The Akin fiasco

So Todd Akin, a six-term Congressman running for the Senate in Missouri, defended his belief that abortion should not be allowed for rape.  He told the TV interviewer that pregnancy from rape is very rare and went on to cite a bit of lore that the very trauma of rape makes pregnancy less likely, saying in a “legitimate rape”  “the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”

This comment has produced a huge amount of outrage.  He is saying there can be a “legitimate rape”!  Rape is a means of birth control!  Rape isn’t so bad!

Now he didn’t mean any of that, and he hastened to explain, to take back his clumsy comment, to apologize for seeming insensitive.  He was probably completely wrong about the effect of trauma upon conception, but that would surely be a mistake of fact, rather than a pro-rape, anti-woman conviction.

But the statement played into the media narrative of the Republican “war on women.”  Then the Democrats pounced.  Jumping from what Rep. Akins said to what all Republicans supposedly believe, Democrats have been saying that Republicans are anti-woman.

Whereupon Republicans turned against their own candidate!  The Republican National Committee stopped funding Rep. Akin’s campaign.  Republican leaders are pressuring him to step down.  Mitt Romney is leading the charge.

Republicans really need a Senate victory in Missouri if they want to win a majority in that governing body.  And the Romney campaign is scared of the fallout.  The Republican platform endorses the Human Life Amendment which would prohibit abortion, saying nothing about exceptions for rape, incest, or the life of the mother.  Liberal pundits are now calling that the “Akin amendment.”  The pro-life conviction that since life begins at conception, the child should not be executed for the father’s crime, is twisted and ridiculed.

So what do you think about this?  Is Akin being treated unfairly, or is what he said evidence of an anti-woman ideology?  Is the Republican Party feckless in not defending him and in trying to throw him under the bus?  Or does Akin need to be sacrificed for the good of the party?  Or what?

via Mitt Romney urges U.S. Rep. Todd Akin to quit his Senate race | Nation/World | Detroit Free Press | freep.com.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Pete

    1) A person’s life, as a distinct individual, begins at conception. This is not rocket science. This is junior high school biology. 2) Very (I mean very) few would argue (at least publicly) that the taking of innocent life can be justified. What more needs to be said? It’s okay to abort a fetus at 1 week? One month? 39 months? 2 months (no longer a fetus) post-partum? What does cause of pregnancy (rape, consensual sex, etc.) have to do with it? Would carrying a pregnancy resulting from rape be traumatic for a woman – of course. Is the solution for us to kill the fetus or to, as a community, support all three participants in this thing – mother, child and (by applying first law, then gospel) the rapist. The stridency of the pro-abortion crowd belies their fundamental lack of both moral and factual capital.

  • Pete

    1) A person’s life, as a distinct individual, begins at conception. This is not rocket science. This is junior high school biology. 2) Very (I mean very) few would argue (at least publicly) that the taking of innocent life can be justified. What more needs to be said? It’s okay to abort a fetus at 1 week? One month? 39 months? 2 months (no longer a fetus) post-partum? What does cause of pregnancy (rape, consensual sex, etc.) have to do with it? Would carrying a pregnancy resulting from rape be traumatic for a woman – of course. Is the solution for us to kill the fetus or to, as a community, support all three participants in this thing – mother, child and (by applying first law, then gospel) the rapist. The stridency of the pro-abortion crowd belies their fundamental lack of both moral and factual capital.

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    He should have thought out what he was going to say better before he spoke.

    But… that being said, there is a built in hostility against anybody smacking of conservatism. Akin could have said he delivers dinner to his mother on Sunday afternoons after church, and somebody would have found fault with it.

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    He should have thought out what he was going to say better before he spoke.

    But… that being said, there is a built in hostility against anybody smacking of conservatism. Akin could have said he delivers dinner to his mother on Sunday afternoons after church, and somebody would have found fault with it.

  • Pete

    And, ideally, the Republican party would defend Akin, but the political reality is that they won’t.

  • Pete

    And, ideally, the Republican party would defend Akin, but the political reality is that they won’t.

  • Eric Brown

    How do you hold or try to hold such a high political office when you make blunders that big? How?

  • Eric Brown

    How do you hold or try to hold such a high political office when you make blunders that big? How?

  • Tom Hering

    The mind simply boggles at what Akin could have been thinking when he put the words “legitimate” and “rape” together. Yeah, I know about the trauma theory. But what sort of man believes pregnancy can be proof that a real rape never happened? Akin deserves every last little bit of unfair treatment he gets.

  • Tom Hering

    The mind simply boggles at what Akin could have been thinking when he put the words “legitimate” and “rape” together. Yeah, I know about the trauma theory. But what sort of man believes pregnancy can be proof that a real rape never happened? Akin deserves every last little bit of unfair treatment he gets.

  • Josiah

    Well, first, I think Akin went about defending his position rather poorly, as instead of focusing on the life of the unborn baby, he went into this whole thing about the mother. He should have been focusing on the life of the baby, not on the mother.

    Secondly, this is another evidence of how sickening politics can be these days in that you can say one awkward sentence, and have it immediately misconstrued and blown up into something awful. If you’re a Republican. If you’re a Democrat and you say something about Republicans throwing you all back in chains, apparently it isn’t that bad. But if you’re a Republican, it’s okay to trounce you. So we both have too many people preoccupied with a slip of the tongue that Akin obviously didn’t mean, and we have a double-standard going on here.

    Akin shouldn’t have to drop out of the race for this. However, given how the media has reacted and everything, we can’t afford him to lose this race. I think with the Euro Crisis, and the upcoming war in the Middle-East concerning Israel and all, we really need to get control of the House/Senate/Presidency if we have any hope of keeping ourselves from going bankrupt with the rest of Europe. And so because this election is so crucial, and this mistake is going to heavily impede his chances to win what with the dropped funding and all, I think Akin ought to submit to the party leaders and drop out.

  • Josiah

    Well, first, I think Akin went about defending his position rather poorly, as instead of focusing on the life of the unborn baby, he went into this whole thing about the mother. He should have been focusing on the life of the baby, not on the mother.

    Secondly, this is another evidence of how sickening politics can be these days in that you can say one awkward sentence, and have it immediately misconstrued and blown up into something awful. If you’re a Republican. If you’re a Democrat and you say something about Republicans throwing you all back in chains, apparently it isn’t that bad. But if you’re a Republican, it’s okay to trounce you. So we both have too many people preoccupied with a slip of the tongue that Akin obviously didn’t mean, and we have a double-standard going on here.

    Akin shouldn’t have to drop out of the race for this. However, given how the media has reacted and everything, we can’t afford him to lose this race. I think with the Euro Crisis, and the upcoming war in the Middle-East concerning Israel and all, we really need to get control of the House/Senate/Presidency if we have any hope of keeping ourselves from going bankrupt with the rest of Europe. And so because this election is so crucial, and this mistake is going to heavily impede his chances to win what with the dropped funding and all, I think Akin ought to submit to the party leaders and drop out.

  • Tom Hering

    Putting the words “legitimate” and “rape” together is justified when talking about a false accusation of rape. But that’s not what Akin was talking about.

    “It seems to be, first of all, from what I understand from doctors, it’s really rare [that pregnancy is a result of rape]. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut the whole thing down.”

    So, Josiah @ 6, how was this statement awkward, or misconstrued, or blown up into something awful? Isn’t it straightforward – and plainly awful? How can you treat this as a solely political matter?

    Sheesh. We theologically-conservative Christians jump on Islam for its view and treatment of women. Then we turn around and defend something like this. Sheesh.

  • Tom Hering

    Putting the words “legitimate” and “rape” together is justified when talking about a false accusation of rape. But that’s not what Akin was talking about.

    “It seems to be, first of all, from what I understand from doctors, it’s really rare [that pregnancy is a result of rape]. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut the whole thing down.”

    So, Josiah @ 6, how was this statement awkward, or misconstrued, or blown up into something awful? Isn’t it straightforward – and plainly awful? How can you treat this as a solely political matter?

    Sheesh. We theologically-conservative Christians jump on Islam for its view and treatment of women. Then we turn around and defend something like this. Sheesh.

  • James Sarver

    I think Akin might be smart to remain in the race against all the opposition. Missouri is not New York or California and I suspect voters there will relish an opportunity to tweak the noses of pundits and power brokers of all stripes, being inclined to resent being told what to think and do and that their choice of Akin was a mistake.

    His opponents look like sanctimonious bullies pushing political correctness and spin to the limit. The same type of behavior launched hundreds of thousands of sandwiches out the drive-in portals of Chick-fil-A and might very well launch Akin into the Senate.

  • James Sarver

    I think Akin might be smart to remain in the race against all the opposition. Missouri is not New York or California and I suspect voters there will relish an opportunity to tweak the noses of pundits and power brokers of all stripes, being inclined to resent being told what to think and do and that their choice of Akin was a mistake.

    His opponents look like sanctimonious bullies pushing political correctness and spin to the limit. The same type of behavior launched hundreds of thousands of sandwiches out the drive-in portals of Chick-fil-A and might very well launch Akin into the Senate.

