Good afternoon, and welcome to another PostScript about wombs.
Wombs are the big thing on the Opinions page today since the saga of Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.), sayer of a bizarre, noxious thing, continues into its third day of the news cycle. On most third days, a news item either grows or dies, and it’s not yet clear which this one will do. Most people expect Akin will bow to pressure from his party and drop his bid for the U.S. Senate, but he hasn’t yet. So we, the opinioned, shall argue whether this is an evolving story or a dying one.
In his column today, Eugene Robinson argued that it’s a grower. It’s all of a piece with the GOP’s war on women, Robinson says — even though Mitt Romney’s campaign has denounced Akin’s statement designating “legitimate” rape and a totally fictional biological response to it. But is it really fair to hang Akin’s statements around Romney’s neck? Let’s find out.
joseph19 says no, quoting Robinson himself to explain why. Denounced is denounced.
“Akin’s stupid, sexist remarks were immediately denounced by Romney and other prominent Republicans.”
But that is not good enough for Robinson or the WaPosters. Just using this fool to beat the drum for Obama.
RLDRY agrees, saying it was a pleasant surprise that Romney came out so quickly and forcefully against Akin:
Unfortunately there is a large portion of the U.S. population that shares Akin’s belief. However, contrary to Eugene, I do have to applaud the Republicans for pulling funding for his campaign and asking him to step down. Romney also distanced himself.
TyrantofReason, on the other hand, sees Akin as a symptom of the general Republican attitude toward social issues: America’s laws should follow Christianity:
Republicans have a clear political advantage in this country. I think most Americans agree that saving money is usually a better idea than spending it, and that debt is usually bad. Republicans could build winning electorates on these simple ideas alone. However, Republicans insist on squandering this high ground by demanding wasteful military spending and by forcing their religion on others. Akin’s comments and the war over abortion are an example of the GOP trying to force religious views about sex and procreation on others.
Curmudgeonette also thinks the issue’s a grower, because Akin is not just icky but unbelievably ignorant about the very things he is supposed to be legislating, and he successfully hid it for 12 years in Congress:
What I want to know is this. How can a man who “thinks” this way ever be included as a colleague in one of our nation’s Congressional houses? How can a powerful political party help him get elected? How can he possibly function effectively on any commmittee, let alone one involved with making decision that govern scientific activities? The only conclusion I can draw is that he is among equals. No one has yet noticed that he is that unintelligent because there are so many just like him.
rpaustex agrees that it looks like the lady issues trump the fiscal issues when it counts:
If you think not funding Planned Parenthood is fiscally conservative and somehow saves money, you are truly living in a pipe dream. That, in a nutshell, is the right’s shortsighted thinking.
JRMW says Romney’s actions speak louder than his denunciations:
Romney and the GOP may not be excusing Akin, but they also continue to push legislation that agrees with Akin.
They aren’t mad that he believes this, they’re only mad that he said it out loud.
On policy Akin, Romney and Ryan are on the same page. Indeed Akin and Ryan have sponsored bills that want to restrict abortion for women who have been raped or are the victims of incest. And both Romney and Ryan have voiced approval of “personhood” bills, which would not only make all abortions criminal but would also outlaw certain kins of contraception.
But, PostScript wonders, why are Akin’s remarks a reflection on Romney if Romney seems to have drawn his line? We knew Romney supported personhood, and we knew most of these other things too, and in general the electorate wasn’t as mad about them as they are about what Akin said.
PostScript likes it when wombs are in the news in general, and so wishes to lighten the mood a little with a joke: How is pregnancy like the next sentence? It’s missing a period