Stories like this remind us that too many behaviors cloaked in language of self-righteous religious “piety” are simply an exercise in power, meant to protect ancient privilege, and utterly devoid of humanity or compassion.
Richard Mourdock has a problem. Unlike his ideological clone, Mike Pence, he has a tendency to tell the truth. About 45 minutes into the Senate debate, he was asked about his pro-life beliefs, and whether those beliefs included an exception for rape and/or incest.
In the course of the explanation Mourdock suggested that rape should not be an exception to a ban on abortion, since rape pregnancies are themselves the will of God.
“You know, this is that issue for that every candidates for federal, or even state office, faces. And I, too, certainly stand for life,” said Mourdock, after both Democrat Joe Donnelly and Libertarian Andrew Horning had identified as pro-life, though Donnelly also stated his support for an exception in cases of rape. “I know there are some who disagree, and I respect their point of view. But I believe that life begins at conception. The only exception I have, to have an abortion, is in that case of the life of the mother.”
Mourdock then seemed to choke back tears, and continued: “I’ve struggled with it myself for a long time, but I came to realize that life is that gift from god. And even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen.” (Emphasis added.)
I hope some enterprising reporter–assuming we still have a few of those left–asks the Republican gubernatorial candidate whether he agrees. On the record.
Wow. Just wow.
When Todd Akin went off on his ignorant rant about “lady parts,” it prompted a number of folks to turn over the rock under which he and his fellow “conservatives” live–and it turns out his crazy isn’t limited to women’s reproduction.
Salon raised the reasonable question, “why is this guy on the House science subcommittee?” and quoted the genius on climate change: “In Missouri when we go from winter to spring, that’s a good climate change. I don’t want to stop that climate change you know. Who in the world wants to put politicians in charge of the weather anyways?”
Unsurprisingly, Akin also rejects the “theory” of evolution.
The article also noted Akin’s firm grasp of history, made clear in his belief that the Pilgrims came to the New World to escape socialism. (He must get his history lessons from David Barton.)
This would all be funny if Akin were the only elected official with this sort of delusional worldview. But what’s really scary is how many “fellow travelers” he has. Several of them are in Indiana. A friend of mine shared a You Tube in which Linda Lawson berated Eric Turner for expressing his opposition to the “rape or incest” exception by explaining that women would pretend to be raped in order to obtain an abortion.
I don’t get it.
How do these willfully ignorant culture warriors get elected? What is it about women and science and basic logic that repels them?
And most important, what will it take to engineer a return to sanity?
During a televised interview, Missouri Representative Todd Akin, who is running for the U.S. Senate against incumbent Claire McCaskill, was asked about his position on abortion. Rep. Akin favors a complete ban, with no exception for rape or incest. He explained that an exception for rape was unnecessary, since victims of legitimate rape don’t get pregnant. The woman’s body “has a way to deal with that.”
Leaving aside the question of what constitutes “legitimate” rape, the more important questions are how this moron has managed to get elected, and how he won a statewide Republican primary. (He evidently serves on the House Subcommittee on Science, no less–a terrifying prospect.)
According to various reports, Akin sponsored legislation that would redefine rape in federal law to limit funding for abortion providers, and has a long track record of uninformed and extreme views about women’s health. He has a consistently radical voting record on women’s issues, wants to ban the morning-after pill, and–my personal favorite– has expressed concern that criminalizing marital rape gives women “a legal weapon to beat up on the husband” during a divorce.
This guy is a real piece of work.
But before we laugh too hard at the people who actually voted to place this man in a position of authority, perhaps we should look at one of the men we have sent to Congress. Not only sent to Congress, but are likely to elevate to the top position in the state.
Google–as I did–Pence and Akin. You’ll find that they have co-sponsored several measures–one that would have distinguished between “forcible” and “other” rapes, one to de-fund Planned Parenthood, one to get rid of the Department of Energy, another to make English America’s “official” language….In fact, when I searched for “Pence Akin co-sponsor,” I got 1,730,000 hits. Obviously, hundreds if not thousands were duplicates, and thousands of others were perfectly innocuous… still, it became clear scrolling through them that Akin and Pence are cut from the same (poorly woven) cloth.
The only difference is that Mike Pence understands–as Akin clearly does not–that he needs to reinvent himself as someone who actually cares about Indiana’s economy and job creation, rather than the social issues which have been his major focus as a congressperson.
Unlike Akin, he realizes he needs to soft-pedal the crazy.