  • Mary

    I live in the St Louis media market, so heard about this right away. A small correction on your statement. It was the Republican establishment that pounced on this immediately and called for him to step down. They have been trying to get him out of this race from the beginning. He is very independent and doesn’t toe the party line. More of a Tea Party backed candidate. He is also a man of strong convictions and not swayed by polls on how he should think.
    I immediately knew what he was trying to say, but that he really screwed up the “legitimate” part. He has been involved in crafting laws for the rape exception and federal funding for abortions. The wording in the laws describes what is a “forcible” and some call it a legitimate rape.
    He really should have known the subject of the rape exception would come up and how to handle it. He failed. I agree, focus on the baby.

    We also know about the double standard. We had in the office of the president a man that was accused of raping two women, and had sex with an intern IN the oval office. The only ones calling for his resignation were the members of the opposing party. A vice-president that makes offensive gaffes on an almost daily basis-oh,that’s just Joe.

    I really don’t know where to come down on this one. He made a major misstep. He has apologized publicly and released a commercial with a heartfelt apology. But I also understand the unfortunate political climate we live in, and I hate it. Pounce on the opposition and eat them alive. I wonder how this would have played out if he had been allowed to clear this up before his own party started the feeding frenzy. The Republicans seem to surround the injured and eat their own. So, should we be so desperate to win the Senate that we will exploit this mistake and trash a good man and his family? I think, alas, that we will.

  • Mary

    I live in the St Louis media market, so heard about this right away. A small correction on your statement. It was the Republican establishment that pounced on this immediately and called for him to step down. They have been trying to get him out of this race from the beginning. He is very independent and doesn’t toe the party line. More of a Tea Party backed candidate. He is also a man of strong convictions and not swayed by polls on how he should think.
    I immediately knew what he was trying to say, but that he really screwed up the “legitimate” part. He has been involved in crafting laws for the rape exception and federal funding for abortions. The wording in the laws describes what is a “forcible” and some call it a legitimate rape.
    He really should have known the subject of the rape exception would come up and how to handle it. He failed. I agree, focus on the baby.

    We also know about the double standard. We had in the office of the president a man that was accused of raping two women, and had sex with an intern IN the oval office. The only ones calling for his resignation were the members of the opposing party. A vice-president that makes offensive gaffes on an almost daily basis-oh,that’s just Joe.

    I really don’t know where to come down on this one. He made a major misstep. He has apologized publicly and released a commercial with a heartfelt apology. But I also understand the unfortunate political climate we live in, and I hate it. Pounce on the opposition and eat them alive. I wonder how this would have played out if he had been allowed to clear this up before his own party started the feeding frenzy. The Republicans seem to surround the injured and eat their own. So, should we be so desperate to win the Senate that we will exploit this mistake and trash a good man and his family? I think, alas, that we will.

  • SKPeterson

    By ‘legitimate’ I think he meant ‘real,’ not that the act was legal or proper. It may be that he was attempting to distinguish between cases of forcible rape, and cases where a woman claims rape when she really only had consensusl sex which led to pregnancy. By making ‘rape’ an exception, it may incentivize women to claim rape when it is not ‘legitimate,’ i.e. where there is evidence of trauma, or other indicators of sexual assault leading to criminal charges.

    Further, this is a perfect example of arguing that two wrongs don’t make a right.

  • SKPeterson

    By ‘legitimate’ I think he meant ‘real,’ not that the act was legal or proper. It may be that he was attempting to distinguish between cases of forcible rape, and cases where a woman claims rape when she really only had consensusl sex which led to pregnancy. By making ‘rape’ an exception, it may incentivize women to claim rape when it is not ‘legitimate,’ i.e. where there is evidence of trauma, or other indicators of sexual assault leading to criminal charges.

    Further, this is a perfect example of arguing that two wrongs don’t make a right.

  • Michael B.

    “But the statement played into the media narrative of the Republican “war on women.””

    This is a guy who believes that raped women should be made to carry their rapist’s baby to term. “War on women” — Hear what they say, then call it what you think it is.

    It would also be nice if the media would actually do its job and ask some questions of those who want to allow exceptions in the case of rape. If a raped woman wants to have an abortion, she needs to go through a process and prove she was raped? Does she need to file criminal charges against someone to get an abortion?

  • Michael B.

    “But the statement played into the media narrative of the Republican “war on women.””

    This is a guy who believes that raped women should be made to carry their rapist’s baby to term. “War on women” — Hear what they say, then call it what you think it is.

    It would also be nice if the media would actually do its job and ask some questions of those who want to allow exceptions in the case of rape. If a raped woman wants to have an abortion, she needs to go through a process and prove she was raped? Does she need to file criminal charges against someone to get an abortion?

  • Orianna Laun

    What Akin said about punishing the rapist and not the child was the only thing he said that was correct. Many will disagree and say that carrying a child punishes the woman. The woman has been violated and will live with that trauma for the rest of her life. Would one heap more injury on her? Eliminating one part of the rape will not make it not have happened.
    If Akin had said something that had shown more sympathy, the others may have grumbled a bit and left it alone. Instead he spoke without thinking through his ideas. The “legitimate rape” was completely insensitive. Yeah, okay so he meant rape, not a woman scorned and crying rape over what was consensual, or over/under age consensual. Still, to a rape victim, that is a slap in the face. Then the repeating of an old and highly questioned study. Sorry, basic biology. Pregnancy can result.
    Yes, for his insensitivity and sheer uninformedness on the issue, he should step down. I don’t want my Senator being uninformed when he is voting.
    Let the recod show, I did not vote for him in the first place. Personally, I am weary of the whole debacle. Are there now no other issues in this campaign? Frankly, there is no war on women except the one that has been going on for centuries when Adam told God, “The woman You gave me. . .” It has been a power struggle ever since.

  • Orianna Laun

    What Akin said about punishing the rapist and not the child was the only thing he said that was correct. Many will disagree and say that carrying a child punishes the woman. The woman has been violated and will live with that trauma for the rest of her life. Would one heap more injury on her? Eliminating one part of the rape will not make it not have happened.
    If Akin had said something that had shown more sympathy, the others may have grumbled a bit and left it alone. Instead he spoke without thinking through his ideas. The “legitimate rape” was completely insensitive. Yeah, okay so he meant rape, not a woman scorned and crying rape over what was consensual, or over/under age consensual. Still, to a rape victim, that is a slap in the face. Then the repeating of an old and highly questioned study. Sorry, basic biology. Pregnancy can result.
    Yes, for his insensitivity and sheer uninformedness on the issue, he should step down. I don’t want my Senator being uninformed when he is voting.
    Let the recod show, I did not vote for him in the first place. Personally, I am weary of the whole debacle. Are there now no other issues in this campaign? Frankly, there is no war on women except the one that has been going on for centuries when Adam told God, “The woman You gave me. . .” It has been a power struggle ever since.

  • Booklover

    As a woman, I would take the man who “misspeaks” over the man who asks me to destroy my child. Any day. As a senator or as a husband.

    There is more than one definition for “legitimate.” Look it up.

  • Booklover

    As a woman, I would take the man who “misspeaks” over the man who asks me to destroy my child. Any day. As a senator or as a husband.

    There is more than one definition for “legitimate.” Look it up.

  • Tom Hering

    Booklover @ 13, when you consider the trauma theory Akin was referring to, it’s very clear he didn’t misspeak. He really did question whether rape could have happened when there’s a pregnancy. And which politicians is asking you (or anyone else) to destroy your baby? I know this happens in personal relationships, but seriously …

  • Tom Hering

    Booklover @ 13, when you consider the trauma theory Akin was referring to, it’s very clear he didn’t misspeak. He really did question whether rape could have happened when there’s a pregnancy. And which politicians is asking you (or anyone else) to destroy your baby? I know this happens in personal relationships, but seriously …

  • Dan Kempin

    I must admit to being rather disgusted by this. By the republicans, that is.

    It is entirely hoyle for the Dems to go after Akinfor this gaffe, afte all, just as the Repubs are going after Biden for his. That is politics.

    It is also appropriate for strategists and other candidates of his own party to approach him behind the scenes and pressure him to step down. That, also, is politics.

    Instead, the Republicans joined with their opponents against their own candidate and PUBLICLY denounced him before this had a chance to develop. They torched their own candidate, and torched him badly, validating the invalid criticisms that were brought against him and giving the story much more traction than it would have had.

    In my opinion, this was a manageable gaffe. Perhaps I am wrong. It is easy enough to get the point that he was trying to make, and since when do we vilify those who do a poor job stating a strongly pro-life position? (Besides, this is just a senate seat in a presidential year. Why put it on center stage?)

    Nevertheless, if he is an irreparably damaged candidate at this point, it is because the republicans have damaged him. We might have lost some ground, but he could have been defended. They allowed the entire narrative to be changed and made this a much bigger problem than one senate seat.

