If you were starting to worry that nutjobs and failed politicians (whoohoo!) Rep. Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock -- who became nationally famous for their bonkers comments on rape during this election cycle -- were speaking for the whole Republican party, have no fear. Former adviser to George W. Bush, Karen Hughes, has spoken out and is none too pleased with either man's rape and abortion rhetoric.
In an op-ed on Politico last week, published after both politicians were defeated (Akin in Congress by Democrat Claire McCaskill, Mourdock in the Senate by Democrat Joe Donnelly), Hughes wrote, "And if another Republican man says anything about rape other than it is a horrific, violent crime, I want to personally cut out his tongue." Amaaaaazing!
Hey, it needed to be said. And by a woman on the right, too! After all, it's not like guys like Akin and Mourdock are really going to listen to what liberal ladies like Cher and Kathy Griffin have to say about all the "sick stuff" they had been spewing leading up to the election. Clearly, someone like Hughes has a bit more pull with conservatives running for office. To know she is also making a play to shut down these insane remarks is nothing short of awesome.
She elaborated in her column:
The college-age daughters of many of my friends voted for Obama because they were completely turned off by Neanderthal comments like the suggestion of 'legitimate rape.'
That's right. Hughes speaks the truth. She's not hiding in the GOP bubble, dealing with faux facts to make herself feel better. She's facing reality and acknowledging that, yes, these men screwed up. And perhaps Republicans on a nationwide scale screwed up by barely batting an eyelash at these "Neanderthal comments." Or how about how Romney actually endorsed Mourdock?!
All right, so yeah, one might argue that it's now all water under the dam ... but it's not. As Hughes says, their big losses are a sign that the Republican party cannot continue with business as usual:
We have to explain our conservative philosophy in a forward-looking way that appeals to the diverse constituencies that make up our country. And we need to make a special effort to listen to and better understand what resonates with younger voters.
They can't discount and marginalize women (single and married), young people, Latinos, black Americans, the middle class -- you know all Americans who aren't old, rich white men ... And other, sane Republicans need to stand up and join Hughes to acknowledge that this kind of polarizing, moralistic drivel is not going to fly. The voters clearly won't stand for it. So unless they change their tune on these issues central to women's lives and livelihood, they're going to be even bigger losers in the years ahead.
What do you think of Karen Hughes' reaction to Mourdock and Akin's rape remarks?
Image via Bill Rice/Flickr