Rep. Todd Akin exposes the horrific immorality of moralism

This post is about a tea-party Republican politician’s understanding of sex, morality and rape. So consider that a trigger warning for anyone who views the first two as Good Things and the last one as a horrific crime (this guy disagrees on all three counts).

Evan McMorris-Santoro of Talking Points Memo seems to have had this story first, “Republican Senate Nominee: Victims of ‘Legitimate Rape’ Don’t Get Pregnant“:

Rep. Todd Akin, the Republican nominee for Senate in Missouri who is running against Sen. Claire McCaskill, justified his opposition to abortion rights even in case of rape with a claim that victims of “legitimate rape” have unnamed biological defenses that prevent pregnancy.

“First of all, from what I understand from doctors [pregnancy from rape] is really rare,” Akin told KTVI-TV in an interview posted Sunday. “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”

This is an astonishing thing for a politician to say, in public, on the record. But it is not at all surprising that a fiercely anti-abortion politician would believe it.

“If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down,” said Rep. Todd Akin, R-Mo.

This is simply what happens when moralism replaces morality.

The two things are incompatible. In order to choose moralism — which is what allegiance to the anti-abortion movement requires Akin to choose — he had to abandon morality.

And, as his comments about “legitimate rape” demonstrate, Todd Akin has abandoned morality.

Here’s how this works: Moralism seeks to blame all suffering on moral failure. If you are suffering, then you must have done something to deserve such suffering.

Victims, therefore, always must share in the blame. And since their suffering is deserved, nothing can or should be done to address it.

This is not a new idea. “Think now,” said Eliphaz the fool, “who that was innocent ever perished? Or where were the upright cut off? As I have seen, those who plow iniquity and sow trouble reap the same.” And just as foolishly, the disciples asked, “Who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”

That’s how moralism works. It’s simple, tidy and, ultimately, monstrous.

And it requires ignorance. It creates, fosters and compels ignorance.

Akin’s moralism demands that he remain as ignorant as he can about how sex works and about what rape means. Akin cannot allow himself to learn anything about such things.

As Raw Story’s Jonathan Terbush notes, Akin’s moralistic crusade against abortion includes his support for a complete ban on emergency contraception.

Why? Because Akin doesn’t understand how sex works. And if you don’t understand how sex works, you’re liable to believe the lie that emergency contraception is an “abortifacient.”

You’re not just more likely to believe this lie, but you’re likely to want to believe it. And that means you’re less likely to bother checking to see if it’s actually true or to listen when scientists, doctors or people who passed their middle-school health class explain that it’s not.

Examining such a lie threatens Akin’s pose of moralism, so he cannot afford to examine it. He thus remains ignorant — so mind-bogglingly, ridiculously ignorant that he apparently believes in some ludicrous notion of magical anti-rape powers that keep virtuous women’s reproductive systems virtuous.

Rep. Todd Akin is a moralist. He preaches, and practices, moralism.

That is not the same thing as morality. That is not compatible with morality.

And it is not compatible with doing, or being, good.

Below the jump are various reactions and comments responding to the repugnant anti-morality moralism of Republican Todd Akin, Republican member of the House of Representatives and Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate. (He’s a Republican.)

Irin Carmon: “Todd Akin: ‘Legitimate rape’ stops pregnancy”

Michael Kinsley famously defined a gaffe as “when a politician tells the truth — some obvious truth he isn’t supposed to say.” This election season, Republican politicians have offered a variation on this principle: They’re getting in trouble for saying some obvious truth about what they actually believe about women, baring the ignorance, contempt and cruelty therein instead of pretending this is about protecting women or babies.

Akin happens to have exemplified all three, with a special emphasis on ignorance, when he was asked,  “So just to be clear, though, you would like to ban the morning-after, totally for everyone?” Akin replied, “I think that’s a form of abortion, and I don’t support it.” Akin is free to “think” anything he wants, but he’s wrong on the science — just as he was with his ideas about “legitimate rape,” with one study estimating over 32,000 pregnancies from rape in a given year. Does Akin think those pregnancies — predominantly in adolescents who had been assaulted by a “known, often related perpetrator” — didn’t involve “legitimate rapes”?

BooMan: “Todd Akin, Medical Doctor”

It’s like the victim and her interests and emotions don’t even exist.

Jesse Berney: “Missouri Senate Candidate Todd Akin’s Guide to Legitimate vs. Illegitimate Rape”

Missouri Congressman and GOP Senate candidate Todd Akin is a brilliant scientist (with a B.S. in something called “Management Engineering”) and is therefore highly qualified to speak on the intricacies of female anatomy, especially when it comes to the heretofore unknown magic powers of the reproductive system. Did you know, for example, that the uterus is able to determine the difference between “legitimate” and “illegitimate” rape? I bet you didn’t even know there was a difference, unlike Todd Akin, who currently serves on the House of Representatives Science and Technology Committee thanks to his expertise. In science.

Scott Lemiuex: “In Conclusion, We Must Remember to Respect the Superior Morality of the Anti-Choice Movement”

I assume this is unnecessary for our readership, but in fact “[r]ape-related pregnancy occurs with significant frequency. It is a cause of many unwanted pregnancies and is closely linked with family and domestic violence.”

Lindsay Beyerstein: “GOP Senate Nominee: Victims of ‘Legitimate Rape’ Don’t Get Pregnant”

It all comes down to traditional values. If you throw a suspected witch in the river and she doesn’t drown, she was a legitimate witch. If she drowns, she wasn’t legit after all. Oh, well.

Jodi Jacobson: “MO Senate Candidate Todd Akin Says Abortion Not Necessary Because Women’s Bodies Can ‘Shut Pregnancy Down’ After Rape

Mr. Akin’s biography says he has a degree in Management Engineering, and is a “student of the Constitution.” Clearly, he is not a student of medicine, gynecology, biology, nor, I’d venture to say, common sense and common decency. And I am not sure I trust him on the Constitution either.

David Badash: “US Congressman: Rape Victims’ Bodies ‘Shut Down’ Pregnancies Automatically, No Need for Abortion”

So, let’s be clear here. If Congressman Akin becomes Senator Akin, he will be voting on Supreme Court nominees — not to mention many nominations of federal judges.

Imani Gandy: “The Root of Todd Akin’s Pregnancy-Rape Theory”

From the (Philadelphia) Daily News archives; originally published in 1988:

The odds that a woman who is raped will get pregnant are “one in millions and millions and millions,” said state Rep. Stephen Freind, R-Delaware County, the Legislature’s leading abortion foe.

The reason, Freind said, is that the traumatic experience of rape causes a woman to “secrete a certain secretion” that tends to kill sperm.