    Perhaps they were driven by fear (the echo chamber in the conservative media was, certainly), or perhaps they were driven by resentment of a tea party candidate (more likely), but I lay this at the feet of the republican establishment. They are the ones who fanned the flames, and they even destroyed their ability to support their own candidate now that he is in the race.

    And we still have three more months of this . . .

  • Dan Kempin

    I must admit to being rather disgusted by this. By the republicans, that is.

    It is entirely hoyle for the Dems to go after Akinfor this gaffe, afte all, just as the Repubs are going after Biden for his. That is politics.

    It is also appropriate for strategists and other candidates of his own party to approach him behind the scenes and pressure him to step down. That, also, is politics.

    Instead, the Republicans joined with their opponents against their own candidate and PUBLICLY denounced him before this had a chance to develop. They torched their own candidate, and torched him badly, validating the invalid criticisms that were brought against him and giving the story much more traction than it would have had.

    In my opinion, this was a manageable gaffe. Perhaps I am wrong. It is easy enough to get the point that he was trying to make, and since when do we vilify those who do a poor job stating a strongly pro-life position? (Besides, this is just a senate seat in a presidential year. Why put it on center stage?)

    Nevertheless, if he is an irreparably damaged candidate at this point, it is because the republicans have damaged him. We might have lost some ground, but he could have been defended. They allowed the entire narrative to be changed and made this a much bigger problem than one senate seat.

    Perhaps they were driven by fear (the echo chamber in the conservative media was, certainly), or perhaps they were driven by resentment of a tea party candidate (more likely), but I lay this at the feet of the republican establishment. They are the ones who fanned the flames, and they even destroyed their ability to support their own candidate now that he is in the race.

    And we still have three more months of this . . .

  • Patrick Kyle

    SKP@10
    +1

    How this is any more egregious than the inept Biden’s naked race baiting with his comment about putting people back in ‘chains’ is beyond me.

  • Patrick Kyle

    SKP@10
    +1

    How this is any more egregious than the inept Biden’s naked race baiting with his comment about putting people back in ‘chains’ is beyond me.

  • Julian

    I agree with Tom @7… someone like Akin, with no background in biological science, should not be making such false and repugnant statements, and using his misinformation as a basis for policy, even if, and especially if, the policy is a good one. Good policy surrounding a sensitive issue deserves nothing less than a strong factual and moral basis.

    If he’s willing to delude himself with bogus theories, and take these with him to the Senate floor, this shows he’s not fit for public office.

    Now if only we held every politician to that standard….

  • Julian

    I agree with Tom @7… someone like Akin, with no background in biological science, should not be making such false and repugnant statements, and using his misinformation as a basis for policy, even if, and especially if, the policy is a good one. Good policy surrounding a sensitive issue deserves nothing less than a strong factual and moral basis.

    If he’s willing to delude himself with bogus theories, and take these with him to the Senate floor, this shows he’s not fit for public office.

    Now if only we held every politician to that standard….

  • Josiah

    @Tom Hering 7: Ok, yes the part about a woman being able to stop the pregnancy was wrong. But saying ‘legitimate rape’ was a misspeak and seems to be the main thing that people are leaping on him for saying. His claim about pregnancy was wacky, and that lends to the fire, but liberals aren’t going off of that alone and saying that Akin shouldn’t be elected because he believes ideas like that. They’re pouncing on the ‘legitimate rape’ comment and using that to primarily fuel their claim that Republicans are waging a “war on women.”

  • Josiah

    @Tom Hering 7: Ok, yes the part about a woman being able to stop the pregnancy was wrong. But saying ‘legitimate rape’ was a misspeak and seems to be the main thing that people are leaping on him for saying. His claim about pregnancy was wacky, and that lends to the fire, but liberals aren’t going off of that alone and saying that Akin shouldn’t be elected because he believes ideas like that. They’re pouncing on the ‘legitimate rape’ comment and using that to primarily fuel their claim that Republicans are waging a “war on women.”

  • http://theoldadam.com/ Steve Martin

    This guy (Akin) would be the perfect replacement for Biden.

    I didn’t think there was a dumber politician (than Biden) out there.

    I was wrong.

  • http://theoldadam.com/ Steve Martin

    This guy (Akin) would be the perfect replacement for Biden.

    I didn’t think there was a dumber politician (than Biden) out there.

    I was wrong.

  • Cincinnatus

    I’m…I’m shocked, really. Not by Akin–he’s a moronic politician like the rest of them. I’m shocked by this thread. So there are actually people on this planet willing to defend what Akin said?

    Let’s review:

    1) Akin completely invented a category of activity called “legitimate” rape. As opposed to, what, illegitimate rape? What does that even mean? Even granting SKPeterson’s clarification, what was he thinking? Aside from how demeaning this comment will inevitably be perceived by women, it’s just stupid.

    2) Akin claimed on the authority of “some doctors” that the female human body possesses (mysterious) biological mechanisms (involving “juices” or something) to prevent pregnancy in cases of “legitimate” rape. What? Where did he hear this? This isn’t simply wrong; it’s completely, batdung insane.

    There is nothing worthy of defending here. Look, I agree with some of you: Democrats should not be using an obvious case of extremist idiocy to characterize a whole party. But you can say that without also white-knighting for this moron from Missouri.

  • Cincinnatus

    I’m…I’m shocked, really. Not by Akin–he’s a moronic politician like the rest of them. I’m shocked by this thread. So there are actually people on this planet willing to defend what Akin said?

    Let’s review:

    1) Akin completely invented a category of activity called “legitimate” rape. As opposed to, what, illegitimate rape? What does that even mean? Even granting SKPeterson’s clarification, what was he thinking? Aside from how demeaning this comment will inevitably be perceived by women, it’s just stupid.

    2) Akin claimed on the authority of “some doctors” that the female human body possesses (mysterious) biological mechanisms (involving “juices” or something) to prevent pregnancy in cases of “legitimate” rape. What? Where did he hear this? This isn’t simply wrong; it’s completely, batdung insane.

    There is nothing worthy of defending here. Look, I agree with some of you: Democrats should not be using an obvious case of extremist idiocy to characterize a whole party. But you can say that without also white-knighting for this moron from Missouri.

  • Isaac

    Sorry, I think that Akin’s deserves to be censured over this. He’s significantly damaged the Pro-Life cause by using bad science to play right into everything that the Pro-Choice side believes about the Pro-Life position. The media circus contributed to this, of course, but this clearly wasn’t an isolated misstatement, this was something that reflects a deeper problem with his thinking.

    His point is not any easy one to understand for most of the people on the fence. If you’re deep on the pro-life side you may agree with his position (because a death is a wrong in any circumstance) but be very careful, because that is not the message the people in the middle are getting. They’re hearing his comments and translating them as “If she is pregnant, she must have wanted it” and “It isn’t real rape”. It’s given the Pro-Choice side significant leverage to oppose present and future abortion restrictions (for example, by pointing out that current laws give rapists parental rights in many states).

    His attempts at clarification have, if anything, made his position sound worse. And so the focus has remained on “legitimate” or “forcible” rape, damaging the Pro-Life cause nationally. Concerns that someone might abuse a loophole in the law is no excuse to use bad science to justify yourself, and to do so is to play right into the other side’s rhetoric.

    Using bad science, bad logic, or other species of flawed reasoning to support a position you believe is correct is something that we should always be on guard for. This is exactly the kind of thing that happens when you put your cause, however good and noble, as something more important than truth.

  • Isaac

    Sorry, I think that Akin’s deserves to be censured over this. He’s significantly damaged the Pro-Life cause by using bad science to play right into everything that the Pro-Choice side believes about the Pro-Life position. The media circus contributed to this, of course, but this clearly wasn’t an isolated misstatement, this was something that reflects a deeper problem with his thinking.

    His point is not any easy one to understand for most of the people on the fence. If you’re deep on the pro-life side you may agree with his position (because a death is a wrong in any circumstance) but be very careful, because that is not the message the people in the middle are getting. They’re hearing his comments and translating them as “If she is pregnant, she must have wanted it” and “It isn’t real rape”. It’s given the Pro-Choice side significant leverage to oppose present and future abortion restrictions (for example, by pointing out that current laws give rapists parental rights in many states).

    His attempts at clarification have, if anything, made his position sound worse. And so the focus has remained on “legitimate” or “forcible” rape, damaging the Pro-Life cause nationally. Concerns that someone might abuse a loophole in the law is no excuse to use bad science to justify yourself, and to do so is to play right into the other side’s rhetoric.

    Using bad science, bad logic, or other species of flawed reasoning to support a position you believe is correct is something that we should always be on guard for. This is exactly the kind of thing that happens when you put your cause, however good and noble, as something more important than truth.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    @ 19

    Akin, and those like him, need to watch politicians like Debbie Wasserman-Schulz. She never answers questions she doesn’t like. She just repeats her talking points. If Akin had the good political sense to do that, he could win easily as folks are very annoyed with Claire McCaskill. Elections are now determined at the margin. Those people vote by emotion. The principled voters have already chosen a side based on issues. Now the contest is for the mushy middle who will just go with how they feel.

