"Whether mandating transvaginal probes prior to abortion under 'informed-consent' logic or misunderstanding basic biology, Republicans have managed to alienate a fair portion of the female population. Even pro-life women will have a hard time standing by men who are so willfully ignorant."
-- conservative commentator Kathleen Parker in her Washington Post column tomorrow, "The Republican need for a lesson on the fairer sex"
So the 5pm CT deadline came and went, and Missouri's own Rep. (and would-be Sen.) Todd "The Asshole" Akin has stuck to his guns and forged ahead with his campaign to unseat the state's highly endangered Democratic senator, Claire McCaskill. To be clear, state law still allows for the possibility of replacing him on the GOP ballot line, but the process is a lot more cumbersome than it was up till 5pm.
As we know, it's not just Missouri GOP-ers who would have been happy if The Asshole had discreetly absented himself from the Senate race. With control of the Senate at stake, national strategists have to lament the likely loss of a prime GOP pickup opportunity. And that's not the only thing that concerns them. The marquee presence of beyond-extremist thug candidates who sound like booby-hatch fugitives has resonance beyond the nutjobs' home-state borders.
As conservative columnist Kathleen Parker points out in her Washington Post column tomorrow, "Akin?s comments furthered the perception that Republicans are waging a war on women."
Ironically, Parker actually trots out a more respectable version of the distinction that Todd "The Asshole" was attempting to make between what he maladroitly labeled "legitimate rape" and what he considers the "illegitimate" kind. "To be fair," she writes, "there is a difference between morning-after remorse that some call 'rape' and rape as most understand it." But she's not as egregious as The Asshole.
for these purposes, as President Obama said, ?Rape is rape.? Does a raped woman need bruises to qualify for an abortion?
All Hades broke loose, one is grateful to note, despite Akin?s lame attempts at penitence. From Romney to Karl Rove, condemnation of Akin?s remarks was stern, with many calling for him to step out of the race. Yet even Akin?s apology and self-correction were mealy-mouthed and lacking in, shall we say, remorse born of clarity.#
In a hastily constructed ad released Tuesday, Akin tried to organize his thoughts: ?Rape is an evil act,? he said, apparently appealing to those who still weren?t sure. ?I used the wrong words in the wrong way and for that I apologize. .?.?. I have a compassionate heart for the victims of sexual assault. I pray for them.?
Of course words were never the problem. The ?thinking? was the problem. Akin?s belief that legitimate rape so scrambles the female?s signals that even biology is thwarted was born of conversations he says he had with doctors. Akin at least should surrender the names of those doctors so that they can be removed from the practice of medicine. For those still confused, raped women do get pregnant, which is why many who are strongly pro-life nevertheless allow abortion exceptions for rape victims. Even so, the Republican Party platform calls for a ?human life? amendment to the Constitution that, strictly applied, likely would prohibit any abortion under any circumstances.
Akin?s gift to Democrats wasn?t just a probable campaign killer for him personally. It also reminded critics that Akin once co-sponsored legislation with Paul Ryan redefining rape as ?forcible? versus, what, voluntary? . . .