The rumor mill has been chug chug chugging this afternoon with reports that many important suit wearers think Missouri Republican Senate nominee Todd Akin should withdraw from the race. According to one senior GOP official, tomorrow his campaign will announce that it will, to borrow a phrase from Akin, "shut that whole thing down." Akin, for his part remains defiant. Even if Akin pulls out, we're not safe from Akin's views. In fact, Akin's views aren't all that different from the very Republicans now pretending that they're shocked by him.
Several prominent media sources have Tweeted that the end is nigh for Akin, who raised ire and hackles yesterday when he told a TV host that he wasn't worried about forcing pregnant women to carry their rapists' children to term, since women (like ducks!) can't get pregnant from "legitimate rape." Mitt Romney clarified that a Romney/Ryan presidency would defend horribly victimized women's rights to not be forced to be pregnant (how gracious) and told the National Review, "What he said is entirely without merit, and he should correct it." Texas Senator John Cornyn also had some harsh words, according to the Times,
Congressman Akin's statements were wrong, offensive and indefensible. I recognize that this is a difficult time for him, but over the next 24 hours, Congressman Akin should carefully consider what is best for him, his family, the Republican Party and the values that he cares about and has fought for throughout his career in public service.
Even Ron Johnson, Wisconsin's whackadoo right wing Senator, issued a call for Akin to drop out of the race, for the good of the party and, consarn it, human goddamn decency, calling the comments "reprehensible and inexcusable."
Allow me a moment to collect my eyeballs from the floor, which have fallen out of my head because I rolled them too hard. Republicans playing the sanctimony card on this issue is the absolute dizzying, nosebleed-inducing height of hypocrisy. These fucking guys. Do you know what these fucking guys have said about women's health? Let's take a moment to go through the list, which has been condensed to include only the most cruel acts by the Saintly Few listed above, men who are suddenly completely outraged that a guy said a thing that isn't really that much more out of line than things they themselves have done.
When Mitt Romney was a Mormon bishop in Massachusetts, he once attempted to physically block a 41-year-old woman from having an abortion, bullying her at the hospital. The woman already had 5 children and was suffering from a life-threatening blood clot condition. The woman and her family later left the church.
What I'm about to say might break your ex boyfriend's Milton Friedman-worshipping heart. Paul Ryan, the modern king of a more intelligent, nuanced form of conservatism, the guy who was sweeping into the race to bring economic serious-talk, the guy who was willing to make the TOUGH DECISIONS about the budget and numbers and man things harumph harumph harumph, is actually not much different than Todd "Legitimate Rape" Akin. In fact, the two are basically in the throes of a long term legislative bromance — during Ryan's tenure in the House, the pair has sponsored thirty-eight bills together. And eight of those bills were about abortion.
Romney's running mate is really, truly terrible when it comes to women's health issues and espouses a viewpoint that's much more Santorum/Bachmann than it is, uh, sane. Ryan believes that life begins at the moment of conception, and as a sponsor of the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, he spearheaded a legislative push to disallow federal funds to be used for abortion unless the woman was "forcibly" raped. Forcibly raped, in this case, means about what Akin meant when he said "legitimately" raped.
Mitt Romney is deeply saddened by the inexcusable things said by a guy who pretty much agrees with his running mate on everything.
Oh, how honorable John Cornyn is, what with his holy damning of Akin's antiquated, damaging, and false beliefs. Too bad John Coryn is one of the 36 cosponsors of the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, the same law that Ryan championed, which sought to limit abortion care for women who were victims of rapes that weren't "forcible." When can we expect an apology from him?
Ron Johnson's early political career was characterized by his staunch opposition to something called the Wisconsin Child Victims Act, which aimed to remove the statute of limitations on sex abuse crimes committed against minors. The Act sought to hold all organizations, including any "corporation, business trust, limited liability company" accountable for systematically ignored abuse. Johnson, naturally, was concerned with what impact this bill would have on small businesses, warning fellow Wisconsin lawmakers that those damn abused kids could wreak "economic havoc" on corporations that aided and abetted abusers. Ok, bro.
But Johnson wasn't done. Earlier this year, he told Think Progress that women who can't afford birth control should just Google it, like his wife did. Ironically (or GOP-rifically), a search for What if I can't afford birth control? reveals that Planned Parenthood is the best place for women who can't afford birth control. Sen. Johnson has voted to defund Planned Parenthood. And the green grass grows all around all around and the green grass grows all around.
The GOP isn't suddenly a bastion of sense and a shining beacon of defending women's rights. Let me remind you that this side of a decade ago, Bill Napoli, a Republican state rep, described the circumstances under which he thought a woman should be permitted to have an abortion,
"A real-life description to me would be a rape victim, brutally raped, savaged," he said. "The girl was a virgin. She was religious. She planned on saving her virginity until she was married. She was brutalized and raped, sodomized as bad as you can possibly make it, and is impregnated. I mean, that girl could be so messed up, physically and psychologically, that carrying that child could very well threaten her life."
Napoli retired from politics in 2006, whispers are starting to stir that he may return to politics in order to run for Governor. Mount Rushmore cries.
President Obama released a powerful statement condemning Akin's dumbassery today, sayiing,
Although these particular comments have led Governor Romney and other Republicans to distance themselves, I think the underlying notion that we should be making decisions on behalf of women for their health care decisions, or qualifying forcible rape versus non-forcible rape, I think those are broader issues. And that is a significant difference in approach between me and the other party.
Akin is not some totally out there ideologue swooping into politics to rattle cages with his totally revolutionary views on rape and pregnancy and what should be allowed to go on inside a woman's skin. He's not the exception. He's the rule, legitimately.