    The whole thing is so totally pointless. Akin should have declared the obvious and pertinent fact that rape exceptions are not on even on the table for legislative debate. The current abortion initiatives deal with late term abortions. He should have reframed it for him bringing up the President’s position on children who survive abortion, let them die and give them no aid. Further, he should have brought up his opposition’s support of late term abortions, more than 90% of which are healthy mothers with healthy babies. That is actually on the table for legislative debate in many state houses.

    But no, Akin was to stupid to see his opportunity to appeal to voters and defend innocent children.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    @ 19

    Akin, and those like him, need to watch politicians like Debbie Wasserman-Schulz. She never answers questions she doesn’t like. She just repeats her talking points. If Akin had the good political sense to do that, he could win easily as folks are very annoyed with Claire McCaskill. Elections are now determined at the margin. Those people vote by emotion. The principled voters have already chosen a side based on issues. Now the contest is for the mushy middle who will just go with how they feel.

    The whole thing is so totally pointless. Akin should have declared the obvious and pertinent fact that rape exceptions are not on even on the table for legislative debate. The current abortion initiatives deal with late term abortions. He should have reframed it for him bringing up the President’s position on children who survive abortion, let them die and give them no aid. Further, he should have brought up his opposition’s support of late term abortions, more than 90% of which are healthy mothers with healthy babies. That is actually on the table for legislative debate in many state houses.

    But no, Akin was to stupid to see his opportunity to appeal to voters and defend innocent children.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    FWIW, re: rape exceptions. Germany has the equivalent of a personhood amendment to its constitution which clearly states that a child has a right to life from the moment of conception and the state has an interest in preserving that life from conception. They also have exceptions, not wholly unlike we have exceptions to the right to free speech and free exercise of religion, etc.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    FWIW, re: rape exceptions. Germany has the equivalent of a personhood amendment to its constitution which clearly states that a child has a right to life from the moment of conception and the state has an interest in preserving that life from conception. They also have exceptions, not wholly unlike we have exceptions to the right to free speech and free exercise of religion, etc.

  • Mary

    How about the response from a woman that was conceived by a serial rapist:

    http://rebeccakiessling.wordpress.com/2012/08/20/another-good-100-pro-life-candidate-flubs-on-the-rape-question/

    She was on with Todd Wilken yesterday on Issues Etc

  • Mary

    How about the response from a woman that was conceived by a serial rapist:

    http://rebeccakiessling.wordpress.com/2012/08/20/another-good-100-pro-life-candidate-flubs-on-the-rape-question/

    She was on with Todd Wilken yesterday on Issues Etc

  • Trey

    Dr. Veith i think you misunderstood his comment the context was abortion because of rape. Akin was saying if it is a legitimate rape not that rape was legitimate, but that some women use “I was raped” to abort the unborn human. He erred in saying the female body will shutdown conception. Bottomline he should not have said the latter and should have explained himself better on the legitimate rape comment.

  • Trey

    Dr. Veith i think you misunderstood his comment the context was abortion because of rape. Akin was saying if it is a legitimate rape not that rape was legitimate, but that some women use “I was raped” to abort the unborn human. He erred in saying the female body will shutdown conception. Bottomline he should not have said the latter and should have explained himself better on the legitimate rape comment.

  • http://www.cyberbrethren.com Rev. Paul T. McCain

    Akin needs to bow out. He has done great harm to our chance to get rid of the incumbent and has therefore done great harm to the effort to gain a Republican majority in the Senate.

    Oh, and yes, he just continues to provide red meat for the Democrats to bash the Republican ticket.

    His decision to remain in the race is selfish and foolish.

    There is NO defense for what he said. None. Those who attempt to defend him are simply adding fuel to the fire.

  • http://www.cyberbrethren.com Rev. Paul T. McCain

    Akin needs to bow out. He has done great harm to our chance to get rid of the incumbent and has therefore done great harm to the effort to gain a Republican majority in the Senate.

    Oh, and yes, he just continues to provide red meat for the Democrats to bash the Republican ticket.

    His decision to remain in the race is selfish and foolish.

    There is NO defense for what he said. None. Those who attempt to defend him are simply adding fuel to the fire.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    What really galls me about Akin is his disgustingly supine position in answering the inane question rather than going on the offensive and telling that fool reporter what for. I mean, when someone asks an abortion question, it is gold engraved invitation to take off the gloves and launch a full on attack of the depraved pro-choice position using as much gore and graphic detail as you can. Bring up the facts about women’s suicide rates after abortion vs. delivery. Discuss devaluing people who were conceived in rape. Bring up the brutality of abortion. Don’t forget the part about dismemberment and severing heads and sucking out their little brains till their toes stop wiggling in the abortionists hand.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    What really galls me about Akin is his disgustingly supine position in answering the inane question rather than going on the offensive and telling that fool reporter what for. I mean, when someone asks an abortion question, it is gold engraved invitation to take off the gloves and launch a full on attack of the depraved pro-choice position using as much gore and graphic detail as you can. Bring up the facts about women’s suicide rates after abortion vs. delivery. Discuss devaluing people who were conceived in rape. Bring up the brutality of abortion. Don’t forget the part about dismemberment and severing heads and sucking out their little brains till their toes stop wiggling in the abortionists hand.

  • Jon

    This is a distraction of the Republicans’ own making! For Pete’s sake, just quietly disavow and throw this poor man under the bus, and move on. Stop singing the Dems’ song for them.

    No independent voters are going to be swayed en masse about these side social issues–those only play to the committed base of each party.

    Instead, the GOP needs to Stay On Message about the dismal economy and the debt crisis that the Obama administration has wreaked on America, and Obama’s failure to deliver what he promised on restoring economic vitality.

    Obama himself at the start said that his chance was a “one shot” deal–that if he couldn’t deliver on the economy, he didn’t deserve re-election from the public who bought into his “hope and change” blather.

  • Jon

    This is a distraction of the Republicans’ own making! For Pete’s sake, just quietly disavow and throw this poor man under the bus, and move on. Stop singing the Dems’ song for them.

    No independent voters are going to be swayed en masse about these side social issues–those only play to the committed base of each party.

    Instead, the GOP needs to Stay On Message about the dismal economy and the debt crisis that the Obama administration has wreaked on America, and Obama’s failure to deliver what he promised on restoring economic vitality.

    Obama himself at the start said that his chance was a “one shot” deal–that if he couldn’t deliver on the economy, he didn’t deserve re-election from the public who bought into his “hope and change” blather.

  • http://facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    Here’s a pretty good article that offers an analysis of what’s going on in modern political discourse:

    Within seconds of Akin’s comments, mouths frothed and nostrils flared. There was no time to think and respond rationally.

    Basically it says that we are very eager to violate the 8th commandant by putting the worst possible construction on things our opponents say.

    The author then goes on to hold the hand of the sophists among us to explain rigorously why we’re just being silly demagogues.

  • http://facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    Here’s a pretty good article that offers an analysis of what’s going on in modern political discourse:

    Within seconds of Akin’s comments, mouths frothed and nostrils flared. There was no time to think and respond rationally.

    Basically it says that we are very eager to violate the 8th commandant by putting the worst possible construction on things our opponents say.

    The author then goes on to hold the hand of the sophists among us to explain rigorously why we’re just being silly demagogues.

  • Stone the Crows

    Steve Martin @19; Never underestimate the voter’s ability to elect the dumbest person in the state. Just review some of the gems that the great state of California has sent to the Beltway. Slow-Joe was rewarded (if one can call it that) with the VP position because he is a rank and file Democrat, what Barak Obama needed at his side wasn’t an advisor, or an equal but DNC tool. He’s a party loyal who will carry the water and do what he’s told no matter what.

  • Stone the Crows

    Steve Martin @19; Never underestimate the voter’s ability to elect the dumbest person in the state. Just review some of the gems that the great state of California has sent to the Beltway. Slow-Joe was rewarded (if one can call it that) with the VP position because he is a rank and file Democrat, what Barak Obama needed at his side wasn’t an advisor, or an equal but DNC tool. He’s a party loyal who will carry the water and do what he’s told no matter what.

  • Carl Vehse

    The hullabaloo over Rep. Todd Akin is not because of some badly worded phrases he used and for which he has since recanted and apologized. Zero and Subzero repeatedly over the years have put their feet in their mouths, or simply lied, and the MSM just looks the other way or bends over more.

    The real offense by Akin was talking publicly about what is part of a pro-life plank on the GOP platform that Mitt doesn’t really want to stand on or discuss. This gives the fifth-column MSM buttboys and media skanks something to try and divert the sheeple’s attention from the gang rape of America and the Constitution by Traitorobama and his thugs, aided and abetted by the Demonicrats and RINOs.

    Akin’s offense is not one for which he needs to be thrown under the bus especially by RINOs or faux-conservatives, even in a state that knowingly (used loosely) elected a corpse to the Senate.

  • Carl Vehse

    The hullabaloo over Rep. Todd Akin is not because of some badly worded phrases he used and for which he has since recanted and apologized. Zero and Subzero repeatedly over the years have put their feet in their mouths, or simply lied, and the MSM just looks the other way or bends over more.

