Open mouth, insert foot. You’d think by now that members of Rep. Todd Akin’s (R-Mo.) family would have learned to keep mum on rape metaphors. Not so.
Lulli Akin, the U.S. Senate candidate’s wife, has compared his abandonment by party bosses to rape.
In an interview with “The National Journal,” she first described the move to get her husband to step down from the Senate race in Missouri as “tyranny, a top-down approach.”
She went on to say, “Party bosses dictating who is allowed to advance through the party and make all the decisions – it’s just like 1776 in that way.”
That was when colonists “rose up and said, ‘Not in my home, you don’t come and rape my daughters and my … wife. But that is where we are again.”
Yes, back to rape.
You remember it was Rep. Akin’s comments during an August TV interview about a woman’s ability “to shut down” to prevent pregnancy during a “legitimate rape” that caused this flap in the first place.
GOP leaders, from Mitt Romney on down, asked Akin to drop out of the race, after he’d won a close primary. The National Republican Senate Committee has pulled funds from Akin’s campaign, which has managed to raise more than $400,000 in online donations. (There’s even a bake sale on Facebook next week to raise money.)
Both President Obama and Romney “seem to be embodying” a British monarch, “with all the tactics that they’ve been revealing” toward her husband, Mrs. Akin said.
Although Rep. Akin, who does like to dress up in colonial outfits for the Fourth of July (is it wrong that I think this shows a sense of fun?), said comparing his situation to the American revolutionaries was “a little more grandiose” than how he would have described it.
But there is “this tremendous sense of uprising I feel among the people I talk to,” he said.
That word “legitimate” pops up again as he refers to the primary race as “a legitimate race.”
During a campaign rally in Nixa, Mo., last week, he brought up the topic of “party bosses” who were soundly booed by the crowd in the Christian County GOP headquarters.
“We had what’s called an election,” he said. He made it plain he did not feel obligated or loyal to the Republican leadership.
That message reverberated throughout “The National Journal” profile as well.
His priority now is “to do the right thing,” he told the Nixa crowd to applause and a chorus of “amen’s.”
The right thing might be removing the word “rape” from any more comments – it’s giving opponents way too much material to mock. And if they insist?
Just remember that "no means no."
Diana Reese is a freelance journalist in Kansas City. Follow her on Twitter @DianaReese.