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Science; we should ban that too.
August 19, 2012 7:03 PM   Subscribe

When a single politician says something insane, we tend to write it off as the mutterings of a feeble mind. But when there is a long history of anti-abortion politicians saying that women can't be impregnated when raped, then perhaps it's not just a new tactic in the War on Women, but a renewed attack on science-based reality.
posted by dejah420 (658 comments total) 105 users marked this as a favorite

 
I do not understand the triumph of anti-intellectualism. I just don't get it.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:09 PM on August 19, 2012 [66 favorites]


A note: I had not noticed the second of the deleted posts about Todd Akin. Hopefully these links take it outside of the outrage-filter and more into the historical-filter.
posted by dejah420 at 7:14 PM on August 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


I will just say that when I was raped by a guy who did not have a condom on, I was very glad to have access to Plan B. Legitimate or not.
posted by SockMarionette at 7:14 PM on August 19, 2012 [40 favorites]


They've successfully managed to persuade a large body of the electorate that being clever is a bad thing and something to be ashamed of. It's just convenient that this also allows them to get corporations that know much more about this stuff to be treated as people.
posted by arcticseal at 7:15 PM on August 19, 2012 [9 favorites]


I do not understand the triumph of anti-intellectualism.

Oh, I get it.

Who wants to believe that driving to work kills polar bears? Who wants to believe that buying a pint of strawberries potentially contributes to turning fertile lands into deserts? Who wants to believe that filling your tank helps to destroy the Gulf of Mexico?

I'd much rather believe in the Rapture and in the second coming of Jesus Christ, in which he will rule in perfect peace and harmony after destroying all of the bad people. I just can't.
posted by goethean at 7:15 PM on August 19, 2012 [108 favorites]


It's worth noting that Rep. Todd Akin's existence as a spittle-producing madman candidate was partly due to Democrats organizing well enough to help get him the nomination, wresting it from less insane and better funded candidates.

The technical term for jamming the opposition's primary to produce the weakest candidate is "ratfucking," most infamously used in All The President's Men. It's one of my favorite words in the English language.

Claire McCaskill is still a underdog, but boy is it nice when Democrats get it together to give their people a fighting chance.
posted by Hollywood Upstairs Medical College at 7:15 PM on August 19, 2012 [39 favorites]


Once again, a Republican definitively proves that Democrats do not own a monopoly of The Stupid.
posted by Ardiril at 7:16 PM on August 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


I do not understand the triumph of anti-intellectualism. I just don't get it.

Most people don't want to be empirically right, they just want to feel like they are. They've speaking a totally different language.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:17 PM on August 19, 2012 [7 favorites]


Apparently, some people think the "G" in GOP stands for "gynecologist."
posted by 4ster at 7:17 PM on August 19, 2012 [14 favorites]


As a woman living in the district that'd be represented by Rep. Akin, I have to ask a favor of anyone here who likes science and/or women: Please help keep him out of the Senate.
posted by limeonaire at 7:19 PM on August 19, 2012 [22 favorites]


If you want to see it straight from the source, follow this link from dejah420's, which makes the argument -- completely seriously, as far as I can tell -- that it must be really hard to get pregnant via rape because those pregnancies make up a very small proportion of all pregnancies in America.

Sometimes I wish that our most popular religions included crimes against math on the list of damnable sins. This guy would be nose-deep in a lake of fire right now.
posted by escabeche at 7:20 PM on August 19, 2012 [39 favorites]


Hope this post gets to stay...
posted by maggieb at 7:20 PM on August 19, 2012 [4 favorites]


Most people don't want to be empirically right, they just want to feel like they are.

I'd go further than this and say that the desire to feel right runs counter to the desire to be right. I want to be right, which is why I spend nearly all of my time feeling that I'm wrong.
posted by howfar at 7:22 PM on August 19, 2012 [30 favorites]


Next thing you know, they'll be saying that women most likely to be legitimately raped are also most likely to use birth control, thus explaining why such women don't get pregnant.
posted by Ardiril at 7:23 PM on August 19, 2012 [6 favorites]


Then there's me. Excited for the viable 1995 link.
posted by TangerineGurl at 7:23 PM on August 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


A Canard That Will Not Die: 'Legitimate Rape' Doesn't Cause Pregnancy

posted by wikipedia brown boy detective at 7:23 PM on August 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


I wonder: If someone beat the shit out of this guy, and he got a bruise, would the bruise prove that it was a legitimate beating, and thus he deserved it?
posted by notsnot at 7:26 PM on August 19, 2012 [8 favorites]


He's leading McCaskill by almost 9 points. Missouri is running hard to the right on every front, he could easily still win the state and the title of "batshit craziest Senator" from Rand Paul. Its history of being 'the nation's bellwether' is either in serious jeopardy, or more accurate than ever before, and in the later case we should all be fucking scared shitless.

Oh, and Rep. Akin sits on the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology. Wrap your mind around that.
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:29 PM on August 19, 2012 [21 favorites]


Todd Akin's existence as a spittle-producing madman candidate was partly due to Democrats organizing well enough to help get him the nomination

Mencken said it best, didn't he:
Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.
posted by benito.strauss at 7:30 PM on August 19, 2012 [15 favorites]


People who say garbage like this need to be as pilloried as fiercely as they would be if they'd said something as hideously wrong as "no soldier can be killed unless he's a traitor."

I would love for every single one of these people to lose their elections. Wish I knew a way to get Akin to lose his 9 point lead.
posted by Sticherbeast at 7:31 PM on August 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


He's leading McCaskill by almost 9 points.

Nate Silver says historically that this kind of very public stupidity costs people about ten. So call it an upside.
posted by gerryblog at 7:33 PM on August 19, 2012 [5 favorites]


I am similarly hoping my body shuts down and rejects this pint of Ben and Jerry's that I'm eating.
posted by bpm140 at 7:33 PM on August 19, 2012 [38 favorites]


Notsnot, I think the theory is that since your body tries to avoid being bruised, then if someone beats you up and you get a bruise it means you must have been cooperating with your attacker and that it was therefore not legitimate assault, but rather some sort of consensual activity.

At least, that's as far as I got before my brain shut down in self-defense (indicating that the article is legitimate?).
posted by hattifattener at 7:33 PM on August 19, 2012 [8 favorites]


T.D. Strange: "Its history of being 'the nation's bellwether' is either in serious jeopardy"

...has been defunct for years now.

Some conservative activists are calling for Akin to step aside. He should be forced to carry his candidacy to term. And be slut-shamed for his comments every. fucking. day.
posted by notsnot at 7:33 PM on August 19, 2012 [50 favorites]


It shouldn't surprise me any more that the same shit-mittens who want to severely restrict what women can do with their bodies are so incredibly pig-fucking ignorant of the basic biology of women's bodies in the first place (cf. Rush Limbaugh inadvertently revealing he doesn't know how birth control pills work during his attacks on Sandra Fluke)... and yet, every time one of them says something like this, it is still literally unbelievable that a literate adult in an industrialized nation in the 21st century can be this willfully ignorant, much less that millions of other literate adults in the same industrialized nation in the same century will vote for them.
posted by scody at 7:33 PM on August 19, 2012 [91 favorites]


It's got to be a comforting fantasy to imagine the female reproductive system as having some sort of internal Dikembe Mutombo, cervically blocking shots and wagging a reproachful oviduct at rapist sperm.
posted by Jpfed at 7:36 PM on August 19, 2012 [39 favorites]


it is still literally unbelievable that a literate adult in an industrialized nation in the 21st century can be this willfully ignorant, much less that millions of other literate adults in the same industrialized nation in the same century will vote for them.

This. I am constantly amazed as well. FB taught me this as well. Like "how do these people take care of themselves??"
posted by nevercalm at 7:36 PM on August 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


T.D. Strange: Rep. Akin sits on the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology. Wrap your mind around that.

Paul Ryan is on the Committee on Ways and Means, Subcommittee on Health, which includes bills and matters referred to the Committee on Ways and Means that relate to programs providing payments (from any source) for health care, health delivery systems, or health research.

If you want to change how something is managed or defined, be part of the group that controls it from the top.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:37 PM on August 19, 2012 [4 favorites]


And no matter how much these luddites want to believe that someday we will return to immaculate conception, it will never, ever happen.
posted by nevercalm at 7:37 PM on August 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


To me, part of this is the fact that it proves that we need better sex education. It needs to stop being about whether or not teenagers are or are not having sex, whether or not they can be stopped from having sex, the relative effectiveness of various forms of contraception and STD control versus abstinence. We don't teach high schoolers algebra because we expect them to need it exclusively before the age of 18. American adults need to understand the reproductive process, sexual behavior, the options that are out there, how they work. Not just for their own sake, but so that they can engage in an intelligent discussion of these issues as they relate to public policy. Comprehensive sex ed shouldn't be about teen pregnancy and STD transmission exclusively. It's not that those things are unimportant, it's that this is information adults need to know, much like they know how to do basic arithmetic.
posted by gracedissolved at 7:38 PM on August 19, 2012 [61 favorites]


hattifattener: "Notsnot, I think the theory is that since your body tries to avoid being bruised, then if someone beats you up and you get a bruise it means you must have been cooperating with your attacker and that it was therefore not legitimate assault, but rather some sort of consensual activity."

Thanks for playing along. Right now, I don't just want Akin to lose; using Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs as a template, that would merely threaten the bozo's self-actualization. He needs to be made to hate himself, be shunned from society and turned into a pillar of salt.
posted by notsnot at 7:38 PM on August 19, 2012 [8 favorites]


I'm not implying that Ryan and Akin are similar in thoughts, just that it's probably not that strange that congress people who hold views that might seem contrary to certain committees. Dislike policies? Tear them down from the inside.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:39 PM on August 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


I wonder who will fund his campaign? I guess we'll never know, free speech and all.

Welcome to Corporate Feudalism. Our Corporate Masters are, I'm sure, pleased.
posted by Max Power at 7:41 PM on August 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Speaking of Limbaugh, I look forward to his assertion this week that Obama is actually to blame for the whole kerfuffle by nefariously setting the Rape Discussion Trap for poor Todd Akin to innocently bumble into.
posted by scody at 7:42 PM on August 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


Also, as it turns out, I've actually been to one of the doctors on Akin's endorsement list. I saw the doctor in question once, by referral in college, and decided I really didn't like the dismissive way I was treated there. So seeing the doctor on that list just now actually made a few things suddenly make sense for me...
posted by limeonaire at 7:46 PM on August 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


It should be noted that Todd Akin is a member of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology.
posted by crunchland at 7:52 PM on August 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Note: When I pointed that out on Facebook, someone followed up with a joke about reproductive-health specialists. The interesting thing about Akin's endorsement list? There aren't any reproductive-health specialists on it. I was seeing someone in another practice area entirely.
posted by limeonaire at 7:52 PM on August 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


Ah. Apparently it already has been noted.
posted by crunchland at 7:52 PM on August 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


It was Akin that partnered with Ryan to try and redefine rape (discussed here previously).
posted by gaspode at 7:54 PM on August 19, 2012 [8 favorites]


These people want to shrink government until it is small enough to fit into my vagina.
posted by rmd1023 at 7:58 PM on August 19, 2012 [48 favorites]


limeonaire: "So seeing the doctor on that list just now actually made a few things suddenly make sense for me..."

I've got a Professional Engineer license. One of the ethics topics that comes with the licensure is that it's strictly verboten to endorse a political candidate or cause _as_an_engineer_. As a private citizen, sure, but trying to use one's stature, especially on a topic which isn't germane to engineering as a topic unto itself is at the very least a logical fallacy (appeal to authority) and at worst a complete abrogation of duty.

I wonder if doctors endorsing Akin _as_doctors_ falls into the same ethical hinterland?
posted by notsnot at 7:59 PM on August 19, 2012 [4 favorites]


I do not understand the triumph of anti-intellectualism. I just don't get it.
People are, by default, stupid. Our internal vision of reality does not correspond to the way things are in capital-r Reality. This is a basic caveman-level truth. A group of hominids wandered from an uninhabitable rocky plateau down into a tiny, isolated valley. There they found juicy, plump berries. The wanderers slurped down the berries immediately and quickly succumbed to a painful death as the toxins in the seeds caused their nervous systems to lock up. Some segment of those berry-munching idiots, however, survived the poison through dumb luck. And of that group of survivors, some were able to put two and two together and decide not to eat the berries, despite being desperately hungry and wanting, more than anything, something to eat. The rest died out. Multiply times one thousand and you end up with a civilization of people that are able to enjoy the fruits (pardon my pun) of logical reasoning without understanding its origins in everyday decision making. Having a car and a house with plumbing and a magic box that will answer any question you put into it inures you to the feeling of being right. The more reassurance we have of our dominance over the chaos of the world, the more entitled we feel to it. So if I have been told that abortions are wrong and someone presents me a fact that requires me to either dismiss it or update my belief to a more nuanced and complex belief, I'm liable to want to align reality with my idea of it, rather than to deal with the stress of not knowing, and the consequences of that choice on a large scale are so distant from my immediate experience that I will probably never fully appreciate how very wrong I am and why. The poison berries take too long to get into our bloodstream so that, by the time half the tribe is dead, we've already eaten our fill.
posted by deathpanels at 8:01 PM on August 19, 2012 [24 favorites]


American Taliban.
posted by dirigibleman at 8:03 PM on August 19, 2012 [6 favorites]


I really don't like Claire McCaskill. She was for SOPA. She staunchly calls herself a "centrist" but in a sane world she'd be a Republican in most respects. She calls Boeing and Monsanto "local businesses" that we in St. Louis should be supporting.

She doesn't even pretend to be the kind of Democrat I like... but then again, she is not completely batshit insane, anti-science, and trying to turn back the clock to the 19th century.

So I know who I'll vote for. Sigh.
posted by Foosnark at 8:03 PM on August 19, 2012 [8 favorites]


I really don't like Claire McCaskill.

I don't like her either, and I've written columns to that effect in the past, actually. But, yeah, exactly, she's not batshit insane, and that counts for a lot.
posted by limeonaire at 8:05 PM on August 19, 2012 [4 favorites]


My assumption is that when candidates like this get widespread support, it's as clear an indication as you could ask for that people are scared, hurting, and are sure that things are going to get worse. I don't really understand, in that it also seems like they are pretty clearly voting against their economic and personal interests (what, no one in their family uses social services? No women in the family use birth control?), but I look at this as a big flashing red sign saying "Danger Ahead."
posted by Forktine at 8:08 PM on August 19, 2012 [5 favorites]


The interesting thing about Akin's endorsement list? There aren't any reproductive-health specialists on it. I was seeing someone in another practice area entirely.

Welcome to the world of climate change denial, where geologists and microbiologists feel qualified to lend "scientific weight" to the debate...
posted by Jimbob at 8:08 PM on August 19, 2012 [5 favorites]


This is a modern day version of the Medieval notion of trial by ordeal, in which a persons guilt or innocence is tested by burning, drowning, etc.. there is something very basic and human in our wiring that says a person deserves what they get. We build stories, naturally, and when something bad happens to a person, we create a narrative so it makes sense: they had it coming, it was in the script.
posted by stbalbach at 8:11 PM on August 19, 2012 [28 favorites]


This whole thing is absurd - every aspect of it. The statement itself, the fact that he's still leading in polls, and especially his position on that committee in the House. It's like we're living in the Onion's computer simulation that they built to generate headline stories, or something.

Apart from the heinousness of the medieval worldview that allows you to say such a thing a man stupid enough to say it is in a position of real power. This piece of work probably couldn't keep the trains from crashing in to each other, much less make them run on time.
posted by codacorolla at 8:12 PM on August 19, 2012 [4 favorites]


the fact that he's still leading in polls

Well, I wouldn't take that to mean anything, necessarily—have any new poll results for Missouri's 1st Congressional District actually come in and/or been published in the last 12 hours?
posted by limeonaire at 8:18 PM on August 19, 2012


If you believe that abortion is wrong and so is rape, then cognitive dissonance helps you with the mental gymnastics necessary to arrive at this nonsense.
posted by parudox at 8:25 PM on August 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


I do not understand the triumph of anti-intellectualism. I just don't get it.

Not being a historian, I will nevertheless posit that the rise of anti-intellectualism is often proportional to the rise of religious belief.
posted by anothermug at 8:28 PM on August 19, 2012 [9 favorites]


If you believe that abortion is wrong and so is rape, then cognitive dissonance helps you with the mental gymnastics necessary to arrive at this nonsense.

The thing is, those stances are reconcilable. "Rape is horrible, but it's not the baby's fault." It's asinine, and wrong, but you don't need to say this.
posted by kafziel at 8:33 PM on August 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


The girlfriend just walked by as I was reading this and asked me if I was intentionally trying to look like an angry ogre. Apparently my enormous scowl of disapproval had really messed up my normally ruggedly handsome looks.
posted by Purposeful Grimace at 8:33 PM on August 19, 2012 [14 favorites]


I wonder if doctors endorsing Akin _as_doctors_ falls into the same ethical hinterland?

Ha. Medical ethics lie someone between slave trading and legal ethics on the low end of the scale of things that are deeply unethical. We're talking about a community of people who get held to lower standards of accountability than just about any other profession and where the failure to wash hands kills thousands of people a year.

Oh, you stuck your fingers inside a woman's vagina while she was anesthetized for an unrelated procedure and you never told her? That's not unethical - that's learning.
posted by allen.spaulding at 8:35 PM on August 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


Not being a historian, I will nevertheless posit that the rise of anti-intellectualism is often proportional to the rise of religious belief.

I think it is the other way around.

I would add, as a (very, very politically liberal, well-educated) religious person, that we are not all anti-science, pandering, ignorant chumps like this guy.

I would also hold up this man's claims as part of my own, personal prayer for the United States, which is this: that all thinking people, of all faiths or of no faith, will come to realize that Aiken and his ilk are the embodiment of everything that is at stake in this coming election, and will act and vote accordingly.
posted by 4ster at 8:37 PM on August 19, 2012 [10 favorites]



Ha. Medical ethics lie someone between slave trading and legal ethics on the low end of the scale of things that are deeply unethical. We're talking about a community of people who get held to lower standards of accountability than just about any other profession and where the failure to wash hands kills thousands of people a year.

Oh, you stuck your fingers inside a woman's vagina while she was anesthetized for an unrelated procedure and you never told her? That's not unethical - that's learning.


Instead of reading this comment, I wish I'd had just gone to bed in preparation for my colonoscopy tomorrow.
posted by triceryclops at 8:38 PM on August 19, 2012 [5 favorites]


Instead of writing it...wait. I'm oversharing.
posted by allen.spaulding at 8:39 PM on August 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


That "legitimate rape canard" article from the Atlantic that was linked upthread was one of the more infuriating and tiring things I've read recently, and that includes the long MeTa about girlzone.
posted by immlass at 8:42 PM on August 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


The girlfriend just walked by as I was reading this and asked me if I was intentionally trying to look like an angry ogre. Apparently my enormous scowl of disapproval had really messed up my normally ruggedly handsome looks.

Eponysterical, Purposeful Grimace.

However, there's a negative in the OP that doesn't really need to be there: can't this be a new tactic in the War on Women AND a renewed attack on science-based reality? Two birds, one stone, etc.? Also, this is totally the cue for all Republican wives undergoing fertility treatment to rise up in righteous fury at the suggestion that their biology isn't working because they just don't want a baby bad enough. Because that's the other side of this logic.
posted by katya.lysander at 8:43 PM on August 19, 2012 [9 favorites]


People don't generally want the truth, they want what feels right and what reinforces their already existing beliefs.
posted by LastOfHisKind at 8:44 PM on August 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


Our media, it's worth noting, is also owned by those same rich guys, and has with deregulation, wholeheartedly embraced anti-intellectualism. Newspapers and popular interest magazines often literally scrub their articles to ensure the diction never exceeds eighth grade levels. Let's not even get into the idiocracy on cable TV.
posted by saulgoodman at 8:44 PM on August 19, 2012 [5 favorites]


(Not that there isn't also quality TV on cable...)
posted by saulgoodman at 8:46 PM on August 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


I would also hold up this man's claims as part of my own, personal prayer for the United States, which is this: that all thinking people, of all faiths or of no faith, will come to realize that Aiken and his ilk are the embodiment of everything that is at stake in this coming election, and will act and vote accordingly.

I suppose people can go on believing that elections and "organizing" and donating are somehow going to resolve this issue but they won't. There is something deeply organic about Akins and his ilk; this isn't a single party or entity funding a classic propaganda initiative so much as it's a natural expression, an expected evolution of an American psyche that simply no longer regards knowledge as a public good. This is, I suspect, a failure mode of democracy afer all, how can democracy function in the absence of a demos? In the absence of a viable self-regulating political culture? I really doubt more democracy is going to fix it.

I do not understand the triumph of anti-intellectualism. I just don't get it.

Strangely enough, this isn't really anti-intellectualism, at least not in the classical sense. Note that he appeals to doctors and tries to offer up some sort of pseudo-scientific explanation. In a way it is one of the more interesting "unintended consequences" of the Enlightenment that it is now possible to push all manner of nonsense and get millions of people to believe just by dressing it up in the gowns of science and journalism. Of course it helps if the propaganda confirms some prior beliefs but I suspect that this isn't even really necessary. Looking at something like say the 9/11 believers you find an interesting kind of skepticism being deployed in the service of deception. Really, this isn't anti-intellectualism at all so much as it's a perversion of intellectualism.
posted by nixerman at 8:50 PM on August 19, 2012 [9 favorites]


Akin tipped his hand. He's putting the burden of proof on rape victims to prove that it was "legitimate rape" and then denies there is any legitimate use of abortion. Internally, his argument doesn't allow that rape happens at all. It's a textbook case of denial. To allow abortion in cases of rape and not in other cases opens the door to other reasons for abortions, and soon it becomes clear that they don't care anyway because they don't support welfare, which is a pro-choice liberal program hated by Republicans.
posted by Brian B. at 8:50 PM on August 19, 2012 [4 favorites]


I was freshly out of college when Stephen Freind made his "rape victims secrete secretions hostile to sperm" speech. I think the top of my head blew off in rage. One of my friends told me not to be distracted by Stephen Freind's nonsense, because it was so extreme that no one would take it seriously, and I was just wasting energy that could be spent on really important issues.

To quote Florence Henderson on The Love Boat: I don't know whether to kill myself or go bowling.
posted by bakerina at 8:51 PM on August 19, 2012 [11 favorites]


want what feels right and what reinforces their already existing beliefs.

True but it's notable even if they get the science completely wrong, they are still trying to grapple with reality through the language of science and not religion. That's a positive sign that secular culture is well. I would be more concerned if the Dr. was saying God determines if it's rape or not. It would be like the Mullah's in the middle east trying to enforce Sharia law.
posted by stbalbach at 8:51 PM on August 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


Ah, Republicans. Making it easier to explain to my toddler why Mommy is a Democrat yet again.
posted by snickerdoodle at 8:53 PM on August 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


These people want to shrink government until it is small enough to fit into my vagina.

That was tried back in the mid-60s. As I recall, the Johnson Administration referred to entry by the executive branch into Americans' vaginas as "johnson administration"
posted by Jon_Evil at 8:55 PM on August 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


What must it be like to be Mrs. Akin? "I don't feel like using a condom tonight, honey, so..."
posted by oneswellfoop at 8:56 PM on August 19, 2012


It says a lot about the state of today's conservative movement that I'm actually comforted that some folks I usually disagree with completely are outraged by Akin (or at least calling for him to step down rather than immediately defending him)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 9:03 PM on August 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Christ.. I thought 2010 was bad. that was my radicalizing year. 2012 is turning out to be juts chock full of complete assholes.

need to advance my house-building and shotgun plans
posted by edgeways at 9:29 PM on August 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


It's worth noting that Rep. Todd Akin's existence as a spittle-producing madman candidate was partly due to Democrats organizing well enough to help get him the nomination, wresting it from less insane and better funded candidates.

Claire McCaskill is still a underdog,
SO, thanks to the Democratic Party's intervention, we're likely to have a senator who thinks women can't get pregnant if they're raped? And... you think this is a good thing?
I really don't like Claire McCaskill. She was for SOPA. She staunchly calls herself a "centrist" but in a sane world she'd be a Republican in most respects.
I don't like her either. She was also against the stimulus and wanted to get it cut, back when Obama first took office.
And now she apparently decided to help this guy win the primary because apparently it's better to have a 90% chance of having a crazy person win if you can boost your own chances from 5% to 10% or something like that.
Well, I wouldn't take that to mean anything, necessarily—have any new poll results for Missouri's 1st Congressional District actually come in and/or been published in the last 12 hours?
He's running for senate.
posted by delmoi at 9:30 PM on August 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


I just can't wrap my mind around the fact that there are adult men walking around with such ridiculous notions as this, let alone the notion that they might be winning at the polls or chair committees on science. It's stunning.
posted by the cydonian at 9:32 PM on August 19, 2012 [9 favorites]


I do not understand the triumph of anti-intellectualism. I just don't get it.

Anti-intellectualism one of the hallmarks of classical Fascism. At heart, Akin is a classic Fascist, eager for the State to apply authoritarian means of defending the status quo:

Thinking is a form of emasculation. Therefore culture is suspect insofar as it is identified with critical attitudes. Distrust of the intellectual world has always been a symptom of Ur-Fascism, from Hermann Goering's fondness for a phrase from a Hanns Johst play ("When I hear the word 'culture' I reach for my gun") to the frequent use of such expressions as "degenerate intellectuals," "eggheads," "effete snobs," and "universities are nests of reds." The official Fascist intellectuals were mainly engaged in attacking modern culture and the liberal intelligentsia for having betrayed traditional values.

People like him are the mushrooms that pop up after the storms of economic upheaval. The disease he represents has much deeper and older roots.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:42 PM on August 19, 2012 [50 favorites]


Making it easier to explain to my toddler why Mommy is a Democrat yet again.
posted by snickerdoodle at 8:53 PM on August 19 [1 favorite +] [!]


You're going to explain this to your toddler?
posted by Bookhouse at 9:49 PM on August 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


SO, thanks to the Democratic Party's intervention, we're likely to have a senator who thinks women can't get pregnant if they're raped? And... you think this is a good thing? [...] And now she apparently decided to help this guy win the primary because apparently it's better to have a 90% chance of having a crazy person win if you can boost your own chances from 5% to 10% or something like that.


Yes. Because he's not Senator yet, he's a candidate, and we're talking about elections and not legislation. Akin was most likely to lose the general out of the three viable Republicans running.

I wouldn't characterize it as a 90% chance of loss. McCaskill is a name brand in MO and is not as completely screwed as some of the rending of clothing within Democratic circles would show. I'd say it was more 80-20 probability against before the primary and 60-40 probability against now.

Look, if you have the chance to influence who you go against in November, pick the weak guy. The other option would have been a heavily favored Senator Steelman or Senator Brunner, and they are only marginally better options for women than Akin. All of them are anti-choice.

Had Brunner or Steelman won the primary, an anti-choice Republican was almost guaranteed to be elected Senator. Now at least we have a fighting chance against another anti-choice Republican.

The Senate was supposed to be a bloodbath for Team Blue this year. Democrats were up to defend many wave babies from the 2006 elections, but instead right now it looks to be a draw because of some weak Republican candidates. Akin in MO, Mack in FL, Mandel in OH, Mourdock in IN, Hoekstra in MI, all are candidates that are weaker than their potential and make the path to retaining Democratic control easier.

If you believe in women's rights, strong Republican candidates who are still anti-choice emerging from primaries is not the outcome you want because they have a higher chance of winning the general. You want to set Republicans up to lose. It's that simple.

You could consider this outcome bad, that it's best for you to prop up a candidate in an opposing primary most offensive to you in order to help you win, but that's what our primary system invites. Every election system can be gamed in some way, and alternative nominating and electoral processes have different flaws.
posted by Hollywood Upstairs Medical College at 9:51 PM on August 19, 2012 [8 favorites]


If you'd like some comic relief, look at this word salad ad Akin put out.

America was founded on the unique vision that our creator gave us life, the foundation of freedom, liberty, to speak as you choose and own what you earn, and the pursuit of happiness, the call to fully and courageously live the dream God puts in our hearts. Times of crisis, when the dream seemed lost, great patriots turned to God, gave their all and rekindled freedom's flame. This now is our duty and our time.

The WHAAAARRRGARBL is strong in this one.
posted by Hollywood Upstairs Medical College at 9:55 PM on August 19, 2012 [10 favorites]


I do not understand the triumph of anti-intellectualism. I just don't get it.

Begin your happy journey on the potholed failure of education road, take a sidetrip down hollowed-out-fourth-estate lane, peer into the dark alley of consumerism, don't forget to sit on the busted park bench and watch the cult of celebrity for a minute or two, before getting mugged at the ATM of corporate-owned democracy.

There are a lot of rotten roots just barely holding up that tree. First good windstorm, it's coming down, and it's gonna leave one hell of a mess.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:57 PM on August 19, 2012 [31 favorites]


"legitimate"
I never knew that rape needed any sort of adjective. It's just about the most highly charged word on earth and having any defining characteristic bookended to it could really only serve to diminish its meaning and effect, no? Oooooooooh, so that's why.

Also, does deployment of the super-secret baby stopping rape organ(s) require the sprinkling of magic pixie dust? Asking for a friend.