    The real offense by Akin was talking publicly about what is part of a pro-life plank on the GOP platform that Mitt doesn’t really want to stand on or discuss. This gives the fifth-column MSM buttboys and media skanks something to try and divert the sheeple’s attention from the gang rape of America and the Constitution by Traitorobama and his thugs, aided and abetted by the Demonicrats and RINOs.

    Akin’s offense is not one for which he needs to be thrown under the bus especially by RINOs or faux-conservatives, even in a state that knowingly (used loosely) elected a corpse to the Senate.

  • SKPeterson

    Akin’s greatest sin is that he could not, or would not, speak carefully about the sensitive issues of rape and abortion. He should have expressed concern for a woman who is raped, and acknowledge her trauma and anguish. He also should have noted that being pregnant as a result of rape could compound that trauma. But, he should also have noted that having an abortion may not alleviate the trauma, and might also compound or create new traumas. Abortion may not and perhaps should not be the go-to solution to pregnancy in the event of rape. There are alternatives.

    Moreover, as I argued above, he could have clearly stated that rape is always and everywhere wrong, and that abortion is always and everywhere wrong, and that abortion in the case of rape is nothing more than arguing that two wrongs make a right and that he does not support such moral expediency.

    He could have dumped it back on to the reporter by arguing thus. If rape is a “legitimate” excuse for abortion, who makes the determination that the pregnancy is the result of rape? If rape is allowed as a rationale, how can the state avoid having women who were not raped from claiming rape as the cause of their pregnancy? If a rape occurred, the state has a clear and compelling reason to prosecute the offender. Which means finding a male assailant, should he exist. Further, if the woman has lied, and essentially perjured herself, the abortion may have already happened, and an innocent man placed on trial prior to the falsehood coming to light. And let’s face it, perjury convictions just don’t happen, and allegations of rape don’t just go away. So we have a situation where an unborn child dies, a man suffers damage to his reputation and finances, the state expends money to prosecute an innocent party, and the likelihood that an irresponsible young woman gets off scot free. Is the reporter justifying the behavior of the press when the Duke Lacrosse players were tried and convicted in the press over rape allegations? Was that legitimate, and would it be enough to allow an abortion, even though no rape occurred?

  • SKPeterson

    Akin’s greatest sin is that he could not, or would not, speak carefully about the sensitive issues of rape and abortion. He should have expressed concern for a woman who is raped, and acknowledge her trauma and anguish. He also should have noted that being pregnant as a result of rape could compound that trauma. But, he should also have noted that having an abortion may not alleviate the trauma, and might also compound or create new traumas. Abortion may not and perhaps should not be the go-to solution to pregnancy in the event of rape. There are alternatives.

    Moreover, as I argued above, he could have clearly stated that rape is always and everywhere wrong, and that abortion is always and everywhere wrong, and that abortion in the case of rape is nothing more than arguing that two wrongs make a right and that he does not support such moral expediency.

    He could have dumped it back on to the reporter by arguing thus. If rape is a “legitimate” excuse for abortion, who makes the determination that the pregnancy is the result of rape? If rape is allowed as a rationale, how can the state avoid having women who were not raped from claiming rape as the cause of their pregnancy? If a rape occurred, the state has a clear and compelling reason to prosecute the offender. Which means finding a male assailant, should he exist. Further, if the woman has lied, and essentially perjured herself, the abortion may have already happened, and an innocent man placed on trial prior to the falsehood coming to light. And let’s face it, perjury convictions just don’t happen, and allegations of rape don’t just go away. So we have a situation where an unborn child dies, a man suffers damage to his reputation and finances, the state expends money to prosecute an innocent party, and the likelihood that an irresponsible young woman gets off scot free. Is the reporter justifying the behavior of the press when the Duke Lacrosse players were tried and convicted in the press over rape allegations? Was that legitimate, and would it be enough to allow an abortion, even though no rape occurred?

  • Dan Kempin

    Mary, #9,

    I missed your comment earlier, and I agree.

  • Dan Kempin

    Mary, #9,

    I missed your comment earlier, and I agree.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    It is pretty pointless considering that the SCOTUS has ruled that states cannot prohibit abortion anyway. If a woman is raped and gets pregnant, she will know it and be able to make a decision before the baby is 6 months gestation when the few restrictions that exist are going to come into play.

    This all comes back to the sovereignty of the electorate. Do we or do we not have the right to govern ourselves in our own states regarding penalties for murder and the regulation of medical practice by state medical boards? Remember prohibition? Well alcohol was not illegal, only the sale and transport. If you read Roe v. Wade it is full of all sorts of semantic games and technical stipulations that basically let everyone and anyone kill any child before he is fully born full term.

    German law requires that the woman’s decision be burdened as much as possible to ensure that it is not made lightly or frivolously by her or her doctor. It is further burdened by strict cutoffs based on gestational age and violating doctors are actually tried, convicted and serve their sentences. Here the law prohibits burdening the woman’s decision at all. Huge contrast.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    It is pretty pointless considering that the SCOTUS has ruled that states cannot prohibit abortion anyway. If a woman is raped and gets pregnant, she will know it and be able to make a decision before the baby is 6 months gestation when the few restrictions that exist are going to come into play.

    This all comes back to the sovereignty of the electorate. Do we or do we not have the right to govern ourselves in our own states regarding penalties for murder and the regulation of medical practice by state medical boards? Remember prohibition? Well alcohol was not illegal, only the sale and transport. If you read Roe v. Wade it is full of all sorts of semantic games and technical stipulations that basically let everyone and anyone kill any child before he is fully born full term.

    German law requires that the woman’s decision be burdened as much as possible to ensure that it is not made lightly or frivolously by her or her doctor. It is further burdened by strict cutoffs based on gestational age and violating doctors are actually tried, convicted and serve their sentences. Here the law prohibits burdening the woman’s decision at all. Huge contrast.

  • Dan Kempin

    I’m very surprised by the prevailing judgment on this thread.

    Perhaps we should keep the ball rolling: What other pro-life candidates can we trash? Why wait for them to make a gaffe? Let’s go ahead and burn them out of the party now. (That way we can forsake the most pressing moral issue of our day, but hey, we might get ELECTED!) Besides, I’m sure it would be a much better strategy in the long run to follow what conventional wisdom thinks might or could happen in three months than to stand on principle and stand with like minded allies today.

    So I’m all on board now: Burn the witch! Burn them all! (He turned me into a newt!)

  • Dan Kempin

    I’m very surprised by the prevailing judgment on this thread.

    Perhaps we should keep the ball rolling: What other pro-life candidates can we trash? Why wait for them to make a gaffe? Let’s go ahead and burn them out of the party now. (That way we can forsake the most pressing moral issue of our day, but hey, we might get ELECTED!) Besides, I’m sure it would be a much better strategy in the long run to follow what conventional wisdom thinks might or could happen in three months than to stand on principle and stand with like minded allies today.

    So I’m all on board now: Burn the witch! Burn them all! (He turned me into a newt!)

  • http://facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    Cincinatus wrote:

    Akin completely invented a category of activity called “legitimate” rape. As opposed to, what, illegitimate rape?

    Unless English is not one’s first language, I have to think that anyone misconstruing Akin’s use of the word “legitimate” like this is being intentionally obtuse for the purpose of demagoguery (which is the new term for lying about your political opponents).

  • http://facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    Cincinatus wrote:

    Akin completely invented a category of activity called “legitimate” rape. As opposed to, what, illegitimate rape?

    Unless English is not one’s first language, I have to think that anyone misconstruing Akin’s use of the word “legitimate” like this is being intentionally obtuse for the purpose of demagoguery (which is the new term for lying about your political opponents).

  • Cincinnatus

    Dan Kempin@35:

    You’re totally right. Pro-lifers should not only forgive Akin; they should embrace his categories. We shall tell those who favor abortion in cases of rape that there is no such thing! When a woman is “really” raped, it is biologically impossible for her to become pregnant! Of course, this is sound medical science that will dispel any mistaken notions pro-choicers continue to hold about pro-lifers. It will provide a new aura of legitimacy to the pro-life movement and will offer a firm foundation for practical policy advances. We’ll certainly have Akin to thank for any advances the pro-life movement achieves in the near future.

    Mike Westfall@36: Ok, I’m obtuse, but certainly not intentionally. Could you explain to me what constitutes “legitimate” rape as opposed to “illegitimate” rape? Putting the most charitable and likely construction on Akin’s words, he was referring to the old distinction made between “forcible” rape (e.g., a masked man breaking into your bedroom, etc.) and…well, others kinds of rape like date rape, etc. Akin believes that if a woman is forcibly raped, she can’t be aroused and thus allegedly can’t get pregnant. This is, as you should know, hilariously wrong in all kinds of ways. In other words, he was drawing the same distinction Whoopi Goldberg did when she claimed that there is a difference between “rape” and “rape-rape.” She was justly excoriated for her remarks. Akin should be all the more excoriated because he’s supposed to be a luminary in the pro-life movement in Congress. The distinction is simply wrong and insulting.