Two Philadelphia doctors specializing in human reproduction characterized Freind’s contention as scientifically baseless.

Nicole Belle: “Todd Akin (R-MO) Says Rape Victims Can ‘Shut Down’ Pregnancies”

I really am beginning to feel strongly that men who have not a single clue on the reproductive system of women have absolutely no right to opine on it, much less legislate.

Stay in touch with the Slacktivist on Facebook:

The 71-percent heresy
A servant for good
Rewriting evangelicals' past to preserve our mistakes
'You will find out on that day ...': False prophets and lost endings
  • AnonymousSam

    Todd Atkin later offered further explanation for his words. Apparently his tongue slipped; he didn’t expect to come across like himself. Fortunately, as candidate Romney and Ryan have demonstrated, when all else fails, you can always say the exact opposite of what you said a minute ago and people will bob their heads and pretend you never said any such thing.

     

    “As a member of Congress, I believe that working to protect the most vulnerable in our society is one of my most important responsibilities, and that includes protecting both the unborn and victims of sexual assault. In reviewing my off-the-cuff remarks, it’s clear that I misspoke in this interview and it does not reflect the deep empathy I hold for the thousands of women who are raped and abused every year. Those who perpetrate these crimes are the lowest of the low in our society and their victims will have no stronger advocate in the Senate to help ensure they have the justice they deserve.

    “I recognize that abortion, and particularly in the case of rape, is a very emotionally charged issue. But I believe deeply in the protection of all life and I do not believe that harming another innocent victim is the right course of action. I also recognize that there are those who, like my opponent, support abortion and I understand I may not have their support in this election.”

    “To be clear, all of us understand that rape can result in pregnancy & I have great empathy for all victims. I regret misspeaking.”

  • No-one

    Well, d-uh! He’s a Republican!

    It’s gotten to the point that the only ones you cannot trust at all are the Democrats. Why? Because they tend to mix truth in with their lies. (Let’s not pretend otherwise, they are politicians after all).

    But a Republican you can always absolutely trust with a guarantee that they will be lying.

  • http://mistformsquirrel.deviantart.com/ mistformsquirrel

     I hate that this is true.  I really do.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jeffrey.kramer.71 Jeffrey Kramer

     And a lot of people instinctively resist that conclusion, because we have the canard running around in our heads that generally speaking, although moralistic absolutist fire-eaters may be wrong or even crazy wrong, “at least they’re honest” (as opposed to mushy compromisers).  But of course, generally speaking they aren’t; they’re usually quicker than the mushy compromiser to resort to weaseling, double-talk or outright lying when they’re caught having to try to defend the indefensible.

    I hope somebody asks Akin to clarify how “misspoke” applies to his comments.  In my vocabulary, “misspoke” means something like the teacher saying “Jane Eyre” when he meant to say “Jane Austen,” or the reporter saying “The Senate version” when she meant to say “The House version.”  So when Akin said “you can’t get pregnant from legitimate rape,” he meant to say…. what?  “You can’t get pregnant from Leviticus 8”?

  • Waffleavenger

     Well, at least he knows the proper usage of the word “empathy”. That’s something, right? And as long as I’m commenting I may as well point out that it is possible for someone to change their views based on new information, but on the other hand I’d have a lot more respect for him if he actually admitted that to be the case, which he hasn’t so far as I know.

  • PJ Evans

    Even some conservatives think he was way over the line, and they want him to withdraw for the Senate race. (He has until Tuesday to do so, under Missouri law.)

  • Emcee, cubed

    The odds that a woman who is raped will get pregnant are “one in
    millions and millions and millions,” said state Rep. Stephen Freind,
    R-Delaware County, the Legislature’s leading abortion foe.

    I knew I had heard this BS before, a long time ago. My mother, a UU pacifist (unless it’s Pennsic, but that doesn’t count), only once in my entire life did I ever hear her advocate physical violence against someone. I distinctly remember the phrase, “Someone needs to put a bomb under Stephen Freind’s chair” being uttered after these ridiculous comments.

  • AnonymousSam

    Ross explained this magical logic in one of the previous threads. Content advisory, rape discussion involving pro-life misinformation.

    Or read the test results: “These are horrible people.” I’m serious, that’s what it says. “These are horrible people.” We weren’t even testing for that… oh wait, yes we were.

  • Jeff Weskamp

    So according to this asshole, if a rape victim *does* get pregnant, then some small part of her mind actually *accepted* what happened to her, preventing her uterus from secreting its magical, unidentified, anti-conception secretion.

    This man needs to eat shit and die as quickly as possible.

  • lovecomesfromlife

    That’s what’s makes it an “illegitimate” rape.  See?  Problem solved.

  • aunursa

    “Governor Romney and Congressman Ryan disagree with Mr. Akin’s statement, and a Romney-Ryan administration would not oppose abortion in instances of rape,” Romney campaign spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg wrote.

  • Lori

    Amazing. Yet another thing that Romney was for before he was against it. Romney has said that he would have supported a personhood amendment in Massachusetts. That would ban all abortions. And his sidekick, the Boy Wonder co-sponsored the federal version
    of that amendment.

    Forgive me if I’m less than reassured by the fact that the campaign saw what a shitstorm this stirred up and sent a woman out to do damage control before too many people remember those inconvenient “former” positions.

  • AnonymousSam
  • aunursa

    Ah, yes.  It’s a good thing we can trust President Obama to keep his promises and not flip-flip for political expediency

  • http://lliira.dreamwidth.org/ Lliira

    Stop it. You are turning this into a little political game, as you do everything, and in this case, as it always is, it’s despicable. You are playing around with this where at least one woman who could get pregnant if she were raped can see it, and it is really not cool.

  • Lori

    There’s a website that I read for fun that critiques celebrity fashion. There’s a particular actress whose schtick is so consistent and so annoying that 99% their responses to pictures of her consist of just two words: of course. I totally understand how they feel.

    Of course.

  • http://caffinatedlemur.wordpress.com/ caffinatedlemur

     YOU READ TLO TOO???

    Sorry about that. I get a little excited when parts of my internet cross paths.

  • Lori

     YOU READ TLO TOO???

    Sorry about that. I get a little excited when parts of my internet cross paths. 

    The streams have indeed crossed, because I read them every day. (My love for them is pretty much boundless. No matter how crappy things are they can be counted to make me laugh. Some days that’s really important. )

  • Madhabmatics

    I don’t read TLO but I totally have listened to the TLO roll call!

    “Mr. Casual Khakis, sweaters from moms
    got a rap attack that blasts cats better than bombs
    into history and learning, not sports and crap
    check my basement I’m working on a torture rack”

  • Katie

     There is a difference between ‘flip-flopping’ and ‘not being able to accomplish everything he set out to do’.  But understanding that would mean that you are willing to do anything other than parrot Republican talking points.