And lastly, the Republican strategist, Patrick Ruffini, says that Akin has until tuesday night to withdraw from the race.
posted by peacay at 9:59 PM on August 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


Wow, even the CNN commenters are unanimously united in their disgust for this troglodyte. That's truly something.
posted by Devils Rancher at 9:59 PM on August 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Also, I'd like to both thank and congratulate scody for using 'shitmittens' in a fully appropriate way.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:00 PM on August 19, 2012 [10 favorites]


Romney campaign disagrees with Akin's rape comments.
posted by gaspode at 10:02 PM on August 19, 2012


Ratfucking works. It's more effective to spend money airing ads that turn out the cray cray vote in the primary than to try to get your supporters to cross over and vote. In closed primary states the latter isn't even an option.

In 2010, when Harry Reid a huge underdog in his re-election campaign, his folks spent millions propping up tea party darling Sharron Angle to beat establishment pick Sue Lowden in the primary.

The gambit worked. Angle went on to tell Latinos they looked Asian, propose trading chickens for health care, and piss off every other constituency group that Democrats could turn out with all their organizing might. That was a race we were supposed to lose big, and we won. That's what they're trying to do with McCaskill.

You can't always ratfuck a primary. But when the choices are so obvious, you'd be a fool not to.
posted by Hollywood Upstairs Medical College at 10:06 PM on August 19, 2012 [11 favorites]


Just so you all know: the other two Republican candidates for Senate that Akin ran against in the primary were not exactly paragons of moderate sanity.

In fact, they were both favored by various factions of the Tea Party over Todd Akin. John Brunner was endorsed by FreedomWorks, was once a presidential campaign chair for Pat Buchanan, and is also a favorite of local crazy person Dana Loesch. Sarah Steelman was endorsed by The Tea Party Express and Sarah Palin. They are both extremely right-wing conservative candidates. They are just savvier about when to speak their true views on television than Akin is.

A Missouri Democrat is like a California Republican. A Missouri Republican is . . . well, let's just say Todd Akin does not stand out as particularly unusual here.

The choice during the primary was between two crazy conservatives who were fairly likely to win, and one crazy conservative who was less so.
posted by BlueJae at 10:11 PM on August 19, 2012 [6 favorites]


Gosh, I'm glad god gave my girl parts these magic rapist-sperm-killing capabilities and all, but I guess magic rape prevention powers would have been even better
posted by Occula at 10:13 PM on August 19, 2012 [8 favorites]


In one of the previous threads it was suggested this is a widely held belief among modern day Christians. Is this actually true? That this is a common belief among christians? I am usually content to treat them as people who believe in psychics or ghosts, it isn't my job to educate them. I think this made me change my mind, these people aren't like the sad sacks that call psychic hotlines, they are dangerous and their beliefs have no place in modern society.
posted by Ad hominem at 10:17 PM on August 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


propose trading chickens for health care

Actually it was Lowden who made that comment, during the primary.
posted by delmoi at 10:18 PM on August 19, 2012


delmoi - you are correct, it was Lowden who proposed the chicken trade. The point remains, though, Angle was a weaker candidate and it was worth the money to prop her up.
posted by Hollywood Upstairs Medical College at 10:21 PM on August 19, 2012


In one of the previous threads it was suggested this is a widely held belief among modern day Christians.
Have you actually never met anyone who claimed to be Christian? I mean, Obama says he's christian, do you think he believes that? There are tons of Christians who are pro-choice, pro contraception, and liberal in general. There are lots of different groups, some of which are crazy and/or annoying.

Seriously though this has nothing to do with religion, he obviously didn't get a very good sex education in school and apparently picked this up as an urban legend at some point, and believed it.
posted by delmoi at 10:23 PM on August 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


he obviously didn't get a very good sex education in school

Dude is 65. There was no comprehensive sex education when he was in school; moreover, he's the type of politician who actively opposes comprehensive, fact-based sex education. This is far more about capital-I ignorance as an ideological tactic than it is about simply not having been presented with the biological facts of reproduction as a youngster.
posted by scody at 10:31 PM on August 19, 2012 [11 favorites]


I've never met a Christian of the megachurch, creation in the schoolroom type that I see people talking about on the web. Perhaps I should have said evangelicals? Or dominionists? Surely the catholics I grew up around didn't believe this, but as far as I know certain sects consider them to be evil.

If you are telling me this one guy just fell for an urban myth the I will believe you, but if there is a chance that some type of group, be it Christians or otherwise, is out there teaching this, they should be stopped.

If this isn't part of church anti-abortion propaganda, is not a commonly held belief among evangelicals and dominionists, and this guy and all the others like him just picked this "knowledge" up off the streets the same way I thought you could get a woman pregnant by kissing when I was 10, and there is no overt agenda by Christian sects to spread this. Then I appologize.
posted by Ad hominem at 10:39 PM on August 19, 2012


Seriously though this has nothing to do with religion, he obviously didn't get a very good sex education in school and apparently picked this up as an urban legend at some point, and believed it.

This isn't an urban legend. This isn't something you hear at the water cooler or in various email chains. This is a carefully constructed theory created by established powers to achieve a very well-defined goal. Akins is no way the victim of a poor education, rather, he is an actor who is following a script. And note that for all the pushback and rah-rah-rage that he and those who control him have still accomplished a lot by getting this idea out there, letting it percolate, making it just a little less crazy. They've planted a seed and shifted the discourse a little bit.

Anti-intellectualism one of the hallmarks of classical Fascism.

This is fascism but not in the way that many would recognize it. We saw the right flirt with real, classical fascism under Bush II but nobody could really take it seriously. This is something new. One of the things Arendt gets so wrong is this idea that fascism is a "system," like capitalism or communism, or an ideology like communism. It is better to think of fascism as a tool that societies can pick up (or put down) but is really, in a strange way, neutral and disregarding of anything beyond itself. Akins can say what he says without even the slightest bit of shame because he is somebody who does the shaming, not the reverse. At this point he can barely even be bothered to apologize.
posted by nixerman at 10:42 PM on August 19, 2012 [4 favorites]


goethean: "I'd much rather believe in the Rapture and in the second coming of Jesus Christ, in which he will rule in perfect peace and harmony after destroying all of the bad people. I just can't."

It occurred to me yesterday that the eternal damnation and eternal life seem pretty much the same to me. Sure, you could keep yourself busy for the first millennium or so, but after that I think I'd be about out of shit to do.

anothermug: "Not being a historian, I will nevertheless posit that the rise of anti-intellectualism is often proportional to the rise of religious belief."

Interestingly, I was just looking at some opinion polling data a few minutes ago. Today, somewhere around 91% of people believe in God. In 1967 it was 98%. I think that the rise of right wing hate radio has more to do with it than religion itself. I suspect much the left would be just as looney if they had left wing hate radio spewing into their ears all day every day.
posted by wierdo at 10:46 PM on August 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


From Mother Jones: "Akin didn't make this idea up. That women can't get pregnant when they're raped is... an idea held and repeated by individuals who oppose abortion in any circumstance."
posted by scody at 10:49 PM on August 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


I've become convinced that they're trolling us. They have to be. My brain simply rejects the notion that grown up people can be this stupid. Stupid enough to believe it, sure. But stupid enough to say it out loud while running for office. Nope. I'm starting to believe that the continued forays into complete batshit insane political positioning especially as it results to women and their swimsuit areas boils down to one of the the following explanations:

1) Tossing a few completely insane candidates into the mix to make the regular crackpots seem moderate in comparison.

2)Taking the wedge politics strategy and turning the dial up to 11 as a form of extreme distraction to keep us from noticing the escalation of their true agenda (Stealing all of the monies).

3) Electing a Black Man president really did cause a sizable portion of the population to have complete psychotic breaks.
posted by billyfleetwood at 10:53 PM on August 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


Legitimate rape
posted by homunculus at 10:55 PM on August 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


If the rape victim gets pregnent, presumably the charge can be changed to "attempted rape?" Since the pregnancy proved that the victim in fact wanted to have the attempted rapist's child, perhaps he should be given the option of marrying the woman he tried to rape? You know, so as to avoid creating another single mother welfare queen? If she is already married, perhaps she should be accused of adultry if she gets pregnent from a rape?

I mean, if we're going to follow an insane flat Earth medieval belief system, shouldn't we take it all the way? Legitimately all the way?
posted by Joey Michaels at 11:01 PM on August 19, 2012 [5 favorites]


Oh yeah I certainly believe that many conservatives enjoy seeing liberals going into spasms of rage over Coulter and Limbaugh and every other ridiculous argument they throw out. Some of them are certaily nihilists, who will take on the argument which garners them the most air time. They hold debates where the only goal is it out crazy each other and their primary is mainly a springboard for a much more lucrative career in landing fat speaking fees.
posted by Ad hominem at 11:02 PM on August 19, 2012


Since the pregnancy proved that the victim in fact wanted to have the attempted rapist's child, perhaps he should be given the option of marrying the woman he tried to rape?

Well, that would be one biblically correct option.
posted by scody at 11:04 PM on August 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


I had a hard time believing this nonsense, but do a Google search of something like "can rape cause pregnancy". I was amazed by how many of the top results repeat the line that "real" rape doesn't cause pregnancy. ?!?!?!?!?

I am rarely surprised, but I admit to being a bit dumbfounded here.

The pregnancy rate for rape is about 5%. Rape victims make up about 1% of abortions. I can't even bear to think about this issue so I'm going to bed and will try to forget about it. I just hope this asshole and all like him go down in flames.

Pregnant By A Rapist?
Yes, it happens.
No, you are not alone.


30,000+ women a year become pregnant by rape.
posted by mrgrimm at 11:38 PM on August 19, 2012 [4 favorites]


To clarify the polling stuff, before the comments, Akin was ahead by about five. Nate Silver, based on precedent figures Akin will be down about five, making McCaskill a strong favorite. Akin probably cost his party a Senate seat.
posted by chrchr at 11:40 PM on August 19, 2012


This dude is like a youtube comment running for office.

There are seemingly a large group of people in the US these days not content to elect someone whose ideas they endorse, but who need to elect someone who will actively make the other team shit their pants. If it also makes their own lives a bit more miserable doesn't seem to matter.
posted by maxwelton at 11:40 PM on August 19, 2012 [4 favorites]


I do not understand the triumph of anti-intellectualism. I just don't get it.

70% of the electorate are not college graduates.

Perhaps we should count our blessings that intellectualism in any way triumphed in the first place.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 12:12 AM on August 20, 2012


1) Tossing a few completely insane candidates into the mix to make the regular crackpots seem moderate in comparison.
According to "Hollywood Upstairs Medical College" the democratic party spent money to help this guy get the nomination, because they thought he would be easier to beat. So, obviously the democrats would share some of the blame in getting this guy nominated, right?

If you support a candidate, and they win, you do share some of the responsibility, right?
posted by delmoi at 12:29 AM on August 20, 2012


70% of the electorate are not college graduates.

Just because you didn't go to college doesn't make you a complete ignoramus.
posted by PenDevil at 1:08 AM on August 20, 2012 [27 favorites]


Akin tipped his hand. He's putting the burden of proof on rape victims to prove that it was "legitimate rape" and then denies there is any legitimate use of abortion. Internally, his argument doesn't allow that rape happens at all. It's a textbook case of denial.

You're right that he tipped his hand, but in a very different way than those outside his target audience believe. This is a fundamentalist evangelical dog whistle. (It's important to note the "fundamentalist" qualifier.)

"...his argument doesn't allow that rape happens at all."

Exactly. Exactly. This is part and parcel of the fundamentalist drive against women. I was raised by fundamentalist evangelicals, and as a little girl, then throughout my adolescence until I was finally able to get the hell away from these horrors, this is what was driven into us when girls/young women were separated from boys for gender-specific inculcation: Rape does not happen, except in extremely rare situations where the devil gets the upper hand in the battle between evil and the forces of light. (Excuse me while I wash my mouth out, I can't believe how easily the words come back. I mean, I've been living in Europe for 15 years now, there isn't this sort of discourse here, and yet all it takes is a reminder and the twenty years of evangelical teachings return to mind.) Punishment of sinful women happens.

This translated to several things (yes, witnessed first-hand, some experienced myself, I don't want to be more specific):
- girls who were date raped were castigated as liars, painted as whores (the actual word they used, got pretty sick of hearing it) and viewed as "fallen" if they stayed in the church. Everyone knew; available men were told to avoid them. Men who nonetheless showed interest in them were also castigated, and so generally dropped the poor girls after a while, leading their reputation to suffer even further. Because of course the church twisted it as the girl being "easy" and going through several boyfriends, not them making her life such a living hell that relationships became impossible. Some were kicked out of their families.
- assault rapes were followed up with counseling to "determine" whether the girl had sinned and thus if it had been divine punishment. The outcome didn't depend on reality, obviously, it depended on what the family and/or priest wanted to believe.
- from what my brother told me, boys were taught to avoid "easy" women and save themselves for marriage with a submissive wife. There was no rape prevention, there was no teaching of respect for anything other than "pure, submissive women with Christ in their heart".

This is a dog whistle that tweaks the ears and minds of those who know these things. This happens all the time, and non-apologies that evade the core message whistled to the base are always issued. Of course he can say he "misspoke" – his genuine message was much darker, his audience got it in any case. That said, I am glad that Romney at least had enough sense to claim that he supports abortions in cases of rape.
posted by fraula at 1:14 AM on August 20, 2012 [45 favorites]


Just because you didn't go to college doesn't make you a complete ignoramus

Of course not. But it would be a rare non-graduate that describes themselves as an intellectual.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 1:15 AM on August 20, 2012


In other news: Kentucky GOP Outraged Colleges Want Students to Know Things

Kentucky lawmakers shocked to find evolution in biology tests: State wants KY-specific ACTs; a politician says of evolution: "Darwin made it up."
posted by homunculus at 1:22 AM on August 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


Claire McCaskill is still a underdog, but boy is it nice when Democrats get it together to give their people a fighting chance.

It isn't often that I agree with delmoi, but seriously, how can you be proud of this? Regardless of party allegiance, conspiring to prevent that the most representative candidates stand for election disenfranchises the voters just as effectively as if you denied them the right to vote.

But, kudos, you gave your team a slight and volatile edge in the political game. Except that politics isn't a game, it's how future policy is determined. Policy that will have an impact on women, men and children, you and me. Us.
posted by Skeptic at 1:27 AM on August 20, 2012 [9 favorites]


"Not being a historian, I will nevertheless posit that the rise of anti-intellectualism is often proportional to the rise of religious belief."

Not that facts should spoil such fine intellectualism, but America has been rapidly becoming less religious. Missouri is also not especially religious and has participated in this decline
posted by Blasdelb at 2:10 AM on August 20, 2012 [3 favorites]


1) McCaskill's campaign "helped" Akin win the primary by running ads that essentially said "Don't vote for Akin! He's too conservative! Seriously, the guy's a nutjob!" This led the loony right-wing contingent that votes heavily in primaries to rally behind him.

Telling the truth about one of your opponents is hardly a conspiracy to disenfranchise people. The primary voters got exactly what they wanted.

2) Akin's opponents in the primary had policies which are just as bad. It's not like it was a choice between Akin and some relatively sane moderate. Akin was just the candidate more likely to *say* batshit-crazy stuff *aloud*. Which he did.

3) So, yeah, Akin might still win. But don't kid yourself that the Republican candidate would have been remotely better if McCaskill hadn't tried this, or that McCaskill's campaign did anything remotely dishonest in trying to position Akin into the candidacy.

If you tell the truth about your opponent and people vote for him because of it, you are not to blame. The voters are.
posted by kyrademon at 2:29 AM on August 20, 2012 [17 favorites]


Who votes for guys with combovers?
posted by ronin21 at 3:27 AM on August 20, 2012


...then if someone beats you up and you get a bruise it means you must have been cooperating with your attacker...

This is, in a sense, the same logic behind the "Stand Your Ground" laws. This movement against anti-intellectualism isn't just about classism or stupidity, but finding a simple answer for a very complicated problem so people don't have to question their scary lives. If you say rape doesn't cause pregnancy -- full stop -- there's no debate over what to do with the baby, because there can't possibly be one. The Stand Your Ground laws work on the premise that the dead guy is always the bad guy -- whoever's still standing can always evoke a Stand Your Ground law and say he was threatened with harm (which was true) and eliminate the messy trouble of deciding whether or not he did anything wrong. How could he have been wrong? He stood his ground so the dead guy deserved it, full stop. One could extend this into all religious teaching, the simplification of reality in absurd, comforting ways that have spawned a zillion Reddit posts of Facebook screenshots, but it's all the same thing. Life is much easier when you discount all rape as automatically aborted by the woman than to have to think very hard about whether or not the neighbors, who are fun to have over for barbecues and drive a nice car, are really having marital difficulties that are his fault or her fault if you can just write it off as "she was asking for it" because she got pregnant anyways so there can't be all that much abuse over there. Then throw in that the cops probably declined to arrest that husband, and advised the husband how to avoid bruises that are visible (something that has happened to a woman I know) , because, of course, if you can't see it, it simply does not exist.

This is, of course, the main methodology of propaganda in general, and of the Fox News/Limbaugh/et al newsmaking: generate a complex fear, and provide a simple answer that excludes the possibility of subjective judgment or the possibility of an accident that could happen to just anybody, and, of course, make the answer something that requires the input of those who are creating the propaganda. This War on Women isn't specifically about controlling women -- it's about controlling everybody, because the men have to believe it, too, for it to be put into practice.

snickerdoodle: Making it easier to explain to my toddler why Mommy is a Democrat yet again.

Bookhouse: You're going to explain this to your toddler?

If he can explain it to a toddler, there's the thinnest of hope that grown adults might be able to understand the lunacy of the far right, too.
posted by AzraelBrown at 4:12 AM on August 20, 2012 [8 favorites]


1) McCaskill's campaign "helped" Akin win the primary by running ads that essentially said "Don't vote for Akin! He's too conservative! Seriously, the guy's a nutjob!" This led the loony right-wing contingent that votes heavily in primaries to rally behind him.

Thus confirming the theory that conservatism is driven by whatever pisses of liberals the most at any given time.
posted by octothorpe at 4:14 AM on August 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


"Who votes for guys with combovers?"

People who think there are more important things in politics then hair?
posted by Blasdelb at 5:01 AM on August 20, 2012 [4 favorites]


Does anyone really think the US can avoid falling into a long period of operating as some kind of dystopic hybrid free-market-corporate-oligarchy-cum-conservative-theocracy?

I know I'm prone to fatalism, but I'm having a very hard time seeing how we're going to be able to avoid some sort of fall like that. I'm just seeing too many of these twisted crazies being supported by too many people to think they're a passing fad on the part of a minority of voters.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:27 AM on August 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


"Not being a historian, I will nevertheless posit that the rise of anti-intellectualism is often proportional to the rise of religious belief."

Not that facts should spoil such fine intellectualism, but America has been rapidly becoming less religious. Missouri is also not especially religious and has participated in this decline


"Its always darkest before the dawn", a cliche, but I think it may actually be the truth here. Religion is on its way out, and the adherents can see that, which why they're kicking and screaming. That's the reason for the tea party idiots too...old white people suddenly realized that they wouldn't be steering the nation any more and got very angry about it.

What I've heard from some of the dim bulbs that pass for deepthinkers on the right, is that they have looked at the changing demographics of america and realized that 2012 is the last chance for them to get major conservative things through. They want to put up roadblocks that delay progress in america for 50 years or more, if they can. So that's the real goal here.
posted by Chekhovian at 5:56 AM on August 20, 2012 [6 favorites]


Nate Silver: Akin Comments Could Swing Missouri Senate Race
In my review of Senate races last week, I classified Representative Todd Akin of Missouri, who won the Republican primary earlier this month, as a very slight favorite over the Democratic incumbent in the state, Claire McCaskill.

Although some Democrats were pleased that Mr. Akin was the nominee, he nevertheless held a small lead over Ms. McCaskill in the polls, which averaged five percentage points across four surveys conducted in July and August.

But that was before Mr. Akin’s controversial remarks about rape in an interview with a St. Louis television station that was broadcast on Sunday morning. The comments, and Mr. Akin’s subsequent explanation of them, drew overwhelmingly negative sentiment at social networking platforms, including on Mr. Akin’s Facebook page.

No two controversies are alike, and we’ll have to wait for polling data to see what impact this has on the race. But based on some loose historical precedents, the remarks could be enough to swing the polls to Ms. McCaskill.
posted by zombieflanders at 6:19 AM on August 20, 2012


I am a Republican. Akin and his ilk are not. They are cockroaches who were brought into the fold when GW was pandering to the Christian Right so that he could beat Kerry. Karl Rove and the party machinery failed to consider that people who earnestly believe in something don't just go away.

So these elements began to take over the party. This led to Sarah Palin being picked as the VP candidate in 2008 and Paul Ryan this year. Both have no actual experience in the Senate, where I believe you have to be for a year or two to actually figure out how things get done. It's also why the Tea Party is getting a bunch of yahoos elected who delay and obstruct budgets and bills getting passed.

I liken people like Akin to the mujahideen in Afghanistan. Reagan thought they would just go away after the Soviets were defeated. Instead, they became the Taliban and set that country back at least 50 years.

I can't call these people Republicans, so I've decided to refer to the GOP in its current state as "The Confederate Party". I just hope that it will again become the Republican Party in my lifetime.
posted by reenum at 6:19 AM on August 20, 2012 [19 favorites]


In a democracy, the people who vote and the people who do not vote get the representation they deserve.
posted by Renoroc at 6:29 AM on August 20, 2012


I am a Republican. Akin and his ilk are not.

I know a lot of people like you and I do wish the sane Republicans could/would do something to take back control of the party. But if they are, it isn't working and the GOP is being run by the tea party monster, who are the minority but have a disproportionate amount of power. Until we find a way to stop the inmates from running the asylum, that is what the GOP has become, unfortunately.
posted by triggerfinger at 6:29 AM on August 20, 2012 [2 favorites]


Reenum, what do you do, then? From my persepctive (as a former high school and college righty turned lefty after three months in The Real World), the Democrats are hardly to be considered "left" any more. Heck, Nixon, for all his faults, proposed a national health care system to the left of Obamacare. Any bipartisan spirit of comity, comradery, evidence-based policy from thirty years ago (legendary though it may be) has long since been burned at the stake.

Do you vote for Obama, because holy shit those other guys are nuts, or do you sit it out, or do you try to eject the nutzoids and bring back Rockefeller Republicans?
posted by notsnot at 6:30 AM on August 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


People keep talking about ignorance and lack of education as if they were natural things that just happened over the years. There has been a very active and successful campaign to weaken US schools and these are the fruits of their labor, not only in Todd Akin, but in people who reward Todd Akin with political power. A strong educational system makes it more difficult to have a giant pool of poor, uneducated people who serve only to do uninteresting manual labor for their betters, and for cheap. This isn't a nutjob conspiracy theory, it's the logical, obvious, and unhidden result of thirty years of policy. Your sole purpose on Earth is to work for someone wealthier than you, and should you find yourself in possession of some money, a team will be by to extract it from you one way or another. (Meanwhile, please worship our god, who assures you that you will be well rewarded after you die.) Pretty much the entire Republican platform is just cheap labor all the way down.
posted by Legomancer at 6:43 AM on August 20, 2012 [41 favorites]


Also, this is totally the cue for all Republican wives undergoing fertility treatment to rise up in righteous fury at the suggestion that their biology isn't working because they just don't want a baby bad enough. Because that's the other side of this logic.
posted by katya.lysander at 11:43 PM on August 19 [+] [!]

Interesting thought. If the female body has "ways to shut that whole thing down" or "secrete a certain secretion that tends to kill sperm" then all sorts of new avenues of slut shaming and misogyny open up. Women can be blamed for their own miscarriages, infertility, and high or low libido.

Ah, the mysterious dark hole that is womanhood. Who knows what goes on in there?
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 7:09 AM on August 20, 2012 [9 favorites]


My reaction: At this point, I feel like we should be talking about the Republican Party as an anti-women Hate Group.
posted by dry white toast at 7:15 AM on August 20, 2012 [14 favorites]


Women can be blamed for their own miscarriages, infertility, and high or low libido.

They already often are.
posted by rmd1023 at 7:16 AM on August 20, 2012 [8 favorites]


Women can be blamed for their own miscarriages, infertility, and high or low libido.

Hell, a lot of people (in the U.S., too, not just in what we think of as horrifically patriarchal traditional societies) still think it's the mother's failing when they don't "give" their husband a son.
posted by aught at 7:23 AM on August 20, 2012 [5 favorites]


Some conservative activists are calling for Akin to step aside. He should be forced to carry his candidacy to term. And be slut-shamed for his comments every. fucking. day.

I love you.
posted by dry white toast at 7:27 AM on August 20, 2012 [2 favorites]


I went back and found the source of mrgrimm's statistic about pregnancies arising from rape. It comes from a 1996 study supported by NIH. (Fairly nauseating paragraph ahead.)

The national rape-related pregnancy rate is 5.0% per rape among victims of reproductive age (aged 12 to 45); among adult women an estimated 32,101 pregnancies result from rape each year. Among 34 cases of rape-related pregnancy, the majority occurred among adolescents and resulted from assault by a known, often related perpetrator. Only 11.7% of these victims received immediate medical attention after the assault, and 47.1% received no medical attention related to the rape. A total 32.4% of these victims did not discover they were pregnant until they had already entered the second trimester; 32.2% opted to keep the infant whereas 50% underwent abortion and 5.9% placed the infant for adoption; an additional 11.8% had spontaneous abortion.

I can't access the full article text, but the way I'm reading the abstract, over the course of a 3-year study of 4000 women there were 680 or so rapes and 34 of those resulted in pregnancy. Mother of god. (FWIW, there's some reason to think that better criminal prosecution has had a big impact in the last 20 years, so the numbers may be better now.)

But so, all of this "legitimate rape" and "real rape" and "forcible rape" garbage actually sounds really familiar from ... law school. It isn't a new invention, and it isn't just stupidity. It's an attempt to turn the clock back to the criminal law of 100 years ago or so -- a time when rape itself wasn't a crime, but was a defense on the woman's part to the crime of having sex outside of marriage. That blew my mind when I learned it: the basis of early rape laws was that if she could affirmative prove that she physically resisted, then she didn't need to be punished for having sex.

It's all part of the broken moral system that treated (treats?) women as temptresses or property. It's rotten at the core.
posted by jhc at 7:48 AM on August 20, 2012 [9 favorites]


notsnot, I voted for Obama in 2008 and will vote for him again this year. Obama has accomplished a whole lot in this first term. Hell, I don't even think Clinton had so much impact during his first term.
Plus, I vote for issues and not parties. I self identify as Republican, but I wouldn't be caught dead voting for their current lineup of regressive and racist policies.

Not voting is not an option. All of the people who say "I hate both candidates so I'm staying home" are abdicating their responsibilities as citizens. You vote for the lesser of two evils, and maybe one day, there won't be an evil choice.

A vote is the way to change the system. People can sit in Zucotti Park until the sun dies out, but if those people aren't voting and advocating for their own candidates, then their effort is worthless.

I'm hoping that things will get less extreme as the baby boomers die out. What we're seeing now from the Confederate Party is the attempt of a dying group making its last gasp attempt to hold on to its power. Let's hope that in 20 years, we can look back at this era as a distant memory of a dark time in our country's history.
posted by reenum at 7:53 AM on August 20, 2012 [20 favorites]


Some conservative activists are calling for Akin to step aside.

What do they think is the point of this, honestly? If Akin bows out, and they get another candidate, do they think that every interview for the next three months will not be pressing them on their views on abortion?

This isn't about Akin. Opposing abortion even in cases of rape was part of the 2008 GOP Platform and likely will be for the 2012 one. This is what they believe and the outrage appears to be entirely about one asshole admitting it with a full press reveal of his hateful ignorance instead of trying to wrap it in a smile and a bible.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:58 AM on August 20, 2012 [16 favorites]


I just want to start to believe again that I will outlive this bullshit. It's not good enough to believe my child will grow up in a country not run by racist, sexist zealots. *I* want to live there too.
posted by kostia at 8:08 AM on August 20, 2012 [3 favorites]


I hate to break it to you, but those boomers used to have a saying: "don't trust anyone over 30." They used to say that things would all be great once the older generation died off.

Aww, Bullwinkle, that trick never works...
posted by tyllwin at 8:15 AM on August 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


The historical context of this post is really helpful, especially because it mentions Pennsylvania State Representative Stephen Freind (the guy in the "can't be impregnated" link). I was a teenager in Pennsylvania at the time, and a common wisecrack at the time was "Oh what a Jesus we have in Freind."
posted by jonp72 at 8:31 AM on August 20, 2012


Yeah, this goes beyond boomers. Paul Ryan is 42! A young pup! What's going wrong today is going wrong for all of us.
posted by amanda at 8:38 AM on August 20, 2012 [3 favorites]


It should be noted that Todd Akin is a member of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology.

Yeah, but, what part of over and over and over is more than adequate?
posted by y2karl at 8:42 AM on August 20, 2012


This blog post shows that the belief that conception cannot take place without a woman sexually desiring it dates back to the 1700s, a time when scientists also believed a human female could give birth to rabbits.
posted by jonp72 at 8:45 AM on August 20, 2012 [6 favorites]


They used to say that things would all be great once the older generation died off.

