How do republicans find these guys and why do people keep voting for them? In Missouri a fellow named Todd Akin is the GOP's man facing democratic Senator Clair McCaskill this November. Akin is, of course, anti choice because apparently the republicans won't let you join their party if you aren't.
The other day in an interview he was asked about a woman's right to terminate a pregnancy that was caused by rape. He was quoted on a Missouri TV station as saying, "People always want to make it into one of those things--well how do you slice the tough ethical question? First of all from what I understand from doctors is that pregnancy from rape is rare. If it is legitimate rape the female body has ways to shut the whole thing down."
He went on to state, "But lets assume that maybe that didn't work or something. Then there should be some punishment, but the punishment should be on the rapist and not attacking the child."
Mr. Akin did not give the names of the doctors who told him that the female body has ways to, "shut the whole thing down," or say where they received their medical degrees from. Although I suppose some med school in Paraguay run by Josef Mengele could be a possibility. He also failed to mention what his concept of "legitimate" rape is, or what he believes constitutes an illegitimate rape. I'm sure in his mind it is a very fine line.
Shortly after letting us in on this relatively unknown bit of medical trivia and the ethical conundrum of what is legitimate and what isn't, the shit hit the fan. It hit it in a big way. McCaskill was all over him and so was just about every other civilized human being who'd heard or read his rather cold blooded dissection of the issue. Even as brain dead as he is, Akin, or at least his people, realized he'd stepped in it. He quickly issued a statement saying, "In reviewing my off the cuff remarks it is clear that I misspoke in this interview and it does not reflect my deep empathy for the thousands of women who are raped and abused every year." Yeah well, Todd, despite your deep empathy we now know what you really think. We also know you want the authorities to force a woman to carry her rapist's fetus to full term, which is pretty much the definition of one big ass government.
Fellow republican are running away from this guy so fast that you'd think he was carrying the Ebola virus. Two sitting republican senators and one candidate have called on him to quit the race. Senator John Cornyn of Texas, who is in charge of GOP senate election efforts, said, Akin "should carefully consider what is best for him and the republican party..." That sounds an awful lot like offer that shouldn't be refused.
The Romney people consider this crazed goof's views so potentially damaging that they issued this release, "Governor Romney and Congressman Ryan disagree with Mr. Akin's statement and a Romney-Ryan administration would not oppose abortion in instances of rape."
I hope Mitt's people sent a copy of that to Paul Ryan. The Wisconsin representative has consistently said that the only time a woman should be allowed to end a pregnancy is when her life is in danger. In 2010 he wrote an essay comparing the Roe v. Wade decision to the pre civil war Dred Scott ruling in which African Americans were judged legally to not be people. He also has voted against a measure that would allow female military members to secure an abortion at a military hospital.
And it doesn't stop there. Last year Ryan was a co sponsor of what was called the Sanctity of Life Act. This piece of legislation would have declared that at the very moment a woman's egg becomes fertilized it possesses all the same rights as every human being in the nation. It would, in effect, outlaw ALL abortions and several different types of contraception, not to mention in vitro fertilization. It is such an over reaching and poorly thought out piece of law making that similar measures have been killed in the arch conservative enclaves of Mississippi and Oklahoma.
As he was running for governor of Massachusetts Mitt Romney seemed to signal he was pro choice. Then when he got it in his head to run for president he backed away from that knowing he was going to have to sell his soul to the far right to lock up the nomination. Officially right now he is against abortion except in cases of rape, presumably the legitimate ones, incest, or if the mother's life is in danger.
So, in the final analysis what we have here is a senate candidate who, in a crude way, said exactly what Paul Ryan is thinking each and every day. In fact Ryan's very presence on the ticket is a nod to everyone who believes that what Akin said is the truth and the whole truth, so help them God. Mitt needs those people at the polls in November. He also desperately needs them to keep their mouths shut until after that fateful Tuesday.
Bets are Akin goes under the bus and Paul Ryan learns a lesson in political reality. Sometimes it isn't the message, but the delivery and loose lips sink ships. Watch for some tap dancing by Mr. Ryan that will knock your socks off. Hard questions should follow this debacle and he isn't going to want to answer any of them.