  • Daughter

     Especially ironic, given that many of the the things on the list of a blog called “The Right Sphere” are items that Obama couldn’t accomplish because of obstructionism by the right.

  • Ross Thompson

    There is a difference between ‘flip-flopping’ and ‘not being able to accomplish everything he set out to do’.

    And there’s a difference between “flip-flopping” and “saying things that will get you elected, regardless of whether or not you have any intention of doing them”.

    Obama has done that too often for me to extend an assumption of good faith any more. For example:
    Before getting the Democratic nomination, he promised to fillibuster the telecoms immunity act; after getting the nomination, he not only voted against a fillibuster, but voted for the act.
    He condemned imprisoning people without trial as unconstitutional and immoral, but is quite happy with executing them without trial.
    He promised to increase transparency in government, but went on to punish whistleblowers at a higher rate (and more harshly) than any previous administration, while simultaniously insisting that the courts are forbidden from knowing (and therefore ruling on the legality of) what he’s doing.

    None of these are things he’s been forced into, or things he couldn’t have followed through on if he’d really wanted to.

  • SisterCoyote

    Seriously, dude? Your response to “Ryan’s anti-choice, but Romney’s position on abortion flip-flops” is “Obama flip-flops too! NYAH NYAH!” ? This isn’t a pissing contest. Come on.

  • malpollyon

    Don’t you ever get tired of engaging in these discussions in bad faith?

  • aunursa

    Sorry, I can’t answer your question yet.  I’m still working on my responses to the queries about whether I’ve stopped beating my wife.

  • Lori

     Of course.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/CBZIQR6JMPPIEY2X55USUPW744 Pam

     Romney and Ryan both have a clear record of saying whatever is convenient at the moment.

  • http://lliira.dreamwidth.org/ Lliira

    The only reason not to oppose abortion in instances of rape, if you oppose it in instances of not-rape, is if you think pregnancy is a fitting punishment for women who choose to have sex. After all, it’s not the fetus’s fault that its father is vile. It makes transparent the misogyny at the heart of the anti-abortion movement. If these assholes actually thought fetuses were important AND women were important, they’d oppose abortion except in cases when the health or life of the mother was in danger.

    Of course, considering the mother’s health and life are endangered in every single pregnancy, an honest position like that wouldn’t end up with them being able to control women’s bodies, which is the whole point. And if they actually cared about fetuses, they’d be too busy fighting for health care for all women to be legislating away our rights to make decisions about what happens to our bodies. 

  • fraser

     We have the immortal comment of Sen. Bill Napoli of South Dakota a few years back that (among other requirements) he’d consider abortion for rape victims only if they were virgins before the rape and had planned to save themselves for marriage.

  • PJ Evans

     Except that they were against abortion and contraceptives this morning.

    Can we hook them up to the power grid? With the amount of spinning and flip-flopping they’re doing, they ought to be good for at least a megawatt in output.

  • Baby_Raptor

    Good for them. They don’t earn any respect or points until they do the right thing and stay the Fuck out of my decisions completely, no matter what situation got me there or what they personally think of it.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/CBZIQR6JMPPIEY2X55USUPW744 Pam

     He said that five hours ago, after Akin’s statement blew up, but his previous stand was for no exceptions for rape or incest.
    He’ll say whatever the traffic will bear.

  • http://lliira.dreamwidth.org/ Lliira

    Oh good, he’s old, he’ll be dead soon.

  • Lori

    But if there are enough total asshats in Missouri he’ll spend some of what remains of his miserable, wasted life as a US Senator, able to vote on laws that govern my reproductive parts.

    Missourians better smarten the hell up and leave this idiot unemployed come November or I’m going to be seriously annoyed.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Yeah, but old Republicans seem to dip themselves in formaldehyde, because holy good gravy do they hang around well past their expiry dates.

  • aunursa

    Apparently Republican leaders have until Tuesday at 5:00 pm to convince Akin to withdraw from the race; after that, they’re stuck with his name on the ballot and Sen. McCaskill will coast to reelection.

  • Lori

    The silver lining on this cloud of total BS is that Intrade now places McCaskill’s odds of election at 2:1 in favor. Yesterday they were at 3:2 against. It’s still a long time until November, but Akin certainly handed her some prime video to use in attack ads. I also suspect that she’s about to be on the receiving end of a campaign contribution windfall. 

  • Emcee, cubed

    Strangely, I’m less worried about Obama breaking a (relatively) few promises, than I am worried about Romney/Ryan  keeping just about any of theirs.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Missouri Congressman and GOP Senate candidate Todd Akin is a brilliant
    scientist (with a B.S. in something called “Management Engineering”)

    Brilliant scientist? with THAT degree which sounds more like BS than a B.S.?

    BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    Management Engineering? A science? Fuck that noise.

    Seriously, fuck that. I’m not going to take that degree seriously and the media outlet that made that claim should be collectively ashamed of making that statement.

  • AnonymousSam

    It is apparently a thing, but I can’t help but feel like it’s the kind of degree which causes people to write résumés emphasizing their strategic management of organizational transformation.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    OH GOD THE CORPORATESPEAK I AM BREAKING OUT IN HIVES

  • Lori

    You need to work in something about leveraging synergies in a dynamic marketplace.

  • Emcee, cubed

     To be fair, based on the rest of the article, I think the writer essentially had the same reaction you did, and the “brilliant scientist” was sarcastic.

  • E.

    That was sarcasm. 

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    It doesn’t always travel well on the Interwebs. I even tried reading for context and it didn’t seem clear-cut to me.

  • http://danel4d.livejournal.com/ Danel

    Is it the management of engineering, or the engineering of management?

  • http://www.oliviareviews.com/ PepperjackCandy

    I think it’s using engineering to build managers who are robots. Or androids, I guess, if you want to get technical.

  • http://jesustheram.blogspot.com/ Mr. Heartland

    The misogyny here, even by modern Republican standards, is fantastic, stupifying.  Fred does a very good job of maintaining the rightful outrage at this while also addressing the more general problem behind Akin’s horseshit.  The belief that life, (Or at least, one’s own society) is essentially fair and truly innocent victims are cosmically impossible is obviously very comforting.  Yet so obviously untrue that maintaining it requires making a fantasy world out of one’s own waking life.  Hundreds of powerful, reasonably well educated, Very Respectible people are quite willing to resort to magical thinking in order to protect this comforting lie.  It poisons everything.  Expressing itself most monsterously on issues of sex & gender, but perhaps more famously in our economic debates, where any suggestion that there is such a thing as undeserving poor is to risk tagging oneself as one of those lazy freeloaders.    