I think it's going to be a mixed bag. Certainly antipaty towards gays is way way down in everyone under 30 aggregated together. I'm hard pressed to imagine that the gay hate will turn back on when they're older. There will probably be some issues on which we see no progress. Hell, maybe even regression on some points, if the young Paul-ites get their way.
posted by Chekhovian at 8:53 AM on August 20, 2012


I am a Republican. Akin and his ilk are not. They are cockroaches who were brought into the fold when GW was pandering to the Christian Right so that he could beat Kerry

Actually, these people were brought into the fold when Reagan was running against Carter. Thirty years. It's not a passing fad
posted by benito.strauss at 8:59 AM on August 20, 2012 [8 favorites]


reenum, if you already vote issues and not parties, why don't you self-identify as 'Independent'?
posted by benito.strauss at 9:05 AM on August 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


It should be noted that Todd Akin is a member of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology.

Yeah, but, what part of over and over and over is more than adequate?


Every time I hear it it's still mindblowing.
posted by Artw at 9:06 AM on August 20, 2012


The danger of laughing at Todd Akin.
posted by gaspode at 9:06 AM on August 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


Just because you didn't go to college doesn't make you a complete ignoramus

Of course not. But it would be a rare non-graduate that describes themselves as an intellectual.


It's the rare non-jackass that describes themselves as an intellectual.

Do you know any non-college-grads, Tell Me No Lies? The ones I'm friends with are perfectly conversant in history, science, and current events, and would be irritated to be classed as ignorant. Especially in this context. Todd Akin went to college. His idiocy is a result of his ideology, not a lack of education.
posted by torticat at 9:07 AM on August 20, 2012 [18 favorites]


I am a Republican. Akin and his ilk are not. They are cockroaches who were brought into the fold when GW was pandering to the Christian Right so that he could beat Kerry. Karl Rove and the party machinery failed to consider that people who earnestly believe in something don't just go away.

Forget 2004 -- this has been a central GOP strategy (or long con, depending on how you want to look at it) for decades. Remember Reagan's love affair with the Moral Majority (which was neither moral, nor a majority; discuss) in the '80s? And even that had its precedents in the 1960s and 1970s (Salon.com -- back when it was still good -- ran a good article years ago on the history of exactly this, but my google-fu is failing me now.)
posted by scody at 9:09 AM on August 20, 2012 [4 favorites]


I think what this incident shows is that Democrats don't need to be as scared of abortion as they seem to be. I mean, I don't think a senate candidate in Missouri (or, hell, California) should go around stating my views about abortion. But I do think they shouldn't be afraid to say "Yes, I believe abortion should be legal in some circumstances."

Make the pro-life side play defense for once in your miserable life! Make them actually talk about criminalizing abortion and sending women who get them to jail! So long as it's all "But...but BABIES!" bullshit the pro-choicers are going to be on their heels.
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 9:18 AM on August 20, 2012 [7 favorites]


Do you know any non-college-grads, Tell Me No Lies? The ones I'm friends with are perfectly conversant in history, science, and current events, and would be irritated to be classed as ignorant. Especially in this context. Todd Akin went to college. His idiocy is a result of his ideology, not a lack of education.

I do. I'm afraid that they tend to be less conversant on politics and history than the people I know with (in my case mainly: law; Politics, Philosophy and Economics; English; various sciences) degrees. One would rather expect that given that the college grads spent 3-4 years (rashly assuming no Masters or PhD) studying these areas intensely.
posted by jaduncan at 9:23 AM on August 20, 2012


I should note I'm not suggesting either set of people would believe this magical non-conception crap; from outside the USA it looks particularly bizarre.
posted by jaduncan at 9:26 AM on August 20, 2012


aught: "Women can be blamed for their own miscarriages, infertility, and high or low libido.

Hell, a lot of people (in the U.S., too, not just in what we think of as horrifically patriarchal traditional societies) still think it's the mother's failing when they don't "give" their husband a son.
"

My father left my mother and fought paying child support for most of my childhood...because my sister and I were girls. He blamed her. He wanted nothing to do with us, since we didn't have penises. It's funny that he spent more on attorneys to make sure he didn't pay any more than the state mandated than he would have if he'd just put us through the same schools that his parents paid for him. And by funny, I mean...there's a reason I haven't seen him in 20 years.
posted by dejah420 at 9:27 AM on August 20, 2012 [5 favorites]


Representative Todd Akin ...

Christ, what a legitimate asshole!
posted by ericb at 9:29 AM on August 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'll be more inclined to laugh at Todd Akin when it doesn't look like the fucker will win.
posted by Artw at 9:29 AM on August 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


Well, a college diploma does tend to saddle you with a huge amount of debt, but these days, it doesn't guarantee much else.
posted by crunchland at 9:29 AM on August 20, 2012


It's funny that he spent more on attorneys to make sure he didn't pay any more than the state mandated than he would have if he'd just put us through the same schools that his parents paid for him.

Why so many men hate women... I cannot truly understand.
posted by eoden at 9:43 AM on August 20, 2012


Well, it's not like similar crazy gymnastics isn't going on in defense of Assange.
posted by Artw at 9:46 AM on August 20, 2012


‘God’s Little Shield’: A Short History Of The False No-Pregnancy-From-Rape Theory
posted by homunculus at 9:47 AM on August 20, 2012 [3 favorites]


Ad Hominem: If you are telling me this one guy just fell for an urban myth the I will believe you, but if there is a chance that some type of group, be it Christians or otherwise, is out there teaching this, they should be stopped.

I was absolutely, unequivocally, taught this nonsense at a fundamentalist Christian school, between 1996 and 2000 in Milwaukee, WI. We were also taught that if a woman does become pregnant from rape, and it was definitely a "legitimate" rape, then it just meant that god had some amazingly awesome plan that you ought to just go with, because he knows better than you and controls everything. Mental gymnastics and all that.

I agree that they should probably be stopped, but it is a private school and they can essentially say whatever the hell they want. A couple of years ago they reinvested their money with some guy who turned out to be a con artist, who took almost everything they had. (In fact, they had prayed about who to invest the money with, and apparently god led them to the con man. All part of the plan, no doubt.) They ended up relocating since the bank took their building when they couldn't afford the mortgage and their numbers are smaller and dwindling now.

delmoi: Seriously though this has nothing to do with religion

I think it does. You would be hard-pressed to find such garbage as part of the curriculum in a non-religious school.
posted by King Bee at 9:52 AM on August 20, 2012 [15 favorites]


I am a Republican. Akin and his ilk are not.

I understand what you're saying here, and I believe I know how you feel, but I think you're wrong. You used to be a Republican. Those guys, and the ideas they represent, are now the Republican party. My parents were the same way. They kept voting Republican because they thought they were voting for the party that existed in the 50s, 60s, 70s, and early 80s but, while they weren't noticing, the ground shifted underneath them. The Republican party shifted to Randian/Domionist territory and the Democratic party shifted to pretty much cover the old ("Paleo") Republican views. There is no large party that covers the old Democratic territory in the US anymore. If you consider yourself an "old-school" Republican, and wonder what's wrong with your party, you're now a Democrat.
posted by LastOfHisKind at 9:56 AM on August 20, 2012 [34 favorites]


benito.strauss, I don't self identify as independent because I believe in the core principles espoused by the party. This current set of clowns couldn't be further away from it.

I know Paul Ryan is young. But the majority of people voting for him are over 50 and white. There will be a shift in demographics that will marginalize this group within the next 20 years. I'm not saying we won't still have problems. I just think that the people currently controlling the GOP will be swept out. Then at least we won't have these far right fringe elements controlling the national political discourse.

I don't know what it is about getting old, but you start believing in conspiracies and nonsense much more readily. My older uncles have been talking about how the world's media is controlled by the Jews and that is why we Muslims are made to look so bad. One of my friends' dad thinks Alex Jones is to be accorded the same credibility as the NY Times. And the list goes on. People like that dying off can only be good for this country.
posted by reenum at 10:00 AM on August 20, 2012


delmoi: Seriously though this has nothing to do with religion

King Bee: I think it does. You would be hard-pressed to find such garbage as part of the curriculum in a non-religious school.


But let's keep our direction of implication straight here. Among the people who hold this belief the vast majority will probably self-classify as religious. This is not the same thing as the majority of religious people believing this. And they probably don't.
posted by benito.strauss at 10:01 AM on August 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


There's a web developer on my Twitter feed who's unabashedly Republican, and his response to this whole kerfuffle has basically been "Akin said something shitty and apologized, McCaskill is ruining Missouri", with a nice dose of "I don't see your outrage at Biden's 'chains' comments you hypocrite".

I decided that there was no point in engaging him, because whoever changed minds via Twitter? and anyway I do have work to do at some point today. But I did need to rant a little bit, because holy shit, where has politicking gotten us to that a guy who showed his utter disregard for the status of women as fully realized individuals with control over their bodies, as well as an utter lack of understanding of basic medical facts, is simply excused with "well he apologized" and "you have idiots on your side too"? How loud do we have to yell to get it into people's heads that this is not a game that we play that has strategies and that everyone who argue against Akin is merely a pawn for the Democrats? That for us, this shit is real, and is scary, and every time someone like Nikki Haley dismisses domestic violence as "distraction from the real issues", every time people like Akin and Ryan try to "redefine rape", every time people like Foster Friess equate "contraception" with "promiscuity" while being egged on by profiteering bandits like Rush Limbaugh, we regress a little bit in terms of our rights, and lose a little bit of status as equal human beings? All the while being told that misogyny is a myth, that misandry is on the rise, that women just want to have it all and emasculate men and be shitty moms but they secretly wanted to be dominated after all.

How do women in this country not despair? 'Cause I'm new to this, and I do not like what I see.
posted by Phire at 10:06 AM on August 20, 2012 [30 favorites]


reenum, when you say that the things you like are "core" principals, and other are not, you might be deceiving yourself. You might actually be a Modern Whig.

That said, there is a whole lot of party structure and organization that has gone into creating the Republican party, and to just walk away from it means abandoning a lot of political capital. You seriously have my sympathy.
posted by benito.strauss at 10:10 AM on August 20, 2012


How do women in this country not despair?

Alcohol helps.
posted by elizardbits at 10:14 AM on August 20, 2012 [22 favorites]


benito.strauss: But let's keep our direction of implication straight here.

I think I had it right. It is necessary that a school be religious in order to have this [only legitimate rape causes pregnancy] as part of the curriculum, but it certainly isn't sufficient.
posted by King Bee at 10:15 AM on August 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


I totally agree with Phire above but I want to say that the real problem is even larger. The problem I see is that the GOP in America, and especially the most zealous social "conservatives", have no qualms about disregarding objective truth on all kinds of issues if they think it will help them win an argument or shame the opposition. It's the same thing, whether it's reproductive issues or global warming or the recession or evolution or practically anything else. There's no value in deliberative society if one side cannot be persuaded and chooses to ignore objective truth.
posted by newdaddy at 10:17 AM on August 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


On Mike Huckabee's radio show just now, Todd Akin made it clear that he's not dropping out of the Missouri senate race.
posted by crunchland at 10:24 AM on August 20, 2012 [3 favorites]


I don't think people are really understanding the subtext of what he's saying, which is that he disagrees with the concept of marital rape.

Sure, there are those gray-area cases involving intoxication or emotional coercion, but that's not what he's talking about. He wants men to be able to rape their wives. And as late as 25 years ago there were courts that agreed that marital rape was, in fact, not legitimate.

These are the public policy consequences of a theology built on female subservience.
posted by moammargaret at 10:25 AM on August 20, 2012 [9 favorites]


Actually, when I said I wasn't gonna engage, I actually mean "get into a big fight about abortion".

Like I said, I'm new at this....
posted by Phire at 10:29 AM on August 20, 2012


Well, when you think about it... A woman is really just a series of tubes.
posted by Imperfect at 10:32 AM on August 20, 2012 [14 favorites]


On Mike Huckabee's radio show just now, Todd Akin made it clear that he's not dropping out of the Missouri senate race.

It's a small step for leftists, but a massive blow for our political discourse.
posted by wikipedia brown boy detective at 10:33 AM on August 20, 2012


Oh, I think what GOPers are decrying is not Akin's holy quest to redefine rape. We have seen quite a few other Republican office holders, or persons of importance: from Ron paul's "If it's an honest rape"

to Bill Napoli
A real-life description to me would be a rape victim, brutally raped, savaged. The girl was a virgin. She was religious. She planned on saving her virginity until she was married. She was brutalized and raped, sodomized as bad as you can possibly make it, and is impregnated. I mean, that girl could be so messed up, physically and psychologically, that carrying that child could very well threaten her life.
Aspirin between the knees, forced vaginal ultrasound.

It's all a return to women-as-property. I'm surprised someone hasn't just come out and thrown support behind blood honor, and I really don't understand why (some) fundamental Christians have such a problem with fundamentalist-Talibanish Islam, perhaps it is an envy thing.
posted by edgeways at 10:35 AM on August 20, 2012 [11 favorites]


Women can be blamed for their own miscarriages, infertility, and high or low libido.

I was told, while sobbing about my second miscarriage, that maybe God just didn't want me to be pregnant.
posted by KathrynT at 10:42 AM on August 20, 2012 [8 favorites]


Todd Akin Finds Defenders Among Pro-Life Groups
posted by zombieflanders at 10:45 AM on August 20, 2012


I think I had it right.
posted by King Bee


Sorry, I didn't mean to say you were, KingBee. I just wanted you and delmoi to clarify what you were claiming.

/I just get tired of people arguing past each other.
posted by benito.strauss at 10:45 AM on August 20, 2012


Also, why is it that when politicians say "oh, I misspoke", there never seems to be a follow-up of "well, what did you mean to say, exactly?"
posted by boo_radley at 10:46 AM on August 20, 2012 [14 favorites]


I would guess they where trying to be comforting.

I swear if I was in your shoes, (which I am biologically incapable of so...) I'd be all mutter mutter... perhaps God didn't want you to live to the end of the day... mutter mutter
posted by edgeways at 10:53 AM on August 20, 2012


What I was thinking about this morning is that the internet is a two-edged sword. Sure it can expose Aken's nonsense and hold him up to ridicule, but at the same time it disseminates the same nonsense to anyone with a computer.

In other words this lie will continue to get perpetuated, sometimes by people who know better but have dishonorable intent, but other times by undereducated people who believe what they read. All that ridiculous crap on Facebook that gets mocked? This is where it starts.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 10:56 AM on August 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


reenum: I don't know what it is about getting old, but you start believing in conspiracies and nonsense much more readily. My older uncles...

I'd caution against painting worldviews using only the brushstrokes found in your own family's genepool. I find that as I age my b.s. detector is becoming more finely tuned.
posted by achrise at 10:57 AM on August 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


Damn. You just know the Catholic Church is going to start to teach rape as a natural form of birth control.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 10:58 AM on August 20, 2012


Jezebel: The Official Guide to Legitimate Rape
posted by zarq at 11:00 AM on August 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


Catholic Church is going to start to teach rape

Ummm, yeah...about that...
posted by Chekhovian at 11:01 AM on August 20, 2012


I know Paul Ryan is young. But the majority of people voting for him are over 50 and white.

Well...sort of. Have you been to an evangelical church lately? The places are heavily populated by young families. I'm pretty certain few, if any, of them are going to be voting for the secret muslim.

Relying on demographics to "age-out" the current crop of Republican crazies is not a winning play. Many of the young people today, who appear progressive/not-conservative might change their allegiances over time. That's what people do. They change. Hell, I used to work with an office full of 20-30-something developers, and they were the most aggressively anti-liberal crowd I'd ever encountered. Not just conservative...anti-liberal.

You can hope that this kind of crazy-conservatism simply dies-out, but I suggest you not hold your breath.
posted by Thorzdad at 11:02 AM on August 20, 2012 [10 favorites]


Sigh.

Looks like its time to dust off and wheel out the "Consistency of Pro-Life Philosophy" chart.
Again.
We shouldn't have to but here we are again, dealing with backwards old white men that feel that male governmental dominion over women's sexuality is simply a part of natural law.

This chart lays out, in clear detail, how little the "pro-life" philosophy has to do with the murder of a child and how much more it has to do with controlling/slut-shaming/punishing women.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 11:03 AM on August 20, 2012 [5 favorites]


moammargaret: "I don't think people are really understanding the subtext of what he's saying, which is that he disagrees with the concept of marital rape."

Well, as recently as '91, Akin wondered if criminalizing marital rape would mean that those nasty Jezebels could use it in "a real messy divorce as a tool and a legal weapon to beat up on the husband". So, yep.
posted by Phire at 11:06 AM on August 20, 2012


Ta-Nehisi Coates: Rape, Abortion and the Privilege of Magical Thinking
posted by the man of twists and turns at 11:08 AM on August 20, 2012 [4 favorites]


You can hope that this kind of crazy-conservatism simply dies-out, but I suggest you not hold your breath.

nah, you are right it will never die off, but we can hope and work towards marginalizing it.
posted by edgeways at 11:08 AM on August 20, 2012


President Obama in this afternoon's WH press briefing when asked about Rep. Akin's comments:
"“Rape is rape. And the idea that we should be parsing, qualifying and slicing what qualifies as rape doesn’t make sense to me and doesn’t make sense to the American people. What I think these comments do underscore is why we shouldnt have a bunch of pols, the majority of whom are men, making health-care decisions on behalf of women.”
posted by ericb at 11:23 AM on August 20, 2012 [38 favorites]


Republicans join clamor over Akin's rape comments.
posted by ericb at 11:24 AM on August 20, 2012


David Axelrod: Todd Akin's Comments Are 'Inconvenient' For Romney-Ryan, 'Not Inconsistent'.
posted by ericb at 11:25 AM on August 20, 2012


I want to point everyone to zarq's link above, because holy shit, there is some mindblowing bullshit there:
Earlier this year, Idaho Senator Chuck Winder made good use of his time on the Senate floor when he warned everyone about those wily, dangerous housewives who didn't get the memo that putting a ring on it = no rapes forever and ever. "I would hope that when a woman goes into a physician, with a rape issue, that that physician will indeed ask her about perhaps her marriage, was this pregnancy caused by normal relations in a marriage, or was it truly caused by a rape," he said.
posted by Phire at 11:25 AM on August 20, 2012 [2 favorites]


benito.strauss: I am indeed a Modern Whig. This is a very exciting development!

I wonder how long it will take for the Whigs to gain some traction.
posted by reenum at 11:27 AM on August 20, 2012 [3 favorites]


Rep. Todd Akin:
... "I don’t know that I'm the only person in public office who suffered from foot in mouth disease here," he said. "This was a very, very serious error."

"On the other hand, there are so many good people in Missouri who nominated me," he added. "I feel just as strongly as ever that my background and ability will be a big asset in replacing [Sen.] Clare McCaskill and putting some sanity back in our government. I'm not a quitter, and my belief is we're going to take this thing forward, and by the grace of God we're going to win this race."

He later invoked 9/11 to explain his pro-life views, saying the first responders didn't ask for identification of those they saved because all lives are important.

"They don't check their ID to see whether they're important or not, they just take them to safety and run back for more," he said. "They, by their lives, speak as Americans of what we think about the value of human beings and how much respect we hold people with.

... "Just because somebody makes a mistake doesn't make them useless," he said."
posted by ericb at 11:28 AM on August 20, 2012


No, it's not his 'mistake' that makes him useless. It's something far more deeply ingrained.
posted by rmd1023 at 11:34 AM on August 20, 2012 [2 favorites]


Video [01:30] of President Obama responding to Todd Akin's comments about 'legitimate rape.'
posted by ericb at 11:34 AM on August 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


He later invoked 9/11 to explain his pro-life views...
what is this i don't even
posted by tonycpsu at 11:35 AM on August 20, 2012 [14 favorites]


Right Wing Watch:
Akin is a beloved figure of the Religious Right, and his campaign advertises endorsements from Concerned Women for America activists and activists like Mike Huckabee, Phyllis Schlafly, Michele Bachmann and David Barton. Barton, who recorded campaign ads calling Akin a “true Christian leader,” has compared Akin to John Witherspoon and other founding fathers. American Family Association spokesman Bryan Fischer, who hosted Akin on his radio show the day after the congressman’s primary victory, said people need to “lighten up” about his rape comments.
posted by ericb at 11:37 AM on August 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


Dave Catanese, Politico Reporter, Defends Todd Akin Rape Comments

If only you lefties would stop being so shrill when someone has a simple difference of opinion on what "consent" means!
posted by tonycpsu at 11:38 AM on August 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


"lighten up"

I think I just got a 5-across on my sexist asshole play-along bingo card.
posted by rmd1023 at 11:39 AM on August 20, 2012 [9 favorites]


The discussion is not at all being shut down as "off-limits" -- hilarious. Let's discuss it! We are discussing it! Let's talk about vaginas and rape and consent -- let's get right into the nitty-gritty details, guys! Have you heard of a speculum? Wait... where are you going? Come back!
posted by amanda at 11:41 AM on August 20, 2012 [2 favorites]


They don't check their ID to see whether they're important or not

So abortion... is like. Um. Having someone. Check, uh. Your ID. When you're dying in a terrorist attack. Because of, um. Reasons.
posted by elizardbits at 11:41 AM on August 20, 2012 [8 favorites]


I see.
posted by elizardbits at 11:42 AM on August 20, 2012


Catanese can fuck the hell off.
posted by edgeways at 11:44 AM on August 20, 2012


"They don't check their ID to see whether they're important or not, they just take them to safety and run back for more," he said.

But he is pro voter ID.
posted by futz at 11:48 AM on August 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


National GOP pulls funding from Todd Akin's Missouri race in wake of rape comments.
posted by jedicus at 11:50 AM on August 20, 2012 [5 favorites]


Family Research Council Backs Akin: “I don’t know anything about the science or the legal implications of his statement,” FRC PAC President says. “I do know politics, and I know gotcha politics when I see it.”
posted by homunculus at 11:50 AM on August 20, 2012


So abortion... is like. Um. Having someone. Check, uh. Your ID. When you're dying in a terrorist attack. Because of, um. Reasons.

It's a useful metaphor. See, your reproductive system is the World Trade Center, and the abortionists are flying their planes at you, and your right ovary is like the north tower & your left ovary is the south tower, & the republicans racing into your uterus are like the firemen running up the staircase to save all those thousands of proto-people up there in your... uh... Towers of Womanhood.
posted by Devils Rancher at 11:52 AM on August 20, 2012 [19 favorites]


I don't know what it is about getting old, but you start believing in conspiracies and nonsense much more readily.

I'm sort of curious about how true it is that old people are responsible for this bizarro world stuff (ie, we old people should all die off, and then everything will be okay)?

To me, it's mostly seemed that younger people (younger than me, anyway) have been the moving force in this "American Taliban" movement. I'm over 50 and have been aghast since the '80s at the New Conservatism (I thought it was a phase!). My parents, former Republicans (until Reagan), are in their 70s and utterly disgusted and appalled by all the anti-abortion, now anti-birth control, and general all-out anti-women stuff, and have never been homophobic, ethnophobic, racist, etc. Not because they were culture warriors – they just never had any interest in randomly hating people, and it certainly didn't motivate them politically.

They would still be moderate, centrist small-government republicans if that were an option, but it hasn't been for decades. (I was always a stone lefty, and still am... yet, I am old.)

This isn't rhetorical, and I don't think my parents or I represent anything in particular on the American spectrum, so I claim nothing there... but I'm curious if there is an age demographic breakdown for the Tea Party. I'm not really seeing why it would be old people, necessarily, who are the backbone of that (if they aren't a politician who would like to get those votes, obv.). My parent were sort of casual Beat Generation types, and I was post-Woodstock, but not really post-Woodstock era as a teen. What I think of as the "new Puritanism" just wasn't a part of our lives or thoughts or expectations at all, and it has been seriously shocking and surreal to it see play out and overtake the entire political landscape.
posted by taz at 11:52 AM on August 20, 2012 [6 favorites]


“I don’t know anything about the science or the legal implications of his statement,”

Then shut the fuck up.

“I do know politics, and I know gotcha politics when I see it.”

What happened to taking personal responsibility, Republicans? Did someone put a gun to his head to make him say something not just mistaken, but offensively, grossly, full-of-lies mistaken? How on earth is that "gotcha"?
posted by rtha at 11:54 AM on August 20, 2012 [4 favorites]


I hope "gotcha politics" continues to catch on, because it makes it easy to spot whiny morons.

"You paid attention to a thing I said! That's GOTCHA POLITICS!"
posted by Sticherbeast at 11:54 AM on August 20, 2012 [21 favorites]


Oh Dave Catanese, man employed by Politico:

First minimise women's experience of rape:

"So perhaps some can agree that all rapes that are reported are not actually rapes? Or are we gonna really deny that for PC sake?"

then what was stated by Akin:
"So looks like he meant to say -- 'If a woman was REALLY raped, it's statistically less likely for her to get pregnant.' What's the science?"
then kick the left:
"The left is often 1st to shut down debate as "off limits" when it deems so. Aren't these moments supposed to open up a larger debate?"
then the non-apology:
"Re last night: Bad idea trying to have nuanced conversation on highly charged issue on here. Did not intend to take a side. Lesson learned."
Sorry to approach this with a lack of nuance, but you're being a prick. Arguably even more of a prick than Akin given the way you even misrepresent what you said afterwards; I'm not sure that a disingenuous prick who cynically enables bigotry in return for short term political gain isn't worse than an ignorant bigot.
posted by jaduncan at 11:55 AM on August 20, 2012 [3 favorites]


I like what Obama said. I wish he could say there are a lot of crazy people that need to get the hell out of the way so that we can have a decent society. Because damn. But I'm all for these moles standing up to back Akin so we can whack them.
posted by cashman at 11:55 AM on August 20, 2012 [2 favorites]


"The left is often 1st to shut down debate as "off limits" when it deems so. Aren't these moments supposed to open up a larger debate?"

They did! They did open up a larger debate! About how wrong you are! I'm sorry that you didn't get a Participant ribbon merely for having a factually incorrect opinion.
posted by Sticherbeast at 11:58 AM on August 20, 2012 [10 favorites]


Kinda looking like Akin is toast, people saying he'll withdraw tomorrow.
posted by edgeways at 11:59 AM on August 20, 2012


Set against that, twitter user @jmaz has the right of it:
@davecatanese Wait, you mean there's a smaller chance of getting pregnant from getting raped than there is from not getting raped?
That's @jmaz. I'm sending him a tweet of thanks right now.

Bonus tweet from @jmaz:
Well Akin, in case you were waiting for the right moment, now's probably good a time as any to roll out your Holocaust denial stance.
posted by jaduncan at 12:00 PM on August 20, 2012 [4 favorites]


Politico is a shitty site that is damaging the country in which many of us live -- it's a less obvious Drudge Report for a less obvious time...and now we know it employs at least one shitty person. The more these facts are consistently pointed out, the better off all of us will be.

So with the national GOP closing up shop in Missouri, has anyone considered whether or not Akin will stick it in for the long haul? Seems like an illogical thing to do but considering who we're dealing with...
posted by MCMikeNamara at 12:00 PM on August 20, 2012 [2 favorites]


If only you lefties would stop being so shrill when someone has a simple difference of opinion on what "consent" means!

Yeah, stupid lefties.

I wonder how long it will take for the Whigs to gain some traction.

Probably not too long.
posted by fuse theorem at 12:02 PM on August 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


He is gone as of tomorrow, the nat GOP will be back supporting whomever they hand select to run (and likely win)
posted by edgeways at 12:03 PM on August 20, 2012


The GOP. What a bunch of lily-livered sissies. They are tops at shutting down the debate. We actually do need to have the debate. Akin is not a lone gunman. And if they keep taking their crazy off stage-right with a giant hooked cane then we'll never move forward.

Feh.
posted by amanda at 12:06 PM on August 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


Fixing the economy by banning abortion and gay marriage makes almost as much sense as curing drug addiction with the use of SWAT teams.

Oh yeah...

posted by mmrtnt at 12:07 PM on August 20, 2012 [3 favorites]


He is gone as of tomorrow, the nat GOP will be back supporting whomever they hand select to run (and likely win)

And will be handed a big memo saying "Keep your fucking mouth shut!!!"
posted by Thorzdad at 12:14 PM on August 20, 2012 [2 favorites]


The story of Professor Unamuno and the Franco Falangists:
The affair began with an impassioned speech by the Falangist writer José María Pemán. After this, Professor Francisco Maldonado decried Catalonia and the Basque Country as "cancers on the body of the nation," adding that "Fascism, the healer of Spain, will know how to exterminate them, cutting into the live flesh, like a determined surgeon free from false sentimentalism."

From somewhere in the auditorium, someone cried out the motto "¡Viva la Muerte!" As was his habit, Millán-Astray responded with "¡España!"; the crowd replied with "¡Una!" He repeated "¡España!"; the crowd then replied "¡Grande!" A third time, Millán-Astray shouted "¡España!"; the crowd responded "¡Libre!" This was a common Falangist cheer. Later, a group of uniformed Falangists entered, saluting the portrait of Franco that hung on the wall.
Unamuno, who was presiding over the meeting, rose up slowly and addressed the crowd:

"You are waiting for my words. You know me well, and know I cannot remain silent for long. Sometimes, to remain silent is to lie, since silence can be interpreted as assent. I want to comment on the so-called speech of Professor Maldonado, who is with us here. I will ignore the personal offence to the Basques and Catalonians. I myself, as you know, was born in Bilbao. The Bishop," Unamuno gestured to the Archbishop of Salamanca, "Whether you like it or not, is Catalan, born in Barcelona. But now I have heard this insensible and necrophilous oath, "¡Viva la Muerte!", and I, having spent my life writing paradoxes that have provoked the ire of those who do not understand what I have written, and being an expert in this matter, find this ridiculous paradox repellent. General Millán-Astray is an invalid. There is no need for us to say this with whispered tones. He is an invalid of war. So was Cervantes. But unfortunately, Spain today has too many invalids. And, if God does not help us, soon it will have very many more. It torments me to think that General Millán-Astray might dictate the norms of the psychology of the masses. It should be expected from a mutilated who lacks the spiritual greatness of Cervantes to find horrible solace in seeing how the number of mutilated ones multiplies around him."