    Put simply, please tell me what I’m missing, Mike. I’m still feeling pretty obtuse here, apparently. As I see it, there’s no “positive” spin on Akin’s words. It’s one thing to tell the admittedly hard truth that true pro-lifers don’t approve of abortion even in cases of rape. It’s another thing entirely to claim that those pregnancies can’t even occur, and that women who do claim to have an abortion because they were raped are thus effectively lying.

  • Cincinnatus

    Dan Kempin@35:

    You’re totally right. Pro-lifers should not only forgive Akin; they should embrace his categories. We shall tell those who favor abortion in cases of rape that there is no such thing! When a woman is “really” raped, it is biologically impossible for her to become pregnant! Of course, this is sound medical science that will dispel any mistaken notions pro-choicers continue to hold about pro-lifers. It will provide a new aura of legitimacy to the pro-life movement and will offer a firm foundation for practical policy advances. We’ll certainly have Akin to thank for any advances the pro-life movement achieves in the near future.

    Mike Westfall@36: Ok, I’m obtuse, but certainly not intentionally. Could you explain to me what constitutes “legitimate” rape as opposed to “illegitimate” rape? Putting the most charitable and likely construction on Akin’s words, he was referring to the old distinction made between “forcible” rape (e.g., a masked man breaking into your bedroom, etc.) and…well, others kinds of rape like date rape, etc. Akin believes that if a woman is forcibly raped, she can’t be aroused and thus allegedly can’t get pregnant. This is, as you should know, hilariously wrong in all kinds of ways. In other words, he was drawing the same distinction Whoopi Goldberg did when she claimed that there is a difference between “rape” and “rape-rape.” She was justly excoriated for her remarks. Akin should be all the more excoriated because he’s supposed to be a luminary in the pro-life movement in Congress. The distinction is simply wrong and insulting.

    Put simply, please tell me what I’m missing, Mike. I’m still feeling pretty obtuse here, apparently. As I see it, there’s no “positive” spin on Akin’s words. It’s one thing to tell the admittedly hard truth that true pro-lifers don’t approve of abortion even in cases of rape. It’s another thing entirely to claim that those pregnancies can’t even occur, and that women who do claim to have an abortion because they were raped are thus effectively lying.

  • Cincinnatus

    Addendum: Don’t get me wrong, though. I’m not bothered by Akin’s remarks. I simply don’t care. I think anyone making a big deal of this except as fodder for a few laughs is silly. I’m not surprised that an egomaniacal politician is also a moron.

    I’m just surprised that Akin is finding a non-negligible number of supporters among an intelligent blog commentariat such as this one.

  • Cincinnatus

    Addendum: Don’t get me wrong, though. I’m not bothered by Akin’s remarks. I simply don’t care. I think anyone making a big deal of this except as fodder for a few laughs is silly. I’m not surprised that an egomaniacal politician is also a moron.

    I’m just surprised that Akin is finding a non-negligible number of supporters among an intelligent blog commentariat such as this one.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Any politician’s job description includes being as wise as a serpent whether he is one or not. Akin is an epic fail on this basic job performance requirement.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Any politician’s job description includes being as wise as a serpent whether he is one or not. Akin is an epic fail on this basic job performance requirement.

  • Stan

    His statement did more for Claire, Obama care and the pro abortion crowd than anything the Dems could have come up with. He has to go and by selfishly refusing he may cost us more than we can imagine now. Sadly they were on the ropes but if he stays in he will have managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

  • Stan

    His statement did more for Claire, Obama care and the pro abortion crowd than anything the Dems could have come up with. He has to go and by selfishly refusing he may cost us more than we can imagine now. Sadly they were on the ropes but if he stays in he will have managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    I’m not surprised that an egomaniacal politician is also a moron.

    Dunning-Kruger much?

    Anyway, fun blog post makes the point that overconfidence (egomaniacal) is actually helpful in dealing with people, unfortunately.

    http://blogs.wsj.com/ideas-market/2012/08/16/why-are-we-overconfident/

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    I’m not surprised that an egomaniacal politician is also a moron.

    Dunning-Kruger much?

    Anyway, fun blog post makes the point that overconfidence (egomaniacal) is actually helpful in dealing with people, unfortunately.

    http://blogs.wsj.com/ideas-market/2012/08/16/why-are-we-overconfident/

  • Tom Hering

    Holy cow. I just read that Akin sits on the House Committee for Science, Space and Technology. Holy cow.

  • Tom Hering

    Holy cow. I just read that Akin sits on the House Committee for Science, Space and Technology. Holy cow.

  • http://facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    Cincy: “When a woman is “really” raped, it is biologically impossible for her to become pregnant!”

    That’s not what Akin said. He did say that pregnancies resulting from violent, forcible (“legitimate”) rape are actually pretty rare. That’s a far cry from “biologically impossible.”

    By the way, what is “date rape,” and how does it differ from plain old rape? Why do we need the extra qualifier here?

  • http://facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    Cincy: “When a woman is “really” raped, it is biologically impossible for her to become pregnant!”

    That’s not what Akin said. He did say that pregnancies resulting from violent, forcible (“legitimate”) rape are actually pretty rare. That’s a far cry from “biologically impossible.”

    By the way, what is “date rape,” and how does it differ from plain old rape? Why do we need the extra qualifier here?

  • Jon

    And you wonder why our science and technology is in the state it is!

  • Jon

    And you wonder why our science and technology is in the state it is!

  • DonS

    I just read this post, and there are already 42 comments, which I don’t have time to scroll through. So, I will respond to the post questions.

    Republicans got out in front on this issue for good reason. The comment Akin made was insanely stupid. For the sake of the larger pro-life movement, we have to quickly disavow stupid. He couldn’t even cogently explain what he actually meant. He may be a very nice guy, but he should have stepped aside. The rest of the party’s candidates, knowing they were going to be smeared with this stuff by desperate Democratic candidates, needed to get in front of the issue with their statements disassociating themselves with Akin. Why? Because the media will keep asking them about it, and they need to be able to say that they have already issued a statement on that, and then turn the conversation back to the economy.

    What is the fall out from this event? Republicans have probably lost the opportunity to pick up the MO Senate seat, unless Akin comes to his senses quickly and withdraws (he can still do that with a routinely granted court order). Akin will have no money and no party support. He is now down 10 points in the polls.

    Beyond Akin, the fallout probably hurts Democrats more. Desperate Elisabeth Warren is actually running an Akin ad against Scott Brown — ha! The Democrats are talking about making abortion a big part of their convention. This is not going to help them. The people want to hear about the economy and their jobs — I like a contrast between Paul Ryan speaking about our economy at the Republican convention and Joe Biden talking about abortion at the Democratic convention — which is going to be more compelling for the people?

    As for the senate, the Republicans have a lot of ways to get to 50, with Paul Ryan casting the tiebreaking vote, without winning MO.

  • DonS

    I just read this post, and there are already 42 comments, which I don’t have time to scroll through. So, I will respond to the post questions.

    Republicans got out in front on this issue for good reason. The comment Akin made was insanely stupid. For the sake of the larger pro-life movement, we have to quickly disavow stupid. He couldn’t even cogently explain what he actually meant. He may be a very nice guy, but he should have stepped aside. The rest of the party’s candidates, knowing they were going to be smeared with this stuff by desperate Democratic candidates, needed to get in front of the issue with their statements disassociating themselves with Akin. Why? Because the media will keep asking them about it, and they need to be able to say that they have already issued a statement on that, and then turn the conversation back to the economy.

    What is the fall out from this event? Republicans have probably lost the opportunity to pick up the MO Senate seat, unless Akin comes to his senses quickly and withdraws (he can still do that with a routinely granted court order). Akin will have no money and no party support. He is now down 10 points in the polls.

    Beyond Akin, the fallout probably hurts Democrats more. Desperate Elisabeth Warren is actually running an Akin ad against Scott Brown — ha! The Democrats are talking about making abortion a big part of their convention. This is not going to help them. The people want to hear about the economy and their jobs — I like a contrast between Paul Ryan speaking about our economy at the Republican convention and Joe Biden talking about abortion at the Democratic convention — which is going to be more compelling for the people?

    As for the senate, the Republicans have a lot of ways to get to 50, with Paul Ryan casting the tiebreaking vote, without winning MO.

  • http://facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    Cincy again: “Akin believes that if a woman is forcibly raped, she can’t be aroused and thus allegedly can’t get pregnant. This is, as you should know, hilariously wrong in all kinds of ways. ”

    Since I’m not a biologist, it’s not clear to me how that is “hilariously wrong.” How do you know it’s wrong?

  • http://facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    Cincy again: “Akin believes that if a woman is forcibly raped, she can’t be aroused and thus allegedly can’t get pregnant. This is, as you should know, hilariously wrong in all kinds of ways. ”

    Since I’m not a biologist, it’s not clear to me how that is “hilariously wrong.” How do you know it’s wrong?