  • pharoute

    “I’m sorry I mispoke. I meant to say that rape is a terrible thing and women can get prgnant and if elected I will do what I can to ensure that those women are forced to carry the pregnancy to term.

  • Morilore

    “First of all, from what I understand from doctors [pregnancy from rape] is really rare,” Akin told KTVI-TV in an interview posted Sunday. “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”

    Every once in a while I wonder if this world actually is a speculative fiction dystopia.

  • http://www.facebook.com/angelia.sparrow Angelia Sparrow

    I know. I WRITE dystopias and lately, I’ve been yelling at the news “You are reality! You’re supposed to be LESS evil than my fiction!”

  • Tonio

     Yes. None of us can’t really be sure that men like Akin didn’t spring into being from Margaret Atwood’s word processor.

  • Consumer Unit 5012

     Every once in a while I wonder if this world actually is a speculative fiction dystopia.</i

    I don’t.  I’ve been pretty sure if it since the late 1990s.  But it’s a satirical dystopia, and a badly-written one.  Just look at the last decade, and tell me that if it had been a book, the editor wouldn’t have rejected it for being too ham-fisted.

  • Don Gisselbeck

    “Aggresively ignorant” perfectly describes this man. It would interesting (in a sick way) to hear any woman justify voting for him.

  • Jessica_R

    Sometimes when I get a face blast full of hateful inhumanity like this, all I can do is look for something positive to throw against it. Or at least to hold like a single candle against the darkness. Fuck this guy, and as a tonic, here is an example of someone, or someones, not being an asshole, 
    http://polyhymnia.tumblr.com/post/29811300431/elphias-doge-oops-i-lost-the-higgs-boson

  • Daughter

     Want some more? My mom just turned 80, and celebrated her birthday in a big bash with a large group of seniors who were also turning 80 this year. They had about $500 left over from the money they raised to throw the party. They donated it to Obama’s campaign.

  • Jessica_R
  • http://profile.yahoo.com/CBZIQR6JMPPIEY2X55USUPW744 Pam

     That is the happiest story I’ve heard in weeks. Thank you for telling us.

  • http://twitter.com/shutsumon Becka Sutton

    *Blinks*

    This guy is apparently confusing humans for ducks.

  • AnonymousSam

    That’s okay, in his little essay on how abortion is the worstest thing ever, Ryan compares the widow next door to a car he owns, and noted with apparent significance that they’re actually not the same thing.

  • Tonio

     

    Ryan compares the widow next door

    And she’s been married seven times before…sorry, wrong thread.

    Seriously, I’m waiting for one of these antediluvians to just come out and say that they believe wombs to be societal property and that women are just custodians at best.

     I’m not sure which is worse – the idea that women victimized by “legitimate” rape are biologically incapable of getting pregnant, as a basis for claiming that women lie to get abortions; or advocating for exceptions in case of rape or incest, which is all about shaming women who want to have sex without becoming mothers.

  • MikeJ

    Perhaps he has a corkscrew shaped dick.

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    There are times when I think that anyone who insists that emergency contraception causes abortion in the context of political advocacy really ought to be repeatedly punched in the face until they recant their position.  Because really, anyone who continues to insist this in all seriousness in the public sphere must be either lying, or willfully choosing to not to do the proper research before advocating a position which will cause people harm.  

    And honestly?  If this really is a “just world” then they clearly deserve a few hard knocks to the head.  That kind of agent idiocy is genuinely harmful.  

  • http://www.nightphoenix.com Amaranth

    The reason these people insist that emergency contraception = abortion is because they believe ANYTHING that interferes with a sperm’s God Given Destiny to fertilize an egg counts as killing a baby. The only reason they haven’t outlawed ALL birth control yet is because…

    …well, except some of them have said they’d like to do that. Never mind.

    I don’t think they realize the “every sperm is sacred” song was penned as satire.

  • AnonymousSam

    It’s neither; they’ve just moved the goalposts. Now life doesn’t start at conception, it starts the instant sex occurs which God deems should result in pregnancy.

  • PJ Evans

     No, don’t punch them in the face.
    Sign them up for a term at a  Planned parenthood, so they can see all the people they’re trying to condemn to poverty, and how many aren’t there for an abortion.

  • Emcee, cubed

    So apparently Akin and Ryan were both co-sponsors of the bill in 2011 that tried to legally redefine rape exception as “forcible rape” only. That explains a lot.

  • Tonio

    Theory of the day – perhaps the reason men like Akin seek to control women because, to them, the female ability to bear children is like a god that inspires worship and fear. I doubt that these much love their god all that much even while worshipping it, and if they had the power to control their god, they would certainly take out their fear on it the same way. They might have the intellectual capability to understand the mechanics of reproduction, but they willfully ignore these, subconsciously seeing these as the equivalent of atheism.

    As an analogy, Roseanne Cash said that in her father’s twilight years, the Nashville establishment wanted to fetishize his career, treating him like a trophy to be polished now and then in self-congratulation. Just as this would have robbed Johnny of his relevancy as an artist, the fetishizing of motherhood robs women of their humanity. Certainly this provides justification for patriarchs to preserve their power and privilege, but if I’m right, this is much more than made-up rationalization.

  • aunursa

    “Congressman’s Akin comments on rape are insulting, inexcusable, and, frankly, wrong,” Romney said. “Like millions of other Americans, we found them to be offensive.”

  • http://veleda-k.livejournal.com/ Veleda K

     What do you want from people here? Should we all be impressed that Romney, on this one occasion, met the barest standard of human decency? Is this the best conservatives can do?  “Well, this time our candidate said something that wasn’t totally disgusting.”

    Ryan agrees with Atkins on outlawing abortion, and Romeny wants to get rid of Planned Parenthood. They’re still a couple of sexist jerks who belong to a sexist party. A couple of mealy mouthed soundbites won’t change that.

  • aunursa

    What do you want from people here?

    I’m not asking for anything from people here.

  • aunursa

    Senior GOP official: Akin advisors making preparations for a withdrawal tomorrow.

    If Akin remains in, the NRSC will spend nothing on the Missouri Senate race.

  • Lori

     

    If Akin remains in, the NRSC will spend nothing on the Missouri Senate race.   

    If nothing else, Akin is exposing exactly where the cracks in the GOP lie.

  • Green Eggs and Ham

     I call bullshit.

  • Ross Thompson

    “Congressman’s Akin comments on rape are insulting, inexcusable, and, frankly, wrong,” Romney said. “Like millions of other Americans, we found them to be offensive.”