Millán-Astray reportedly responded: "¡Muera la inteligencia! ¡Viva la Muerte!" ("Death to intelligence! Long live death!"), provoking applause from the Falangists (although some versions suggest he actually said "Death to traitor intellectuality" but in the commotion in the auditorium this was not perceived). Pemán, in an effort to calm the crowd, exclaimed "¡No! ¡Viva la inteligencia! ¡Mueran los malos intelectuales!" ("No! Long live intelligence! Death to the bad intellectuals!")

Unamuno continued: "This is the temple of intelligence, and I am its high priest. You are profaning its sacred domain. You will succeed, because you have enough brute force. But you will not convince. In order to convince it is necessary to persuade, and to persuade you will need something that you lack: reason and right in the struggle. I see it is useless to ask you to think of Spain. I have spoken." Millán-Astray, controlling himself, shouted "Take the lady's arm!" Unamuno took Carmen Polo by the arm and left in her protection.
posted by Ironmouth at 12:19 PM on August 20, 2012 [5 favorites]


the nat GOP will be back supporting whomever they hand select to run (and likely win) -- twitterverse is whispering John Ashcroft.
posted by crunchland at 12:25 PM on August 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


Perhaps he was just confusing women with ducks.

Seriously though, things like this make the Weltschmerz so overwhelming that it's hard to say anything about it and you just sigh and shake your head and wonder how people convince themselves of their own 'knowledge' sometimes.
posted by Lutoslawski at 12:32 PM on August 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


Wait, are you guys seriously speculating that the GOP is going to push Akin out because he's too much of a so-called pro-life wingnut? Did I just wake up in an alternate universe where Republicans are suddenly concerned with being perceived as too extreme on social issues?

I seriously doubt that they're going to ditch Akin unless the polls tighten significantly in the next few days, and even then, I think they might just ride things out rather than cross the pro-life base. Aside from the prospect of losing a winnable pickup opportunity against a vulnerable Democratic incumbent, the blowback from the millions of pro-lifers who agree with Akin's sentiment would be huge, and could have ripple efects in other races throughout the country.

I'd expect top Republicans to stay away from hostile microphones for a few days, and if forced to talk about it, to speak in general platitudes. The few Republicans I've seen calling for Akin's resignation are just looking out for their own political interests, and have no power to push him out if they wanted to.

I'd love to be proven wrong on this, of course.
posted by tonycpsu at 12:38 PM on August 20, 2012 [2 favorites]


twitterverse is whispering John Ashcroft.

Seems appropriate. Replace a guy who hasn't a clue about female anatomy with one who's scared of exposed statues.
posted by zarq at 12:40 PM on August 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


The national GOP pulled funding from the senate race.
posted by gaspode at 12:40 PM on August 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


Doctors appalled over Rep. Akin's comments that 'legitimate rape' prevents pregnancy.
posted by ericb at 12:41 PM on August 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


Wait, are you guys seriously speculating that the GOP is going to push Akin out because he's too much of a so-called pro-life wingnut? Did I just wake up in an alternate universe where Republicans are suddenly concerned with being perceived as too extreme on social issues?

Akin's toast. Crossroads GPS is pulling their ads and Romney called him and told him he needs to "reconsider" his decision to stay in the race in the next 24 hours.

If he doesn't get out tomorrow, all hell breaks loose, as he can't be replaced on the ballot after that.

Meanwhile the FRC is standing by their man.

He's out by tomorrow, for sure.

Sadly, as he is a super poster-boy for much worse than a few stray comments.
posted by Ironmouth at 12:41 PM on August 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


...[T]wo Senate Republicans have already said Akin should abandon his Senate bid. Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown and Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson both called for Akin to resign his Senate nomination. (If he were to do so by Tuesday, Republicans would have a clearer path toward nominating a new candidate.)

Texas Sen. John Cornyn, who heads the GOP's Senate campaign efforts, called Akin's statements "wrong, offensive, and indefensible." He called on Akin to "carefully consider what is best for him, his family, the Republican Party, and the values that he cares about and has fought for throughout his career in public service."

Former congresswoman and current Senate candidate from New Mexico, Heather Wilson, has also called on Akin to step aside. *
The pressure is building!
posted by ericb at 12:43 PM on August 20, 2012


Crossroads GPS is pulling their ads
OK, I didn't hear that Uncle Karl was taking away the credit card. That certainly changes the equation, but I bet if Akin made some phone calls he could get some prominent social conservative PACs to replace that hole in the campaign budget.

Charlie Pierce is right -- Claire MacCaskill is the luckiest politician alive.
posted by tonycpsu at 12:50 PM on August 20, 2012


I wonder what percentage of the people who are all "language like the War on Women is unnecessarily inflammatory and demonizing" happily described SOPA and PIPA as a "war on privacy" or a "war on the Internet."
posted by KathrynT at 12:51 PM on August 20, 2012 [2 favorites]


The last decade of American politics has emboldened Republicans into Col. Nathan Jessup mode. They really do think the horrible things they believe are simply what everyone believes deep down. So why not say them out loud?
posted by Senor Cardgage at 12:51 PM on August 20, 2012


Clearly, the GOP has gone all in on forcing Akin out before the deadline. It would be fascinating to see their reactions to his statements had they come on Wednesday instead. And by fascinating, I mean appalling.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 12:53 PM on August 20, 2012


Hannity apparently begging him to get out live on Fox right now and National Review is calling on him to drop out.

Obama just dictating the terms of the race. Apparently its all about Medicare, Ryan's budget plan, the War on Women, Romney's taxes and his time at Bain Capital.
posted by Ironmouth at 12:56 PM on August 20, 2012 [2 favorites]


This is the opposite of Gotcha Politics. That's when you taken a sentence out of context, or harp on a grammatical error or slight misstatement, or maybe trip someone up with a trick question.

Asking a normal question and getting in response an answer which is exactly what the person believes isn't Gotcha Politics so much as, er, an interview.
posted by kyrademon at 12:57 PM on August 20, 2012 [11 favorites]


America is all about wars : War on Drugs, War on Terra, War on Privacy, War on Women, etc.
posted by jeffburdges at 12:58 PM on August 20, 2012


Check out this masterful commercial from the primary. McCaskill was putting in ads practically on his behalf.
posted by Ironmouth at 12:58 PM on August 20, 2012 [3 favorites]


Akin's on Hannity defending his decision (for now I guess) to stay in the race and yeah, while I accept that my filter is I'd love him to stay because it guarantees McCaskill the seat, in the end it's honestly the right thing to do. Yes, I said it.

Suggesting that Akin and the state GOP can have "backsies" on their candidate because they accidentally revealed he's a stupid motherfucker doesn't really fly. He was picked by a majority of Missouri Republican voters to be their candidate. He fucked up. Tough shit.

The NJ Dems were conniving asshats when they weaseled Torricelli out of his race PAST the last minute. The Massachusetts Dems were twice-over morons when they passed a law to remove the Republican governor's ability to fill John Kerry's seat if he won, and then figuring oh, hey, let's have the guy with brain cancer run for re-election and then not worry at all that a Republican takes his seat when he inevitably dies. The Illinois Republicans flailed and ended up with Alan Keyes, and then President Obama. Good job trying to fix your fuckup there, gentlemen.

You don't get to swap out your candidate because you suddenly discovered he's not electable. That's sort of what a primary is for.

Akin appears to be gambling that if he holds out past this apparent "deadline" he has far more leverage. Honestly, good on him for apparently acknowledging the empty threats of Rove and the NRSC who are shocked, SHOCKED they might have to actually ADDRESS their horrific thinking on women's rights now. Yes, you have a stupid, misogynist asshole as your Senate candidate. You didn't seem to mind when 37 percent of Republicans in your state chose him to be their representative in the American government.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 1:00 PM on August 20, 2012 [10 favorites]


Akin on Hannity:

Seriously, I am not getting out.

This guy staying in means a long conversation about these issues. Him dropping out means it was a "gaffe"
posted by Ironmouth at 1:02 PM on August 20, 2012


Wait, are you guys seriously speculating that the GOP is going to push Akin out because he's too much of a so-called pro-life wingnut?

No, they're going to push him out because the damned fool opened his mouth and confirmed it.
posted by Thorzdad at 1:04 PM on August 20, 2012 [2 favorites]


I just tweeted him.

@ToddAkin Stay in the Race! don't let those libs push you out! You are a true conservative!
posted by Ironmouth at 1:06 PM on August 20, 2012 [18 favorites]


Ironmouth: "Check out this masterful commercial from the primary. McCaskill was putting in ads practically on his behalf."

If he doesn't drop out, McCaskill should just run it again and say at the end "I'm Claire McCaskill, and I approve this ad, and also, I told you so."
posted by MCMikeNamara at 1:09 PM on August 20, 2012 [5 favorites]


If I was of a more Paul Krasner bent, I'd scream that Akin must stay the candidate, or else the State Republicans would be ignoring, nay, sinning against, the votes of all the clean and decent Americans who chose him in the primary.
posted by benito.strauss at 1:12 PM on August 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


At first I was pretty pumped to see everyone in the GOP run away screaming from Todd Akin. Now I'm a little annoyed, because, for the price of just one Senate seat, everyone in the GOP gets to go on record and look like a pretty reasonable person.

What I'd really like to see is a whole lot of commentary in the next month or so that asks the question, "Well, how different are Akin's views really that different from the rest of his party, and what evidence is out there that shows the difference/similarity?"
posted by MoonOrb at 1:13 PM on August 20, 2012 [12 favorites]


Romney called him and told him he needs to "reconsider" his decision to stay in the race in the next 24 hours.

Romnomnoms, you just do not have what it takes to pull off an ultimatum and veiled threat. It reads like a child pretending to be a scary angry adult.
posted by jason_steakums at 1:14 PM on August 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ironmouth: " @ToddAkin Stay in the Race! don't let those libs push you out! You are a true conservative!"

Rat-tweeting? Twit-fucking?
posted by tonycpsu at 1:14 PM on August 20, 2012 [2 favorites]


Akin also has no reason whatsoever to quit or bail. He won the nomination. It's his. He gave up his House seat. It's unlikely this incident gives him lots of leverage to join a major lobbying firm at the moment. And Romney isn't President yet so he can't really offer anything to Akin to drop out.

After tomorrow the GOP needs a court order to get him off the ballot, the grounds for which getting one are ludicrous. He said something politically untenable; he broke no laws and holds full control of his faculties. Tomorrow afternoon he can go up to Karl Rove and say "you can either guarantee McCaskill keeps the seat or work with your GOP nominee. Your call, asshole."

Akin is the GOP nominee for the Missouri senate seat. He can't and shouldn't be replaced on the excuse that Republicans now have to have an actual election over it.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 1:15 PM on August 20, 2012 [7 favorites]


Adding as well, if he did quit, his political career is over forever. Is it possible he'll be browbeat into doing it? Yes. But he would have to be even stupider than the man who made those idiotic statements yesterday, and frankly that's pretty dumb. I hate poker metaphors but Akin dropping out now would be like folding after going all-in. He is already at the point where he risks losing everything and has no incentive to guarantee it.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 1:19 PM on August 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


And Romney isn't President yet so he can't really offer anything to Akin to drop out.

He could promise him a cabinet position: Secretary of Health and Human Services Todd Akin!
posted by homunculus at 1:20 PM on August 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


If Akin Walks The Plank, What Happens Next?
The first deadline for Akin to pull out of the race with the greatest ease for the state party, is 5 p.m. Central Tuesday, under state law. After that, he would still have until Sept. 25 to withdraw — but would need to petition for a court order, and his campaign would have to pay any additional printing costs for new ballots.

A new candidate would then be chosen by a state party nominating committee — in effect, the state GOP’s central committee. The deadline for that selection would be 28 days after the withdrawal. Thus, if Akin were to withdraw Tuesday, then the GOP’s deadline would be Sept. 18.

A Republican source in Missouri told TPM Monday that potential replacement nominees include: former Sen. Jim Talent, state Auditor Tom Schweich and businessman John Brunner, who finished second to Akin in the GOP primary.
If he stays in, the FSM will have many meatballs cooked in its honor.
posted by zombieflanders at 1:25 PM on August 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


Rat-tweeting? Twit-fucking?

Introducing ratfuckr, the social media site that uses your Twitter and Facebook accounts to pump awful candidates up with false hype and support!

Cue bootstrap template, adorable Twitterbird-esque rat mascot, and either League Gothic title fonts and a "Soviet via Etsy" theme or an ironically loud "straw hats and streamers" old-school convention look.
posted by jason_steakums at 1:26 PM on August 20, 2012 [13 favorites]


fwiw.............

Missouri Election Laws (PDF 802 Kb)

Section 115.359 seems to be the relevant one. Pg 85.
posted by lampshade at 1:31 PM on August 20, 2012


correction....page 87
posted by lampshade at 1:32 PM on August 20, 2012


homunculus: "And Romney isn't President yet so he can't really offer anything to Akin to drop out. "

Except for, you know, millions of dollars in off-shore accounts...

(Sorry, as somebody prone to bump into Rod Blagojevich at his local liquor store before his incarceration, my mind can't help but go there...)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 1:35 PM on August 20, 2012


Secret Life of Gravy : Ah, the mysterious dark hole that is womanhood. Who knows what goes on in there?

If this isn't the eponysterical comment of all time I don't know what is.
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:48 PM on August 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


Obama just dictating the terms of the race.

Goddamn right.
posted by eoden at 2:17 PM on August 20, 2012


Well, here's one explanation of why Todd Akin believes what he does:

This is Todd Akin. He has sex with ducks.

Well, we can only assume he does. Akin recently stated that he has spoken to doctors who have told him that, in cases of “legitimate rape,” the body has biological defenses to prevent pregnancy.

It is possible that he has somehow confused human vaginas with duck vaginas, which have evolved natural defenses against rape-happy male ducks.

I now ask you, ladies and gentlemen, how does one confuse a human vagina with a duck vagina? Hmm?

The answer is clear: Todd Akin fucks ducks. He is a duckfucker.


Yes, this is beneath me. No, I don't care.
posted by Phire at 2:24 PM on August 20, 2012 [21 favorites]


I'm not saying you're wrong, phire. And I'm not saying you're right, either. The point is, we simply don't know: is Akin a duckfucker, or isn't he? And until he denies it, the only reasonable thing we can assume is that he's a duckfucker.
posted by MoonOrb at 2:28 PM on August 20, 2012 [3 favorites]


MoonOrb: "And until he denies it, the only reasonable thing we can assume is that he's a duckfucker."

"Is it irresponsible to speculate?... It would be irresponsible not to."
- Peggy Noonan
posted by tonycpsu at 2:36 PM on August 20, 2012 [3 favorites]


Why isn't Todd Akin prepared to release a statement once and for all addressing the controversy over if he fucks ducks? I'm not saying he fucks ducks, I'm just saying it's curious that he hasn't gone on the record saying he doesn't.
posted by jaduncan at 2:40 PM on August 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


This is fun, but it also makes me feel a bit like Harry Reid at the moment.
posted by MoonOrb at 2:51 PM on August 20, 2012


Hell, I used to work with an office full of 20-30-something developers, and they were the most aggressively anti-liberal crowd I'd ever encountered. Not just conservative...anti-liberal.

I'm convinced many young men are anti-liberal because, to bring up a term from an FPP the other day, to be liberal puts you outside the "man box." That is, being liberal is equated with being weak or unmanly. Young men, especially insecure young men, can't risk being seen as "soft."

(Additionally, there seem to be a lot of young men who have real issues with women being people rather than magical attractive vagina-time providers.)
posted by maxwelton at 2:54 PM on August 20, 2012 [9 favorites]


I think you're right, maxwelton. I've seen similar behaviors and the implication many of them make is that being intellectual or nerdy is "feminine". As if either "intellectual", "nerdy", or "feminine" are insults.
posted by eoden at 3:04 PM on August 20, 2012


Yeah, the recent rash of "dudes in geeky subcultures being assholes to women" makes me really especially sad, because those subcultures used to be where I hid out from assholes. Hopefully, more visibility about these issues means that women will be less afraid to speak up and men will call out assholery when they see it, but it's still disheartening.
posted by Phire at 3:06 PM on August 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


And Romney isn't President yet so he can't really offer anything to Akin to drop out.

He could promise him a cabinet position: Secretary of Health and Human Services Todd Akin!


It's even worse than you think. After Fay Boozman lost his Senate race against Blanche Lincoln because he made a comment about how God prevents pregnancies caused by rape, Mike Huckabee appointed him as the state secretary of Health and Human Services.
posted by jonp72 at 3:07 PM on August 20, 2012


National Republican Infrastructure Abandons Todd Akin. Not only are they condemning him, they're demanding he resign from the race, and won't be funding him. He'll only be able to stay in the race if grassroots republicans are willing to fund his campaign, along with "self interested democrats"
On the other hand McCaskill wants him to stay in the race.

Like I said, I think this kind of disingenuous politics is bad when it's practiced by the republicans, and it's bad when it's practiced by the democrats. Obviously I think liberals should "fight harder" but that should be done by telling uncomfortable truths, not being dishonest or engaging in dirty tricks. No one should want this guy anywhere near the senate, and the best way for that to happen is for him to resign.

The problem with wanting "your side" to be just as sleazy as the other, is that they'll just turn around and stab you in the back when it means more lobbyist dollars or better corporate jobs after being in government.

Maybe stunts like this might work once in a while, but if they fail they would actually move the so-called 'center' even further to the right.
What I was thinking about this morning is that the internet is a two-edged sword. Sure it can expose Aken's nonsense and hold him up to ridicule, but at the same time it disseminates the same nonsense to anyone with a computer.
Well, first of all he said it on the radio or local TV I think, so it would have been disseminated with or without the internet. But actually, there are apparently a lot of people who actually hold this view, not out of malice but just from hearing it from friends as they grew up. So a lot of people might be learning for the first time that this isn't true, including from the republican establishment who's condemning him at this point.
Relying on demographics to "age-out" the current crop of Republican crazies is not a winning play. Many of the young people today, who appear progressive/not-conservative might change their allegiances over time. That's what people do
That's not really true, people don't change their views that much after their in their 20s. What will actually happen is that the definitions of "liberal" and "conservative" will change. The modern republican party would never come out in favor of something like segregation. Republicans now mostly don't say homosexuality should be illegal, many say they support civil unions if not gay marriage, and so on. No one is calling reinstate prohibition.

So, 50 years from now people will be outraged outraged about the "conservatives" and "liberals" of the day (perhaps not using those labels, maybe with a different intensity level), but the set of issues they feel are angry about may be different.
He later invoked 9/11 to explain his pro-life views, saying the first responders didn't ask for identification of those they saved because all lives are important.
Wow that is bizarre. Especially with all the voter ID bullshit.
Check out this masterful commercial from the primary McCaskill was putting in ads practically on his behalf.
Which will all be for naught if he resigns from the race, which is why she has been saying he shouldn't.
posted by delmoi at 3:08 PM on August 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


Why isn't Todd Akin prepared to release a statement once and for all addressing the controversy over if he fucks ducks? I'm not saying he fucks ducks, I'm just saying it's curious that he hasn't gone on the record saying he doesn't.

If it quacks like a duck, walks like a duck, and fucks like a duck, it's probably a duck.
posted by jonp72 at 3:09 PM on August 20, 2012


If it quacks like a duck, walks like a duck, and fucks like a duck, it's probably a Friend of Todd.

"Then sighing, said the other, 'Have thy will Todd,
I am the Love that dare not quack its mating call."
posted by jaduncan at 3:14 PM on August 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association comes out batting for Akin's reproductive biology model.

“When you have a real, genuine rape, a case of forcible rape, a case of assault rape, where a woman has been violated against her will, through the use of physical force,” Fischer describes, adding “there’s a very delicate and complex mix of hormones that take place that are released in a woman’s body and if that gets interfered with it may make it impossible for her or difficult in that particular circumstance to conceive a child.”

Do they just make this up, or is there some bonkers doctor out there providing them with the ideas?

(Very strong rumours now on the blogosphere that Akin's quitting tomorrow.. much as it would be fun for him not to, I think he's being blowtorched out of the picture)
posted by Devonian at 3:15 PM on August 20, 2012


National Republican Infrastructure Abandons Todd Akin. Not only are they condemning him, they're demanding he resign from the race, and won't be funding him.

Until he doesn't drop out after all. Then what? They just abandon their most optimistic seat pick up for the entire cycle?

It's such hilarious bullshit. Just like how I'm reading all these right-wing blog posts about how Akin should "do the right thing" and "what's important is the Republicans take control of the Senate." It's.... it's adorable. You think Akin's top concern right now is if Mitch McConnell is Majority Leader or not?

How are Republican voters in Missouri not furious about this? Over a hundred thousand of them chose Akin as their candidate. The GOP response is to literally threaten him to quit the race.

Again, for the love of Christ, anyone on the right: what specifically does Akin gain from dropping out? Not what you gain, not what the Republican Party gains... what is in it for him?
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 3:18 PM on August 20, 2012


adding “there’s a very delicate and complex mix of hormones that take place that are released in a woman’s body and if that gets interfered with it may make it impossible for her or difficult in that particular circumstance to conceive a child.”

I'm calling my embryology professor from undergrad to complain bitterly, because she sure as hell didn't cover this in class.
posted by winna at 3:18 PM on August 20, 2012 [3 favorites]


Again, for the love of Christ, anyone on the right: what specifically does Akin gain from dropping out? Not what you gain, not what the Republican Party gains... what is in it for him?

Lucrative gig on Fox?
posted by rtha at 3:19 PM on August 20, 2012 [3 favorites]


No one should want this guy anywhere near the senate, and the best way for that to happen is for him to resign.

Your argument would be more compelling if any of the GOP alternatives were a significant improvement.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 3:23 PM on August 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


Again, for the love of Christ, anyone on the right: what specifically does Akin gain from dropping out? Not what you gain, not what the Republican Party gains... what is in it for him?

Guarantee of a sinecure somewhere? It's the only thing they can really offer.
posted by jaduncan at 3:27 PM on August 20, 2012


Except no one's asking him to resign. He's not running for re-election but he is still a sitting Congressman.

So apparently what he said was horrific enough that he must abandon his Senate bid, but not horrific enough to not be a member of Congress for the next four months.

The GOP believes this because of reasons.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 3:27 PM on August 20, 2012 [6 favorites]


Alternatively, a promise not to release the dirt that the Republican whips office should have on their candidates as a matter of course.

Possibly about ducks.
posted by jaduncan at 3:27 PM on August 20, 2012


That is 120% horseshit, Devonian, as the 32,000 annual rape-related pregnancies in the US will attest to, not to mention the pretty significant literature on sexual violence in war zones and consequent pregnancies. The AFA isn't classified as a hate group without reason.
posted by Phire at 3:30 PM on August 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


Phire, you might want to read the third paragraph of Devonians post. I don't think he was advocating the position he quoted.
posted by benito.strauss at 3:33 PM on August 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


No, I know. Devonian asked if there was scientific reasoning behind people like Bryan Fisher and Todd Akin's thinking, and my point is that "existence of pregnancies resulting from rape in war-torn countries" pretty solidly refutes "no really, women's bodies have assassin hormones that kill unwanted sperm". I didn't mean for it to come off like an attack against Devonian - totally not intended.
posted by Phire at 3:35 PM on August 20, 2012


Phire, I couldn't agree more. I just don't see how anyone can say stuff that is beyond even creationism in being blatant fantasy masquerading as science, and wondering where it comes from. Also, whether they realyl believe it, or whether that question has any meaning.
posted by Devonian at 3:36 PM on August 20, 2012 [3 favorites]


Other Things Missouri Representative Todd Akin Believes To Be True About The Uterus
posted by homunculus at 4:19 PM on August 20, 2012 [6 favorites]


Todd Akin has issued a statement - "I misspoke..."
posted by triggerfinger at 4:23 PM on August 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


He later invoked 9/11 to explain his pro-life views...

what is this i don't even

posted by tonycpsu at 2:35 PM

Right now in America a Republican mother is teaching her children the magic words: Please, Thank you, and 9/11.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:32 PM on August 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


National Republican Infrastructure Abandons Todd Akin.

And the Republican infrastructure suddenly cares about a Republican saying stupid things about rape because?

Because they see he's cratered himself in a race to beat a Democrat so they hope to replace him with someone more likely to win?
posted by Squeak Attack at 4:37 PM on August 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


Akin, paraphrasing: "I'm sorry I used the wrong dog whistle, you weren't supposed to be able to hear that."
posted by localroger at 5:10 PM on August 20, 2012 [6 favorites]


Well, I wouldn't take that to mean anything, necessarily—have any new poll results for Missouri's 1st Congressional District actually come in and/or been published in the last 12 hours?

He's running for senate.


I'm aware he's running for Senate, delmoi. I guess I was thinking about this from the perspective of my district, but that aside, the question stands. So far no one's posted actual poll results since this happened. (Nate Silver's notes on this are so far just speculation.) So change "1st Congressional District" to "Missouri," then please answer the question if you can: Have any new poll results for Missouri actually come in and/or been published in the last 24 hours?
posted by limeonaire at 5:15 PM on August 20, 2012


Akin’s eager apologists: Todd Akin told two lies, and one of them has plenty of supporters in the media and on the right
posted by homunculus at 5:37 PM on August 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's time for his "I am not a warlock" commercial.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 5:39 PM on August 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


I linked this in the other thread, but if you really want to make yourself sick, consider having a look at what they're saying about Todd Akin on Twitchy, Michelle Malkin's "ground-breaking Twitter curation site."

To counteract that, I got a giggle out of The Female Body according to Missouri Republican Senate Nominee Todd Akin, but maybe it's because I played a lot of flight simulators as a kid.
posted by ob1quixote at 5:41 PM on August 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


I suspect he meant to say "forcible rape," which is the word that that Paul Ryan/Todd Akin personhood bill used. Not sure it would have been much more palatable if he'd used the "correct" word, but it would have tied him more tightly to Ryan.

Whenever you look at Paul Ryan, though, its worth knowing that he believes more or less the exact same thing as Akin.
posted by Joey Michaels at 6:03 PM on August 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


ob1quixote: "I linked this in the other thread, but if you really want to make yourself sick, consider having a look at what they're saying about Todd Akin on Twitchy, Michelle Malkin's "ground-breaking Twitter curation site.""

Michelle Malkin really is a piece of...work. Yeah, a piece of work, isn't she.
posted by notsnot at 6:04 PM on August 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


My father left my mother and fought paying child support for most of my childhood...because my sister and I were girls. He blamed her.

dejah420, if you ever encounter your father again, perhaps he might be tickled to know that in mammals, the male's gametes (=sperm) are solely responsible for sex-determination.
posted by dhens at 6:09 PM on August 20, 2012 [4 favorites]


Oh and, re: Dave Catanese's twitter stupidity:

There is this asinine logical fallacy that is extremely popular in the US called proof by example or sometimes inappropriate generalization that goes something like:

Here is one example where X happened
Therefor X always/generally/usually happens.

In this case, Catanese is attempting to use the classic:

Well, some women have lied about being rapes
Therefore this is a real significant problem some/most/all of the time.

This same logical fallacy is used to generate welfare queens, justify x-raying shoes (one person tried to blow up their shoes, thus we have to check everyone's feet), or whatever other useful bogeyman you need to move a political argument forward.

Catanese's argument also has the added "Oh, poor victimized men" argument attached to it, which gains extra points for assholishness.

Part of the reason many Americans are incapable of seeing through lies, propaganda and fantasy is that we spend hardly any time developing children's critical thinking and logic skills. Not all of the reason, maybe not even the prime reason, but if kids could sit down and say "hey, one example is not proof that all things in that same category are like that" we'd be maybe a little closer to eradicating bullshit weak arguments like those of Catanese.
posted by Joey Michaels at 6:13 PM on August 20, 2012 [4 favorites]


Ironically, Todd Akin also supports the repeal of the 17th amendment to the Constitution... the one that says that citizens elect their own senators. Akin and others think it makes more sense to have state legislators choose who should represent the state on a federal level, like it was before 1913. (Colbert did a send up of it last week.)

It's looking more and more like he'll get his wish even without a repeal.
posted by crunchland at 6:14 PM on August 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


Does anyone win after a rape?

Once, after answering questions on rape on a radio show, one of your authors was called to the phone after the program. A woman’s voice said,

"You were talking about me. You see, I am the product of rape. An intruder forced his way into my parents’ house, tied up my father and, with him watching, raped my mother. I was conceived that night. Everyone advised an abortion. The local doctors and hospital were willing. My father, however, said, ‘Even though not mine, that is a child and I will not allow it to be killed!’ I don’t know how many times that, as I lay secure in the loving arms of my husband, I have thanked God for my wonderful Christian father." And so, does anyone win? Yes, the baby does.


Read on for more tidbits about why rape victims rarely get pregnant (and most want to keep their babies if only society would let them) and how incest victims never get pregnant except when they want to.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:28 PM on August 20, 2012


Can I just go ahead an pile on here. I have met with all of Missouri's congressional delegation and members of their staff, numerous times, and Akin is just flat out the worst of all of them.

