Monday, August 20, 2012
Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO), his party's candidate in the Missouri Senate race to unseat Democrat Claire McCaskill, has stepped in it big time and is desperately trying to scrape it off his shoe.
He managed to suggest that women who become pregnant from a rape weren't "legitimately" raped. Needless to say, the national party is aghast and is twisting all available arms to get him off the ticket. Akin has pumped new life into McCaskill's campaign, when she was considered one of the most vulnerable Democratic senators and a linchpin in Republican hopes of regaining the Senate.
Akins apparently got the idea from a wingnut group of doctors. Predictably, it's garbage.
But the interesting question is how a longtime politician could make such a blunder. I think a commenter, d cwilson, at Ed Brayton's blog may have the answer:
I think we're starting to see the serious damage the Fox echo chamber is having on the conservative brain. They're so used to having whatever batshit crazy idea that pops into head being greeted with nods of approval that they're genuinely surprised when sane people react with horror [over] their casual remarks.When the only feedback you get is from crazy people, you're going to get crazier yourself.
As for this "legitimate rape" nonsense, what's wrong with the simple principle that 'no' means 'no'?
I think it's more than just an impression.
Paul Ryan was the other cosponsor of that bill. But Ryan did not say the same sort of very foolish thing, so he did not get as much attention. Yet.
Ryan and Aiken have cosponsored quite a few bills intended to prohibit abortion, or at least make it more difficult to obtain, including the "Sanctity of Life Act." That's the one that says “every human being shall have all the legal and constitutional attributes and privileges of personhood.” That especially includes a single cell. If only they cared as much for people after they were born.
And he is on the science committee of the House of Representatives.