Samantha Bee exposes the legislative malpractice surrounding the Military Justice Improvement Act.
See video below …
Kristen Gillibrand has been fighting for victims of rape and sexual assault in the military for years now. She introduced the ‘Military Justice Improvement Act’ (MJIA) in 2012. The legislation is designed to remove responsibility from commanding officers, who are ill-equipped to deal with cases under their command. The officers are not lawyers, often don’t understand the law, and too often have biases. Also, as one military person testified, the commanders fear that if it is shown that an assault did take place on their watch, it will reflect poorly on the officer and their ability to lead. The bill proposes that the investigation and decision making be turned over to people who are actually qualified and don’t have personal investments in the personnel being investigated.
Gillibrand has received surprising support from across the aisle. Rand Paul emphatically supports the bill. Ted Cruz supports the bill and the reforms it offers. In fact, a majority of Senators support the legislation. So, logically it should pass without delay and be sent to the President for his signature, right?
Well …ummm … no.
Whereas a majority of Senators coming from both sides of the aisle support the legislation, it cannot break that 60 vote threshold to beat a filibuster.
Well then, the problem must be Republicans, right? We should shame them into yielding on this and letting the Democrats pass the important bill.
Well … Ummm … no.
Actually, eight Democrats (and one independent) have voted no in getting the bill to the floor. In case you are keeping score at home, they are;
- Senator Carper of Delaware.
- Senator Kaine of Virginia (who is also being touted as a possible VP candidate)
- Senator Manchin of West Virginia
- Senator McCaskill of Missouri
- Senator Nelson of Florida
- Senator Reed of Rhode Island
- Senator Tester of Montana
- Senator Warner of Virginia
- Senator Whitehouse of Rhode Island
The independent, by the way, is not Bernie Sanders. It is Senator King of Maine.
In her report, Samantha Bee, armed with a backpack full of snark, makes some more important points about this legislation. For example, if you think this is ‘just a women’s issue’ you would be sorely mistaken. The fact is, over half of the sexual assault cases reported are from men. Also, since 2012, when Gillibrand first proposed the legislation, President Obama balked at giving his efforts towards passage saying he would give the military a year to straighten things out. In that time, the number of cases not being reported has gone down exactly zero percent — zip, nada, nothing. The system hasn’t changed, so why should any of the other numbers?
Well, that year has passed 3 times over now, and President Obama still hasn’t stepped up, and he should. According to Gillibrand, if he would step up and speak out in support of the bill, it would pass lickety split.
This is important legislation, and necessary. We all speak a lot about treating our military men and women better and this is an action that can be taken immediately that will do just that. It should come as a shock that some of the names on that list like Kaine, Warner, McCaskill and Nelson often champion themselves as defenders of women and victims of abuse. Yet here, they are content not to help any victim of sexual assault. The President as well needs to live up to his promise as the military has not done the job themselves. It is a sad day in America when Rand Paul and Ted Cruz are on the right side of an issue while the eight aforementioned Democrats and our President are simply wrong here. Pressure needs to be stepped up and this bill needs to pass, period.
Check out Samantha Bee’s brilliantly entertaining way of exposing this injustice surrounding the Military Justice Improvement Act HERE:
Featured image via screen capture from youtube.com