's co-sponsors added it as an amendment that Bush can't do ANYTHING about -- without tanking the entire defense authorization bill. Huzzah for the absence of presidential line-item vetos!

This junk that the shrub is spouting recently is just hot air. He's under the gun on this one, literally -- he's spent all of his political capital (as well of that of his father) on the war, and he doesn't have the savvy to dump the appropriations bill and start from scratch.

I talked with an HRC lobbiest a few weeks ago. His comment: "Lawmaking is like sausage making. It's great when it's all done, but MAN you don't want to see what goes into it."

Agreed -- we should be further along, in general in this country, on the topic of civil rights for all -- but I'm not so sure attacking the few Dems (and Repubs, don't forget) who ARE trying to make a change isn't sound strategy, to me at least.