  • Cincinnatus

    Mike Westfall: Please, quit while you’re ahead. Though it’s apparent that you want to keep digging, I have no extra shovels for you to borrow.

  • Cincinnatus

    Mike Westfall: Please, quit while you’re ahead. Though it’s apparent that you want to keep digging, I have no extra shovels for you to borrow.

  • Jon

    What is the take away from this when confronted with the question?

    Do you run for the hills while screaming “There’s 3 Exceptions!”

    Or do you stand your ground and say…what?

  • Jon

    What is the take away from this when confronted with the question?

    Do you run for the hills while screaming “There’s 3 Exceptions!”

    Or do you stand your ground and say…what?

  • Rob

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390444358404577605412811750848.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_MIDDLESecond

    James Taranto (a pro-abortion Republican) has a good point in the above link: Akin’s claim doesn’t run counter to good science because there is nothing that counts as good science when it comes to rape and pregnancy. No repeatable study is possible (or conscionable) and there are far too many complicating factors even if such a study were conceivable.

    Thus the crux of the matter is – a politician, who should know much better, said something incredibly stupid under the circumstances. His larger point (and perhaps a worthwhile one) is that pregnancy caused by forcible rape is incredibly rare, and shouldn’t steer the whole discussion on abortion. This is a point on which pro-choicers and pro-lifers would actually agree. Pro-choicers want abortion to be available in much broader circumstances, while pro-lifers mostly want abortion to be illegal under all circumstances. Thus, rape should not steer the issue.

    That he could use such a commonly-held point to make both pro-choicers and pro-lifers dislike him speaks ill of his fitness to lead in an age where leading is done almost exclusively in media venues (ask Howard Dean after his banshee scream).

    So, he’s probably not the right man for the job. All the rest of the kerfuffle is bloodshot eyes and pulsing neck veins from both sides of the aisle. Nothing to see there.

  • Rob

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390444358404577605412811750848.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_MIDDLESecond

    James Taranto (a pro-abortion Republican) has a good point in the above link: Akin’s claim doesn’t run counter to good science because there is nothing that counts as good science when it comes to rape and pregnancy. No repeatable study is possible (or conscionable) and there are far too many complicating factors even if such a study were conceivable.

    Thus the crux of the matter is – a politician, who should know much better, said something incredibly stupid under the circumstances. His larger point (and perhaps a worthwhile one) is that pregnancy caused by forcible rape is incredibly rare, and shouldn’t steer the whole discussion on abortion. This is a point on which pro-choicers and pro-lifers would actually agree. Pro-choicers want abortion to be available in much broader circumstances, while pro-lifers mostly want abortion to be illegal under all circumstances. Thus, rape should not steer the issue.

    That he could use such a commonly-held point to make both pro-choicers and pro-lifers dislike him speaks ill of his fitness to lead in an age where leading is done almost exclusively in media venues (ask Howard Dean after his banshee scream).

    So, he’s probably not the right man for the job. All the rest of the kerfuffle is bloodshot eyes and pulsing neck veins from both sides of the aisle. Nothing to see there.

  • MarkB

    I think Akin should not have said what he did. However, he did say it and did appologize. I think it was right for the Republicans to at the very least say that they did not agree with Akin and then ask him to drop out. But, he has not done so and is now on the ballot and that can’t be changed.
    So it then comes down the the question of who would I vote for in this election if I had the chance. With the two choices, I would go for the conservative who is pro life and made a mis-statement, nomatter how stupid it sounds compared to a Democrat who is pro abortion. As far as I am concern there is no choice here.
    Will this help the overall Republican effort to gain the senate? That we will need to wait until the election is over to determine.

  • MarkB

    I think Akin should not have said what he did. However, he did say it and did appologize. I think it was right for the Republicans to at the very least say that they did not agree with Akin and then ask him to drop out. But, he has not done so and is now on the ballot and that can’t be changed.
    So it then comes down the the question of who would I vote for in this election if I had the chance. With the two choices, I would go for the conservative who is pro life and made a mis-statement, nomatter how stupid it sounds compared to a Democrat who is pro abortion. As far as I am concern there is no choice here.
    Will this help the overall Republican effort to gain the senate? That we will need to wait until the election is over to determine.

  • John C

    Modern science is very clear on this issue.
    If you throw a witch into the water and she drowns, then it is legitimate rape.

  • John C

    Modern science is very clear on this issue.
    If you throw a witch into the water and she drowns, then it is legitimate rape.

  • Pingback: Akin ‘rape comments’ draw huge attention to candidates anti-gay record | Bazaar Daily News

  • Pingback: Akin ‘rape comments’ draw huge attention to candidates anti-gay record | Bazaar Daily News

  • Dust

    this is why i think we should not elect us senators or presidents via a popular vote….the races become the equivalent of a madison avenue ad campaign for a favorite, more flavorful toothpaste or something.

    beam me up scotty :)

    cheers!

  • Dust

    this is why i think we should not elect us senators or presidents via a popular vote….the races become the equivalent of a madison avenue ad campaign for a favorite, more flavorful toothpaste or something.

    beam me up scotty :)

    cheers!

  • Carl Vehse

    Repeal the 17th (also the 16th, 19th, 23rd, and 26th) Amendment!!

  • Carl Vehse

    Repeal the 17th (also the 16th, 19th, 23rd, and 26th) Amendment!!

  • Dust

    Carl

    17th….right on!
    16th…ditto!
    19th….you can’t be serious?
    23rd….non-issue!
    26th….if they can fight and die, they can vote!

    28th….lower drinking age to 14, like europe :)

    cheers!

  • Dust

    Carl

    17th….right on!
    16th…ditto!
    19th….you can’t be serious?
    23rd….non-issue!
    26th….if they can fight and die, they can vote!

    28th….lower drinking age to 14, like europe :)

    cheers!

  • mikeb

    …and enforce the 10th!

  • mikeb

    …and enforce the 10th!

  • Michael B.

    @Carl Vehse

    Repeal the 17th (also the 16th, 19th, 23rd, and 26th) Amendment!!

    I whole-heartily agree with repealing the 19th amendment. First you give women the right the vote. But does it stop there? No. Then they want the right to go to college and work, and now they actually want the right to control their own bodies. Also, if she was really raped and was in a city, how come she didn’t scream loud enough? (Deuteronomy 22). You give these equality folks an inch, they take a mile.

  • Michael B.

    @Carl Vehse

    Repeal the 17th (also the 16th, 19th, 23rd, and 26th) Amendment!!

    I whole-heartily agree with repealing the 19th amendment. First you give women the right the vote. But does it stop there? No. Then they want the right to go to college and work, and now they actually want the right to control their own bodies. Also, if she was really raped and was in a city, how come she didn’t scream loud enough? (Deuteronomy 22). You give these equality folks an inch, they take a mile.

  • Random Lutheran

    It’s actually a good thing that the GOP decided to mass against Akin, even if it might be only to save their hides. For far too long, parties have defended their own, simply because they were part of their club. If someone says something as dumb-sounding as what Akin said, there is zero reason to defend him, and every reason to tell him to get out. Party loyalty, as we have seen in the US the past 20 years or so, only leads to idiocy, whichever side of the aisle you care to examine. It’s about time one of the two parties is willing to — again, whether for good or bad reasons, they’re at least doing it — chuck one of their own out on his ear for not having the common sense of a goldfish.

  • Random Lutheran

    It’s actually a good thing that the GOP decided to mass against Akin, even if it might be only to save their hides. For far too long, parties have defended their own, simply because they were part of their club. If someone says something as dumb-sounding as what Akin said, there is zero reason to defend him, and every reason to tell him to get out. Party loyalty, as we have seen in the US the past 20 years or so, only leads to idiocy, whichever side of the aisle you care to examine. It’s about time one of the two parties is willing to — again, whether for good or bad reasons, they’re at least doing it — chuck one of their own out on his ear for not having the common sense of a goldfish.

  • Wayne

    I understood what he was saying the first time I heard it. Some words have different definitions, and you know the definition from the context of the sentence. One of the meanings of legitimate is: Factual, true. He was saying that in a real tramatic forced rape that the tramma and emotion can often time prevent implantation. Now off and on I have been involved in the pro-life movement and I had heard those same statistics. There have been studies that seemed to show that there at least is some truth to what he said. Maybe the studies are questionable, I don’t know. But I remember having a conversation with a doctor years ago. My wife and I had been married about ten years and we had not been able to have children. He listed off some of the causes for infertility, and stress and anxioty were high on the list. So were this doctors comments wrong? I don’t know. We opted not to pursue any course of action.

    When you look at Akins life, I don’t think he deserves the scorn and ridicule he is receiving, but that’s politics, there is blood in the water and the sharks are in a feeding frenzy.

  • Wayne

    I understood what he was saying the first time I heard it. Some words have different definitions, and you know the definition from the context of the sentence. One of the meanings of legitimate is: Factual, true. He was saying that in a real tramatic forced rape that the tramma and emotion can often time prevent implantation. Now off and on I have been involved in the pro-life movement and I had heard those same statistics. There have been studies that seemed to show that there at least is some truth to what he said. Maybe the studies are questionable, I don’t know. But I remember having a conversation with a doctor years ago. My wife and I had been married about ten years and we had not been able to have children. He listed off some of the causes for infertility, and stress and anxioty were high on the list. So were this doctors comments wrong? I don’t know. We opted not to pursue any course of action.

