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Over the weekend, GOP Rep. Todd Akin — the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate in Missouri — said some really, really stupid things. (Twitchy has comprehensive coverage. Click here and keep scrolling.)
There’s no sugar-coating or whitewashing this. It wasn’t a “gaffe.” It was ignorant, garbled nonsense. Asked about his views on abortion in the case of rape, he claimed that “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”
Akin’s opponent, incumbent Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill (who is currently 11 points down in the polls), moved in quickly to capitalize on the comments by claiming that Akin was blaming the victims of rape. In the video clip above, however, you’ll note at the end that Akin makes clear that the rapists should be punished, not the victims.
It’s about the only clear, sensible thing he said.
The “legitimate rape” phrase may have been a short-hand way, a la Whoopi Goldberg, of distinguishing between forcible rape and other types of rape or between real and phony claims of rape. Whatever he meant, he made a mess of it.
The cringe-worthiest part of his statement is this: “…the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”
I don’t know what kind of biology classes Akin took, but rape-related pregnancies occur with significant frequency. No ifs, ands, or buts about it.
And here is something the feminists who are making great hay of Akin’s remarks won’t tell you: There is most likely significant undercounting of those rape-related pregnancy figures, given what we know about Planned Parenthood’s cover up of child rape and child sexual abuse and what we know from the invaluable investigative work of Lila Grace Rose and Live Action into Planned Parenthood’s advice to young clients to hide statutory rape cases.
I understand the outrage many of my friends and fellow conservatives feel about the double standards the Right faces when it comes to media/political treatment of other politicians’ stupidity (looking at you, Bozo the VP). But the question Akin faced wasn’t some obscure, gotcha question. It was basic abortion politics 101. His statement about the remarks issued yesterday doesn’t even acknowledge the worst part of his botched answer.
GOP candidates in critical races that could swing the balance of the U.S. Senate ought to be ready for prime time. Period.
The Senate race in Missouri is still winnable. Big-spending, Obamacare cheerleader Sen. McCaskill has been in peril for months before the GOP nominee was decided. Remember:
No matter who wins the Missouri Republican nomination to the U.S. Senate on Aug. 7, Democrat Claire McCaskill is running from behind.
McCaskill, the first-term incumbent Democratic senator, trails all three of her likely Republican challengers, according to a new Post-Dispatch/News 4 poll. She would lose to GOP frontrunner John Brunner by 11 percentage points if they were matched up today, the poll found. She would fall to Sarah Steelman or Todd Akin as well, though by smaller margins.
Further, her “unfavorable” rating is higher than her “favorable,” and some of her worst numbers are among all-important independent voters.
The poll of 625 registered Missouri voters suggests a key source of McCaskill’s problems is her support of President Barack Obama. The Democratic president — who almost won Missouri in 2008, and once considered the state a 2012 tossup — now has a 51 percent negative rating here and a 9-point deficit against Republican challenger Mitt Romney, according to the poll.
“A lot of people are going to hold her accountable for her close ties to the president,” said pollster J. Brad Coker of Mason-Dixon Polling & Research Inc. of Washington, which conducted the poll.
On issues unpopular with Missourians, such as the Affordable Care Act and stimulus spending, ‘she’s sort of joined at the hip with him,” said Coker.
That, paired with a Missouri electorate that is moving rightward, makes her path to re-election a narrow one, he said. “She’s swimming upstream, and the current’s getting stronger.”
The question for Republicans in Missouri is whether sticking by self-inflicted-wounded Akin is more important than securing a U.S. Senate majority.
If only we conservative women had magical ways of preventing stupid Repub men from implanting rhetorical IEDs on our lawns…
– Will he or won’t he get out of the race? Here’s the latest on all the maneuvering.
Update: Does this work for you? Akin releases new ad titled “Forgiveness.” Not feeling it:
Update August 21 2:40pm Eastern Rush Limbaugh decried leftist hypocrisy on his radio show today, but made clear his intolerance for Akin’s “indefensible stupidity.”
Akin told endorser/radio host Mike Huckabee this afternoon that he’s staying in, but rumors that he still may withdraw continue to swirl. Catch up on all the latest back and forth here.