No, Let’s Keep Todd Akin
Unlike many on the political right (arguably) in America, I’m not going to argue for Todd Akin to drop out. In fact, I am going to argue that he should stay in his Missouri Senate race, as a sort of painful yet absolutely necessary medication for the Republican Party.
Akin, as I’m sure you are aware, is the bozo who went on the radio and said that in cases of “legitimate” rape, a woman’s body would shut down the pregnancy, thus abortion should be illegal. It has got to be the dumbest thing said in politics over the past ten years, if not the past fifty. Nevermind that there is no way for a woman’s body to know that it is being raped, and then determine it must abort on its own (I don’t even think a woman’s body can abort pregnancies like that), you just don’t put “legitimate” and “rape” in the same sentence, period, unless there is a “not” between them.
In any case, despite the national party disavowing the fool, and numerous calls from conservative leaders and conservative media outlets, Akin has decided to remain in the race. (He’s even attacked Mitt Romney for calling for him to step down.) Despite this monumental tomfoolery, I believe it would be good for the GOP to have Akin remain in the race…
…and then lose disastrously in November.
Why? It’s simple, really. There is still a segment of the Republican population that believes in views not too far removed from Akin, a bunch of hardcore social conservatives who somehow think that their backward views from a utopian 1950’s that never really existed is enlightened and the way forward. They even believe that the majority of the nation is with them. In fact, they’ve gone so far that a draft of the national GOP platform includes an absolute ban on abortion, with no exceptions:
Republicans drafting their party’s official policy platform on Tuesday ratified a call for a Constitutional ban on abortion that makes no exceptions for rape or incest.
The vote to endorse the party’s long-standing opposition to abortion and support for a “human life amendment” took place at a meeting of the GOP’s official platform committee in Tampa, the site of next week’s Republican National Convention.
The party’s official stance on abortion was approved after just a few minutes of discussion. The language in the platform must be voted on before the full Republican Convention next week, though Republicans say it is all but certain to pass.
“Faithful to the ‘self-evident’ truths enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, we assert the sanctity of human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed,” the platform language declares. “We support a human life amendment to the Constitution and endorse legislation to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment’s protections apply to unborn children.”
And the GOP somehow thinks that this will fly in 21st century America. Or maybe they’re looking to other nations as inspiration. Specifically, as the Raw Story has it:
So which countries provide no exceptions to their laws outlawing all abortion? There are currently only 5:
- Dominican Republic
- El Salvador
Even Saudi Arabia allows women to receive abortions for their own health or lives.
The list of countries that don’t allow women to receive abortions for health-related reasons (let alone rape or incest) is a bit longer, but it includes Somalia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Libya, Afghanistan, Iran, Myanmar, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Haiti, Guatemala, Honduras, Argentina, Andorra, Venezuela and (most famously for Americans) Ireland. Brazil, the Sudan, Mali and Bhutan don’t allow abortions to preserve the health of the mother, but they do allow rape and incest victims to receive abortions. Zimbabwe, Togo and Panama don’t allow women to have abortions to preserve their mental health, but they do allow rape and incest victims to do so.
But even if the GOP platform were amended to allow women to have abortions to preserve their own health or lives, by eliminating abortion access for rape and incest victims, the United States would join countries like Saudi Arabia, Eritrea, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Pakistan, Jamaica, Peru, Costa Rica and Liechtenstein.
So they want American to end up like these countries? Really?
The GOP needs to pull it’s head out of its ass. Americans do not buy that abortion should be illegal in all circumstances, no exceptions. In fact, in 2011, a constitutional amendment in Mississippi with extremely similar language was defeated. If fricking Mississippi said no, do you really think that the rest of country will accept it?
Having Todd Akin go to the polls and lose disastrously over this may finally send a wake up call to the GOP, that the hardcore social conservatives who want thrust government’s fist up into the body of a woman should not be in the party. As I have written before, a pro-life position can fly provided that there are exceptions to the rule (and there aren’t any mandated consent or waiting restrictions.) But his no holds barred position is not something the GOP should tolerate. And contrary to some ideas, losing this group of voters will not cripple the GOP overall. That’s because they will be shored up by increasing number of independents who want less economic management and also greater individual freedoms. You know, all these people.
So yes, please, let Akin lose in November. Better to lose one Senate race this year than have the entire party go down the tubes over the next generation and become a non-entity, as the public turns gradually to the “left” on social issues.