Rarely do we get political drama like this--and when we do it is ... TASTY-LICIOUS!! I'm tempted to type 'ZOMG'--oh, crap, I did! So what happened*?
- After Akins flies in the face of good taste and, uhm, biology declaring that women who were "legitimately raped" could not get pregnant because their body shuts it down he was decried by everyone to get the hell out of the race. It was too stupid ... to damaging ... to ... too ... whatever: just go, already--don't hand one of the few key senate states to Dem Clair McCatskill and please don't let this whole thing come after Paul Ryan who has had some pretty far right views on abortion from time to time.
- In the dead of night ... like a thief ... (who, instead of stealing, breaks into your house and leaves a plate of poisoned cookies) Public Policy Polling, known as Piss Poor Polling by conservatives everywhere for their oversampling of Democrats to prop up lefty-candidates, comes out with a poll that suddenly OVERSAMPLES republicans. Okay, not hard to do in MO, but still. It shows a TIE.
- Akins releases an "apology video" called Forgiveness wherein he claims he used the wrong words and his heart is in the right place. Republican blog notes: "I didn't think I'd live long enough to see an ad worse than "I'm not a witch" but I was wrong. I regret the error."
- It is considered a sure thing that Akins will drop as the RNC and American Crossroads pulls funding. He goes on Huckabee ... to declare he's dropping out ...
- PRESUMABLY: But he does NOT. He's (ZOMG) In It To Win It. He cites the PPP Poll and claims he misspoke one word (which word? Doesn't say).
- The date for independent filing has passed so no love there. For him to bail after close of business today will require a court order--from a court packed with ACTIVIST DEMOCRAT JUDGES. ZOMGWTFBBQ!
As you can see ... I'm pretty excited. I mean: how often does this sort of thing happen. Fortunately, for my heart, not too often.
What's Going On?
It's pretty hard to tell what's in Akin's head (other than "Hey, I won the primary!") but it's clear that he is a subset of people who believe that, well, women can't get pregnant from rape (or if they can, it's very difficult). For example: Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association says:
"There's a very delicate and complex mix of hormones that take place -- that are released -- in a woman's body, and if that gets interfered with, it may make it impossible for her or difficult in that particular circumstance to conceive a child," Fischer said during his show Monday.
"That's all Todd Akin is saying...and he's absolutely right about that," he continued.
Rep. Steve King says he was taken out of context when asked why he didn't strongly condemn Akins:
King told an Iowa reporter he’s never heard of a child getting pregnant from statutory rape or incest.
“Well I just haven’t heard of that being a circumstance that’s been brought to me in any personal way,” King told KMEG-TV Monday, “and I’d be open to discussion about that subject matter.”He says he's just never been told about it personally. Listening to the video: that's possibly how he meant it--but if your response to "what about young victims of incest" is "I've never had that brought to me" meaning 'Yeah--uh--I have strong moral views on abortion but I've never thought about that' ... Is that really believable?
Maddow makes the case that a lot of people have believed this from time to time:
North Carolina Republican state legislator Henry Aldridge made similar remarks in 1995. In cases of rape, he said, “the juices don’t flow.” To get pregnant requires “a little cooperation.”What Do I Think?
As I've said, I think it's a dodge. Holding that a raped woman--or victim of incest--should carry the baby of her victimizer is bold position. It's a tough one--and if you are going to hold it? Own it. It's quite possible to be against abortion in almost all instances but that and that's still logically consistent. The "It doesn't come up" fake-science loophole is an attempt to hold the position and either appear compassionate to the (non-existent) victims or, perhaps, sleep at night. Courageous.
I also think that people who are going (and I know one) "Well, Akins just got his science mixed up--after all ... uh ... there are some new advances that show that mental states can [Wharrgarble--guard-sperm--Wharrgarble]--so you see, he was an idiot to say it and was (ahem) wrong about it--" are also either lying to themselves or (more likely) others. Especially if the letters P and C cropped up on their mental screen. This isn't a "mistake" like getting a math problem wrong ("Oh, gosh, golly-gee, I forgot to divide before adding ... that means Susie can't get pregnant!")--there's a reason why Akins got it wrong exactly--specifically--the way he did.
And if you're defending him and saying "Well, of course he shouldn't say that--" there's a reason covering for him too. And you know what? They line up!!
I also think that there's a pretty good chance Akins bails before 5:00 PM today. He's got like a few hours.
* More or less what happened with colorful color commentary. In HD!!