It goes beyond his actual positions--which are bad enough, of course, and ideological to the uttermost extreme. He's arrogant, doesn't listen to constituents, doesn't listen to anyone who disagrees with him, and as you can see from his first five days or so of campaigning, is a terrible campaigner. He knows exactly how to push the buttons of the rightmost 25% of the Republican Party but reaching out to the rest of the party, let alone the non-Republican majority of the state, is just beyond his capacity.

Akin has only gotten as far as he has because of the makeup of us congressional district, which would re-elect him basically no matter what he said as long as he was wrong in a 'conservative' sort of way.

He is the sort of candidate that is the result of our current ultra-gerrymandered, polarized-by-design congressional districts, where most candidates, once they are in, are virtually assured of re-election no matter what they say or do. It fosters a sort of arrogance, disconnection from constituents, and unresponsiveness in office holders, and Mr. Todd Akin should become the national poster boy for that attitude from this day forward.

He really had no idea there was a problem with making this kind of a statement to the media, because he has made similarly stupid statements to the media and on the floor of the House many, many times before and nothing has ever come of it but accolades.

His opponent, Sen. Claire McCaskill--another one I have no particular love for--knew that Akin would rather immediately melt down repeatedly once he hit the broader exposure of the state-wide general election, and that's why she worked so hard to make sure Akin was the Republican nominee.

If you don't like Republican positions or conservative candidates, you probably wouldn't like any of the three candidates in the Republican primary for the Missouri Senate seat, or the replacement they come up with if Akin should step aside (though I would bet a plugged nickel he won't--stubborn is Akin's middle name, and reality impinges only with utmost rarity on his decision-making process).

But even compared with other candidates--say the worst of either party--Akin is a very, very special kind of arrogant and stupid, and it goes way beyond even what you're seeing in this episode, which shows a guy who is clearly not ready for prime time blurting out inanities that any serious candidate would know not to touch with a 10 foot pole and then handling the aftermath in the most ham-handed and self-defeating way possible. And all the while wondering in a self-pitying way why the mean ol' media is piling up on him and his inconsequential little slip of the tongue while he was speaking 'off the cuff' . . .

(Pro-tip: Serious candidates in major elections don't speak 'off the cuff' ever, especially not when they're idiots by nature.)

The only positive I can see out of this is it might be the end of Todd Akin in public office forever, and if that works out it will be a very good thing for Missouri and for America.

/end rant - one that's been building up for a few years now. Sometimes a little schadenfreude is a very, very good thing to feel . . .
posted by flug at 6:31 PM on August 20, 2012 [28 favorites]


Tomorrow afternoon he can go up to Karl Rove and say "you can either guarantee McCaskill keeps the seat or work with your GOP nominee. Your call, asshole."

I don't think this would get him very far. After all this furor, supporting him would mean publicly tying the entire GOP to this one idiot's views and thereby alienating women in many other areas of the country. They simply can't afford to do this. The upside of supporting him is that they *might* gain one senate seat. The downside is they lose any shot at the presidency, and probably more.
posted by jon1270 at 6:33 PM on August 20, 2012


Joey Michaels: "I suspect he meant to say "forcible rape,"

He now says that is exactly what he meant. What I don't understand is why he would think that there is a smaller likelihood of pregnancy from a "forcible rape" rather than an "non-forcible rape." (And, of course, the so called distinction between "forcible" and "non-forcible" rape is fallacious itself.) Is anyone in the blogosphere asking this question?
posted by Sculthorpe at 6:38 PM on August 20, 2012


You know, I made an off the cuff contemptuous comment earlier, and I'd like to be a little more positive in my contribution to this thread.

So let me say that I can understand that someone might get the idea that there is some logic to this idea that women can't get pregnant by rape and unthinkingly parrot it in the way people do about stuff they haven't thought about at all.

It's estimated that possibly up to 40% of all conceptions are miscarried. The process of blastocyst implantation is delicate and it does depend on a number of factors relating to the internal environment of the woman's body. There is an enormous volume of hormonal fluctuations that have to occur for the fertilized egg to take hold and grow.

It's logical to assume that stress would affect the production of those hormones and that a woman under high stress would be less likely to conceive. In fact, that's part of the advice people give women who are trying to have a baby - to relax and not worry so that it can all happen naturally.

Connecting the two commonly understood facts: people are miscarrying all the time and that stress makes it hard to conceive, you get the idea that an enormously stressful event would make it far more difficult to get pregnant. But it's wrong, as people have said very well in the thread. Also, the people promoting this idea are not Bob and Susie Jones, sitting around their house going on so-popular gut instinct assessment of truth and falsehood to evaluate truth claims made by people in the media. The people coming up with these ideas have an agenda. And as far as I've been able to tell in the twenty years I've been watching their agenda, it's profoundly inimical to my bodily integrity, my dignity as a person, and my right to make decisions about my body on my own.

It's a scary time to be a woman.
posted by winna at 6:53 PM on August 20, 2012 [5 favorites]


Counterexample to Akin's claim, by the way: Genghis Khan. How exactly did 8% of the men in the areas of Mongol conquest come to share his Y chromosome, if conception due to rape is rare?
posted by notsnot at 6:58 PM on August 20, 2012 [3 favorites]


Akin is such a thug that he'd say no woman could resist the charms of Genghis Khan. Don't even bother assuming that he thinks logically or respects women.
posted by Sticherbeast at 7:01 PM on August 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


I Misspoke—What I Meant To Say Is 'I Am Dumb As Dog Shit And I Am A Terrible Human Being'
posted by tonycpsu at 7:08 PM on August 20, 2012 [13 favorites]


It's all about the allure of a powerful man.
posted by notashroom at 7:24 PM on August 20, 2012


It's all about the allure of a powerful manatee.
posted by Sticherbeast at 7:28 PM on August 20, 2012 [2 favorites]


What I don't understand is why he would think that there is a smaller likelihood of pregnancy from a "forcible rape" rather than an "non-forcible rape." ... Is anyone in the blogosphere asking this question?

That question is unnecessary. We don't actually know what Akin actually thinks. What we do know is that he was hitting the anti-choice messaging pretty hard. Vilifying women for pregnancies occurring from being raped allows the anti-choice faction to remove the "no abortions except in the case of rape" argument from the table or narrow it down to a tiny, tiny group of women. Who no doubt would be required to petition a court for an abortion and prove their rape was "forcible."
posted by Squeak Attack at 7:30 PM on August 20, 2012 [3 favorites]


@ToddAkin Stay in the Race! don't let those libs push you out! You are a true conservative!

That is despicable and underhanded! Here's his contact form if anyone wants to join me in sending him an email.
posted by msalt at 7:37 PM on August 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


Before the “rape” comment, Akin made comments against federal money for student loans and school lunches and said the Voting Rights Act of 1965 deserves a second look.

It's really something when "maybe we went too far letting Black folks have the vote" is only the 2nd or 3rd craziest thing you just said in an interview.
posted by billyfleetwood at 9:09 PM on August 20, 2012 [25 favorites]


Michelle Malkin's "ground-breaking Twitter curation site."
Because that's really what the world needs right now...
posted by delmoi at 9:48 PM on August 20, 2012 [2 favorites]


Rachel Maddow: Anti-abortion extremists mainstreamed to GOP leadership
posted by homunculus at 9:53 PM on August 20, 2012 [2 favorites]


He is the sort of candidate that is the result of our current ultra-gerrymandered, polarized-by-design congressional districts, where most candidates, once they are in, are virtually assured of re-election no matter what they say or do. It fosters a sort of arrogance, disconnection from constituents, and unresponsiveness in office holders, and Mr. Todd Akin should become the national poster boy for that attitude from this day forward.
Michel Bachman is another example, her district is gerrymandered to produce a bunch of safe democratic districts, by putting all the hard-core republican areas in one area. She's the result. She'd never be in congress if Minnesota were districted in a sensible way.

Anyway, whether he gets replaced on the ballot probably wouldn't make that big of a difference if he won. He'd just be one more crazy republican always voting with the rest of the party. I don't think it would make a big difference.
posted by delmoi at 10:17 PM on August 20, 2012


Anyway, whether he gets replaced on the ballot probably wouldn't make that big of a difference if he won. He'd just be one more crazy republican always voting with the rest of the party. I don't think it would make a big difference.

Um, he's running for U.S. Senate. The GOP has to pick up only four seats in a year where more Dems are up for reelection.

And if you don't think control of the Senate is important given the current make up of the Supreme Court . . .
posted by Ironmouth at 10:29 PM on August 20, 2012 [4 favorites]


In case anyone here had any doubt about the motive behind the GOP denouncing Akin (hint: it wasn't because he was too right-wing), the official GOP platform will include a "human life amendment" that outlaws all abortion, including rape and incest.

So there's that.
posted by Phire at 10:46 PM on August 20, 2012 [8 favorites]


Anyway, whether he gets replaced on the ballot probably wouldn't make that big of a difference if he won.

Well, there is something to be said for that. In one sense, any dependable Republican vote in the Senate is more or less the equivalent of any other.

But in another sense, individuals really do matter. Our senators certainly do matter for Missouri--they can influence the direction of the state in many ways, large and small, beyond their votes on the Senate floor.

And one more very, very extreme and very, very ideological Senator just helps push the Republican Party even more to the right. A senator has a fairly large influence. Three or four more really extreme Senators in office could make a measurable difference in the Republican Party's future direction, and I can assure you that Akin will be gunning hard to push the party in the most extreme direction possible.

Pretty much any of the other Republican choices in play to replace Akin if he quits his run for the Senate would be more moderate than Akin--even Ashcroft would be. Akin is a guy who wants to abolish the USDOT, the Department of Education, the Department of Health - really pretty much every department there is in the U.S. gov't except for Defense. I mean, he's against school lunch.

You can take a look at his issue statements here--though they have been toned down and generic-ized considerably since earlier on in the primary (unfortunately archive.org doesn't have any archives of his web site from that time frame--it would be very interesting to compare those early pages with the current versions).
posted by flug at 11:10 PM on August 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


I fear the "Chick-Fil-A backlash": mouth-breathers who will come to Akin's defense just because the liberals are "attacking" him. Why they are attacking is of no consequence. You can be sure that most every evangelical church in Missouri this Sunday will be telling their flock to go out and support Akin. Assuming he stays in the race, that is.
posted by zardoz at 12:44 AM on August 21, 2012 [5 favorites]


Normally I would jump on whatever Akin said. But I'm just too dumbfounded. It broke my rage-filter.

The two ultra-conservatives (boyfriend's parents) I was watching the news with when I heard about this were fully appalled also.
posted by _paegan_ at 1:41 AM on August 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Does anyone else think Catanese's defense of Akin is completely insane AS A DEFENSE?

I mean, isn't he essentially saying, "Jeez, people, give the man a break -- Akin obviously *meant* that if you claim you got pregnant by a rape then you're a lying whore."

Um, OK then?
posted by kyrademon at 2:07 AM on August 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


The two ultra-conservatives (boyfriend's parents) I was watching the news with when I heard about this were fully appalled also.
If there's one good thing to come out of the PPP Poll, it's that only 9% found his comments "appropriate". 75% overall and 64% of republicans found them "inappropriate".

It will be interesting to see if he steps aside today. My guess is that he won't and that republicans will probably stop attacking him if he doesn't.
posted by delmoi at 3:00 AM on August 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Number of "Akin" mentions on Fox News this morning: 0
posted by crunchland at 5:53 AM on August 21, 2012 [10 favorites]


So when do we get to the point where the GOP is rightfully viewed as American Taliban and move on to having meaningful discussion and debate with Modern Whigs and the Coffee Party and Social Democratsvand anyone else relatively informed, sane, and willing to engage in good faith?

Is there ever a point where the media and general electorate admit that the party has gone over the cliff of sanity and moderates cannot save it from itself when there are too many in the core whose chief motivation for engaging in the political process boils down to terror over loss of privilege?
posted by notashroom at 6:35 AM on August 21, 2012 [4 favorites]


Social Democrats reprazent!
posted by eoden at 6:51 AM on August 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Phire, I believe the GOP platform has had that language in every election since 1976.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:52 AM on August 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


roomthreeseventeen: "Phire, I believe the GOP platform has had that language in every election since 1976."

1980, I believe.

ThinkProgress:
"The human life amendment has been a tenet of the Republican Party platform since the dawn of the Reagan era in 1980. It has survived for 32 years and nine presidential elections, even after former presidential candidate Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) pushed hard in 2000 for an explicit exception for rape and incest. McCain ceded the language to party officials during his own run in 2008."

posted by zarq at 7:15 AM on August 21, 2012 [3 favorites]


I was thinking about this last night: a decade ago, I would not have believed that the GOP would be able to amass the spine and the political capital to get to a place where abortion is not only outlawed, but criminalized. I don't have any trouble believing that now. I don't think it's inevitable, but we seem to be much closer to that end of things than we used to be.

(I also noticed, when seeing a clip of Akin "walking back" his statement, that when he talked about who would deserve punishment in a scenario in which rape results in a pregnancy, that it should be the rapist and not the child who is punished. He never mentioned the woman, or what her thoughts or desires might be.)
posted by rtha at 7:36 AM on August 21, 2012 [8 favorites]


This was the topic du jour on the local (but clear channel) RW talk radio station this morning. In the course of my 50 minute commute I was treated to: My takeaway from this is that this is an absolute disaster for the GOP because it is dragging a whole circus train of carefully buried and dog-whistled canards out into the light of day.

It's a well polled fact that a solid majority of people don't feel very strongly about abortion one way or the other but they are horrified at the idea of making rape victims (and especially underage rape victims and victims of incest) carry their pregnancies to term. And Akin's particular remark is especially horrifying because, if you are not in on the dog whistle pitch, it's very transparently set up to support blaming rape victims who get pregnant for their situation.

FOX's silence on the issue indicates what the GOP leaders want. If they do not bury this and quickly they will have no chance in any statewide swing state contest. But Akin has blown the whistle and the dogs are barking and the GOP party is not having any success getting them to shut up.
posted by localroger at 7:36 AM on August 21, 2012 [9 favorites]


> I mean, isn't he essentially saying, "Jeez, people, give the man a break -- Akin obviously *meant* that if you claim you got pregnant by a rape then you're a lying whore."

Well, that is exactly what Akin meant, so Catanese was just being factual!
posted by Squeak Attack at 7:41 AM on August 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


zarq and roomthreeseventeen, I hadn't been aware of that, thanks. The thing that really astounded me about the CNN article was the bit about how McCain tried to push for some exemptions in 2008, including a "threat to the life of the mother" exemption, a move that was scorned as being "political suicide".

Which, just, what?!
posted by Phire at 7:47 AM on August 21, 2012


Introducing the Todd Akin Legitimate Rape Kit
posted by chela at 7:56 AM on August 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


What I don't understand is why this 5pm deadline is such a big deal. If Akin drops out tomorrow, he'll have to cover the cost of reprinting the ballots, which I'm sure the RNC will gladly cover.
posted by crunchland at 8:08 AM on August 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


crunchland: "Number of "Akin" mentions on Fox News this morning: 0"

That's god's work you're doing there, crunchland. Keep it up.
posted by boo_radley at 8:11 AM on August 21, 2012 [3 favorites]


So. Gross.
posted by agregoli at 8:15 AM on August 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ben Smith of Buzzfeed, formerly of Politico: "Media buying source tells me Akin just placed 8/22-8/27 buy."
posted by zombieflanders at 8:22 AM on August 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


And from Nate Silver: "In [sic] Akin tried to withdraw after today, he'd have to go to court. But FWIW, 4 of 6 judges on Mo. Supreme Court were appointed by Democrats."
posted by zombieflanders at 8:24 AM on August 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


> "Well, that is exactly what Akin meant, so Catanese was just being factual!"

But that's why it was so bizarre. Catanese acted like the entire problem was that people were for some reason objecting to the word "legitimate".

It was like hearing someone argue, "Look, when the guy said 'Legitimate Americans are guarded by visible angels so anyone who isn't should be cut up and fed to pigs', he was just trying to highlight the distinction between actual Americans and subversives who are only pretending to be Americans. Why is that somehow unclear to you liberals?"
posted by kyrademon at 8:32 AM on August 21, 2012


Phire: "zarq and roomthreeseventeen, I hadn't been aware of that, thanks. The thing that really astounded me about the CNN article was the bit about how McCain tried to push for some exemptions in 2008, including a "threat to the life of the mother" exemption, a move that was scorned as being "political suicide". "

Yeah. I am convinced that in some ways, McCain was actually one of the most liberal candidates the GOP could have possibly run against Obama. The man seemed to have an aversion to the concentration of too much power in one section of government. Which is not a bad thing. Was against a repeal of Roe v. Wade. Pro gay rights, etc.

As a Democrat looking at Romney and hoping Obama wins, I'm quite glad McCain's not in the race. But a part of me wishes the GOP had run a moderate Republican with some nuance, who wasn't afraid to speak truth to power. The country deserves better than the bullshit they've been feeding us.
posted by zarq at 8:35 AM on August 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


David Catanese, Politico Reporter, Removed From Todd Akin Coverage.
posted by ericb at 8:46 AM on August 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Removed from Akin coverage. A crushing blow. I'm sure he is devastated.
posted by cashman at 8:50 AM on August 21, 2012


More sources chiming in to say that Akin is buying ad time for the rest of the week.
posted by zombieflanders at 8:50 AM on August 21, 2012


I note for the record that as of last night, Public Policy Polling puts the race at Akin 44 McCaskill 43.
posted by ob1quixote at 8:53 AM on August 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


when he talked about who would deserve punishment in a scenario in which rape results in a pregnancy, that it should be the rapist and not the child who is punished. He never mentioned the woman, or what her thoughts or desires might be.

"Woman"? I'm sure you mean "life-support system for a womb," no?
posted by scody at 9:07 AM on August 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


What if he wins?
posted by Devonian at 9:10 AM on August 21, 2012


Then we'll know exactly how fucked up America is.
posted by Artw at 9:11 AM on August 21, 2012 [6 favorites]


Rep. Steve King publicly embraces the crazy.

I see the GOP continues to do a great job of keeping it tamped down. With friends like these, who needs an enema.
posted by localroger at 9:48 AM on August 21, 2012


Kirk Cameron:
“He clearly is a pro-life advocate, and for that, I respect him...He said that he misspoke and that he misphrased something and that he apologized...I’m the kind of person that believes that I would like to be evaluated by my entire career and my entire life, not two words that I would misspeak and then later apologize for,” he said. “So he’s in a tough spot.”
posted by ericb at 9:51 AM on August 21, 2012


Democracy Now: Todd Akin’s "Legitimate Rape" Comment Sheds Light on Paul Ryan’s Extreme Stance on Abortion
posted by homunculus at 10:02 AM on August 21, 2012 [3 favorites]


From the Rep. King link:
King told an Iowa reporter he’s never heard of a child getting pregnant from statutory rape or incest.

To be fair, it's pretty rare for children to get pregnant at all (generally they reach adolescence first), but I'd hazard a guess that among children who do get pregnant, the proportion who get that way by statutory rape or incest is likely over 90%.
posted by notashroom at 10:02 AM on August 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


Todd Akin Finds a Friend in Dr. John Willke, a Pro-Life ‘Founding Father’
posted by homunculus at 10:07 AM on August 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


@GovMikeHuckabee: Todd Akin will return to The Mike Huckabee Radio Show in the next 30 minutes to announce his final decision on if he's staying in the race.
posted by wikipedia brown boy detective at 10:16 AM on August 21, 2012


Huckabee to Akin: 'Horrible' rapes created some extraordinary people.
posted by Devils Rancher at 10:19 AM on August 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


Just announced: he's not dropping out of the race. Reap what you sow, Republicans.
posted by wikipedia brown boy detective at 10:20 AM on August 21, 2012 [3 favorites]


wikipedia brown boy detective: "Just announced: he's not dropping out of the race. Reap what you sow, Republicans."

Now let's see if the Democrats have the stones to make him the GOP poster boy of the 2012 elections.
posted by zarq at 10:24 AM on August 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


Now let's see if the Democrats have the stones to make him the GOP poster boy of the 2012 elections.

Looks like they've already started.
posted by zombieflanders at 10:34 AM on August 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


As someone who can measure the distance between his workplace and Obama's campaign headquarters in blocks/feet, I'm pretty sure I heard the celebratory woot from here.

Making sure Romney/Ryan have to continually dance around this issue (since Akin pretty much just said what is essentially a common Republican belief about abortion) is even better news than all the other Romney gaffs lately.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 10:36 AM on August 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Guttmacher Institute: at least half of all minors who become pregnant do so by adult males.
posted by edgeways at 10:55 AM on August 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


From Talking to Doctors, the Tumblr of this moment.
posted by psoas at 10:56 AM on August 21, 2012 [3 favorites]


How soon until Republicans start talking about how this isn't fair and how we shouldn't make things about social issues and instead about the economy and things that matter, and how things like this shouldn't be used as wedge issues?

Because, given the last, say, 30 years of presidential elections, that will be the biggest joke of all.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 11:05 AM on August 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


How soon until Republicans start talking about how this isn't fair

Real soon now, and when you point out the base hypocrisy it'll be "Gotcha Politics!"
posted by Devils Rancher at 11:11 AM on August 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Keep digging!
Arguing that he misplaced the word “legitimate,” Akin explained — during a follow up interview with Dana Loesch — that he meant to argue that women sometimes lie about being raped:
AKIN: You know, Dr. Willkie has just released a statement and part of his letter, I think he just stated it very clearly. He said, of course Akin never used the word legitimate to refer to the rapist, but to false claims like those made in Roe v. Wade and I think that simplifies it….. There isn’t any legitimate rapist…. [I was] making the point that there were people who use false claims, like those that basically created Roe v. Wade.*
posted by ericb at 11:15 AM on August 21, 2012 [4 favorites]


IIRC King also is on record as saying (paraphrase) it is he believes it's more legal to kidnap, transport across state lines, and rape a child than it is to host a dogfight
posted by edgeways at 11:16 AM on August 21, 2012


IIRC King also is on record as saying (paraphrase) it is he believes it's more legal to kidnap, transport across state lines, and rape a child than it is to host a dogfight

As always, Colbert kills it on this.
posted by zombieflanders at 11:22 AM on August 21, 2012 [4 favorites]


psoas: "From Talking to Doctors, the Tumblr of this moment."

So really, y'all: go back and click on this. It is perfect in many aspects.
posted by boo_radley at 11:28 AM on August 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Phire: "the official GOP platform will include a "human life amendment" that outlaws all abortion, including rape and incest."

Does the Romney/Ryan ticket have an out? Of course they do. Someone should ask Paul Ryan if he'd cast the tying vote in the Senate to pass a personhood amendment.
posted by tonycpsu at 11:41 AM on August 21, 2012


Newsweek Mocks Huffington Post’s Abortion Coverage With Coat Hanger Mouse Cursor, People Get Very Angry
posted by homunculus at 12:29 PM on August 21, 2012


What the heck is going on over at Newsweek? Have they become the Dennis Miller of weekly news magazines or what?
posted by crunchland at 12:33 PM on August 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


This is really well done: "The real Mitt Romney stands up and reflects on who he is, what he believes and why he is running for office."
posted by ericb at 12:43 PM on August 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


So chances are the link I posted this morning probably passed you by (there have been so many links) but the book it has reprinted may be the play book for the GOP on abortion "facts." (The site is abortionfacts.com but don't let that fool you.)

The booket "Why We Can't Love Them Both" is by J.C. and Mrs. Wilkes. J.C. Wilkes is a pro-life doctor who published a number of books in the 70's including "Abortion and Slavery: History Repeats." I believe Dr. J. C. Wilkes to be the doctor in Akin's "It seems to me, from what I understand from doctors, that's really rare."

The book has three points:
1) Pregnancy from "forcible, not consensual, not marital rape" is very rare and goes on to give an explanation as to why using very questionable numbers and estimates.
2) Incest rape never happens unless the woman wants a "love object" in which case it would be cruel to abort the love object.
3) Good things can come from rape-- namely children.

And just to prove that last point, yesterday Huckabee said on a radio interview
"Ethel Waters, for example, was the result of a forcible rape," Huckabee said of the late American gospel singer. One-time presidential candidate Huckabee added: "I used to work for James Robison back in the 1970s, he leads a large Christian organization. He, himself, was the result of a forcible rape. And so I know it happens, and yet even from those horrible, horrible tragedies of rape, which are inexcusable and indefensible, life has come and sometimes, you know, those people are able to do extraordinary things."
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 12:49 PM on August 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Missouri GOP leader: Rapes resulting in pregnancy are a blessing
posted by localroger at 12:52 PM on August 21, 2012


Has the GOP made some sort of suicide pact or something? This is just insane.
posted by gaspode at 12:57 PM on August 21, 2012 [3 favorites]


One interesting thing to me about this story is that Akin's mistake was not in taking the position that women who are raped should not be free to choose to have an abortion: that position is accepted as within the mainstream GOP bounds, albeit at the far right of boundaries that are already far to the right.

Had he just said, "Yeah, I believe that even when women are raped that abortion is wrong," no one would have batted an eye. It's only in describing one of his bases for arriving at that position that he mis-stepped.

So the message is that his actual position on the issue is acceptable to the GOP--just as long as he doesn't say anything stupid when he explains it.
posted by MoonOrb at 12:58 PM on August 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's hardly suicide. There's a distinct possibility that, even with all the shitty stuff Romney and Ryan and various GOP Congressional candidates have said, they'll have all three branches of government come February. People may not agree with it, but 97% of voters have already decided who they're voting for short of a "live boy or dead girl" situation. And even then there's a not-insignificant number of people who will still pull the lever for them.
posted by zombieflanders at 1:01 PM on August 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


Ack! my second point should read:

2) Incest rape never results in a pregnancy unless the woman wants a "love object"...

The actual quote is
In incest, is pregnancy common?

No. "Considering the prevalence of teenage pregnancies in general, incest treatment programs marvel at the low incidence of pregnancy from incest." Several reports agree at 1% or less. G. Maloof, "The Consequences of Incest," The Psychological Aspects of Abortion, University Publications of Amer., 1979, p. 74 245

How does the incest victim feel about being pregnant?

For her, it is a way to stop the incest; a way to unite mother and daughter, a way to get out of the house. Most incestuous pregnancies, if not pressured, will not get abortions. "As socially inappropriate as incest and incestuous pregnancies are, their harmful effects depend largely upon reaction of others." G. Maloof, "The Consequences of Incest," The Psychological Aspects of Abortion, University Publications of Amer., 1979, p. 100
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 1:01 PM on August 21, 2012


Rape is bad, sure, it's indefensible! Real rape, I mean. But it sometimes leads to people being born! And doing people things! It can't be all THAT bad right you guys?
posted by naju at 1:03 PM on August 21, 2012


Sorry. This is so mindspinningly nauseating that even being sarcastic made me want to puke and I need to excuse myself.
posted by naju at 1:06 PM on August 21, 2012


Missouri GOP leader: Rapes resulting in pregnancy are a blessing

Don't you see? Rapists are just doing the Lord's work!
posted by raztaj at 1:09 PM on August 21, 2012 [3 favorites]


Well I just love (and when I say "love" I mean I am horrified and perplexed by) the idea that a victim of incest can control her body at will. And when she is tired of being raped by her Dad or brother she can force herself to get pregnant-- which is a Get Out of Jail Card that allows her to leave her home and set up house somewhere else with her new baby. This is one of the most demented things I have ever read; it shows no understanding of reality whatsoever.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 1:09 PM on August 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Mitt Romney Calls On Todd Akin To Quit Missouri Senate Race, TPM Livewire, 21st August, 2012
posted by ob1quixote at 1:11 PM on August 21, 2012


This letter from a woman who was raped, got pregnant, and had the child is a nice perspective to have. She now works on legal issues related to pregnant rape victims.

She was also apparently in my law school class and went to my college while I was there, but I didn't know about her until today, which is a point for my obtuseness.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 1:17 PM on August 21, 2012


There is no way Akin quits. In his mind he has done nothing wrong and has been thrown under the bus by the very party he thought had his back. They want to pull the funding and give the election to McCaskill? Let 'em. Akin had to give up his House seat to run for Senate and he's fairly old, so this is possibly his last hurrah. If he quits he has zero chance of being a Senator, if he stays he has a nonzero chance.
posted by localroger at 1:17 PM on August 21, 2012 [4 favorites]


Search on pubmed "incest AND pregnancy rate" led to Saewyk et al, 2004. It's about teen pregnancies and abuse, both non-familial and incest.

From the abstract:

"Abused adolescents were more likely than others to report risk behaviors, and teenagers reporting both abuse types [incest and non-familial] had the highest odds of pregnancy involvement and risk behaviors."

"Teenage pregnancy risk is strongly linked to sexual abuse" (note, as above this includes non-incest abuse).

Looking at the actual data, which is open access, Table 2 is the key one. There are two years studied: 1992 and 1998. Both years are similar. Pregnancy rate was about 10% for non-abused women and 13% for incest victims. Very interestingly, in males, 10% of non-abused men got someone pregnant, but 27ish % of incest victims did.

Anyway, pretty clear in that study that the pregnancy rate of teenage incest victims is not significantly lower than non-victims.
posted by gaspode at 1:18 PM on August 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


From the NYTimes yesterday
Dr. John C. Willke, a general practitioner with obstetric training and a former president of the National Right to Life Committee, was an early proponent of this view, articulating it in a book originally published in 1985 and again in a 1999 article. He reiterated it in an interview Monday.

