The Silver Lining to Todd Akin's 'Legitimate Rape' Flub

tood akin

If there is a silver lining to the Todd Akin story in Missouri it is that the Republicans were able to turn a negative into a postive by saying very clearly, "This is not who we are."

Akin, who is running for U.S. Senate in a tightly contested race against a female candidate, famously said that he was only in favor of abortion in the case of a "legitimate rape." He also made the statement that it was his understanding that not many rapes result in pregnancy because of a woman's ability to inhibit procreation in a hostile sexual encounter. The good news is some of the dinosaurs in the Republican Party, some of its most respected and most conservative members said, "Whaaaaaat?" and were willing to take a stand in this situation.

As a moderate Republican woman, that was welcome news. Women do count. And the only reason the Party has agreed to disagree on social issues that affect women is because the economy is such a mess. Still what Akin said crossed a line.

Now comes the news that Akin is in Tampa meeting with conservative Christian groups and seeking their counsel on whether to withdraw from the race. He's already been asked to stay away from the Convention this week and is apparently doing so. Even his co-sponsor on some of the most restrictive anti-abortion legislation in recent years, Vice Presidential pick Paul Ryan, called Akin to say it was time to go for the good of the party. So, why is he in Tampa? Is this some end run to portray himself as a populist Christian firebrand who has to operate outside of the Party a la the Tea Party? I guess we will find out.

I will say kudos to Mitt Romney for taking the stance he did and doing what was right by encouraging Akin to step down. Romney gets labeled and mislabeled because his positions have tightened up but at the end of the day it would serve us to remember that his mother ran for the U.S. Senate on a pro-choice platform. Even his running mate, who is more conservative than he is, has said he will defer to the Boss, who believes in exceptions in cases of rape or incest. I get that Akin is human, and none of us is above making a mistake and asking for forgiveness. But, Akin needs to defer to his Party and recognize how crucial the 2012 election is. And that digging in puts the overall success of the Republicans at risk. As I say over and over, those social conservatives are the slam dunk Republicans but the Moderates and Independents will make or break these elections.


Image via ForwardStl/Flickr

2012 election, abortion, tea party, mitt romney


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*sigh* Finally. A true post. Thank you Christine.

maddy... maddysmom85

Thank god the man was told to step down, we have enough ignorance in office as it is, but legitimate rape!?! This is ugly to say but if someone held him down and legitimately anal raped him, would his body be able to push it out? What an idiot.

nonmember avatar slm

Mitt Romney has publicly stated more than once in the past year that he would happily sign a person-hood-for-zygotes bill like the one voted on in Mississippi last year. In addition, if he makes an "exception" for rape, or sends the issue back to the states, things will go back as they were before Roe v Wade. In those days, states with a rape exception had committees of physicians decide whether or not the woman had a case for abortion. While accused rapists were presumed innocent unless proven guilty, the rape victims were presumed to have had consensual sex unless they proved themselves not guilty.

The VP becomes president if the president for any reason cannot fulfill the duties of his office. Paul Ryan would force a female victim of forcible rape to carry a rape pregnancy to term, even though such pregnancies are more likely to harm a woman physically, would force women to be responsible for bringing rapists' progeny into the world, and, via microchimerism, would fill the blood of a rape victim with the rapist's chromosomes for as much as 20 to 30 years, perhaps making her more liable to fatal diseases for decades.

If Republicans would like to be considered anything other than fanatic misogynists, they are going to have to change. The silver lining to Akin's comment is that the Republicans can't pretend that their party's anti-abortion plank has no meaning.

nonmember avatar kevobx

What happens to the pride of life? No such thing as the lord of life *1st John 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. *Proverbs 21:4 An high look, and a proud heart, and the plowing of the wicked is sin. *Jeremiah 13:15 Hear ye, and give hear; be not proud: for the Lord hath spoken. *1st Timothy 6:4 He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings,... (The white man thinks, he is God *Ezekiel 28:2 Son of man, say unto the prince of Tyrus, Thus said the Lord God; Because thine heart is lifted up, and thou hast said, I am a God, I sit in the seat of God, in the midst of the seas; yet thou art a man, and not God, though thou set thine heart as the heart of God: *Revelation 2:13 I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan's seat is:

nonmember avatar LizzieBorden

@JAFE, hey hypocrite much? Yesterday on the article titled "Todd Akin is not smarter than a fifth grader" you complained about it being "old news". And now a day later a Republican-positive article about the same quote comes out and you're glad to read it? Let's be honest, the other article upset you because you didn't agree with it not because it's "old news".

wamom223 wamom223

@slm Just keep your hate campaign going.  I notice you have no facts to back your point.  As though the President can just wipe away Roe vs. Wade.  Why don't you liberals just admit you are scared things you don't like will be shoved down your throat just like President Obama has done to us.  The fact is that Romney and Ryan are smarter than Obama and know the most important thing is the economy.  If they got a second term after fixing the economy, maybe they would take on social issue's but I doubt it.  You slm are the worst of the worst, with your scare tactics.  The facts are you wouldn't be getting so much push back from the Pro life movement if you weren't working so hard to desensatize the younger generation and normalize the killing of babies so much.  If you are going to comment again it would be great if you could give some real facts instead of things you made up in your mind. 


I meant the bashing Lizzie and you know that. 

nonmember avatar LizzieBorden

@ JAFE, how so? You commended the article as a "true post". This seems to mean you agree with content. If you're truly sick of the story then you should be tired of its irrelevance through and through.

fleur... fleurdelys3110

JAFE is correct, as usual. The bashing is old. This is an incredible article because it actually provides a balance of opinion and looks at the matter and discusses the matter differently ex. With a level head and not just parroting liberal bashing. This is the best political article I have ever read on this site. Excellent job, Christine. Keep 'em coming!

nonmember avatar Zuri

(begin sarcasm) Yes, sure, let's keep the hate going! Let's stereotype Republicans into 13th century-minded redneck dunces like Todd Akin! That'll keep this country's head above water! That'll fix the economy! That'll lower the nation's debt! That'll keep unemployment below 8%! That'll fix all of our problems! That'll make this election worth something! After all, I'm just a liberal. I'm not an American that gives a crap about helping people. I'm only loyal to one party and blindly loathe everyone who's not on "my" side. More blind hate! That's what we need.

(end sarcasm)

Great article. Thank you for speaking the truth. We need more voters like you.

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