I’m sick and tired of this “War on Women” meme. It portrays women as nothing more than helpless vaginas that need subsidized abortion, free birth control, subsidized daycare, special loans in order to start a business, special laws to negotiate a decent wage, and all sorts of things only sugar daddy government can provide. It is dehumanizing and insulting to the millions of strong, independent women everywhere and the millions of men who love them. If you want to see what a real “War on Women” looks like, here it is. Finally, just because someone opposes abortion and wants to cut government spending does not make them a misogynist. In fact, many feminists believe that women can and should stand on their own without the help of the government.
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.
This week will be the busiest that we’ll see in the race for the Republican presidential nomination this month. Coloradans and Minnesotans will be headed to the caucuses today while Missourians will be voting in the nonbinding primary that precedes their March 17 caucuses. We can also expect to see the results of the Maine caucuses this Saturday. After this week, we’ll see only a handful of caucuses and primaries in Guam, Arizona, Michigan, and Washington before Super Tuesday on March 6.
Public Policy Polling shows former Governor Mitt Romney (R-Mass.) with a comfortable lead in Colorado with 37%. Former Senator Rick Santorum (R-Penn.) trails Romney with 27% while former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) and Congressman Ron Paul (R-Tex.) clock in with 21% and 13% respectively. It looks like we can expect another big win for Romney in the Centennial State.
The race could get a little more interesting in Minnesota, Missouri, and Maine. Santorum leads the field in a tight race for the North Star State, but that race is still very much up in the air with a range of only 13% between Santorum and Paul, who is polling in fourth place. Santorum looks to be headed for a win in the Show-Me State’s nonbinding primary; he leads with 45% to Romney’s 32%. Meanwhile, Politico is calling the race for the Pine Tree State a two man race between Romney and Paul.
If these numbers hold, what could all of this mean for the race going forward?
Remember the MIAC report on militias (you can read it here)? It has come back up in the blogosphere after an open records request to find out what information was used for the conclusions in the report:
This is an extremely chilling chapter in American history. The controversial MIAC “threat advisory” is the stinging report wherein Missouri and other state law enforcement agencies were told to profile as possible “terrorists” all individuals concerned about unemployment, taxes, illegal immigration, gangs, border security, abortion, high costs of living, gun restrictions, FEMA, the IRS, and the Federal Reserve.
The MIAC advisory also stated that potential domestic “terrorists” would be attracted to gun shows, shortwave radios, action movies, movies with white male heroes like Rambo, Tom Clancy novels, and presidential candidates Ron Paul, Bob Barr, and Chuck Baldwin.
Now, they claim to have retained no records of the sources that were used for this report. Nor, they claim, do they even know who wrote it.
According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol’s response to ALG’s Sunshine Law Request, “[b]ackground material was not retained by the author during drafting” and “[t]here is no record listing the individual who wrote the report.” In fact, the only record the state of Missouri apparently claims it has of the report was its single draft version, for which there were no material differences between the report that actually went out.
Not only are politicians in Washington and some state legislatures trying to clamp down on guns, they’re also coming after video games. One Connecticut town has already held a “video game buy back” program, during which they offered a $25 gift certificate for violent games. Much like gun buy back programs, the video games collected were destroyed.
But it doesn’t end there. In Missouri, a nanny state Republican legislator is proposing a 1% tax on violent video games. These sort of taxes, best described as a “sin tax” are typically used control behavior, deterring people from engaging in activities that are frowned upon. It would essentially treat video games like cigarettes and alcohol, both of which are heavily taxed by the feds and state governments.
According to Forbes, US Rep. Jim Matheson (D-UT) is pushing for a complete ban on the sale or renting of violent video games to minors. This proposal is very similar to one that was rejected by the United States Supreme Court in 2011 because, as Justice Antonin Scalia wrote, video games are considered “protected speech.” Scalia also explained that “even where the protection of children is the object, the constitutional limits on governmental action apply.”
Every campaign cycle, there is a politician that puts his foot so far into his mouth that he manages to pop it back into place. This past year, progressive bloggers – and more than a few libertarians ones - were gifted with Todd Akin.