“This is a traumatic thing — she’s, shall we say, she’s uptight,” Dr. Willke said of a woman being raped, adding, “She is frightened, tight, and so on. And sperm, if deposited in her vagina, are less likely to be able to fertilize. The tubes are spastic.” [snip]

Dr. Willke, who is 87, asserted Monday that “way under 1 percent” of rape victims become pregnant, not just because of female biology but because about half of rapists “do not deposit sperm in the vagina.” That, Dr. Willke said, is because many rapists have “a preference for rectal intercourse over vaginal”; experience “premature ejaculation, which is a major factor”; or “some of these guys just plain aren’t fertile.” (my bold)
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 1:27 PM on August 21, 2012


Secret Life of Gravy: "For her, it is a way to stop the incest; a way to unite mother and daughter, a way to get out of the house. Most incestuous pregnancies, if not pressured, will not get abortions. "As socially inappropriate as incest and incestuous pregnancies are, their harmful effects depend largely upon reaction of others."

That's absolutely horrifying. There are no words.
posted by zarq at 1:31 PM on August 21, 2012


Presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney on Tuesday called on Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) to drop out of the U.S. Senate race in Missouri.

"As I said yesterday, Todd Akin's comments were offensive and wrong and he should very seriously consider what course would be in the best interest of our country," said Romney in a statement. "Today, his fellow Missourians urged him to step aside, and I think he should accept their counsel and exit the Senate race."
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 1:47 PM on August 21, 2012


Given that we know the GOP platform to be: No Abortions, No Exceptions then the question becomes did Akin jump the gun? Was he a test subject?

I don't think he is going to drop out and I'm beginning to question that anyone in the GOP really wants him to. I think that is a lot of smoke and mirrors and what goes on behind private doors may be an entirely different story.

My personal opinion is that the base needed to be fired-up because Rmoney is nobody's favorite son. While they have been making remarkable in-roads on removing women's access to safe and legal abortions the time may be ripe to make an all-out push and give the anti-abortion crowd what they have been demanding for the past 35 years.

I predict that Akin will not drop out and we will be seeing more GOPers discussing rape and abortion and the lovely, lovely children that make rape worthwhile.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 2:00 PM on August 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


Ugh and akin will squeak out a win and it will be spun as a mandate for a personhood amendment when the republicans are in control.
posted by gaspode at 2:17 PM on August 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Occams razor SLOG. He's just an idiot.

Though, given that the idea of forcing rape victims to carry the product of that rape to term makes me (and likely others) physically ill, I welcome "NA, NE" as a conservative talking point.
posted by Orange Pamplemousse at 2:20 PM on August 21, 2012


Call me when the GOP actually asks Akin to resign from the House. I mean, if what he said was so unacceptable to them that they want him out of the Senate race, surely they don't want him representing them in the House, right?
posted by maudlin at 2:25 PM on August 21, 2012 [4 favorites]


I'd hope this hurts not only Akin but also Romney himself. One could certainly make anti-Romney comments analogous to Ironmouth's tweet on pro-life sites.
posted by jeffburdges at 2:26 PM on August 21, 2012


(I also noticed, when seeing a clip of Akin "walking back" his statement, that when he talked about who would deserve punishment in a scenario in which rape results in a pregnancy, that it should be the rapist and not the child who is punished. He never mentioned the woman, or what her thoughts or desires might be.)

I noticed the same thing rtha. I am glad that you have intestines made of steel and were able to remember it because I was too busy puking. So thanks for reminding me.
posted by futz at 2:36 PM on August 21, 2012 [3 favorites]


jeffburdges: "I'd hope this hurts not only Akin but also Romney himself."

It won't hurt Romney, who's already on record saying Akin should resign, and has made it clear he supports rape/incest exceptions (nonsensical as they are).
posted by tonycpsu at 2:46 PM on August 21, 2012


From Rape, Abortion, and the Dark History of Qualifying Violence Against Women:
The story doesn’t end with a bizarre, unscientific comment about how reproduction works. This embarrassing episode is only the latest in a long string of Republican rape canards that present a binary view of female sexuality where some women are deemed worthy of legislative sympathy while others are not.

The ignorance is reaching a new crescendo but it goes back decades. We heard from periodontist-turned-lawmaker Henry Aldridge that women who are “truly raped” can’t become pregnant because the “juices don’t flow.” Others, including a Federal judge, have called pregnancy from rape as likely as “snow in Miami” and “one in millions in millions,” while some have embraced specious claims about the effect of emotional trauma on conception from “assaultive rape” (so called), and other science-bending notions. Former state representative Stephen Freind once opined that raped women “secrete a certain secretion” to prevent conception. (If such a thing existed, surely the pharmaceutical industry would like to hear about it.)

More recently, vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan drew fire for language in the co-sponsored No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act that initially distinguished between “forcible rape,” and statutory rape of minors or non-violent rapes that could affect mentally impaired, retarded or drugged women.

The victim-blaming harkens back to the days when it was accepted wisdom that “good” women were incapable of being raped and some people thought conception could only occur if a woman achieved orgasm.
posted by scody at 3:01 PM on August 21, 2012 [7 favorites]


“You talk about a forcible situation, you talk about somebody being a victim of forcible assault, that would be Todd Akin,” Fischer said.

posted by wikipedia brown boy detective at 3:38 PM on August 21, 2012


Can anyone tell me, how solid is the poll data that still puts him ahead by nose? Is it reliable or not?
posted by Flitcraft at 3:48 PM on August 21, 2012


jeffburdges: "I'd hope this hurts not only Akin but also Romney himself."

It won't hurt Romney, who's already on record saying Akin should resign, and has made it clear he supports rape/incest exceptions (nonsensical as they are).


This is massively hurting Romney. First, it plays right down Obama's War on Women angle. No oxygen out there for "its the economy stupid." Second, while Romney pretends he's for rape incest exceptions, his record is shaky on these points. Third, Paul Ryan co-sponsored a bill with Akin saying that only "forcible rape" allegations should allow a woman to use medicaid funds for an abortion. That bill was taken out of consideration after a firestorm broke out. Fourth, this hurts GOP turn out in Missouri, where he's running behind almost all of the GOP candidates, including Akin. Some people are gonna stay home. Fifth Romney just took this and made it part of the national political race by sticking his big nose into it.
posted by Ironmouth at 4:02 PM on August 21, 2012 [5 favorites]


Flitcraft: Can anyone tell me, how solid is the poll data that still puts him ahead by nose? Is it reliable or not?
I'm having trouble finding the reference, but I read earlier that since it was a one-night flash poll it's not as reliable as a standard poll conducted over a three day period. The PPP Press Release for the cited poll [PDF] gives the methodological details as
PPP surveyed 500 likely Missouri voters on the evening of August 20th. The margin of error for the survey is +/-4.4%. This poll was not paid for or authorized by any campaign or political organization. PPP surveys are conducted through automated telephone interviews.
There's also a full breakdown of the questions asked and responses in that press release.

To the contrary with PPP, Sam Wang at the Princeton Election Consortium says
Akin was +3% (median, n=3) before August 6th, and +11% (n=1) afterward — an 8-point bounce. So if he is unchanged since May, then he must have lost all this gain. An 8-point loss in one day is an enormous drop. Another comparison that makes the same point is that going from +11% to +1% (PPP) is a 10-point drop. Again, this is very large.
posted by ob1quixote at 4:12 PM on August 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Saw this on fb:

Mike Huckabee wants you to know that if it weren't for the sinking of the Titanic many people would never have learned how to swim.
posted by Big_B at 4:12 PM on August 21, 2012


Can anyone tell me, how solid is the poll data that still puts him ahead by nose? Is it reliable or not? -- I don't know, but I did catch this tweet by Patrick Ruffini last night, and it's sort of telling, I think.
"For once, I worry about @ppppolls being too pro-Repub"
To give it some context, he was worried that Akin would get too bolstered by the polling numbers, and be convinced that he could still win it.
posted by crunchland at 4:13 PM on August 21, 2012 [2 favorites]



“You talk about a forcible situation, you talk about somebody being a victim of forcible assault, that would be Todd Akin,” Fischer said.


posted by wikipedia brown boy detective at 6:38 PM

Holy Mother of Dog! So now Akin is being raped?! He is the victim??? I have no words to convey my disgust.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:25 PM on August 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


If Akin doesn't end up pregnant, does it mean he wasn't forcibly assaulted? I guess it does!
posted by rtha at 4:27 PM on August 21, 2012


Obama made some remarks about it, and now Feminist Barak Obama has appeared. So yes, this probably hurts Republican chances.
posted by annsunny at 4:31 PM on August 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


I feel like these idiots are trying to make a last stand. With recent threads and recent events, I get the feeling shit is about to get real.
posted by cashman at 4:39 PM on August 21, 2012


Ooh, I'm kind of late to this thread, but my girlfriend grew up in the same neighborhood as the Akin family. She had this to say:

"Todd Akin. His daughters aren't allowed to wear pants and his sons think I'm crude because I refused assistance into vehicles and through doors. One of them once mentioned aerial shootings as a possible solution for illegal immigration. Point being, the whole family has always been insipid."
posted by invitapriore at 4:54 PM on August 21, 2012 [11 favorites]


We won't know for a few days how this has really affected Akin in the polls; the PPP flash poll has a margin of error nearly as wide as Akin's previous lead. A typical polling firm cycle is 3 days, which means the earliest posible meaningful results would be in a couple of more days, and then you really want to wait for several firms to do polls and average them to smooth out biases.

If he digs in, with all the publicity and the Party apparattus abandoning him and all, it's extremely unlikely that he will be in the lead when the dust settles.
posted by localroger at 5:05 PM on August 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Islamic Shariah & Todd Akin/ Paul Ryan on Abortion & Legitimate Rape
posted by homunculus at 5:09 PM on August 21, 2012 [4 favorites]


I feel like these idiots are trying to make a last stand. With recent threads and recent events, I get the feeling shit is about to get real.

To his credit, McCain did not lose it and start making shit up as he continued to trail in 2008. These loons? Who knows what they'll say if they are trailing in the first week of October. Seriously, they are a creaking structure, fearsome in height, breadth and countenance. But how they act makes you wonder how strong they really are.

The other thing is if they lose, the nuts will desert them. What will they have left then?
posted by Ironmouth at 5:36 PM on August 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Todd Akin's Website Misspells 'You're' Twice, Features Fetus Image
In an effort to move beyond his "legitimate rape" comments, U.S. Senate candidate Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) launched a new section of his website that asks supporters to sign a petition telling his opponent, Sen. Claire McCaskill, that "You're Standing With Todd Akin."

But when the website was first launched, his campaign made an embarrassing spelling mistake, misspelling "you're" as "your."

Many Twitter users quickly pounced, pointing out the error.
posted by ericb at 5:39 PM on August 21, 2012


He's just lost the valuable spelling police vote.
posted by Joey Michaels at 5:43 PM on August 21, 2012 [3 favorites]


The liberal spelling elites are obviously out to get him.
posted by crunchland at 5:45 PM on August 21, 2012


To his credit, McCain did not lose it and start making shit up as he continued to trail in 2008.

He just picked Sarah Palin as his running mate.
posted by localroger at 5:48 PM on August 21, 2012 [9 favorites]


It's hardly suicide. There's a distinct possibility that, even with all the shitty stuff Romney and Ryan and various GOP Congressional candidates have said, they'll have all three branches of government come February. People may not agree with it, but 97% of voters have already decided who they're voting for short of a "live boy or dead girl" situation. And even then there's a not-insignificant number of people who will still pull the lever for them.

This. I mean, yes what Todd Akin said was horrific and wrong in every way. But the GOP/Tea Party has said a lot of really appalling shit over the last few years and it doesn't hurt them at all. It doesn't hurt them because it's not about "facts" or "right or wrong" for the supporters any more. It's about them never giving in and admitting they - or their "side" - may have been wrong. It's about not letting the other side win. All fueled by a heavy, heavy campaign of misinformation for years now. The tea party is losing legitimacy now. They never really had any for many people, but the more moderate people who bought into the faux-populism of it at first are getting turned off by it all now. But I do think it's too late for the 25%-30% who are die hard supporters. The ones who always had a bit of festering resentment towards women, towards nonwhites and non-Christians but could never really speak to it because it wasn't that long ago that it still wasn't acceptable to say out loud that women who used birth control were sluts, even if that's what you secretly thought. Fox News and the Tea Party have kind of broken the taboo (for lack of a better word) of it and the reaction is that a lot of the angry people who support the reprehensible shit they say came out roaring. And I don't know if there is ever putting that monster back into the bottle. In some ways I feel like we're going to have to go through the whole civil rights stuff all over again.

There isn't anything good about national politicians saying such hateful and nasty stuff but I've been thinking about this lately. I kind of think that if there's any good to come of this it will be that people who believed that women can't get pregnant from rape will now be educated on the issue. It wasn't until now that I ever knew that this is not an uncommon belief in some circles and I think there are a lot of people who are just genuinely misinformed. So every time a tea party person says something crazy, there's an equally strong backlash of people speaking up to show how wrong they are. Like I said, for some people it will never matter, but I have to hold on to hope that the genuinely misinformed will hear the message and have better knowledge to work with.
posted by triggerfinger at 6:01 PM on August 21, 2012 [5 favorites]


rtha: If Akin doesn't end up pregnant, does it mean he wasn't forcibly assaulted? I guess it does!

I think you have this backward. If Akin does end up pregnant laying an egg, it means he must have enjoyed it and wasn't forcibly assaulted.
posted by localroger at 6:01 PM on August 21, 2012


L.A. Times: Dr. Jack C. Willke, Doctor behind Todd Akin's rape theory, was a Romney surrogate in 2007

I'm not really sure what they mean by surrogate. but this is the gist of it
“Dr. Willke is a leading voice within the pro-life community and will be an important surrogate for Governor Romney's pro-life and pro-family agenda,” the Romney campaign said in an October 2007 statement.

“I am proud to have the support of a man who has meant so much to the pro-life movement in our country,” Romney said in the statement. “He knows how important it is to have someone in Washington who will actively promote pro-life policies. Policies that include more than appointing judges who will follow the law but also opposing taxpayer-funded abortion and partial-birth abortion.”
So Romney can try to distance himself all he wants but the fact is that Romney supports Wilkes' ideas just as much as Akin does. NA,NE
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:05 PM on August 21, 2012 [4 favorites]


Just a few comments ago, I described the position of "women who are raped should not be allowed to decide whether they would like to have an abortion" as "within the mainstream GOP bounds, albeit at the far right of boundaries that are already far to the right." I'm embarrassed and not a little horrified to find that I should not have qualified the position as "albeit at the far right of boundaries that are already far to the right," as that is actually the official fucking position of the Republican Party.
posted by MoonOrb at 7:03 PM on August 21, 2012 [4 favorites]


Ironmouth: To his credit, McCain did not lose it and start making shit up as he continued to trail in 2008.

localroger: He just picked Sarah Palin as his running mate.

Who made shit up constantly.
posted by zarq at 7:32 PM on August 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Todd Akin tweets: "I apologized but the liberal media is trying to make me drop out."

Which means, by extension, that Ann Coulter is now a member the liberal media.

This is the point at which I tear up my Republican Bingo card and just sit back to watch in amazement. This is so unmoored from even the most glancing familiarity reason and reality that it's like some sort of "what if the Dadaists were actually Christofascists?" performance art.
posted by scody at 8:43 PM on August 21, 2012 [8 favorites]


Which means, by extension, that Ann Coulter is now a member the liberal media.

To be fair to Coulter, anyone short of Joseph Goebbels is probably on the liberal side of Rep. Akin, where the media is concerned.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:21 PM on August 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


In related news: 5th circuit court ruling allows Texas to proceed with cutting off funds to Planned Parenthood pending October trial
posted by mostly vowels at 9:28 PM on August 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Latest tweet - "Donations are pouring in. Thank you for standing up against the liberal elite https://www.akin.org/contribute/" - which ropes practically the entire GOP establishment from Romney down in with those darn Libruls.

His web site is worth a look, too. Default hosting home page, and a counter of signatories for his "Still Standing" support petition. That's at around 3,400 at the time of writing, which at a suggested pledge of $3 isn't going to get him very far. Unless he gets a sugar daddy, I think even he will have to face reality long before the next deadline - the string of tweets and the crappy website smells of desperation to me.
posted by Devonian at 9:31 PM on August 21, 2012


"Liberal" isn't about political positions as much as it is good/bad. That's why liberals are the root of all evil, anything evil is liberal, and liberal is defined solely by what is bad. That's what decades of demonization result in.
posted by Llama-Lime at 10:10 PM on August 21, 2012 [3 favorites]


How can you tell if it's legitimate rape?
I'll tell you how to spot legitimate rape.
You're not sure if you got legitimate raped?
Well here's a little lesson for you.

posted by homunculus at 10:46 PM on August 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Speculation from "sources" is that Akin is testing the waters and may still drop out if his polling is down or if he can't raise money from the anti-choice contingent.
posted by chrchr at 1:38 AM on August 22, 2012


It's significant that Akin accurately represents the broader Republican party's position on rape, presumably social conservatives will happily fund him.
posted by jeffburdges at 1:52 AM on August 22, 2012


"Todd Akin. His daughters aren't allowed to wear pants and his sons think I'm crude because I refused assistance into vehicles and through doors. One of them once mentioned aerial shootings as a possible solution for illegal immigration. Point being, the whole family has always been insipid."

I'm not sure that *insipid* is the word I'd use for these opinions...
posted by jaduncan at 2:06 AM on August 22, 2012 [7 favorites]


"In 2000, when Republican Jim Talent decided to run for governor, people giggled when Akin filed for Talent's 2nd Congressional District seat. Four other Republicans wanted it, none of them wacky.

Then it rained. Some of Todd's supporters saw the hand of God at work.

More than three-quarters of an inch of rain fell on primary day, Aug. 8, 2000. Turnout was 17 percent; only 57,621 people voted in the GOP congressional primary. Akin got 26 percent of the vote, beating former St. Louis County Executive Gene McNary, the runner-up, by 56 votes.

Akin knew something that none of the other candidates had yet figured out. West St. Louis County and St. Charles County had become chock-a-block with evangelical churches, many of whose congregants were home-schoolers. Todd and Lulli Akin home-schooled their six kids. Lulli Akin was a home-school activist and organizer. Home-schoolers had a network. Home-schoolers were not afraid of a little rain."
posted by iviken at 3:27 AM on August 22, 2012 [4 favorites]


NA,NE

Sorry, what is this referencing?
posted by zennie at 4:32 AM on August 22, 2012


No Abortions, No Exceptions
posted by jon1270 at 4:54 AM on August 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


You gotta know that Akin is just blaming the default right-wing scapegoat when he blames the liberal media. He can't be honest to his wingnutjob followers and tell them the truth -- that their Fox News demigods also want him out. And actually, there's a part of me that want to see Akin succeed at least enough to spit in the face of Karl Rove, who was among the first rightwingers to throw Akin under the bus, by pulling his superpac money. It would be a nice lesson for Karl to learn that he's not necessarily God''s anointed kingmaker.
posted by crunchland at 5:09 AM on August 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


I really can't see Akin making it past Tampa - if not this week. The one true creed of the right wing Christian demagogue is that if God loves you, he sends you money (and if you don't have money, then you are sinful in his sight). His web site is now setting a target of $10k for the fundraising, which will barely pay for a doughnut a day through to Nov 6, and has put on 500 signatories overnight during the very height of Akin's visibility. Don't think the Dems can get away with ratfucking this one.

And of course, there are the get out of jail free cards of prayer and martyrdom. "I and my family have prayed for guidance, and now the GOP has adopted NA,NE as a platform plank we have defeated the liberal elite and to extirpate their poison God is calling me to stand aside...", with or without any behind the scenes deals to pay him off in money or ego.
posted by Devonian at 5:36 AM on August 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


Akin has already used the phrase "party bosses" on the air. In case there was ever any doubt in his simian brain, Akin now knows that the "party bosses" are "them," not "us." These people don't do shades of gray. He will reason that it is his duty to prevent these usurpers from replacing him with the machine-approved cog his voters rejected, and if the price of that is that a Democrat takes his seat then well God's will is sometimes harsh.

Akin is holding all the cards here, and he's exactly the kind of totally self-absorbed egomaniac to bluff his way through to Armageddon. The Party has a stick, in the form of denying him funding, but it doesn't really have a carrot for him. This incident has also made him nationally famous, in a way considered good among the people he really cares about. He will ride this thing into the ground and then spend the rest of his life doing events at megachurches.
posted by localroger at 5:46 AM on August 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


Akin isn't going to Tampa (at least he has said as such), and am I right in thinking the deadline for withdrawing has just passed?

I'm interested to see if the GOP sticks to it's guns in saying it won't send him any money.
posted by edgeways at 6:02 AM on August 22, 2012


edgeways: " I'm interested to see if the GOP sticks to it's guns in saying it won't send him any money."

The money spigot will open. I doubt that much of it will come from the entities that have to do any level of disclosure, but they are not going to let the opportunity to control the Senate pass just because one of their guys accidentally said what they all believe. The same "party bosses" as Akin calls them (Karl Rove, the Brothers Koch, etc.) can all just start sending their checks to a different P.O. box and have the money laundered under a different PAC with a generic-sounding name. Instant grass-roots support!
posted by tonycpsu at 6:15 AM on August 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


I see Sara Palin is urging/hoping for a 3rd party candidate.
posted by edgeways at 7:52 AM on August 22, 2012


It's still possible for Akin to be replaced through Sept. 25 but it requires a court order (which is supposed to be granted on request) and an agreement to pay the costs of reprinting ballots.
posted by localroger at 7:54 AM on August 22, 2012


If only we had real journalists who could follow the money trail. I have no doubt at all that Akin will get support from the GOP, it just won't be made public. He has said nothing that isn't strict party doctrine and as you say, tonycpsu another Republican seat in the Senate is too valuable to let go. Party solidarity is more important than sanity.

I can't see the GOP going to court and getting him replaced because that would just besmirch the good Republican name and drag them down in the eyes of Far Right Christians and Tea Party members.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 8:01 AM on August 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


Salon had a super great column about the shortsightedness of the anti-choice crowd:
Perhaps what has made anti-abortion women a bit too comfortable and complacent in their position, not really thinking through exactly what it is these politicians are pushing for, is that for decades the choice of a legal, safe abortion has been available. The best example of this is uber-conservative Sarah Palin, who routinely spoke on the campaign trail about the “agonizing choice” to continue her pregnancy with a Down syndrome baby.

That’s a pro-choice stance
I guess it was so agonizing that she wanted to prevent every other woman, ever, from having to think about that decision.
posted by Phire at 8:28 AM on August 22, 2012 [8 favorites]


“But Mitt Romney is the top of the ticket and Mitt Romney will be president, and he will set the policy of the Romney administration,” Ryan said.

Doesn't this create some rather, uh, interesting incentives for the pro-life crowd if Romney wins, with a died-in-the-wool anti-abortion crusader just a heartbeat away from the Presidency?
posted by tonycpsu at 8:37 AM on August 22, 2012


Not really. They can just shake Mitt's etch-a-sketch. And this makes Ryan the President of the US Senate.
posted by rmd1023 at 8:41 AM on August 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


I can't see the GOP going to court and getting him replaced

To be clear, there is NOTHING the GOP can do to get him replaced involuntarily. The candidate, Akin himself, has to make the request to withdraw. The deadline which just passed was the last point when he could do that unilaterally. He now needs the permission of a court which is expected to require him to pay for ballot reprinting as a condition of such a request.
posted by localroger at 9:31 AM on August 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


The money spigot will open ... Instant grass-roots support!

You know, this would be par for the usual course in GOP-land, but I'm not so sure it will work out that way this time. I don't see them turning the money back on unless he agrees to lay low and toe the Party line, and I can easily see him telling them to get stuffed about agreeing to anything at all. He's a much more famous person now than he was three days ago, and in the circles where he travels that can make a much better consolation prize for losing the Senate seat than anything the GOP has to offer him.

And Akin is in a position to seriously tear the GOP apart. His fate is a clear example to all Republicans like him of how little their concerns really matter to their Party masters, and if Akin decides to make a loud noisy show of how quickly he was tossed under the bus for expressing his honest and heartfelt beliefs, a lot of people might fail to heed their dog whistles and stay home in November.
posted by localroger at 9:42 AM on August 22, 2012 [5 favorites]


The larger problem the Republican party faces is that it's an uneasy coalition of people who can sometimes barely stomach each others' priorities. There's no natural reason that fiscal conservatives should be allied with bigots and social reactionaries; it's a marriage of convenience, likely to crumble when it's no longer convenient. That's pretty much the way the system is supposed to work, anyhow. But this Akin situation is very, very inconvenient. The spotlight is making it impossible to tell each group what it wants to hear, because the inconsistencies are just too glaring. There's nothing they can say to please their rightmost wing that won't alienate centrists and swing voters whose votes they also need. Their platform is being stretched too thin.
posted by jon1270 at 9:48 AM on August 22, 2012


On non-preview, what Roger said.
posted by jon1270 at 9:48 AM on August 22, 2012


I get what you guys are saying, but the key factor is that Akin is going to toe the party line on the major issues, not because he's a team player, but because he's a right-wing ideologue. Regardless of whether he's a member in good standing of the GOP old boys club, he's going to vote with them when it counts, so why wouldn't they send him money?

This isn't like a Joe Lieberman situation, where the renegade is going to be a thorn in the side of the party because of ideological heterodoxy. On what issues is he going to be a problem for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell?

I just don't see how they would chance losing the Senate majority over this. Mitch McConnell, who's already trying to deal with charges from his constituents that he's too moderate -- will personally phone bank for Akin if it means he gets to be Majority Leader in January.
posted by tonycpsu at 10:02 AM on August 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


I don't think they're worried about what they'd do with him after he won; you're right that the'd be able to control or cope with him at that point. What they're worried about is the effect that supporting him might have on other races. It benefits the party not at all if the cost of winning MCaskill's seat is losing some other equivalent seat, or losing the Presidency. But you were also right up above that they can't cross their pro-life base. Rock and a hard place.
posted by jon1270 at 10:39 AM on August 22, 2012


jon1270: "What they're worried about is the effect that supporting him might have on other races."

<Don LaFontaine> In a world </Don LaFontaine> where these contributions have to be disclosed, I would agree with you, but that's not the world we live in. Karl Rove can quietly send the money to some front group that has no obligation to disclose its donors to run ads against Claire MacCaskill. All of the benefits of trying to preserve the 51st vote for Supreme Court Justice Ted Cruz, none of the drawbacks of openly backing a guy who thinks "spastic tubes" can fire PEW PEW LASERS at rapist sperm.
posted by tonycpsu at 10:57 AM on August 22, 2012


GOP Convention Will Formally Endorse the Todd Akin Platform. The ties between Akin and the GOP at large are numerous, as mentioned throughout this thread. He wasn't a nutty outlier, he was a member of the outspoken Right. At least some Republicans are calling the party to be more inclusive on abortion, but we'll see if the Republicans actually change their language from the GOP platform in both 2004 and 2008 (yes, this has been the GOP stance for the last 8+ years).


tonycpsu: Karl Rove can quietly send the money to some front group that has no obligation to disclose its donors to run ads against Claire MacCaskill.

Just like Americans for Prosperity is funded heavily by the Koch brothers. They've been heavily running anti-Obama ads that make no mention of an opposing or preferred candidate. Big money with no disclosure makes everything messy and ugly, but hey, that's Freedom of Speech for you!
posted by filthy light thief at 11:04 AM on August 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


Who Rejects Right to Abortion in Cases of Rape?, Discover Magazine, 22 Aug. 2012
posted by ob1quixote at 11:22 AM on August 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


The problem the GOP has with Akin is that they do not want him in front of TV cameras talking about ladyparts. They are going to exercise whatever means they have to keep him quiet, and the only means they have is turning off the money -- which is why they were so quick to do it.

They are serious about this. They have to be. They will lose swing states if too many centrist voters are reminded about their ladyparts plank. If Akin keeps saying wacky things on CNN they will cut him off to save the rest of their ticket.

But on his part talking about ladyparts has made Akin famous. He has gone from a local figure known mainly in his batshit insane district to marginal but favored statewide prominence to being a national figure in a matter of weeks. Whether he believes his Senate bid is really in trouble at this point, I'm sure he realizes he is in a position to retire in style on speechifying fees from his fundie friends. Sticking a knife in the GOP bosses who tossed him underbusward might have appeal too.

Akin is not a typical GOP figure. The column Iviken linked makes this very clear. Akin is a true believer surrounded by true believers and he just got shivved by his barely tolerable always suspicious confederates. He's got a story to tell and he's not the type to be shy about it. And he is fully in control of this situation. The GOP can probably make it impossible for him to win by cutting off financial support, but they can't keep him off the ballot and, I'm gonna guess, they won't be able to keep him out of the news cycle either.

He is not a warrior for the GOP; he is a warrior for the fundamentalist cause. If he feels the GOP cannot be trusted to advance that cause, he may decide that his own bully pulpit is worth more than a machine GOP shill getting the Senate seat instead of a Democrat.
posted by localroger at 11:25 AM on August 22, 2012 [9 favorites]


As the latest addition to the Republican party's glorious history of adopting catchy rock songs as campaign theme music without first listening to the lyrics, which actually say the opposite of what the Republicans think they do (e.g., "Born in the USA"), I'm hoping the RNC will adopt this TOTALLY FUCKING AWESOME newly released (but written last year) Graham Parker and the Rumour tune as the theme song for this year's convention: "Coathangers"
posted by FelliniBlank at 11:25 AM on August 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


I don't mean to say that the money won't flow to him. Obviously it will, even if only after being laundered through action committees. But regardless of whether the money trail is obscured, the Republican party can neither support him nor reject him without pissing off some voters that they desperately need to retain or attract. The only way to stop the bleeding is for this issue to go away so they can talk about something else.