    Well, of course they find it offensive. He said what they were saying, but without all the euphemism and flowery language. That intrudes on their constitutionally- granted right to religious expression, whereby they should be able to say any kind of misogynistic shit without anyone being upset at them for it.

  • PJ Evans

     But he chose Ryan, the guy who’s against abortion in all cases.
    AnD Rmoney has been seen to change his mind in the course of a speech.
    So what he says is meaningless.

  • aunursa

    But he chose Ryan, the guy who’s against abortion in all cases.

    I’m not clear what your point is.  The presidential candidate doesn’t select a running mate on the basis that they agree on every single issue.  And someone above pointed out that an abortion opponent who opposes the procedure in cases of rape is at least offering a consistent position.  Akin has singlehandedly destroyed his political career — not because of his position on abortion — but because of his incendiary and nonsensical statement about the reaction of female body to “legitimate rape.” (Apparently he was channeling his inner Whoopi Goldberg.)

  • PJ Evans

     These guys apparently did. Or at least it sure looks like Romney picked Ryan because of his straight-down-the Teaparty-line views.

  • aunursa

    These guys apparently did.

    I regret that I am even less clear of your point.  It’s helpful if you quote the specific portion of my comment to which you are responding.

    Romney picked Ryan because of his straight-down-the Teaparty-line views.

    Interesting.  The consensus seems to be that if Romney were perceived to be leading in the race, he would have selected a “safer”, “blander” pick like Pawlenty or Portman.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Charity-Brighton/100002974813787 Charity Brighton

    I really see Akin’s stance on abortion as informing his comments about rape. It’s not a direct one-to-one correlation, but I can definitely see someone who wants to defend a stance on abortion that is tougher than even many pro-life people would go needing some way to dismiss the “rape and incest” clause that a lot of people are hung up on. If he can downplay rape /  as being something that’s fairly rare and usually not that big of a deal for the victim long-term, it would make it easier for him to justify (to himself and to others) why an abortion ban is justified. The just world fallacy might play into it too; I don’t think that Akin likes the thought of a female friend or relative being victimized in that way, so he might tell himself these little stories to make the threat seem more remote.

    (It’s kind of like how someone who is a racist or an anti-Semite often try to portray their hated racial/religious minorities as being either dangerous or parasitic in some way (the old myth of the predatory Jewish moneylender appears here a lot); this makes it easier for the bigot to justify hurting them whenever he can because he can say, “Hey, I’m not saying they’re all like that, but come on, we all know that it’s a pretty big issue!”)

    I do agree that if Akin had merely thought what he said and acted on those thoughts (to the extreme detriment of the women of his country, that is), he would probably have not been removed from the ballot. I’m not sure what it says about us that doing awful things is laudable and will get you elected, but merely describing them is OK. That’s

  • Tonio

    That doesn’t go deep enough, because both Akin’s absolutism and the rape/incest exceptions amount to forcing women to carry pregnancies to term. You’re exactly right that downplaying rape allows Akin to justify to himself a total ban. Slate magazine suggested a while back that the exceptions accomplish something very similar. As the theory went, advocates of abortion bans are bothered by that forcing, so the exceptions allow them to believe that they’re only punishing women who “deserve” it – meaning those who wanted to have sex without becoming mothers. 

  • aunursa

    I really see Akin’s stance on abortion as informing his comments about rape.

    Do you believe that others who oppose abortion in all instances secretly believe the same thing about rape but are just smart enough not to say it?  Otherwise, I don’t understand how Akin’s stance informs his comments.  Akin is a moron, but I wouldn’t apply his idiotic view of rape and pregnancy to all opponents of abortion who wouldn’t allow an exception for rape.

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

    (content: rape)

    Can’t speak for Charity, of course, but for my part… if I have a stance on abortion that leads me to encourage (or require) pregnant rape victims to carry the resulting fetus to term, and I understand that rape is an extreme form of violent assault and that many victims of such assault would find carrying the resulting fetus to term traumatic, and I have enough empathy to not want to traumatize those people, I’m in a bit of a psychological bind.

    One way to get out of that bind without changing any of the above is to believe that the situation never arises… that extreme forms of violent assault don’t lead to pregnancy.

    So it doesn’t seem implausible to me that the former might inform the latter when both are present.

    I do agree with you, though, that just because someone requires pregnant rape victims to carry the resulting fetus to term, it doesn’t follow that they must also believe that rape can’t cause pregnancy. (For example, a simpler way out of that bind is to decide that traumatizing those people matters less than other relevant values I hold.)

  • Tonio

    others who oppose abortion in all instances

    That wording is deceptive because many people who believe that abortion is wrong also believe that it should remain legal. Akin typifies the questionable morality of favoring laws that would ban abortion, which really mean laws that force women to carry pregnancies to term. It cannot be emphasized enough that the question of whether a woman should carry a pregnancy to term or have an abortion is not the same as whether someone else should force either one of those on her. 

    Akin’s mentality is merely the flip side to that behind exceptions for rape and incest. These allow opponents of legal abortion to deceive themselves that they’re not really punishing women. They’re just punishing women who allegedly deserve it by wanted to have sex without becoming mothers. Akin is doing the same thing by claiming that women don’t get pregnant from rape or at least “forcible” rape. He’s downgrading the definition of non-consensual sex to justify forcing more women to carry to term. Both mentalities wrongly frame the issue as about consent, and that’s really about shaming women who don’t desire motherhood, as if that was a moral crime.

  • Emcee, cubed

    So fucking what? Should we give Romney/Ryan a cookie for not being totally inhuman? Even though their past statements, legislative sponsorship and actions totally contradict this statement? 

  • LL

    Honestly, not even surprised. Not even a little bit. How sad is that? 

    When somebody says something awful and repellent, says, essentially, that if someone gets raped and pregnant, she deserved to get raped, obviously, because “real” rape hardly ever results in pregnancy (this isn’t the first time someone has said this publicly, if memory serves), I’m not surprised that: 1) a man said such a thing, in 21st century America 2) that a Republican said it and 3) that a self-described Christian said it. 

    It is always useful when somebody like that rips off the mask and reveals what they really are. The really sad thing will be revealed if he doesn’t drop out of the race and anybody votes for him. Then we’ll know how many truly awful people live and vote in Missouri. Of course, such people could be living and voting anywhere in America today. 

  • Kubricks_Rube

    I’m having flashbacks to Ron Paul and “honest rape.” At least he seems to sort of understand that conception does not occur during intercourse, which is more than can be said for Piers Morgan in this interview (and what’s up with his calling rape “very unlikely”?):

    MORGAN: You have two daughters. You have many granddaughters. If one of them was raped — and I accept it’s a very unlikely thing to happen. But if they were, would you honestly look at them in the eye and say they had to have that child if they were impregnated?