Akin was challenging Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) for her Senate seat when he made his now infamous comments about how during “legitimate rape,” a woman’s body had ways to prevent pregnancy. The phrase “legitimate rape” became burned in the lexicon of political discourse.
The comments were a gift from above for McCaskill, who was considered extremely vulnerable before the race, but who easily retained her seat. However, the comments may have done more damage to the Republican Party in general. While many Republicans did condemn Akin’s remarks, a significant number came out in support of Akin which permitted Democrats to continue to paint the GOP as “anti-woman.”
More details have arisen regarding the split between Dick Armey and FreedomWorks from this Mother Jones article, reported early this Christmas Eve. The article specifically details a memo that was released by Matt Kibbe, President of FreedomWorks, that outlines his take on the dynamics of the split:
When the news broke in early December that former GOP Rep. Dick Armey had abruptly resigned as chairman of FreedomWorks, a powerhouse of the conservative movement and an instrumental force within the tea party, Armey maintained that the nasty split was due to differences he had with the top management of FreedomWorks about the group’s operations and future.
But Matt Kibbe’s memo paints a very different picture of the split.
One of the first actions taken by Dick Armey [after the September meeting] is his attempt to reassess our political priorities. “We have to help my friend Tommy Thompson,” he tells the staff in his first meeting with them. He later tells the staff that he has discussed the Missouri Senate race with “my friend [Senator] Roy Blunt, and he says they really need grassroots cover for Todd Akin.” FreedomWorks PAC had endorsed John Brunner, who barely lost to Akin [in the GOP primary]. We had declined to endorse Akin, even before “legitimate rape” became a late night punch line.
It seems to all be boiling down to Armey saying it’s about a book deal, specifically Hostile Takeover. Kibbe says it’s clearly about the establishment vs. the grassroots, which, ironically, is the entire point of the book.
Not much has changed over night. Florida has yet to be called, but Romney trails Obama by some 46,000 votes. Whether or not Romney wins the state doesn’t matter, he’ll still lose the Electoral College. Assuming Obama still maintains a lead in Florida, here is how the map looks after last night:
There is a lot to say about the election, much of which has already been said by analysts, but I’ve thrown together a few thoughts on some different points. You don’t have to agree with me, but these are things worth nothing.
House Republicans Will Lose Seats: There was talk of House Republicans adding to their majority in the days leading up to the election. CNN noted during their coverage last night that this was a possibility. That will not happen. Some of the gains from 2010 were wiped out last night, especially in Illinois and New York. In Florida, Rep. Allen West lost his bid for re-election by less than 3,000 votes. Democrats managed to keep some of the seats Republicans hoped to pickup — such as GA-12, where Rep. John Barrow defeated Lee Anderson, and UT-4, a race that looked good for the GOP, but Mia Love was unable to defeat Rep. Jim Matheson. In the end, Republicans will keep their majority, but it will be slightly smaller.
The writing is on the wall for Republicans — they will not take the Senate in 2012. Polls have closed in the races that were being closely watched, but some are still too close to call. As has been noted in previous day, Republican candidates blew their party’s chances in Indiana and Missouri thanks to their comments about abortion in the context of rape. Others, including Sen. Scott Brown and Josh Mandel just weren’t strong enough to compete against in tough states.
Here is how these races stand as of 10 PM (red is for the GOP and blue is for Democrats and the projected winner is on the right with the color of the text being the party in control of the seat after tonight’s election):
Last week, we went over the Senate races that are being watched around the country, noting that it was increasingly unlikely that Republicans would take back that chamber this year. As explained, Republicans thought they had the numbers — and they did, at least on paper. However, the campaigns in states ripe for a takeover haven’t gone that well. Perhaps the best examples of this are, as noted before, Todd Akin in Missouri and Richard Mourdock in Indiana, both of which came under fire about controversial comments on abortion in the circumstance of rape.
So with that, here are my predictions for the 15 races that have been so hotly contested this year, including any that are expected change hands. The color of the state is the current party in control of the seat (obviously, red is for the GOP and blue is for Democrats) and the predicted winner is on the right with the color of the text being the party in control of the seat after the election.