    When you look at Akins life, I don’t think he deserves the scorn and ridicule he is receiving, but that’s politics, there is blood in the water and the sharks are in a feeding frenzy.

  • Carl Vehse

    The “Akin fiasco” is more of a “Romney fiasco” or a “RINO fiasco” or a “faux-conservative fiasco,” as these individuals become complicit in the pro-murder-by-abortion treachery of Traitorobama, the Demonicrats, and the fifth-column media whores.

    Excerpted from “Cowed by Political Correctness” by George Neumayr:

    Barack Obama hired as one of his top Department of Education officials a gay-rights activist named Kevin Jennings, who once glibly counseled a “15-year-old” student thought to have been statutorily raped by an older man: “I hope you knew to use a condom.”

    Don’t expect Obama to receive any questions from the press about these views of his first “Safe Schools Czar.” No, outrage in this culture is restricted to those deemed unenlightened in the nuances of avant-garde morality. According to its porous scorecard, Christianity is bad for women while Islam is good for them. Pro-life countries receive scoldings from Hillary Clinton, while the one-child policy of China, which kills female infants, isn’t “second-guessed” by this administration, as Joe Biden put it on a visit.

    Beneath all the hysterical extrapolations from his [Akin's] remark, which grew wilder and wilder as the days passed, lay that essential demand: approve of killing unborn children conceived under circumstances of rape or be deemed “anti-woman.”

    This culture of hectoring explains why Mitt Romney rushed to the cameras upon hearing Akin’s remark to pronounce abortion in those cases “appropriate.” In a rotten culture, proof of one’s “civilized” bona fides comes from such shameless pandering.

    An authentically conservative party would find Romney’s unprincipled position far more chilling than Akin’s gaffe. If unborn children gain or lose their right to life depending upon the circumstances of their conception, then the party has already conceded that that right doesn’t exist.

    [Emphasis added]

  • Carl Vehse

    The “Akin fiasco” is more of a “Romney fiasco” or a “RINO fiasco” or a “faux-conservative fiasco,” as these individuals become complicit in the pro-murder-by-abortion treachery of Traitorobama, the Demonicrats, and the fifth-column media whores.

    Excerpted from “Cowed by Political Correctness” by George Neumayr:

    Barack Obama hired as one of his top Department of Education officials a gay-rights activist named Kevin Jennings, who once glibly counseled a “15-year-old” student thought to have been statutorily raped by an older man: “I hope you knew to use a condom.”

    Don’t expect Obama to receive any questions from the press about these views of his first “Safe Schools Czar.” No, outrage in this culture is restricted to those deemed unenlightened in the nuances of avant-garde morality. According to its porous scorecard, Christianity is bad for women while Islam is good for them. Pro-life countries receive scoldings from Hillary Clinton, while the one-child policy of China, which kills female infants, isn’t “second-guessed” by this administration, as Joe Biden put it on a visit.

    Beneath all the hysterical extrapolations from his [Akin's] remark, which grew wilder and wilder as the days passed, lay that essential demand: approve of killing unborn children conceived under circumstances of rape or be deemed “anti-woman.”

    This culture of hectoring explains why Mitt Romney rushed to the cameras upon hearing Akin’s remark to pronounce abortion in those cases “appropriate.” In a rotten culture, proof of one’s “civilized” bona fides comes from such shameless pandering.

    An authentically conservative party would find Romney’s unprincipled position far more chilling than Akin’s gaffe. If unborn children gain or lose their right to life depending upon the circumstances of their conception, then the party has already conceded that that right doesn’t exist.

    [Emphasis added]

  • Tom Hering

    For days after Akin made his comment, most people didn’t know what the hell he was talking about, i.e., the fringe theory about trauma. They just knew he used the term “legitimate rape,” which made it sound like he believed there are illegitimate rapes. As in, “Yeah, these rapes happen, but they’re not really, really rapes.” This was the perception driving most of the initial reaction – not support for legal abortions in cases of rape.

  • Tom Hering

    For days after Akin made his comment, most people didn’t know what the hell he was talking about, i.e., the fringe theory about trauma. They just knew he used the term “legitimate rape,” which made it sound like he believed there are illegitimate rapes. As in, “Yeah, these rapes happen, but they’re not really, really rapes.” This was the perception driving most of the initial reaction – not support for legal abortions in cases of rape.

  • Hanni

    Akin said what he believed, in spite of supporters saying he mispoke, or didnt use the right words, blah blah, etc. He has said this kind of thing before in past campaigns. It doesnt matter what the facts are. In my family we call it the monkey factor. My daughter taught English in a far eastern country many years ago. Her supt. was a wonderful, brilliant (many degrees), kind man, loved by one and all, She noticed quite a few exchange students from a nearby country, they always sat together, wore uniforms and did not mingle. She asked her supt. why this was and he said, “my dear young lady, you probably do not know that the XXX people have a great deal of monkey in them, perhaps as much as 30%, so we cannot allow them to associate with your good XXX students. Emotion trumps facts.

  • Hanni

    Akin said what he believed, in spite of supporters saying he mispoke, or didnt use the right words, blah blah, etc. He has said this kind of thing before in past campaigns. It doesnt matter what the facts are. In my family we call it the monkey factor. My daughter taught English in a far eastern country many years ago. Her supt. was a wonderful, brilliant (many degrees), kind man, loved by one and all, She noticed quite a few exchange students from a nearby country, they always sat together, wore uniforms and did not mingle. She asked her supt. why this was and he said, “my dear young lady, you probably do not know that the XXX people have a great deal of monkey in them, perhaps as much as 30%, so we cannot allow them to associate with your good XXX students. Emotion trumps facts.

  • Tom Hering

    If Obama is reelected, and the UN invades Texas, will its troops commit legitimate or illegitimate pillage?

  • Tom Hering

    If Obama is reelected, and the UN invades Texas, will its troops commit legitimate or illegitimate pillage?

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    I whole-heartily agree with repealing the 19th amendment. First you give women the right the vote. But does it stop there? No. Then they want the right to go to college and work, and now they actually want the right to control their own bodies.

    Translation: As soon as women got their rights, they immediately set out taking away the rights of others. That is a little hyperbole since a pretty low percentage of women even lifted a finger to increase their rights. It was 95% men doing anything at all to move in that direction. And 100% of the people who voted to give women the vote were men. So this is just the usual fact-free man bashing. All rights are secured by power and your own diatribe insinuates that women have little power, so duh, they don’t secure their own rights. They have female privileges secured by the highest status males.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    I whole-heartily agree with repealing the 19th amendment. First you give women the right the vote. But does it stop there? No. Then they want the right to go to college and work, and now they actually want the right to control their own bodies.

    Translation: As soon as women got their rights, they immediately set out taking away the rights of others. That is a little hyperbole since a pretty low percentage of women even lifted a finger to increase their rights. It was 95% men doing anything at all to move in that direction. And 100% of the people who voted to give women the vote were men. So this is just the usual fact-free man bashing. All rights are secured by power and your own diatribe insinuates that women have little power, so duh, they don’t secure their own rights. They have female privileges secured by the highest status males.

  • http://www.ChristianLifeResources.com Bob Fleischmann

    Hi Gene, someone who follows your blog read the Akin article and suggested I provide a link to what I had written as an FYI. You will find it on the Christian Life Resources website at: http://www.christianliferesources.com/news/rape-pregnancy-and-the-akin-controversy-8741

    Blessings,

    - Bob

  • http://www.ChristianLifeResources.com Bob Fleischmann

    Hi Gene, someone who follows your blog read the Akin article and suggested I provide a link to what I had written as an FYI. You will find it on the Christian Life Resources website at: http://www.christianliferesources.com/news/rape-pregnancy-and-the-akin-controversy-8741

    Blessings,

    - Bob

  • Carl Vehse

    Some GOP people are starting to get a little crazy, like Demonicrats.

    In his article, “Karl Rove Jokes About Congressman Akin Being Murdered,” Ryan Bomberger notes:

    As if being spineless isn’t bad enough, American Crossroads’ Karl Rove jokes about being murderous. At a fundraiser breakfast at the Republican National Convention, Rove was quoted as saying: “We should sink Todd Akin. If he’s found mysteriously murdered, don’t look for my whereabouts.”

  • Carl Vehse

    Some GOP people are starting to get a little crazy, like Demonicrats.

    In his article, “Karl Rove Jokes About Congressman Akin Being Murdered,” Ryan Bomberger notes:

    As if being spineless isn’t bad enough, American Crossroads’ Karl Rove jokes about being murderous. At a fundraiser breakfast at the Republican National Convention, Rove was quoted as saying: “We should sink Todd Akin. If he’s found mysteriously murdered, don’t look for my whereabouts.”


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