    PAUL: No. If it’s an honest rape, that individual should go immediately to the emergency room. I would give them a shot of estrogen or give them —

    MORGAN: You would allow them to abort the baby?

    PAUL: It is absolutely in limbo, because an hour after intercourse or a day afterwards, there is no legal or medical problem. If you talk about somebody coming in and they say, well, I was raped and I’m seven months pregnant and I don’t want to have anything to do with it, it’s a little bit different story.

    But somebody arriving in an emergency room saying, I have just been raped and there is no chemical — there’s no medical and there’s no legal evidence of a pregnancy —

    MORGAN: Life doesn’t begin at conception?

    PAUL: Life does begin at conception.

    MORGAN: Then you would be taking a life.

    PAUL: Well, you don’t know if you’re taking a life either, because this is an area that is — but to decide everything about abortion and respect for life on this one very, very theoretical condition, where there may have been a life or not a life.

  • Lori

    I’m having flashbacks to Ron Paul and “honest rape.” 

    I’ve been having flashbacks to Bill Napoli, inspiration for the term “hella rape”. He thought an exception to the abortion ban could be made for certain rape victims

    A real-life description to me would be a rape victim, brutally raped,
    savaged. The girl was a virgin. She was religious. She planned on saving
    her virginity until she was married. She was brutalized and raped,
    sodomized as bad as you can possibly make it, and is impregnated. I
    mean, that girl could be so messed up, physically and psychologically,
    that carrying that child could very well threaten her life. 

    Note how he starts off by calling it a “real-life description” and then shows everyone his nasty fantasy about despoiled purity.

    The Republican party offers us a choice for misogyny-induced flashbacks. Isn’t that special?

  • Tonio

    Paul’s pauses and evasive phrases suggest that he damn well knows that he doesn’t know what he’s talking about. That’s very likely how his fellow cave dwellers came up with the nonsense phrases “the juices don’t flow,” “certain secretion”, “has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.” Here’s the original Daily News article from 1988:

    http://articles.philly.com/1988-03-23/news/26277205_1_freind-woman-secretes-luigi-mastroianni

    Yesterday, Freind cited a “Dr. Mecklenburg” as someone supporting his
    comments. He said Mecklenburg has 30 years’ experience in obstetrics
    and gynecology, with clinics in Minnesota and Washington, D.C.

    The
    American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists in Washington lists
    a Fred E. Mecklenburg in Great Falls, Va., as a member. But neither the
    organization nor public telephone directories list any offices or phone
    numbers for Mecklenburg.

    A staff member in Freind’s office said
    she would check on the full identity of the physician cited by Freind.
    But she did not return phone calls after that.

    I suspect Mecklenberg was real, and perhaps even someone with medical training, but not nearly as qualified as Freind claimed. Instead, he was probably that gynecological equivalent of Duane Gish, or like the climate change “mavericks” who are in the pay of fossil fuel companies. Perhaps Akin heard or read third-hand information about Mecklenberg, or about a similar pseudo-expert, and thought that was all the information he needed.

  • Albanaeon

    Personally, I think Romney is one of the most consistent politicians out there.  Romney is for Romney.  Anything that helps Romney, he’s for. 

    That it makes him shift nearly constantly is a side effect that he never seems to get out of “how to help Romney right now” mode.

  • Expatmom

    Akin is a judgmental jackass & wouldn’t make a decent dog-catcher!!!

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    One only wishes he were just running for dogcatcher. :

  • Mark Z.

    One only wishes he were just running for dogcatcher.

    “You don’t need to spay your dogs, just teach them to keep their legs closed. If she’s forcibly mounted, the female dog has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”

  • Lori

    Tweet of the day:

    https://twitter.com/AngieMacMcA/status/237311390837264384

    The female body also has ways of shutting down your whole election @RepToddAkin. #legitimaterape 

  • RavenOnTheHill

    It turns out that this is an idea that comes from Renaissance medicine and law, and probably goes back further:

    Sir Henry Finch professes in the enormously influential Law or a discourse thereof (1627): “Rape is the carnal abusing of a woman against her will. But if she conceives upon any carnal abusing of her, that is no rape, for she cannot conceive unless she consent.”

    from Kent R. Lehnhof’s essay, “‘Impregn’d with Reason’: Eve’s Aural Conception in Paradise Lost.” Milton Studies 41 (2002), quoted at http://carolpeters.blogspot.com/2007/11/17th-century-view-on-rape.html

  • PJ Evans

     Try the classical period.

  • Tonio

    If you’re interested in family planning, ask your gynecologist about Certain Secretion.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    That sounds vaguely horrifying.

  • Jessica_R

    And you know what?, Romney/Ryan’s statement is pure mealy mouthed, “I have to say something but I don’t want to piss off the hardcore anti-choice base too much.” I can’t believe I actually approve of something Scott Brown did, but this is an actual statement of condemnation: 

    “As a husband and father of two young women, I found Todd Akin’s comments about women and rape outrageous, inappropriate and wrong. There is no place in our public discourse for this type of offensive thinking. Not only should he apologize, but I believe Rep. Akin’s statement was so far out of bounds that he should resign the nomination for US Senate in Missouri.”

  • Tonio

    When you’re in a hole, stop digging:

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/weigel/2012/08/20/akin_when_i_was_talking_about_legitimate_rape_i_meant_forcible_rape.html

    So Huckabee gave Akin a chance to apologize for the comment, and he
    did — he said something that was “wrong,” and hurtful to rape victims.
    Good so far. But right after that, Huckabee prodded Akin to define what
    he meant by “legitimate.” Did he mean “forcible”?

    Yes, said Akin. “I was talking about forcible rape,” he said. “I used the wrong word.”

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    Um, rape is by definition forcible.  What distinction is he trying (and failing) to make?

  • EllieMurasaki

    I think, if the rapist has to beat the crap out of the woman in order for her to sit still long enough for him to rape her, it’s “forcible”. Possibly also if he instead ties her down. But if he merely threatens her or drugs her or acts when she’s sleeping or in a drunken stupor, or if it started consensual and he ignores her withdrawal of consent, or if they’re married or dating or she sleeps around or really any scenario where people might assume she consented even when she says she didn’t, then it’s “legitimate”.

  • JenL

     

    Um, rape is by definition forcible.  What distinction is he trying (and failing) to make?

    He’s trying to draw a distinction between the stereotyped vision of a “good” woman physically fighting back as she’s dragged into the bushes compared to the woman who went to a party with a guy, drank what he handed her, and woke up the next morning wondering what happened to her last night.  Among a very broad range of other possibilities. 

