Los Angeles, CA– I appeared on Al-Jazeera’s World News Saturday evening to discuss Democratic Party presidential candidate Barack Obama’s selection of Senator Joe Biden (D-Del) as his vice-presidential candidate.
As many of my readers know, Biden has long been the principle architect of misguided federal domestic violence policy, and spearheaded the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 and its two subsequent re-authorizations.
Biden calls VAWA “What I’m most proud of in my entire career.’
Biden probably means well, but he has consistently misunderstood the domestic violence issue and listened to the wrong people.
While Biden still considers domestic violence to be what he calls a “gender-based crime,” research clearly shows that this is not the case. Women are as likely to initiate an engaging domestic violence as men are, and to a large degree they are able to balance the scales by employing weapons and the element of surprise.
Among other questions, Al Jazeera asked me what everybody is asking — “How much does this help Barack Obama become president?” My reply was more or less as follows:
Yes, Biden helps Obama because Obama is (correctly) perceived as inexperienced, particularly on foreign-policy, which is one of Biden’s strong suits.
On the other hand, what seems odd to me is that so many people are celebrating Biden’s selection, but where were all these people when Biden ran for president in this same election? Biden did very poorly, garnering less than 1% of the vote at times, and he had to drop out — if he is such a positive, why did he fare so poorly in the primaries?
Also, while everybody is focusing on how Biden helps Obama with foreign-policy, I think there is a gender element here. I think Biden helps the Democrats win the women’s vote, because of Biden’s long-standing commitment to women’s issues.
He has helped toughen up child support enforcement, worked on the “wage gap,” and been the architect of the Violence Against Women Act. The Democrats usually do well with women, but this will help them more.
Conversely, the Violence Against Women Act has harmed many innocent men. American men are being thrown out of their houses and cut off from their children without any real judicial oversight, simply because their wives want them out and tell the court that their husbands threatened them or abused them. Biden’s legislation has separated many fathers from their children.
It’s unlikely, but McCain could decide to use this as a vehicle to try to gain men’s votes.