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Posted at 01:12 PM ET, 08/20/2012

Todd Akin is a real problem for the GOP

At least one Republican congressman today probably wishes he were having to explain a late-night romp in the Sea of Galilee, rather than his views on rape.

Maybe I am losing my edge, but I find a drunken, nude swim in the sea where Jesus walked kind of benign. Maybe Rep. Kevin Yoder’s actions were inappropriate and offensive, in light of the presence of a congressman's daughter — whose age I have not been able to determine — but it doesn't even break the top 10 for congressional misbehavior and doesn't have the flair of, say, Wilbur Mills and Fanne Foxx and her dip in the Tidal Basin.

If you are looking for a congressman with a real problem today, look no further than Rep. Todd Akin. You probably have heard his deranged comments about how women’s anatomy supposedly guards against impregnation by rape; his staff later released a statement in which he said he ”misspoke.”

Akin (R-Mo.) is a real problem for the Republican Party, unlike his skinny-dipping House colleague Yoder (R-Kan.). Women, especially non-political ones, may be tuning into what seems like a pattern here: Republican extremists playing gynecologists and obstetricians.

We have states trying to pass anti-abortion laws so extreme they could outlaw birth control, efforts to defund all of Planned Parenthood's women's health services and invasive ultrasounds in Virginia. And now, Akin opining on the female body's ability to control conception in the event of a “legitimate rape.” Some women today are thinking that maybe there is something to this “war on women” they’ve heard about and dismissed previously because it sounded like the usual junk out of Washington.

What Akin did not recant is worse than what he did. The congressman made clear through his staff that he still believes women should carry to term a conception caused by rape. This is the same extreme position as Paul Ryan and will further give women — and men — pause. 

By  |  01:12 PM ET, 08/20/2012

 
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