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Post Partisan
Posted at 03:28 PM ET, 08/22/2012

PostScript: Parker, abortion science and GOP damage control

UTERUS FEST 2012 EXTREEEEME continues on today’s Opinions page with further discussion of hapless Todd Akin and a bit about Vladimir Putin’s trouble with Pussy Riot.

Kathleen Parker’s column is about the big-time damage to the GOP brand that happens when opposition to abortion gets linked, as it did over and over in the past four days, to repugnant viewpoints and scientific ignorance. Parker argues that if abortion foes could manage to make their case without insulting women — claiming, for example, that women only choose abortion because they don’t know what the anti-abortion folks know about heartbeats and ultrasounds and such, or claiming special idiot knowledge of womb magic or asserting their own right to decide which rape victims are legitimate, possibly based on aforementioned idiot knowledge — they could win over a bigger segment of the population.

PostScript knows there are men and women who oppose abortion but also think clearly and know actual scientific things (Mrs. Libby PostScript, RN, this blogger’s grandmother, is one). Perhaps they should be the ones in charge of the GOP’s abortion message, and perhaps the others can be induced to shut up and look pretty while sponsoring personhood legislation.

Well! Commenters were not so sure.

lguy1 says messaging can’t save the GOP here:

Parker seems to think that, when it comes to women’s issues, the GOP has a PR problem. News flash: It’s not the wrapper; it’s the package. The GOP’s core beliefs are beyond the pale.

cjd260 argues that the Republicans’ belief in finesse might actually be what holds them back among women:

The GOP’s problem is not idiots like Todd Akin; the GOP’s problem is that they think it makes a difference to what extent they can find a candidate to “speak eloquently on the tragedy of abortion, with compassion for women and a sense of recognition also for the life of the child.” He could be Shakespeare and Socrates rolled into one, but if he’s trying to make it illegal for a woman to control her own body, he’s just as anti-women as the neanderthal from Missouri that they’re frantically trying to sweep under the rug.

Djones121 opines that PR or no, Mitt Romney disavowed Akin’s comments, but he’s the outlier in the GOP, not Akin:

Romney has said that he believes that abortion should be illegal, but that exceptions should be allowed in cases of rape and incest. So who is driving this train to crazy town? Mitt Romney or Governor Bob “Ultrasound” McDonnell, Todd Akin and the GOP Bishops? Apparently it is NOT Romney who cannot even get Akin to drop out of his race for the good of the party nor control the Republican Party platform.

And tiredgirlie remarks that Parker herself should be more careful about insulting women:

Ms. Parker said, “To be fair, there is a difference between morning-after remorse that some call “rape” and rape as most understand it.”
That is not “being fair,” Ms. Parker, that is being distinctly innaccurate and unhelpful. Rape is NOT and is NEVER “morning-after remorse.” Rape is sexual intercourse initiated by one or more persons against another person without their consent. You’ve just said that “well, yeah... some girls...wink-rape-wink.”
As a woman who has experienced “legitimate rape,” I find your comment at least as offensive as Akin’s. You’ve not got the total medical moron thing going for you that he has, but the “morning-after remorse” is at least as damaging to victims.

And every once in awhile, PostScript is floored by a lack of self-awareness in a comment. Here’s today’s:

ScottinVA

Akin is guilty only of relying on obsolete scientific theories. His Pro-Life stance is consistent and admirable, if his medical knowledge is not.
Keep it up, ladies. The more you attack, the more ridiculous and hysterical you are shown to be.
Saul Alinsky would be proud of you.

PostScript note: Saul Alinsky is a long-dead liberal New York political philosopher person whom conservatives blame for everything bad. It is not clear to PostScript what his relevance is here.

By Rachel Manteuffel  |  03:28 PM ET, 08/22/2012

 
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