There’s been a lot going on over a Chateux HoodaThunk? lately and it’s been seriously cutting into my blogging time. That doesn’t mean I’m not following the news, of course, and unless you’ve been actively trying to avoid it, you are as aware of the ridiculous commentary of Missouri Rep. Todd Akin as I am. Speaking this past Sunday, the topic of abortion came up and Rep. Akin decided to step out on a limb. Expressing his belief that abortion wasn’t the right response to a pregnancy, even one that resulted from a rape, he went beyond that to suggest that such pregnancies rarely occurred anyway. On the heels of that, he said, “If it’s legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”
There’s been a lot made of the reference to “legitimate rape” and how that was somehow completely uncalled-for and over the top. First of all, it’s completely clear to anyone not actively trying to gin up a tempest over this that Akin was not somehow suggesting there might be a legitimate reason to rape someone nor was he in any way suggesting that rape isn’t a serious crime. What he was referring to is the very well-document existence of cases where a woman accuses a man of rape when no such crime occurred and the woman damn well knows it. That’s not a fact open to debate – it definitely happens and that is what he was referring to. But, to me, that’s completely beside the point. This idiot should be taken off the ticket.
I would like to know what high-school biology class Rep. Akin failed so miserably as to suggest that the female body has the kind of cellular-level control that it can actively impede a pregnancy from a specific man or from a specific encounter. I’d call this ludicrous, but that’s not near powerful enough a term. So, was this a case of “he misspoke?” Perhaps, a la Obama, he was “inartful?” Maybe that we could all agree with his thought but not his words?
No. I can’t. Rep. Akin is human, like the rest of us, and will undoubtedly say or do things that aren’t the best or most precise ways of getting points across. But there has to be a level of expected competence in our representatives and leaders that they will give due contemplation to what they’re saying. They’ll make it a point to know what they’re talking about or, as a best practice, they’ll avoid making assertions of fact that they can’t back up. Akin failed in this and he did it in as insulting a manner as he could. Even if that wasn’t his intention, that was the result of his action. So, yes, much of the outrageous outrage being leveled at him by the Left and the Democrats is just them taking the political opportunity afforded them. But that doesn’t absolve Akin for what he did and, frankly, he doesn’t have the support of most of the Republicans I know.
He should step aside and let someone better capable move ahead.