- Dec 20, 2009
- Reaction score
- Political Leaning
Remember this the next time someone tries to tell you about how Republicans are out to hurt people, and Democrats are in it to help the vulnerable...
Last summer, I interviewed a slave. Her name is Ima Matul, and she is a native of Indonesia who was brought to southern California as a teenager with the promise of a job working as a household maid. She got the job. The rest will be familiar to those familiar with modern-day slavery in the United States: The family for whom she was to work took her passport and separated her from her cousin, with whom she had come to the U.S. The cousin was sent to work in another home. Ima Matul was, needless to say, never paid — the family said they were simply keeping the money safe for her until she returned home. She worked 18 hours a day or more. She was cut off from all communication, beaten, and abused. She was told that if she were to try to run away, she’d be arrested as an illegal immigrant and taken to prison, where she would be held indefinitely with no passport or other identification, and where she would certainly be raped...
Senator John Cornyn (R., Texas) has offered a bill that would use fines levied on convicted human traffickers to fund services for victims of human trafficking — for liberated slaves. And his bill would do more than that: It would fund task forces and investigative units dedicated to breaking up trafficking rings. The bill contains language that is horrible to contemplate in the 21st century: “trafficking with respect to peonage, slavery, involuntary servitude, or forced labor.”
Who could be against such a bill? Senator Harry Reid, for one. ...
In the United States, the public funding of abortion is generally prohibited through “Hyde amendments,” commonplace statutory language that goes back to the earliest post-Roe days that ensures, out of a decent respect for the consciences of individual Americans, that none of them is forced by the government to participate financially in abortion. Senator Cornyn’s bill contains such a provision, and Democrats are pretending to be surprised by that. The truth is that they are taking a beating in their new minority status, while their national leadership is embroiled in a series of scandals and failures. A fight over abortion, they calculate, might be just the thing — and there’s always the chance that Republicans will help them out by having an obscure backbencher from nowhere proffer an innovative theory about reproductive biology....