On way out door, one final act of indecency for lame ducks

Sometimes, when a politician has no more reason to pull the wool over your eyes, you get to see who he really is.

Take Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., who, on the way out the door of Congress, has blocked a bill to improve the federal government’s response to violence against Native American women.

Say again: violence against Native American women.

Who wouldn’t be in favor of doing something about the scourge? Someone whose feelings got hurt by a tweet, in this case, Sen. Heidi Heitkamp’s of North Dakota, who’s been turned out of office.

Eighty-four percent of Native American women experience violence in their lifetime. They are killed at 10 times the rate of other women in the U.S.

Goodlatte wants a provision out of the bill that gives law enforcement agencies in areas with significant Native American populations priority in receiving grants from the Justice Department.

He is chair of the Judiciary Committee. It’s up to him and him alone whether to bring the bill to a vote. He decided not to, leading to pressure from Heitkamp, her tweet, and his reaction to it. He dug in.

The bill is called Savannah’s Bill, named after Savanna Greywind, 22, of Fargo, who was killed — and her baby cut out of her womb — by a woman who needed a baby to cover up her lie to her boyfriend that she was pregnant.

“Passing good legislation in Washington too often becomes entangled in petty power games,” the Fargo Forum said in an editorial. “Even noncontroversial proposals with bipartisan support can die in the legislative crib if someone decides, for whatever small reason, to demonstrate his clout.”

With a new Congress, the bill’s journey would have to start all over again in 2019. The incoming senator replacing Heitkamp says he’s not sure it’s needed, the Forum said.

Related: More than just words: Red Lake wants to integrate Ojibwe language, culture into everyday curriculum (Bemidji Pioneer)