Again, and on preview this time: what Roger said.
posted by jon1270 at 11:32 AM on August 22, 2012


Speaking about music: "I Believe in Mitt" (Romney endorsement song).
posted by ericb at 11:49 AM on August 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


Wow, NBC reports: Ryan backed more than one 'forcible rape' abortion bill
Three years ago, the then-39-year-old congressman, co-sponsored an abortion-related amendment called, "Limitations on Abortion Mandates."
That proposed amendment was blocked in what was a Democratic-controlled House Ways and Means Committee. Ryan and only one co-sponsor, Rep. Sam Johnson of Texas, proposed a change to health-care legislation that would have required health insurance cover abortion services.
The Ryan-Johnson failed amendment did specify limited exceptions, permitting abortion coverage including when the life of the mother is at stake, and in line 16 of the proposed text, "...unless the pregnancy is the result of an act of forcible rape or incest."
This puts Ryan at the very beginning of these efforts.

And his defense is weak:
Aides to the Romney-Ryan campaign say the congressman has been "clear and consistent that rape is rape." Ryan did not defend the term "forcible" saying this week, "There is no splitting hairs over rape."
Asked why Ryan backed measures that referred to "forcible rape," advisers say Ryan has supported other abortion-related bills that have not contained that language.
posted by Ironmouth at 12:27 PM on August 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


And the response is then "That's nice, but why did you back measures that referred to 'forcible rape', "?

And Some reporter should do a piece about the spoken divide between the candidate and the party platform
posted by edgeways at 12:38 PM on August 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


Ironmouth: " Asked why Ryan backed measures that referred to "forcible rape," advisers say Ryan has supported other abortion-related bills that have not contained that language."

That's Chewbacca Defense-caliber logic right there.

"Asked why [legislator] supported the End Terrorism and Also Kill Puppies Act of 2013, [legislator]'s advisors say that [legislator] has supported other anti-terrorism bills that did not kill puppies."
posted by tonycpsu at 12:45 PM on August 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


Akin isn't going to Tampa (at least he has said as such)

Speaking of Tampa: Tampa Bay Gay Prostitutes Gearing Up For Flood Of Closeted Republicans
posted by homunculus at 1:04 PM on August 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


homunculus: "Tampa Bay Gay Prostitutes Gearing Up For Flood Of Closeted Republicans"

Did someone say flood?
posted by tonycpsu at 1:10 PM on August 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


Quick, saturate Tampa with thousands of cheap digital cameras!!

yeah I know a bad pun

If Isaac did disrupt the convention that would be the second in a row, hurricane disruption for the GOP conventions
posted by edgeways at 1:13 PM on August 22, 2012


Wow. If I were a closet case Republican of any notable public standing, I'd be very wary of hiring a rent boy in Tampa on the assumption that there would be a lot of "we're going to out you" stings.
posted by rmd1023 at 1:14 PM on August 22, 2012


RNC To Showcase ‘We Built This!’ Theme From a Stadium Mostly Financed By Public Taxpayer Dollars

"We" built this? Sounds collectivist to me!
posted by tonycpsu at 1:16 PM on August 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


Sounds like it plays back to Obama's quote that Romney sampled. If 1) the GOP conference doesn't get closed down by Isaac, and 2) they actually use "We Built This!" as their theme, then Obama has a great shot at re-stating his sampled speech, but with a twist to avoid the "Gotcha." Here's my suggestion:

If you’ve got a business, that isn't your accomplishment alone. You built that with the help of others, the teachers, fellow tax payers who invested in the infrastructure that makes businesses like yours run.

It's rough, but it's yours, for free. Adapt it and flourish.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:34 PM on August 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


I hope someone is tracking all the crazy justifications being aid on this issue. I just skimmed National Review; here are a couple.

Dennis Prager: While he should not have used the term “legitimate rape,” he could have explained later that, given the expanded definitions of rape, not all claims of “rape” are truly rape. ... That would have largely ended the issue.

Michael Walsh wonders if Akin was a Democratic plant.
posted by msalt at 1:41 PM on August 22, 2012


RNC To Showcase ‘We Built This!’ Theme

They are certainly knee deep in the hoopla.
posted by iviken at 1:53 PM on August 22, 2012 [6 favorites]


msalt: "Michael Walsh wonders if Akin was a Democratic plant."

Talk about long game...
posted by notsnot at 1:54 PM on August 22, 2012


The spin in Akin's apology and a lot of the rhetoric around it is that Akin messed up by saying "legitimate". He did mess up by saying "legitimate", but the rest of what he said was messed up too! It's simply not true that women who are raped don't get pregnant. It's despicable that he would say that. Even without the use of the word "legitimate" his statement implies that women who are pregnant from rape are lying or are somehow to blame for their pregnancy and therefore are not deserving of an exception to a ban on abortion.

Watch out for the spin, pro choicers.
posted by chrchr at 2:23 PM on August 22, 2012


With allies like these....
"Personhood USA does not endorse political candidates, but we had hoped that Congressman Ryan would be a good influence on Governor Romney, considering Romney's liberal abortion record," explained Jennifer Mason, Communications Director for Personhood USA. "Reading today that babies conceived in rape should suffer the death penalty under a Romney-Ryan administration is extremely concerning, and indicates that Congressman Ryan's pro-woman and pro-baby positions would have little influence if he wins the office of Vice President of the United States...."

"As someone who really cares about rape victims, I want to protect them from the rapist, and from the abortion, but not the baby. A baby is not the worst thing that could ever happen to a rape victim -- an abortion is," explained [Personhood USA spokesperson] Kiessling.
(via)
It sounds like a hurricane might be the best thing to happen to the GOP this week.
posted by argonauta at 2:37 PM on August 22, 2012 [6 favorites]


We built this party!
We built this party on lies and dough!
posted by Joey Michaels at 2:51 PM on August 22, 2012 [12 favorites]


I wonder what happens when you are a "personhood" proponent and your 16 year old daughter having been raped turns up pregnant? Do you shrug your shoulders and tell her about the joy of carrying god's gift before giving the baby up for adoption? Or do you tell her that good can come out of rape and you will help her raise the child? Or do you get her the morning after pill and make sure she gets some counseling so she can make it through this horrible event? Unless you are a total monster, I'm guessing the last of the three.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 2:55 PM on August 22, 2012 [5 favorites]


It's well known, SLOG. The only moral abortion is my abortion.
posted by Orange Pamplemousse at 2:59 PM on August 22, 2012 [4 favorites]


You probably get her the morning after pill, because you've intentionally removed yourself from the education that would have taught you that the morning after pill is USELESS if you're already pregnant. Then you use that as an opportunity to curse science and doctors before making her a secret appointment for an actual abortion in another state.
posted by KathrynT at 3:00 PM on August 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


One reason why you might want to think about an abortion for your own daughter:
It would not be long before I would learn firsthand that in the vast majority of states -- 31 -- men who father through rape are able to assert the same custody and visitation rights to their children that other fathers enjoy. When no law prohibits a rapist from exercising these rights, a woman may feel forced to bargain away her legal rights to a criminal trial in exchange for the rapist dropping the bid to have access to her child.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 3:04 PM on August 22, 2012 [4 favorites]


You probably get her the morning after pill, because you've intentionally removed yourself from the education that would have taught you that the morning after pill is USELESS if you're already pregnant.

Whoops. My bad. As you can probably tell I have never had to think about taking a morning after pill. However let's just pretend that I wrote that after she is raped, you immediately get her a prescription for the morning after pill as well as a check-up for stds, trauma, etc. As any sane parent would.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 3:08 PM on August 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


Sharon Barnes, a high ranking state Republican, came to the defense of her conservative colleague who she believes only "phrased it (his statement) badly."

Barnes was quoted by The New York Times saying, "abortion is never an option." Barnes went on to biblically claim that, "If God has chosen to bless this person [the rape victim] with a life, you don’t kill it."

Barnes did not elaborate on her views for post-pregnancy care, or costs.
Boy they are coming out of the woodwork. The GOP is going to be forever known as the party that forces women to carry their rapist's baby. That is hardcore and not too popular even with those who are pro-life.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 3:23 PM on August 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


One reason why you might want to think about an abortion for your own daughter:

Jesus christ.
posted by rtha at 3:36 PM on August 22, 2012


Speaking of Republicans and women, I think this might be the Manos: The Hands of Fate of wingnut blog posts -- a standard of suckitude against which all future Republican crackpottery will be judged.

Analysis here, here, and here.

I need a drink.
posted by tonycpsu at 3:37 PM on August 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


I wonder what happens when you are a "personhood" proponent and your 16 year old daughter having been raped turns up pregnant?

Unofrtunately, you pressure her to carry the child and force her and the baby to be a poster child for life (a la Palin), because guess what? The baby is CUTE.

In the case of rape, added bonus because if you brainwash them hard enough, they go around giving speeches and calling radio shows when this topic comes up and say, "Well, I'm glad my mom didn't kill me!" It's a triple-bonus win of emotional manipulation.
posted by msalt at 3:44 PM on August 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


Akin is now internationally famous! And people from other countries are weighing in on what an idiot he is:
"An entire political party in one of the most advanced and educated countries on earth has become a caricature of the most basal evolved insecurities about masculinity. They seem terrified of losing control over the means of reproduction and petrified of cuckoldry,"

calling radio shows when this topic comes up and say, "Well, I'm glad my mom didn't kill me!" It's a triple-bonus win of emotional manipulation.


I was thinking about the radio show rape baby today and one thing that struck me about her story is that her parents told her....and they didn't hold back the details! (God, I have used up an entire year's supply on exclamation points just on this one topic.) Who the hell tells their daughter, "Yes honey, you were conceived in rape. And the rapist tied up daddy and forced him to watch mommy being raped. But Daddy wanted to keep you anyway because you came from God." I can understand parents explaining that your father was not your biological father for medical reasons but what the hell? Did she really need to know about that other stuff?
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 3:57 PM on August 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


It would not be long before I would learn firsthand that in the vast majority of states -- 31 -- men who father through rape are able to assert the same custody and visitation rights to their children that other fathers enjoy.

That's really fucking disturbing.
posted by Squeak Attack at 4:01 PM on August 22, 2012


So hey, people who think that rape can't result in pregnancy because of magic secretions and tubes and whatever should not have any objection to rape survivors being offered Plan B, right? If there's no pregnancy, there's no problem with Plan B, right? Right?

Yeah. Didn't think so.
posted by ambrosia at 4:19 PM on August 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


Please, that won't do at all. Nothing about that option would serve to punish women for having sex.
posted by rmd1023 at 4:31 PM on August 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


That National Review paean to Romney was a beaut, eh? It remonded me of the expression, "Democrats fall in love. Republicans fall in line," but Williamson seems to have done both.
Elections are not about public policy. They aren’t even about the economy. Elections are tribal, and tribes are — Occupy types, cover your delicate ears — ruthlessly hierarchical. Somebody has to be the top dog.
posted by notashroom at 5:05 PM on August 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


Somebody has to be the top dog.

That would be Seamus.
posted by Joey Michaels at 5:10 PM on August 22, 2012 [10 favorites]


Ding, ding, we have a winner!
posted by notashroom at 5:12 PM on August 22, 2012


Meanwhile, in Rush Limbaugh's Bizarro World:
And I've been very careful saying this, but you've heard me say it. If the election were held today, I think we're looking at a landslide. I thought that a week ago. I think this is big. I don't want to say this too often because political situations are too volatile, as the Akin thing illustrates. But they are not looking happy. Obama isn't looking happy. Nobody on the Democrat side's looking happy. These people are at war with each other, and they're getting -- if it's even possible -- more maniacal in their TV appearances.

They're saying some of the craziest, wackiest things. The Akin thing's unfortunate, but I'm gonna tell you. I think the Democrats are... I don't want to say this too loud either because I don't want to affect what their inclinations are. But I think they're set to implode over this.
posted by argonauta at 5:25 PM on August 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


I don't want to say this too loud

Wouldn't the volume Rush said this at have more to do with where his listeners set the dial?
posted by Joey Michaels at 5:31 PM on August 22, 2012


(Sorry, it occurs to me that that last comment relies too much on the liberal science of acoustics)
posted by Joey Michaels at 5:32 PM on August 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


Limbaugh is awesome, and there's no better barometer for the Republican party. Everything he says makes perfect sense when you realize that he just accuses Democrats/Liberals of having whatever weaknesses/crises currently plague Republicans. Sort of a Karl Rove "attack them where they're strong" kind of thing.

So, to translate:

"Holy fuck, we're falling apart. Long-time Republicans are at each other's throats and crazies are coming out of the woodwork and walking onto national TV. The convention's going to descend into armed camps at this rate."
posted by Orange Pamplemousse at 5:36 PM on August 22, 2012 [13 favorites]


Let's take a moment to enjoy crazy person Frank Szabo, N.H. candidate for Sheriff, who believes in using deadly force against abortion doctors.

Presumably, he wouldn't shoot the mother who requested the abortion because that could hurt the fetus. Perhaps he'd wait until after the baby was born and then shoot her.
posted by Joey Michaels at 6:21 PM on August 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


notashroom: "That National Review paean to Romney was a beaut, eh?"

Yeah, but I actually made a critical error in describing it as a "blog post" when it's actually the cover story for the current issue of National Review! I should have understood that type of incisive, hard-hitting analysis belongs on the cover.

For those who don't speak wingnut, this is a pretty good translation.

The only way they can possibly top this is an exclusive interview with Romney's man-seed in the next issue.
posted by tonycpsu at 6:55 PM on August 22, 2012


Schnikes. I thought better of TNR than that -- not that they weren't wingnutty, but that they wanted to at least look respectable. Cover story. Akin is a real shitstorm and has the media off keel.
posted by notashroom at 7:50 PM on August 22, 2012


Dear rest of the world,

Most of us in America aren't this stupid. Honest. The problem is that some of us are, and they are very loud, and those of us who aren't crazy tend not to pay as much attention to politics as the crazy people.

If you want to know what we're going to do about this, the answer is coming up in November. We're gonna have an election. Now you might have heard all kinds of crap about how that's gonna turn out, but the bottom line is this: The stuff you heard Todd Akin the Crazy Guy say does not fly with any state majority in the US. There are stupid people flogging it who think it does, but they are stupid.

The thing is the opposition to smart people in this country has been really sneaky hiding their motives behind "dog whistle" phrases that seem innocuous to normal people but which evoke strong images for the baptized. The more morons like Todd Akin are in the headlines the better it is for everybody because it subverts their sneakiness and makes them make their real case, not the sanitized case their pastor told them would work better. Most of us are not on board with their agenda, but most of us don't know that -- yet.
posted by localroger at 7:53 PM on August 22, 2012 [7 favorites]


Joey Michaels: "crazy person Frank Szabo, N.H. candidate for Sheriff, who believes in using deadly force against abortion doctors."

It gets better...he says that "citizens' grand juries" can be empaneled. Which is code for "lynch mob".
posted by notsnot at 7:58 PM on August 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


Well, this West Texas judge wants money to prepare for civil war if Obama's re-elected. Because then Obama will hand over the US to the UN, and the people won't like that.

And I've only just discovered David Barton, an evangelical historian (in the sense that he writes history books and sits on the Texas curriculum committees, not in the sense that he has any training), who Huckabee says is so good the whole of America should be forced to sit through his lectures at gunpoint. His latest book on Jefferson (who was an evangelical Christian, you see, and the Constitution was an evangelical Christian document full of Bible quotes) has gone down well, although the publishers have had to withdraw it for some piffling minor technicalities like it's entirely fake.

How the fuck do you guys get rockets to Mars if you launch them from Florida and Texas? Why don't they shake apart from the cognitive dissonance?
posted by Devonian at 2:52 AM on August 23, 2012 [4 favorites]


How the fuck do you guys get rockets to Mars if you launch them from Florida and Texas? Why don't they shake apart from the cognitive dissonance?

No, see, that's part of the engineering. The rocket's primal urge to get away from the whackjobs is good for at least an extra 50 meters/sec to orbit.
posted by localroger at 5:27 AM on August 23, 2012 [7 favorites]


Joey Michaels: "Let's take a moment to enjoy crazy person Frank Szabo, N.H. candidate for Sheriff, who believes in using deadly force against abortion doctors."

More on Szabo, who believes:
No federal or state agency has authority in the county unless the Sheriff permits it.
Turning federalism on its head is nothing new for these guys, but once you go down that road, you're very close to the tenets of the sovereign citizen movement. After all, if a local sheriff can ignore something he believes to be unconstitutional (nevermind that we have a system for figuring that sort of thing out) why can't each citizen adjudicate constitutional law for themselves if the federal, state, or local officials do something they don't like? The answer, of course, is that the government officials send guys with guns after you, which is why the sovereign citizens are very big on arming themselves "just in case."
posted by tonycpsu at 7:21 AM on August 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


"citizens' grand juries"

Grand juries ARE citizens' grand juries. The fuck?
posted by eoden at 7:42 AM on August 23, 2012


Well, now even Rassmusen has Akin _down_ by 10 points. Pretty big swing, hopefully big enough for the next 74 days
posted by edgeways at 8:36 AM on August 23, 2012


Rasmussen now has McCaskill up by 10.
posted by chrchr at 8:36 AM on August 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


"I have given this all of my fucks, and the fucks I have given are still not enough fucks."
posted by mcstayinskool at 9:19 AM on August 23, 2012 [4 favorites]


mcstayinskool, I thought about posting that link as well, but I couldn't decide on just one paragraph to excerpt, and I didn't want to excerpt the whole article, so I compromised by not posting it at all.... but yeah, that, so much it hurts.
posted by Phire at 9:37 AM on August 23, 2012


Just for the record, Szabo appears to be just a crazy person who decided to run for office. The actual Republican candidate for sheriff is the incumbent Jim Hardy.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:47 AM on August 23, 2012


Wow, the Onion crew are mad.

Congressman: Pregnancy Rarely Results from Legitimate Rape


I Misspoke—What I Meant To Say Is 'I Am Dumb As Dog Shit And I Am A Terrible Human Being'
by Todd Akin

Republicans Condemn Akins Comments as Blemish on Party's Otherwise Spotless Women's Rights Record

Poll Reveals You Live In Country Where Mentally Ill Man Still Has Good Chance Of Being Senator

Pregnant Woman Relieved to Learn Her Rape was Illegitimate


“It was absolutely horrific—I felt violated in the worst way imaginable—but thanks to Congressman Akin, I now realize it must, at some level, have been consensual after all.”

^^That was pretty much the only quote I could draw without putting in a trigger warning.
posted by Orange Pamplemousse at 9:56 AM on August 23, 2012 [14 favorites]


Rasmussen now has McCaskill up by 10.

Wow, that's a drop of 13 points for Akin since that last Rasmussen poll on July 30th, which had Akin up 47%-44%.

In fact, the drop is probably even larger than that, because the 47/44 numbers are pre-Primary and Akin almost certainly had something of a post-Primary bump. SurveyUSA had Akin up by 51/40 right after the Primary.

Not sure how directly comparable those two polls are, but 51/40 to 38/48--a drop of 21 points--within a 10 day period would certainly rate as one of the great political meltdowns in recent history.

Go Akin! You're making history in so many ways . . .

Source for polling data.
posted by flug at 10:01 AM on August 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


flug: " Wow, that's a drop of 13 points for Akin since that last Rasmussen poll on July 30th, which had Akin up 47%-44%."

A skeptical view (including a skeptical tweet from MacCaskill herself)
posted by tonycpsu at 11:45 AM on August 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Why Missouri’s Students Might Believe Todd Akin’s Junk Science
posted by homunculus at 12:07 PM on August 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


Mitt Romney Campaign Forbids Reporter From Asking About Todd Akin, Abortion.
posted by ericb at 1:47 PM on August 23, 2012 [3 favorites]


Mitt Romney Campaign Forbids Reporter From Asking About Todd Akin, Abortion.

I wish they had it on tape. At the link now:

"UPDATE: 5:10 p.m. -- A spokesperson for the Romney campaign responded to the charge, telling HuffPost, "This is not how we operate. The matter is being addressed."
posted by cashman at 3:01 PM on August 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


They don't usually operate this way because they're generally not facing hostile or even probing questions. Ryan got caught flat-footed in Pittsburgh by the question about his "forcible rape" language, so now they want to try to work the refs a bit.

Good on Shaun Boyd for telling the viewers about the preconditions. I know some people will say reporters should never agree to these preconditions, but if she didn't, someone else would have, and I think it's better to have a reporter state what the preconditions were than to have the interview subject seek out friendlier turf (e.g. Sean Hannity) and mash softball questions into the seats.
posted by tonycpsu at 3:10 PM on August 23, 2012


No usually when asked questions they don't want to answer they usually say "Kiss My Ass"
posted by edgeways at 4:05 PM on August 23, 2012


Oh God, we've genuinely reached the end times. Conservative columnist Mona Charen:
Is it such an outlandish idea? I looked it up, and it appears that there is no evidence that pregnancies are less likely in cases of rape, but it didn't seem out of the realm of possibility to me. Many things about the human body are peculiar and amazing.
I am died.
posted by Joey Michaels at 5:11 PM on August 23, 2012 [6 favorites]


That actually sums up a lot of the current Republican thinking to me. This is just an extreme example of it.

It's like they start with an idea that has some degree of plausability on its face, like "Hey, really low tax rates will be great because the rate decrease will be offset by a growing economy!" Like, okay, I can imagine that, when decades ago, someone first thought of it, it seemed like it might be accurate. The natural next step would be to test that theory against real evidence. Well, as it turns out, that's just not true.

Or, to take another example, climate change. When first confronted with evidence that human activity might be causing climate change, I can imagine someone plausibly saying, "Hey, couldn't it be possible that it's just because we've reached a moment where the earth's orbit is closer to the sun /[insert other facially plausible reason here], and that's why it's warmer?" Well, sure, that's a possibility. So, next step--evaluate that theory using evidence. Okay, well, it turns out that's not true.

Or, hey, our financial sector has a lot of regulation--maybe we'd be better off without it, because it would allow capital to move more efficiently and would allow businesspeople to grow their businesses faster without being burdened by regulatory requirements? Logical next step? Right, see how that theory holds up in the face of evidence. And, as it turns out, there's a good reason to have a lot of these regulations in the first place.

This forcible rape/body shutting down idea is, at least in my opinion, far dumber than the other examples, but, well, it could be true. Well, not if there's actual evidence out there about how the body works, which we've had for who knows how many decades. But in any case, to me it's just a more extreme example of this line of thinking, where someone comes up with an idea and then refuses to abandon the idea even in the face of overwhelming and credible evidence that it's just not accurate.

The word I'd use for this is "ignorant," as in, people that adhere to these beliefs do so only because they ignore credible evidence.
posted by MoonOrb at 5:48 PM on August 23, 2012 [3 favorites]


The politics of the last decade or so has really fleshed out my understanding of the difference between 'ignorant' and 'stupid'.
posted by benito.strauss at 6:03 PM on August 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


84% of Americans disagree with Akin about rape.
posted by Brian B. at 6:08 PM on August 23, 2012


Only 84%? Do the remaining 16% believe in magic uteruses, then?
posted by naju at 6:21 PM on August 23, 2012


Only 84%? Do the remaining 16% believe in magic uteruses, then?

Peak potential crazification factor is precisely tested. Result: 1.5 in 10 people. It's enough for a workable religious police, I guess.
posted by jaduncan at 6:27 PM on August 23, 2012


Only 84%?

You couldn't get 84% to say that Elvis was dead on most days.
posted by Brian B. at 6:31 PM on August 23, 2012 [4 favorites]


I think the headline understates how polarizing Akin is. The breakdown is:
Strongly agree          3% 
Moderately agree        5% 
Moderately disagree     5% 
Strongly disagree      79%
Not sure                8% 
Note the 8% "Not sure", along with what Brian B. says about how rare it is to get an 84% result on any question. Dude is political poison, and he's not going away.
posted by tonycpsu at 6:33 PM on August 23, 2012


Strongly agree 3%

aka: batshit insane or vaguely resented the pollster calling.
posted by jaduncan at 6:36 PM on August 23, 2012


Is it such an outlandish idea? I looked it up, and it appears that there is no evidence that pregnancies are less likely in cases of rape, but it didn't seem out of the realm of possibility to me. Many things about the human body are peculiar and amazing.

I tried to tell you guys. I said that this internet was a two-edged sword. You float an idea like this and plenty of evidence to refute it will pop-up, but now it is out there forever reaching a larger audience. A wonderful little factoid that will never die. How many people will come away from this with the vague idea in the back of their brains that rape victims don't or can't get pregnant. If they take nothing else from this election cycle, they will remember that. I mean God knows its not like we have real sex education anymore.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:44 PM on August 23, 2012 [4 favorites]


I think they are mishearing the word "bliss" as "blessed."

To whit, ignorance is bliss, because if you're ignorant you don't know how fucked you are. Oh, you're even more fucked than an informed person because you don't know that you're fucked and the informed person can at least attempt to take action, but at least until the fucking happens, you're golden.

If you hear it as "ignorance is blessed," then you can say that not only don't you know how fucked you are, but God didn't intend for you to know how fucked you are and informed people are defying God's will by trying to avoid the fucking. In fact, everyone should be fucked! That's what God wants! And he'll use his magic pixie dust to protect you from the fucking!

That's my ignorant theory.
posted by Joey Michaels at 6:56 PM on August 23, 2012


SLOG: that's not the Internet leaving that little thought in the back of the mind, it's there already.

Fear of invisible forces is often expressed in terms of their effect on fertility, especially in terms of women and children. It's one of the driving forces behind the medieval and early modern witch hunts, and it continues today with the various themes of mobile phones, microwaves, wi-fi et al causing ill-defined illnesses and infertility. The 'forcible rape is magically repelled by true fear' concept fits into that framework perfectly, as does its corollary to Trust Us, Not Science, To Save You.

For science is built around those mysterious, magical, inexplicable, dangerous supernatural forces which you do not understand but do fear. Powerful people who understand what you feel and have an answer that you know at a deep level is correct will have much greater control over your life than those whose answers you don't understand and who you feel no resonance with. Proof? You'll believe the proofs you're comfortable with. Buy in, and you'll be part of a structure which offers you protection and certainty. Progress becomes the Devil hisself.

This is the default, demon-haunted world, and it's not hard to see why it might be part of all our thinking. The Enlightenment has gone a very long way in freeing us from that, by offering a different world of protection and progress, but it will never excise the magic completely, and we will always be at a disadvantage unless we recognise and accomodate it in our fight to keep the Enlightenment alive and well.

In this context, the wars against science, education and equality make perfect sense - they are the wars fought by those who stand to gain by keeping the demons alive, and those who are happier in a world they can understand innately rather than one which requires faith in science, which you don't understand and do not trust.
posted by Devonian at 2:08 AM on August 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


SLOG: that's not the Internet leaving that little thought in the back of the mind, it's there already.

I think you are right, but I think I am also right; the two opinions are not mutually exclusive. What I mean is that Akin has thrown out a novel idea which prior to the internet would have gotten very little traction, a few local newspapers, maybe one segment on the nightly news. Now anybody with a computer has probably seen some version of this.

Some people, like Mona Charen and the 16 % who agree with Akin or just don't know what they think, are going to be more receptive because of what you said, a belief of the demon-hunted world due to a lack of education and understanding of science.

So what will happen is perfectly illustrated by Charen: there will be a feeling that this right. Since a large segment of our country prefers to "listen to their gut" and dislikes reading or research, the idea that women can't get pregnant will resonate. Once that idea has been solidified, it is almost impossible to disprove.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 5:26 AM on August 24, 2012


For 25 years now - a full quarter of a century - I have been baffled by the fact that Mona Charen makes a good living out of being kind of dim.
posted by kyrademon at 6:05 AM on August 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


I can't help but fear that this is the canard that makes Romney not look so bad - "See, he's not crazy like Akin, he's a stable Republican." "No, we'll not take away that many of your reproductive rights, just all these others that protect the mothers health, well-being, and free will."

Also, why would the extremist Republicans distance themselves from this... here they can have us fighting over words, each other, etc, again while they fail to address any realistic fiscal policies. My conservative friends have been fleeing the party in droves to back Ron Paul.

My conservative LDS family, however, seems to still be very behind Romney. Not ONE of them can make a clear statement addressing any policies of his party, though.

(I live in Arizona, I won't be surprised if Akin wins anyway... Arpaio keeps being elected to Sheriff here. People who vote against their own interests are no shock to me.)
posted by _paegan_ at 7:37 AM on August 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


Looks like Akin may be on his way out. If so, I wonder what sort of buyout package he was able to negotiate.
posted by tonycpsu at 1:01 PM on August 24, 2012


Or maybe not, if the update to that post is to be believed. Claire MacCaskill breathes a sigh of relief.
posted by tonycpsu at 1:03 PM on August 24, 2012


(I live in Arizona, I won't be surprised if Akin wins anyway... Arpaio keeps being elected to Sheriff here. People who vote against their own interests are no shock to me.)

