Sunday, October 28, 2012

Thanks For the Reminder, Mr, Mourdock!

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I think we all owe a great debt of gratitude to Indiana GOP Senate candidate Richard Mourdock. No, really. I mean it. At a time when it was looking like people might start actually believing flimflam artist Mitt Romney's transparently false attempt to shake his Etch A Sketch and "tack to the center," someone like Mourdock comes along to remind us of what the Republican Party really stands for.
I've got to tell you, if I were Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus, I'd have sent out a memo months ago telling every GOP candidate for every elected office, from president to prom king: "For God's sake, if anyone brings up rape, change the subject!" Because it seems that anytime the subject comes up, some far-right ideologue manages to say something (a) stupid; or (b) downright horrifying.
Problem is, the difficult topic of rape keeps coming up. It forces the right to face one of the thornier problems of its stance against a woman's right to choose: Would you force a woman to carry a pregnancy to term if the pregnancy was the result of rape or incest?
Different candidates have dealt with this question in different ways. A few weeks ago, you had Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin, who dealt with the question by denying scientific reality and essentially making up his own. He claimed that he'd heard from doctors that pregnancies from rape are "really rare" - that "if it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down."
This led to a firestorm of indignation and well-deserved derision. While some on the right, particularly Mike Huckabee and the Family Research Council, defended Akin, the bulk of the party decided to back away from defending the idea that you could separate sexual assault into "legitimate" and "illegitimate" categories, not to mention the completely bogus notion that a woman's body provides a magic shield against becoming pregnant by rape if it's "legitimate."
At least they did at first. Now, it seems, some conservative Super PACs, such as Sen. Jim DeMint's Senate Conservatives Fund, are deciding to try to raise money for the guy who believes in "legitimate rape."
Just as the Akin furor was dying down and Mitt was playing at being a moderate once again by claiming, "There's no legislation with regard to abortion that I'm familiar with that would become part of my agenda" (after claiming he'd be a "proudly pro-life president" and promising to defund Planned Parenthood), along comes Mourdock.
Asked if there'd be any exception to his anti-choice stance, Mourdock allowed as how he'd graciously let a mother choose to live if her pregnancy might kill her. As for rape or incest, he said, "I think that even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen."
Really? A woman gets raped, her rapist makes her pregnant, and that's all part of God's perfect plan?
In addition to "legitimate rape," we're now supposed to believe in "rape with pregnancy intended by God"? I'm glad that, while I do believe in God, he's not a God that thinks women being made pregnant against their will is just what he intended. Such a God would be some kind of sadistic cosmic psychopath.
Mourdock, however, isn't getting the Akin treatment. The party is still sending him cash. No doubt the leadership reasoned, "Hey, if we start throwing every nutball under the bus after he says something stupid or offensive to women, pretty soon we won't have any candidates left."
Honorable John McCain said Mourdock should apologize, but then walked the demand back the very next day. As for Romney, even though spokeswoman Andrea Sauls asserted that "Gov. Romney disagrees with Richard Mourdock's comments, and they do not reflect his views," Lord Romney, the High Sheriff of Flip-Flopshire, has endorsed Mourdock.
He's even cut a campaign ad on his behalf that's running in Indiana right now. This is called "trying to have it both ways." It's also called "transparently cynical and unworthy of a man who claims he's a leader." Among other things.
So thank you, Mr. Mourdock. Thanks for reminding us, once again, of what the GOP really is: the home of right-wing religious crazies who try to parse and partition various "kinds" of rape, and the alleged moderates who have to grit their teeth and embrace them for political gain.
Meanwhile, I just voted for the president who says unequivocally, "Rape is rape," and that we don't want "politicians, mostly male, making decisions about women's health care decisions."


Karen in Ohio said...

Well, when you candidate believes in magic underwear and getting his own planet when he dies, why not also make up your own science? Hey, no big deal.

It boggles the mind completely that any woman with a complete brain cell will vote for any of the candidates on the right.

Love the new look to the site, by the way!

Dana King said...

The fact the pools did not changed to approximately 75-25 against both Akin and Mourdock after their comments (even if we give them every benefit of the doubt and think they'd still split the male vote 50-50, how could any woman with a brain vote for either of them?), shows a cognitive dissonance. I don;t mean this to sound misogynistic, but if either of these wins, or even polls better than 25%, a lot of women in Missouri and Indiana need to look in their mirrors. Even if these women are pro-life, these two are so far outside the mainstream of political, scientific, and rational thought, and their ideas, if spread, will so adversely affect generations, any women who is okay with them will have to shoulder a large chunk of blame for whatever happens.

Anonymous said...

pools? Who is going swimming?

J. E. Medrick said...

I know a woman very close to me who is voting Republican because she has always voted Republican and nothing, NOTHING is making her change her mind. If I try to reason with her about every new atrocity in the news, she turns a cold shoulder/changes the subject. It breaks my heart.

Dana King said...

I see Mourdock is ahead in Indiana and Nate Silver at 538 has him as a clear favorite to win. There are a lot of women in Indiana with some serious issues.