19 August 2012

Todd Akin -- Republican poster boy

"First of all, from what I understand from doctors, that [rape-induced pregnancy] is really rare.  If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.  But let's assume maybe that that didn't work, or something.  You know, I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be in the rapist, and not attacking the child."

With these words, Rep. Todd Akin (R-Missouri) has vaulted into the front lines of the Republican war on women.  Remember, this is not some drunk inbred intern forwarding an e-mail; this man is already a member of the House and has just won the primary to become the Republican candidate for Senator from Missouri.  The party has to own the guy.  In any case, the cruelty of his "no abortion regardless of circumstances" stand is quite commonplace among Republicans; his biological ignorance may sound weird, but in a party where creationism and global-warming denialism are treated as respectable positions, how can there not be people who believe things like this?

Among bloggers I regularly read, Squatlo, Smartypants, and BooMan have already voiced the incredulity all decent people must feel, and no doubt many more will follow.

It gets better:  ThinkProgress has highlighted how Akin joined forces with newly-minted VP candidate Paul Ryan last year to re-define rape in a manner reminiscent of his "legitimate rape" (a phrase instantly destined to live in infamy).  Ryan's idol, Ayn Rand, presented an eroticized rape scene in her novel The Fountainhead; dare one wonder if it influenced his attitude on the subject?

Click here to see Republicans of the Sane faction in full-blown panic (ignore the post, which is unrelated, and just read the comments); reaction among the Nutty faction, represented by commenters at Hot Air, seems a bit more mixed.  Akin himself, peeking out from his bunker, claims he "misspoke".  I invite the reader to review the direct quote above and try to imagine how that could possibly exculpate him.

Never mind keeping abortion legal, I'm starting to think that in certain cases it should be made retroactive.

I don't have independent corroboration of this, but a normally-reliable commenter at Race42012 reports that the Romney/Ryan campaign has issued the following statement on the matter:

"Governor Romney and Congressman Ryan disagree with Mr. Akin’s statement, and a Romney-Ryan administration would not oppose abortion in instances of rape."

That was the campaign's entire statement.  They "disagree" with what Akin said.  I know these guys are pretty tone-deaf, but is "disagree" the strongest word they could bring themselves to use?  This was their golden opportunity to pull a Sister Souljah; instead, they seem to be lying down with the dog, and the fleas will not be easy to get rid of.


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