    It goes back to the verses in Deuteronomy that say that if a man rapes
    his neighbor’s wife in the city, she should get stoned along with him,
    because she didn’t scream loud enough for someone to hear and come save
    her.  As opposed to the same rape happening in the country, where it’s
    not her fault because there was no one around to hear her scream. 

    He’s apparently the kind of guy who translates “no means no” as “well, sure, you *said* no, but you weren’t screaming hysterically at the top of your lungs while trying to slap me, so how was I supposed to know you *meant* it”.

  • JenL

     Oh, and I hadn’t even thought about this, quoted in the Slate article, discussing the Personhood statute that Ryan and Akin supported:

    With this legislation, which was introduced last week by Rep. Chris
    Smith (R-N.J.), Republicans propose that the rape exemption be limited
    to “forcible rape.” This would rule out federal assistance for abortions
    in many rape cases, including instances of statutory rape, many of
    which are non-forcible. For example: If a 13-year-old girl is
    impregnated by a 24-year-old adult, she would no longer qualify to have
    Medicaid pay for an abortion.

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/weigel/2012/08/20/akin_when_i_was_talking_about_legitimate_rape_i_meant_forcible_rape.html

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    Ah, so what they are doing is looking for loopholes to avoid compensating crime victims?  

    It feels like behind every moral crusade is callus greed.  

  • AnonymousSam

    These are people who still believe today that a husband is physically incapable of raping his wife. If he beat her up until she couldn’t fight it, the blame falls on her for not performing her duties to him as his wife. Domestic abuse, you say? Better not look into New Hampshire’s Bill 1581. Preempting it with “in the Year of Our Lord” is just the icing on the cake on that particular piece of legal WHAT THE FUCK.

    It’s all about the misogyny — degrees of it which go beyond shameful into the territory of begging to be put out of our collective misery.

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    These are people who still believe today that a husband is physically incapable of raping his wife. If he beat her up until she couldn’t fight it, the blame falls on her for not performing her duties to him as his wife.

    I dunno’, I kind of feel like in that context other people should have full justification in beating this guy up for failing to respect a woman.  

    If one’s foe respects force, then you should respect the shit out of him.  

    Gah, sorry.  Misogynists are something of a berserk button for me, to the point that the thought of a measure of violence against them produces a pleasurable reaction in me.  Damn addictive indignation… 

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Ah, so what they are doing is looking for loopholes to avoid compensating crime victims?

    It feels like behind every moral crusade is callus greed. 

    FearlessSon:

    You’re not wrong, I don’t think.

    Even the modern pedophile-under-every-rock war that’s going on right now has an element of hard financial calculation under it: police and prosecutors and politicians all can get extra money by pushing for laws and measures that don’t really accomplish much except to help redirect spending away from social services measures that might legitimately treat and cure them, to law and order measures that have the effect of swelling the prison population and the pocketbooks of people who run feel-good run-em-outta-town campaigns.

  • PJ Evans

    redirect spending away from social services measures that might legitimately treat and cure them, to law and order measures

    Private prisons are part of this. Someone (or several) makes a profit off people being sent to prison. Which results in more incentive to keep on that road.

  • JenL

    Ah, so what they are doing is looking for loopholes to avoid compensating crime victims?  

    It’s not even about compensation.  They try to sound reasonable by saying that they accept that abortion might be appropriate in certain circumstances, like when the mother’s health is in danger or when the pregnancy occurred through rape or incest. 

    Then they try to limit it so that “rape” means there’s actual evidence of resistance on her part – and some politicians have literally gotten up and expressed concern that women will claim to have been raped in order to get an abortion of convenience.

    And then they quibble about what it means that the mother’s health is in danger.  Some of them worry that if a woman can have an abortion for the sake of her mental health, any woman who decides she no longer wants to be pregnant can get an abortion.

    They apparently think any woman is liable to decide at the drop of a hat that she’d prefer an abortion, and that we’re all willing to lie to meet the requirements to get that abortion, so they have to protect all those pregnancies from those horrible, horrible women….

  • banancat

    Please remember that a woman isn’t automatically a mother when she is pregnant. The better term is “pregnant woman’s health”.

  • JenL

    Please remember that a woman isn’t automatically a mother when she is pregnant. The better term is “pregnant woman’s health”.

    You’re right, of course.  I was thinking in terms of what I’ve heard said, not about the accuracy of the term.

  • http://lliira.dreamwidth.org/ Lliira

    They’re looking for loopholes so they can continue to be rapists and teach their sons to be rapists.

  • Catherine Carter

     Every once in a while I wonder if this world actually is a speculative fiction dystopia.

    I don’t.  I’ve been pretty sure if it since the late 1990s. 
    But it’s a satirical dystopia, and a badly-written one.  Just look at
    the last decade, and tell me that if it had been a book, the editor
    wouldn’t have rejected it for being too ham-fisted.

    Personally, I’ve been working on the theory that this is Purgatory since I was 11.

     

  • PJ Evans

    Every once in a while I wonder if this world actually is a speculative fiction dystopia.

    I don’t.  I’ve been pretty sure if it since the late 1990s.  But it’s a satirical dystopia, and a badly-written one.  Just look at the last decade, and tell me that if it had been a book, the editor wouldn’t have rejected it for being too ham-fisted.

    Personally, I’ve been working on the theory that this is Purgatory since I was 11.

    I keep wondering what day we slid into the Mirror Universe, where all the good guys should have goatees.

  • AnonymousSam

    It’s what the Matrix would be if it were coded by Byron Hall.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Obama is ten million kinds of awesome in his rejoinder.

    Go Dems! :D If this keeps up Obama will have the same kind of lead Bill Clinton did, where something like 30 percentage points separated the female Republican vote from the Democratic vote, in favor of the Dems. :D

  • aunursa

    While Republicans are almost unanimous in their calls for Akin to withdraw from the race, Senator Claire McCaskill has expressed her support for her opponent to remain in the race.

    “I really think that for the national party to try to come in here and dictate to the Republican primary voters that they’re going to invalidate their decision, that would be pretty radical,” Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., said on MSNBC this morning.

  • Katie

     Of course she has.  As long as he’s running against her,  she almost assured of winning.

  • aunursa

    Yes, but when your opponent is self-destructing, you should keep your mouth shut. 

  • PJ Evans

     Why? He’s been leading in all of your favorite polls.

  • Tonio

    Besides condemning Akin’s repulsive sexism, anyone running against him should take  the high road. I’m not sure if McCaskill is doing that, because it would be easy to accuse her of wanting a weak candidate. I say that if Akin’s party pressures him to withdraw, they should also do the same to Ryan and everyone who voted for his “forcible rape” bill.

