Analysis of media issues, politics and current events.
While offensive to many (including myself). Rep. Todd Akin really didn’t say anything about “legitimate rape” and abortion that the people who matter to him (Missouri) really don’t disagree with. His real political sin is that he just said it in a way that can’t be defended nationally. It’s like instead of saying “I want to stop crime in our communities” but go on to say “…by keeping those dangerous black people out.” The kind of thing some might see as highly offensive. While other just think you took a good idea a little too far.
In Representative Akin’s disastrous TV interview over the weekend, he was asked about his view on abortion. He essentially said the standard anti-abortion talking point. That he is against abortion in any case, including rape or endangerment of the life of the mother. Many conservatives, including Paul Ryan and Rick Santorum, share the same view. The problem seems to be that he believed that his point of view was on solid ground with his constituents it made him confident to parse out his point of view with offensive and unsubstantiated statements.
Akin’s parsing out “in cases of rape” into the idea “legitimate rape” phrase is not a new idea on the GOP (or “rape, rape’s” Whoopi Goldberg). Last year, the Georgia legislature tried to pass a bill to reclassify rape. And the bill Akin sponsored with Paul Ryan last year tied to split rape into definitions of rape and “forcible rape.” So it’s clear the intellectual background for Akin’s point of view was already there. A point of view Akin used to say that if the rape that happened is “not legitimate rape (whatever that is)” you don’t deserve an abortion. And if it is, according to his doctors from the University of Quackery, a woman’s body will naturally”shut down” or take care of stopping pregnancy for most of those. Therefore there is no reason to have any an exception to abortion.
BTW, that to me is like saying that if you get shot, your body can heal itself. So walk it off.
Even though the party nationally has run away from him. I’ve seen interviews with constituents from his district that don’t describe what he said as offensive as much as an unfortunate choice of words. I bet the Congressmen knows his district and Missouri enough to think he has a possible change of winning and he might actually ignore today 5 o’clock deadline for getting out of the race.
Social conservatives, which seem to be a big part of his district and social conservative beyond don’t seem embarrassed to support him. Or feel this isn’t this issue to judge him on. The Family Research Council defended him by saying he’s a victim of a “gotcha.” And check out these tweets of other famous social conservative defending him. And see more here courtesy of Buzzfeed.
While the national party is running way. Akin just may have the support he needs to run (may not win) but run and not get slaughtered.