Monday, August 20, 2012
GOP ACHING OVER CONGRESSMAN TODD AKIN
SENATE HOPEFUL CLOSELY ALIGNED WITH PAUL RYAN’S SOCIAL AGENDA
REPRESENTATIVES PAUL RYAN AND TODD AKIN COSPONSORED
SEVERAL CONTROVERSIAL BILLS IN CONGRESS
(August 20, 2012. Washington, DC) Just a day after Missouri Congressman and Senate candidate Todd Akin’s highly offensive and stupendously idiotic comments about “legitimate rape” while appearing on a local Sunday morning talk show, the fury and outrage from all quarters shows no sign of receding any time soon. Actually, the damage done to the GOP by Akin’s bizarre comments may play a role in many House and Senate races across the country as well as in the Presidential race. Some in the Republican Party already nervous having Paul Ryan and his unpopular “Budget Plan” front and center in the Presidential race have expressed concerns about how they will be “tied’ to Ryan’s plan containing many harsh cuts in federal spending that would especially hurt senior citizens, the middle class and the needy. Now they have the additional weight of Representative Akin’s comments, which opened the proverbial can of worms, to contend with. And, if that wasn’t bad enough, both Ryan and Akin share many of the same positions on sensitive social issues and have cosponsored bills dealing with issues such as “personhood”, redefining “rape”, defunding Planned Parenthood, and abortion rights.
In all political races there are missteps and gaffes and then there are errors so egregious the candidate may not be able to survive the withering storm such errors unleash. In a political season that has seen an unprecedented amount of blatant lying by the GOP Presidential contender, Mitt Romney, and has recently devolved into a nasty street fight-like race for the White House, Todd Akin’s error may contend, in the long run, as one of the worst most damage inflicting statements of the year.
During a televised interview on Fox affiliate KTVI in St. Louis, the six term Congressman now running for the Senate against Democratic incumbent Claire McCaskill, Akin was asked if would support abortions in cases where the woman had been raped. "It seems to me first of all, from what I understand from doctors, that's really rare," Akin replied. "If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down," Akin said of a rape victim's chances of becoming pregnant. Within hours after these lame brained comments, Mitt Romney and virtually the entire Republican Party were scrambling to distance themselves from their imbecilic colleague.
One member of the GOP who is a close ally of Akin’s in Congress just so happens to be Mitt Romney’s running mate. Ultra-conservative Paul Ryan is having an especially difficult time putting any space between himself and his ideologically identical Congressional buddy. Not only do they share the same Byzantine approach to social and fiscal issues, they have worked together to craft and cosponsor House Bills that make Mississippi Republicans look like reasonable moderates. As reported yesterday in Think Progress and today in that same publication by Adam Peck and Ian Milhiser,”Rep. Todd “Legitimate Rape” Akin (R-MO) and GOP vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan both cosponsored the bill that introduced America to the despicable term “forcible rape.” As it turns out, this may only be the second most sweeping attack on reproductive freedom that both men partnered on. Ryan and Akin also cosponsored a federal personhood bill, the Sanctity of Human Life Act of 2009, which declares that a fertilized egg is entitled to the exact same legal rights as a human being”. When a similar personhood initiative appeared on the ballot earlier this year in the most Conservative of all these 50 United States, Mississippi, it was handily voted down. That says a great deal about the ideology of Ryan and Akin.
WITH FRIENDS LIKE THESE
Although no proof is needed to confirm the stupidity and the political liability of Akin’s repulsive remarks, the level of anger thus far expressed by members of his own Party speaks volumes. Prior to his televised interview yesterday Akin was actually polling ahead of McCaskill by 3 percentage points in a heavily Republican leaning important swing state. By late today some of the biggest blowhards of the Conservative movement, lunatics such as Senators Mitch “Little Bitch” McConnell and John Cornyn, and Fox Media bloviators Sean Hannity and Mike Huckabee, were urging Akin to step down as the candidate. GOP dirt bag Karl Rove and his Super PAC have already announced they will no long provide Akin funding and the Tea Party movement is also abandoning the now toxic nitwit Akin. Paul Ryan himself had to phone his close buddy and soul mate asking him to reconsider his pursuit of that Missouri senate seat.
PRESIDENT OBAMA REACTS
President Obama made an unexpected visit to the White House Press Room and took questions from the reporters gathered there. He stated clearly that “Rape is rape” and expressed dismay at the comments Akin had made. Obviously the President wanted to address the issues and rather than bring it up himself out on the campaign trail he wisely allowed the White House Press Corps to give him the opportunity to make his opinion known.
AKIN NOT JUST STUPID, ALSO STUBBORN
Despite the mounting pressure for him to drop out of the race, Todd Akin apparently has no intentions of doing so. He Tweeted tonight that he would continue his campaign and asked supporters to donate to his cause. Akin spent much of today giving radio and TV interviews hoping to clarify his absurd remarks and make some effort at damage control. Oddly, or maybe not so oddly, he “apologized” not for the essential point he was trying to make with his ludicrous remarks but rather for his choice of words. He claims he meant to say “forcible rape” instead of “legitimate rape” once again demonstrating the depths of his ignorance.
It remains to be seen what becomes of Senate candidate Akins, what wider damage his ideology could inflict on his Party in November and how this will no doubt dog GOP VP candidate Paul Ryan.
If this repugnant episode makes one point crystal clear and should serve to galvanize Democrats and undecided voters is that Akin and Ryan do not represent a fringe element in the republican Congressional Caucus. Not by a long shot. They are indeed representative of the majority of republicans in the House, Senate and the Party as a whole. The Religious Right is the dominate element on social issues in the GOP and Romney’s choice of Ryan was yet another show of his lack of spine, principals, or courage. He caved into the pressure from the Far Right which IS the majority and plucked Ryan out of his seat on the Budget Committee because he is a darling of the Right.
This will be interesting to watch.
TAGS: TODD AKIN, PAUL RYAN, RAPE, LEGITIMATE RAPE, FORCIBLE RAPE, PERSONHOOD, MITT ROMNEY, GOP, RELIGIOUS RIGHT, CONSERVATIVES, REPUBLICAN LUNACY, AKIN’S CONTROVERSIAL REMARKS ON RAPE, DAMAGE CONTROL, CLARE McCASKILL, OBAMA REACTS, RAPE IS RAPE.
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