When Gaffes Illuminate

I thought I’d take a few days and wait until at least some of the furor over Congressman Todd Akin’s comments about ‘legitimate rape’ died down, at least a bit.  The Congressman is running against Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) for her seat in the Senate, and until a few days ago, he was, at least outside of the Show Me State, a relatively unknown quantity.  It usually takes about a decade for a Senator to achieve the degree of notoriety that Akin has attained, but he’s done so for all the wrong reasons.

Akin has tapped into a particular vein of rage, a rather well justified one, I’m forced to admit, when it comes to his stance not even on abortion, but rape.  And while he’s backpedalled about as fast as humanly possible to distance himself, along with pretty much any other politician that you’ve heard of, from his own idiocy, I think there’s much more in his original statements than his apologies would indicate.

This wasn’t just a misstatement, or a verbal ‘oopsie.’  His was a full blown apologia for the entire concept of rape.  In his mind, it consists of multiple varieties, and they are not all equal.  This was not just a simple one-liner about an opinion that he holds, it was, rather, a full-blown explanation as to how he views rape.  There’s actually historical precedent for his comments, and for a long time, it held fairly wide currency in the field of medical jurisprudence, dating all the way back to the Middle Ages.

Todd Akin can backpedal, distance himself from, condemn and repudiate the comments he made all he wants, but the fact of the matter remains that he had a fully developed (although neither cogently nor accurately) theory regarding rape and procreation.  Deny it all he wants, this bout of verbal diarrhea indicates how this man actually feels.

This is just another Senate race that Republicans will likely lose, and it’s because they voted for the most ideologically pure candidate that they could find.  Claire McCaskill, who, up until this incident, was looking like a goner, suddenly has much more staying power than originally thought.  And thank God, otherwise, we’d end up with the likes of this troglodyte Akin in the Senate.

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