  • http://veleda-k.livejournal.com/ Veleda K

     “they should also do the same to Ryan and everyone who voted for his “forcible rape” bill”

    Yeah, but why would they do that? They’re not reacting to what Akin said because it was horrible, they’re reacting because it was obvious. After all, Akin spoke the party line*, but he did so too bluntly, rather than using pretty excuses and dog whistles.

    *Well, the party line may not have the atrocious science. But one never knows what kind of bad science that Republicans are claiming.

  • Tonio

    While I agree, my post was about the right thing to do.

  • http://veleda-k.livejournal.com/ Veleda K

     Oh, I got that. I just couldn’t resist pointing out that extra helping of nasty on their part.

  • Lori

    McCaskill made it clear during the GOP primary that she preferred to run against Akin. I’m not sure if reminding people of that is good, bad or indifferent, but she certainly isn’t providing any new information by making it clear he’s her preferred opponent.

  • PJ Evans

    I suddenly got this mental picture of the GOP members who are condemning Akin as fellow con-men yelling at him for blowing their game before they can get the maximum payoff.

  • Lori

    I suddenly got this mental picture of the GOP members who are condemning Akin as fellow con-men yelling at him for blowing their game before they can get the maximum payoff.  

    I think that’s true for some of them. For others I think the response is more along the lines of , “I can’t believe you said that in such a blatant way. We made a deal with you troglodytes—-you vote for us to get really, seriously, obscenely rich and we back your play on culture war dog whistles. Dog whistles, you moron. You’re supposed to speak in code. If you put it right out there we have no “plausible” deniability, and that hurts our changes of remaining in a position to get even more filthy stinking rich.”

    I mean Akin is so ham-handed that he even worked 9/11 into one of his “explanations”. You can’t waste the GOP’s go-to reference that way.

    http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2012/08/20/13380304-akin-clinging-to-his-senate-bid

  • Morilore
  • Madhabmatics

     this is how I get my onion related news:

    http://literallyunbelievable.org/

  • http://www.nicolejleboeuf.com/index.php Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little

     Following your link, I found this one, which pulls absolutely no punches:

    http://www.theonion.com/articles/pregnant-woman-relieved-to-learn-her-rape-was-ille,29258/

    TRIGGER WARNINGS LIKE WOAH, Y’ALL: brief and fictional but *graphic* description of forcible rape.

  • http://twitter.com/centauri Elisabeth

    Is it just me or does this sound like the pro-life just found yet another argument to blame rape-victims, wrapped in “rape-victim friendly language”? ‘If you don’t get pregnant after a rape, it was a legitimate rape, therefore you really are a victim and deserve our pity. If you do get pregnant, it wasn’t a legitimate one, therefore you must have somehow wanted/asked for it, and you’re on your own, you slut!’

  • Lori

    So, Akin is staying in. May his determination to fight on bring us more GOP in-fighting and more Right wing groups defending him by saying out loud the incredibly offensive things they’ve always believed but usually only admit to each other.

  • Tonio

    I would be pleased by his staying in the race if I knew that it would bring on his positions the shame that they so rightly deserve. This is the same state that produced John Ashcroft and the right-to-pray law, so it’s very likely that he would get enough votes from his fellow reactionaries to win.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Also? Romney picking the author of the “Ryan budgets” is telling about his real priorities.

    Republicans balked at the thought of having to cut military spending and have been twisting themselves into pretzel knots to avoid having to cut a dime of it (contrary to their stated intentions of teeth-gritting we-must-do-this when Obama and Biden tried crafting their bipartisan spending cuts across the board measures in response to Republican brinkmanship over the debt ceiling); Paul Ryan’s proposed budgets have the effect of massively slashing spending elsewhere in order to protect the sacred cow of having the biggest dick to wave around the world.

  • hagsrus

    “Missouri voters strongly disagree with the comments Todd Akin made about
    abortion over the weekend, but it hasn’t moved the numbers a whole lot
    in the Senate race. Akin leads Claire McCaskill by a single point,
    44-43. That’s basically identical to our last poll of the contest in
    late May, which found Akin ahead by a 45-44 spread.”

    http://www.publicpolicypolling.com/main/2012/08/akin-44-mccaskill-43.html

  • Lori

    I saw that too. There are some potential issues with that poll, most of which PPP readily acknowledges, so I’m trying not to make assumptions about the respondents. It will be interesting to see how things play out both in future polls and in the election.

    One thing is for sure, if Akin gets elected I don’t want to hear one word about how nice and decent Missouri Republican voters are and how mean it is to make assumptions about them and blah, blah, blah. Akin put it right out there. If folks still vote for him, regardless of the excuses they make for it, they’re complicit.

  • aunursa

    Claire McCaskill won her 2006 election by a 2% margin.  And Missouri is about the purplest state in the union; in 2008 McCain received 49.4% of the vote, and Obama 49.3%.  Given the gift of Akin, a McCaskill defeat to this idiot would demonstrate a greater political impotence than Martha Coakley — something that I don’t believe is possible.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Charity-Brighton/100002974813787 Charity Brighton

     That would be true, but, you know, voters have to take responsibility for their choices. If you send someone to Congress, you’re basically saying that this person more or less represents your views.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Charity-Brighton/100002974813787 Charity Brighton

     That’s true. I was more challenging the notion that Akin’s “rape” comment was completely distinct from his views about abortion. I don’t think that a pro-choice person would have felt the need to come up with that kind of logical contortion and willful ignorance; not because pro-choice people are inherently smarter/better/superior to pro-life people, but because the pro-choice belief doesn’t require them.

    Do you believe that others who oppose abortion in all instances
    secretly believe the same thing about rape but are just smart enough not
    to say it?  Otherwise, I don’t understand how Akin’s stance informs his
    comments.  Akin is a moron, but I wouldn’t apply his idiotic view of
    rape and pregnancy to all opponents of abortion who wouldn’t allow an
    exception for rape.

    No, I don’t. However, in order to believe that abortion should be legally prohibited in all instances, you almost have to “delegitimize” rape and incest to at least some extent, right? Well, there is one other option — you can just be completely indifferent to the physical and emotional wellbeing of females in general, to the point where you can hear a story about a 5-year old girl raped and impregnated by her grandfather and not understand why her giving birth is not desirable.

    I have a hard time getting into that mindset, because to me, it’s basically evil. I don’t expect them to lift a finger to help, but they seem intent on heaping more burdens down on people, essentially victimizing them a second time. The only way that I can rationalize this is to essentially say that Akin himself may be a decent person but he has a horrific ideology that demands constant sacrifices of logic, common sense, and, eventually, decency itself in order to sustain itself. I might be wrong, but I’ve never really encountered a better explanation for this specific kind of pro-life person.


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X