Amy Davidson, at The New Yorker, has seven good questions for the GOP leaders who think Akin should resign. Not answering these questions is a sign of wind testing, not principled thinking. I’ve clipped her questions, but you can read the full article at the link:
1. You’ve said that Congressman Akin’s remarks offended you. Can you explain, in your own words, what about them offended you? Was it just that he was wrong about how conception works, or do you see more problems in his statement?
2. Congressman Akin used the phrase “legitimate rape.” If you haven’t addressed that in question No. 1, can you do so now? Is it a phrase that you would use, or countenance, or one that you would object to? Also, Akin co-sponsored legislation changing a statutory reference to “rape” to “forcible rape.” Is that a bill you voted for, or would?
3. Do you support access to abortion for victims of rape? Have you ever voted on or introduced legislation, or signed a pledge, addressing that point?
4. How about emergency contraception, also known as the morning-after pill?
5. Congressman Akin is an educated man. Do you think this incident shows that there are shortcomings in sex education and scientific literacy in America? Would you support increased sex education? And could organizations like Planned Parenthood have a role to play there?
6. You and your colleagues have called on Akin to withdraw from the Senate race against Claire McCaskill. Why? Do you think that he is unfit to serve, or do you just think that he will lose?
7. Can you talk about what you’ve done in your political career to help victims of sexual violence?