Rolling Stone did a good piece on him recently: The Long, Lawless Ride of Sheriff Joe Arpaio
posted by homunculus at 1:39 PM on August 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Todd Akin and the Anti-Science House Science Committee
posted by homunculus at 2:34 PM on August 24, 2012


Report: Romney Staffer Responsible For Akin Stipulations Demoted
posted by zombieflanders at 2:42 PM on August 24, 2012


"Ciara Matthews, the Romney campaign's Colorado communications director, has been asked not to speak to the media," the site reports. Matthews is "a former spokesperson to both Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and one-time Senate candidate Sharron Angle" and "will remain on staff with the campaign but will no longer deal directly with reporters."

I don't know, sounds like a promotion to me.
posted by Joey Michaels at 4:45 PM on August 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ah, joy.
"Specifically where you stand when it comes to rape, and when it comes to the issue of should it be legal for a woman to be able to get an abortion if she's raped?" WJHL reporter Josh Smith wondered.

"I'm very proud of my pro-life record, and I've always adopted the idea that, the position that the method of conception doesn't change the definition of life," Ryan explained. "But let's remember, I'm joining the Romney-Ryan ticket. And the president makes policy."
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 5:05 PM on August 24, 2012


What Galloway and Akin say about rape says so much more about them
posted by Artw at 5:44 PM on August 24, 2012


The Huffington Post noted yesterday there are more than 40 Republican House and Senate
candidates, other than Todd Akin, want to ban abortion access even for women who get pregnant because of rape or incest. Akin and Ryan aren't outliers here.

If there is any good to come of this whole kerfuffle, I hope it is that light is shined into the dark corners of the what has taken over and become the Republicans. People are starting to see that these are not the republicans they are looking for.

This group of tyrannical theocratic oligarchs has more in common with the final stages of the French aristocracy than they do Eisenhower. This group would happily return the country to the dark ages, or as they call them, "the good old days". They will kill schools, roads, infrastructure, civil liberties, civil rights, woman's suffrage, and as many generations of kids as we can send to whatever front they've just opened. As long as it enriches them, and they continue to dine on hummingbird hearts and the tears of orphans, they're fine.

This particular group of elected Republicans is particularly frightening. Many of them are very poorly educated, or are graduates of bible colleges. They seem to have no concept of history, no realization of how much the world has changed from their fake Happy Days nostalgia, no desire to move forward in any direction; but only to dig in and try to go backward.

We have spent the last two years talking about the Republican "War on Women", and finally Todd Akin did something stupid enough that people outside of political wonks are noticing. Let the light shine in. If there is a Walter Cronkite in heaven, please, let him direct the journalists to dig and discover and report on all of the things that Republicans have done in this session to punish women for having vaginas. Let them show how this "every sperm is sacred" group voted against subsidies for pregnant women, and free lunches for poor kids in school, and want to eliminate welfare and social programs and anything that gives a poor single mother a running chance at success.

These people don't give a rat's ass about "babies". If they cared, we would have the most amazing childcare in the world. We would have the best schools, the best daycare, the best nutrition supplements for pregnant women and babies. There would be free medical care, and dental care and clothing subsidies.

They don't care. And maybe, just maybe, this Todd Akin thing will be enough to open some eyes about what the current Republican party really says it stands for.
posted by dejah420 at 9:00 PM on August 24, 2012 [13 favorites]


Gentlemen, the festering tides of radicalism are upon us. But before I yield up our glorious South -and her sister commowealth, the U.S. of A - I will lay down my life. I will do more - I will filibuster. Back, you crackpots! Forward, America! Forward to the hallowed principles of our forefathers. Forward to the sweet tranquility of the status quo. Forward... to yesterday!
posted by localroger at 5:37 AM on August 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


And they don't actually believe that 'life starts at conception', or they'd be funding a huge push to reduce the natural miscarriage rate from the roughly 50 percent rate it's at.
posted by Devonian at 6:51 AM on August 25, 2012


Kind of doesn't look like Rasmussen was too far off with that poll of Akin, another poll (Mason Dixon) has Akin down by 9 now.
posted by edgeways at 7:37 AM on August 25, 2012


Oh... and it looks like Akin (may) have had the knock on effect of making MO competitive in the presidential race as well... again from Pass so take with a chuck of rock salt until confirmed, but Obama now leads Romney by one point, that is about a 6 point swing for Rass, and might be an outlier, especially given how unreliable they can be. It'll be interesting to watch it in the weeks to come.
posted by edgeways at 7:44 AM on August 25, 2012


RUSSERT: You talked about your family relative who died from an illegal abortion, and yet President Romney is saying is saying ban all abortion. And what would be the legal consequences to people who participated in that procedure?... So back to your relative.

ROMNEY: Mm-hmm.
posted by scody at 10:17 AM on August 25, 2012 [4 favorites]


Wow. He's pretty awful at this, isn't he?
posted by Artw at 10:21 AM on August 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


From a deleted FPP: This is the First Time I’ve Written About My Rape, and I’m Doing it For You, Todd Akin [xoJane]
posted by cashman at 11:36 AM on August 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Future headline: Romney Denies Moon
posted by Artw at 1:27 PM on August 25, 2012


Future headline: Romney Denies Moon

That's bizarre that you said that, because I am sitting here right now bewildered over the fact that my younger daughter (just turned 20) is angry at me right now and called me "closed minded" today because a) I believe that the moon landing was real and b) I believe the moon is solid. This is worse than the other night, when she told me how all the socialism we have is taking our freeeeeedoms away. sigh. I really wish she hadn't been kicked out of high school.
posted by notashroom at 1:40 PM on August 25, 2012


This is not something I would be proud enough of to post on a public message board, let alone admit to anyone, even in hushed tones. It would make me feel like a total failure as a parent.
posted by crunchland at 2:46 PM on August 25, 2012


Yeah, well, as I said, I'm bewildered. Her IQ is just fine and her sister doesn't believe anything so wacky. This all seems to have started after she moved out on her own, before coming back home this summer.
posted by notashroom at 3:14 PM on August 25, 2012


and called me "closed minded" today because a) I believe that the moon landing was real and b) I believe the moon is solid.

Sharper than a serpent's tooth, indeed.
posted by localroger at 3:15 PM on August 25, 2012


notashroom, your daughter has fallen in with some very bad influences. Their propaganda is very advanced and I'm not sure what you can do about it. But you have my sympathy. I had intended to write more into my last comment, and would have had I seen yours that I missed because I didn't preveiw.
posted by localroger at 3:18 PM on August 25, 2012


Thanks, localroger. I've been trying to figure out what, if anything, I can do to combat these influences. This is a kid who beat professor-grandpa at Scrabble at age 7 and read Watership Down solo at 8, so she's not dumb, just misguided and gullible. I'm less unhappy over her disinterest in voting now, however (also very different from big sis, who registered right after her 18th birthday).
posted by notashroom at 3:24 PM on August 25, 2012


Unfortunately, smart people can be among the most susceptible to propaganda because of their intelligence. This kind of propaganda works by setting up patterns which look meaningful. The mark does not realize the art that went into creating the patterns and thinks they have, using their native intelligence, discovered something New and Meaningful.

There is a kind of natural high that accompanies this sort of pattern recognition; I've often used the word "epiphany" to refer to it. Nearly every advance humans have made in the last thousand years has started with such an epiphany, but it's also a handle that can be used to manipulate you if someone arranges to create one in circumstances they control.

This can even be done remotely and without personal interaction; should someone become accustomed to trusting too much of the wrong "news" for example it could very easily draw one into corners one would otherwise never have entered, to find nascent beliefs reinforced and encouraged.

There is also the natural tendency of children to rebel and seek alternate viewpoints once they realize the world is larger than what they were allowed to see as children. That realization is a vulnerable moment when natural curiosity can be exploited.

I'm not sure what can be done about it other than to firmly stand your ground and hope. I solved the problem for myself by not having children, which I recognize is kind of a cheat.
posted by localroger at 3:38 PM on August 25, 2012 [5 favorites]


Unfortunately, smart people can be among the most susceptible to propaganda because of their intelligence. This kind of propaganda works by setting up patterns which look meaningful.

I should have seen it coming in her reaction to the movie the number 23. Maybe the way to enlighten smart but misguided righties is to produce good dystopian movies and tv dramas.
posted by notashroom at 4:07 PM on August 25, 2012


I wonder if introducing her to some RAW would be a good or a bad thing... I always saw the bulk of his work (and the whole Discordian thing) as being about bursting out of reality tunnels, or at least about recognizing such things exist and that there are other ones out there. She might just see it as a new set of conspiracy theories to latch on to.
posted by Artw at 4:14 PM on August 25, 2012


notashroom, how exactly did she react to TN23? Did she start seeing 23's everywhere?

I took a challenge (not from RAW, but I later realized the author was echoing RAW) to keep account of random change found. The results were bizzarro-world.

The important thing to realize is that, yes, there are things out there that appear to be magic; they might be real or they might be perceptual defects, but we all are capable of experiencing them. But the magic stuff never ends up throwing lightning bolts off of mountain tops; it hides itself, if it exists at all, in randomness not acting random. Meanwhile, actual science blows up cities with bombs the size of surfboards. I have worked with both science and *cough* New Age mysticism, and while I still break out the Tarot deck every once in awhile I have no hesitation in saying that I would always turn to science when setting any policy that involves other people.
posted by localroger at 4:35 PM on August 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Legitimate Rape by the Renegade Raging Grannies
posted by homunculus at 4:47 PM on August 25, 2012 [3 favorites]


I'm not sure I want to encourage conspiracy theories of any kind beyond the obvious (PACs, superbundlers, etc.), even if they lead her to different conclusions, but I think the patterns point is right on. She did start seeing 23 everywhere, and it was months before that wore off. When she was arguing against the moon being solid, it was the texture and light perspective on the surface to which she objected.

Apologies for the derail, folks. I'm open to suggestions on recalibrating her kookometer via MeMail.
posted by notashroom at 5:34 PM on August 25, 2012


Alan Moore might be a more immediately sceptical but also more accessible alternative to RAW. Lots of the themes are the same, with the bonus of plenty of comics and interviews. Also, although I have my reservations about him as a comic, a Bill Hicks DVD might be good way to start leading her back to the Light Side.
posted by howfar at 6:34 PM on August 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Alan Moore looks like the likeliest one she'd pick up so far. Thanks for the suggestion.
posted by notashroom at 7:11 PM on August 25, 2012


notashroom: my suggestion would be VERY gentle, very light poking of fun, like slight teasing every now and then. Just enough to sow an occasional seed of doubt. Worked wonders for my dad and religion (vs. my very Catholic mom).
posted by msalt at 9:41 PM on August 25, 2012


Thanks for the suggestion, msalt. Unfortunately, whenever we have a disagreement over something substantive, it becomes a bit of a sore spot with her, so I suspect I'm going to have to do my best to fly under the radar if I want to be effective. Does anyone have ideas for movies or tv series, especially ones available on Netflix?
posted by notashroom at 6:48 AM on August 26, 2012


Offer to help pay for her continuing education, provided she attend mainstream schools?
posted by Devils Rancher at 7:36 AM on August 26, 2012


Unfortunaely, that requires more resources than I personally have. She does have her GED (aced the test, in fact), and wants to further her education (with Pell Grants and money grandparents have been able to set aside, as her sister is doing), but is waiting until she decides What She Wants To Be When She Grows Up, so as not to waste limited resources. In the meantime, she works full time.
posted by notashroom at 9:39 AM on August 26, 2012


Luckily time is on your side. What's the old joke? "Hire them at 19 while they still know everything."
posted by msalt at 1:44 PM on August 26, 2012


If Curiosity Turns Up Life on Mars, What Will the Todd Akin Cohort Have to Say?
posted by homunculus at 2:34 PM on August 26, 2012


Does anyone have ideas for movies or tv series, especially ones available on Netflix?

Cosmos is pretty unbeatable, and is on Netflix (DVD, not streaming). I don't recall how much it actually discusses the Apollo missions, but it may be good for helping her understand more about the scientific method and critical thinking about the natural world.
posted by scody at 2:44 PM on August 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


While I love Carl Sagan and Cosmos, someone who has already seen 23's everywhere for a few months is likely to just see him as a close-minded authoritarian. Which is unfortunate, but what it is.
posted by localroger at 3:44 PM on August 26, 2012


They should remake Cosmos for the HD age. I watched the show avidly when it first came out, but it's close 30 years out of date and I don't think it has aged all that well.
posted by crunchland at 3:54 PM on August 26, 2012


They should remake Cosmos for the HD age.

Your first problem is finding the person who will play Carl Sagan.
posted by localroger at 4:04 PM on August 26, 2012


Have you seen the updated version? I saw parts (but not all) of the updated version 6 or 8 years ago, featuring updated graphics and updated scientific knowledge, so it's not totally locked in that early '80s state of knowledge.

There does appear to be a new Cosmos series in the works for 2013-14, hosted by Neil deGrasse Tyson and made with the cooperation of Sagan's widow, Ann Druyan.
posted by scody at 4:10 PM on August 26, 2012 [3 favorites]


Thanks, scody. Cosmos - particularly an updated version - seems like a good choice to address both the astronomical aspects and the logic deficit. I think she'd watch (at least some of) that with me, but she mostly watches documentaries to humor me.
posted by notashroom at 4:47 PM on August 26, 2012


Maybe a bridge between rebellious contrarianism and old-guard science would be someone like Douglas Hofstadter? Gödel, Escher, Bach is both a mindblowing book and a very sensible one. Metamagical Themas or Mind's I might be fun to read, too - showing that conventional math/science is already full enough of magic and bizarreness as it is.

And from Metamagical Themas, she could go into something like Martin Gardner's work, which is both fun and heavily anti-woo. If she'd be interested in Whys of a Philosophical Scrivener, then that could open her mind.

Sophie's World might be a good one, too. Maybe if she had more solid footing in philosophy itself, that could help undermine some of the sillier conspiracy stuff. Maybe not. I don't know.

Regardless, I'm sorry that this is frustrating. She's lucky to have someone looking out for her! Even in a worst case scenario, I can definitely say that I've met (and worked for) many wonderful, charming, intelligent people who also had some strange beliefs, and for all I know, they might say the same exact thing about me.
posted by Sticherbeast at 5:00 PM on August 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


There does appear to be a new Cosmos series in the works for 2013-14, hosted by Neil deGrasse Tyson and made with the cooperation of Sagan's widow, Ann Druyan..

A new 13 part series co-produced by animator Seth MacFarlane who proposed the idea/concept to Druyan, FOX and National Geographic.
posted by ericb at 5:19 PM on August 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


Bryan Fischer: "Women's suffrage only thing keeping Obama in the game: Obama down 8 with men, up 8 with women."
posted by zombieflanders at 5:44 PM on August 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Top GOP Operative: Republicans ‘Will Run A Write-In’ To Defeat Todd Akin
posted by homunculus at 5:47 PM on August 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


"Women's suffrage only thing keeping Obama in the game: Obama down 8 with men, up 8 with women."

Wow, that ‏@BryanJFischer is really quite the prick:

"Dems war on women: THEY'RE the ones who want to keep women barefoot and pregnant. Can buy their votes with food stamps."

"If campaign is over who can make husbands & fathers more irrelevant to women through govt programs, game over, Dems win."

"Ann Coulter: "If we took away women's right to vote, we'd never have to worry about another Democrat president.""
posted by jaduncan at 5:57 PM on August 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Top GOP Operative: Republicans ‘Will Run A Write-In’ To Defeat Todd Akin


Please let them do this. It would be a spectacular, epic waste of money. MO is not AK, where Murkowski won a 3-way as write-in. The partisan balance tips R, but not nearly enough to make splitting the R vote among a write-in and Akin viable.

Mason-Dixon poll mentioned above is the first non-flash poll of the race and shows Akin trailing by 8. Democrats just got a huge bonus in their fight to keep the Senate. Ratfuck win achieved!
posted by Hollywood Upstairs Medical College at 7:17 PM on August 26, 2012


(M-D has him down by 9, not 8)
posted by Hollywood Upstairs Medical College at 7:18 PM on August 26, 2012


Bryan Fischer: "Women's suffrage only thing keeping Obama in the game: Obama down 8 with men, up 8 with women."

As a white (well, Jewish) male, I love this. I'm glad that exclusively courting the white male vote is a losing strategy, and it deserves to be a losing strategy. If the Republicans want to win a national election, they need to rework themselves.
posted by Sticherbeast at 7:22 PM on August 26, 2012 [4 favorites]


The Fruits of Todd Akin: Pennsylvania Edition

Akin's comments have really pulled away the curtain on this issue, and I'm glad some reporters are out there trying to nail these guys down on the specifics of which abortions are okay and which ones aren't.
posted by tonycpsu at 12:28 PM on August 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Missouri delegates angry at Romney over Akin.
posted by ericb at 12:45 PM on August 27, 2012


"Top GOP Operative: Republicans ‘Will Run A Write-In’ To Defeat Todd Akin"

It doesn't get said much around here, but good for them, that is the right thing to do.
posted by Blasdelb at 12:46 PM on August 27, 2012


Blasdelb: " It doesn't get said much around here, but good for them, that is the right thing to do."

How's that? He won his primary, but now his party establishment is going to fund a write-in candidate for a different Republican that the voters didn't choose?
posted by tonycpsu at 12:48 PM on August 27, 2012


You didn't miss the part where he called tens of thousands of American rape survivors who became pregnant as a result of their assault liars, made himself an embarrassment to the nation, and betrayed a deep seated hatred for half of his constituency did you?
posted by Blasdelb at 1:01 PM on August 27, 2012


You didn't miss the part where he called tens of thousands of American rape survivors who became pregnant as a result of their assault liars, made himself an embarrassment to the nation, and betrayed a deep seated hatred for half of his constituency did you?

Sure, but that's not why the GOP is trying to fund a write-in candidate.
posted by scody at 1:05 PM on August 27, 2012 [3 favorites]


Blasdelb: "You didn't miss the part where he called tens of thousands of American rape survivors who became pregnant as a result of their assault liars, made himself an embarrassment to the nation, and betrayed a deep seated hatred for half of his constituency did you?"

You're painting this as the Republicans "doing the right thing" when it's really the Republicans trying to take the Senate. I can't tell if that's because you're missing the GOP's obvious game plan or if you're just trolling me.
posted by tonycpsu at 1:08 PM on August 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think it's one of those circumstances where The Right Thing just, by happenstance, is the Thing That Is In The GOP's Best Interest.

I have a feeling that the latter is how these decisions are made, not the former, so I understand why they shouldn't get credit. It's like Chris Rock's bit about people taking credit for shit they're supposed to do. ("I take care of my kids!" "You're supposed to, you dumb motherfucker! What kind of ignorant shit is that?")
posted by MoonOrb at 1:13 PM on August 27, 2012


I don't even see how this is the "right thing" if you leave politics out of it. Ann Wagner's anti-choice -- perhaps as anti-choice as Akin is. I don't know anything about her opinion on rape/incest exceptions, and she probably hasn't made any dumb comments about "legitimate rape", but in all abortion matters that she would vote on in the Senate, her vote would probably be the same as Akin's.
posted by tonycpsu at 1:20 PM on August 27, 2012


"You're painting this as the Republicans "doing the right thing" when it's really the Republicans trying to take the Senate. I can't tell if that's because you're missing the GOP's obvious game plan or if you're just trolling me."

Akin has local support, his own cash, and a mind to keep on going. To fund a write in candidate is to either throw the election, or bet on Akin not being as much of an asshole as he has consistently displayed himself to be and drop out like his career doesn't depend on it.
posted by Blasdelb at 1:30 PM on August 27, 2012


Aside from Akin being a total idiot, it's impressive that he's willing to stand up to overwhelming pressure to drop out of the race. We don't often see such fortitude in our politicians. I'd never vote for the guy, but I can really respect that one aspect.
posted by crunchland at 2:10 PM on August 27, 2012


I've seen several people describe Akin as, to paraphrase, the kind of belligerently stupid person who cannot be pried away from a cause no matter how lost it may seem, if it means losing face. He would rather see the Republicans who in his mind betrayed him lose the election than see an alternate candidate, even one much more acceptable to his own views, win for them in his stead after such a betrayal.
posted by localroger at 2:19 PM on August 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Paul Ryan Said Something That Should Force Him Off the Ticket, But You Probably Didn't Hear About It


Last week, Paul Ryan gave an interview in which, defending his position that there should be no excuses for abortion, he referred to rape as a "method of conception."
Which...while technically biologically true, is such a tone deaf and insensitive thing to say.
posted by dejah420 at 2:47 PM on August 27, 2012 [4 favorites]


The Ryan quote, while poorly worded, is not anywhere near as bad in my mind as this one, from Tom Smith (running for Senate in Pennsylvania):

“I lived something similar to that with my own family,” Smith said. He then described his daughter’s out-of-wedlock pregnancy — from consensual sex.

“She chose life, and I commend her for that. She knew my views but fortunately for me … she chose the way I thought. Now don’t get me wrong. It wasn’t rape.”

Smith affirmed that he believed his daughter’s pregnancy from consensual sex was similar to a rape. “Put yourself in a father’s position, yes, I mean it is similar.”

posted by naoko at 3:04 PM on August 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


Jaysus H. Fuckaduck.
posted by Artw at 3:08 PM on August 27, 2012


Smith affirmed that he believed his daughter’s pregnancy from consensual sex was similar to a rape. “Put yourself in a father’s position, yes, I mean it is similar.”

If you're conservative enough to believe that your daughter is your property and that it is when you "give this woman" to her husband that she rightfully becomes another man's property, then yes, it is similar: something of yours was taken without your permission, and has lost value as a result.
posted by notashroom at 3:19 PM on August 27, 2012 [4 favorites]


I am really, really trying to see his point of view as a parent...but I just can't. My daughter being violated, terrified, having to endure a terrible physical assault that will undoubtedly be psychologically scarring versus my daughter enjoying herself by going to bed with a guy that she likes. It is so far from the same thing that I am reeling.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 3:30 PM on August 27, 2012 [3 favorites]


“Put yourself in a father’s position, yes, I mean it is similar.”

Awkward next dinner party.
posted by jaduncan at 4:45 PM on August 27, 2012 [4 favorites]


Well, I guess we know what dates were like with candidate Smith. :O
posted by Joey Michaels at 5:06 PM on August 27, 2012


The amazing thing to me is that guys like Akin and now Smith said these things so matter-of-factly that it's obvious that they hadn't even conceived of the idea that anyone would object. It's like a peek into a parallel universe of norms that are 180 degrees removed from my own world view. I mean that Smith can't be the only person he knows who thinks that his unmarried daughter having sex was basically the same thing as rape. There must be many people who think that way and probably are sitting there right now reading about the outrage over his comments and wondering what the fuss is all about. Fucking scary.
posted by octothorpe at 8:02 PM on August 27, 2012 [5 favorites]


I dunno, octothorpe, I'm totally receptive to the argument that this is an epistemic closure thing where Tom Smith can't imagine there are people who would be offended by the comparison, but I listened to the interview tonight (I had only read it earlier), and it occurred to me that he was probably just desperately reaching for anything he could to deflect the AP reporter's very focused question about how he would ask a rape victim to carry a pregnancy to term. I think this comes out more in the audio than it does in the transcript.

I don't think Tom Smith's plan was to use his own daughter as a human shield to deflect a probing interview question, especially when his daughter's out-of-wedlock pregnancy itself could cause some of his flock to question how he raised his kids. Still, these guys all know that the rape/incest/life of the mother cases are problematic when they try to make their case, so, rather than answer the question directly about how he'd talk to a rape victim, he desperately cited his own daughter's experience to try to square the circle.

Akin seems like a clear case of the dynamic you're talking about, with the "duh, everyone knows ladyparts have a secret uterine death squad ready to engage enemy sperm at the first sign of forcible entry!" argument. But I think Tom Smith's comparison was just a panic move that obviously failed. I don't think he was ever a credible Senate candidate anyway, but this just confirms how weak the GOP bench is here in PA.
posted by tonycpsu at 8:21 PM on August 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


"duh, everyone knows ladyparts have a secret uterine death squad ready to engage enemy sperm at the first sign of forcible entry!"

How fucking cool would that be?
posted by rtha at 8:53 PM on August 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


When I told my husband about this he reminded me of a previous conversation we had had a few days ago. I wondered why the mostly male GOP legislators were so opposed to abortion and in some cases even birth control when obviously these things benefit men as well as women. He suggested that the men don't like to think of their daughters having sex. And now this bozo has equated his daughter having sex out of wedlock with his daughter getting raped. I suppose in both cases she is now damaged goods.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:45 AM on August 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


How fucking cool would that be?

I'm seeing a six episode run of cartoon series on Adult Swim. Spermiciders. Genndy Tartakovsky directs art and animation, Lauren Faust executive produces and heads up writing. Motley crew of tiny gonadian soldiers butt heads, hash out intra-squad conflicts, discover friendships, and triumph every episode in combat against invading sperms. "SHUT IT DOWN!" is battle commander Andrea "Andy" Fallopian's catchphrase refrain.
posted by cortex at 7:56 AM on August 28, 2012 [4 favorites]


I'm envisioning an army of tiny Powerpuff Girls flying out at high speed and punching the sperms *Bif* *POW!* *Blam!*
posted by Devils Rancher at 8:28 AM on August 28, 2012


From the department of You Can't Make This Shit Up:

"Missouri U.S. senate candidate Todd Akin has stoked more outrage today by claiming that male homosexuality is a disease and that the medical establishment has found the cure.

The Republican congressman, already under fire for his controversial comments regarding rape, told a reporter for Cape Giradeau's KBSI 23 News that "female breastmilk - when fed directly to an adult homosexual male daily for at least four weeks - has a 94% chance of permanently curing homosexual perversions.""
posted by rtha at 8:34 AM on August 28, 2012


rtha, check the top right of the page.
posted by tonycpsu at 8:40 AM on August 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


Spermiciders

Tadfraggers, by Simon Spurrier (2000ad prog 1369)
posted by Artw at 8:43 AM on August 28, 2012


rtha, check the top right of the page.

Yeah, these are the same guys who came up with the Santorum/Grindr parody.
posted by zombieflanders at 8:44 AM on August 28, 2012


Ah! I saw "daily..." in the URL and didn't bother parsing further! (and then when told to check the top right of the page, I checked the top right of *this* page, and wondered what was so special about it). Clearly I need more caffeine!
posted by rtha at 8:46 AM on August 28, 2012


Ouch, looks like that is from the department of You Can Make This Shit Up.

They appear to be on the verge of slashdotting, every other page load comes up 503. Ah, here it is. Less recent articles:

* Romney Claims Not Releasing Tax Returns is ‘Pro-Life’
* Romney Defends Plan to Spin-Off Alaska
* Glenn Beck Introduces Gold-Plated Muslim Detector
...
* Penn State Seriously Considering Hiring Freeze on Child Sex Abusers

Pretty funny stuff, but they don't seem to publish new articles very often. Then again given the shakiness of their web hosting maybe that's for the good.
posted by localroger at 8:52 AM on August 28, 2012


Eight Things Congress Doesn’t Know About Sex
posted by homunculus at 10:36 AM on August 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


And, from across the pond ...

George Galloway Criticised For 'Window Licker' Tweet -- "Respect MP causes further controversy over use of derogatory term for disabled person following recent comments about rape."
posted by ericb at 3:00 PM on August 28, 2012


Vaginas Protest Republican Convention.
posted by ericb at 3:22 PM on August 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


ItsNotJustAkin.com

The Republican Guide to Female Anatomy.

posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 3:27 PM on August 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


(I live in Arizona, I won't be surprised if Akin wins anyway... Arpaio keeps being elected to Sheriff here. People who vote against their own interests are no shock to me.)

In other Arizona election news: Openly Bisexual Nontheist Kyrsten Sinema Is Winning Her Democratic Primary Race for Congress
posted by homunculus at 1:59 PM on August 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


Holy Cats! Samantha Bee of The Daily Show knocks this one out of the park.
posted by Joey Michaels at 3:15 AM on August 30, 2012 [15 favorites]


Wow, that Bee video is AWESOME.
posted by KathrynT at 7:53 AM on August 30, 2012


Non-Gawker version of Samantha Bee video.
posted by benito.strauss at 8:57 AM on August 30, 2012 [5 favorites]


Finally getting around to watch the Samantha Bee video. Fucking brilliant.
posted by rtha at 9:39 AM on August 30, 2012


Watch that video yall! Just amazing. I wish I could have seen my own face as I ... Just watch it.
posted by cashman at 11:35 AM on August 30, 2012


"Every person has the right to choooooooo to DECIDE what they want to do!"
posted by KathrynT at 11:38 AM on August 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


Does This Brutal Takedown of Todd Akin’s ‘Legitimate Rape’ Remark Go Too Far?
posted by homunculus at 12:12 PM on August 30, 2012


Here's the Samantha Bee clip for Canadians. (it's the second segment)
posted by peppermind at 1:40 PM on August 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


Thanks, peppermind. It looks as if the Gawker video works for us, too.
posted by maudlin at 2:26 PM on August 30, 2012


wow. that was incredibly brilliant.

i actually had to stop watching because i thought i was start gagging.
seriously.

it was when she was deep in the "personal decision" segment. wow.

is there a better word than hypocrisy? like when you don't even realize you're being a hypocrite as someone is pointing it out to you? hypdensocrisy?
posted by sio42 at 4:07 PM on August 30, 2012


Cognitive dissonance .. holding two conflicting views simultaneously.
posted by crunchland at 4:27 PM on August 30, 2012


I thought the Samantha Bee video was wickedly funny. But I don't think the unfortunate interviewees are hypocrites, either. Someone who opposes a woman's right to choose to end a pregnancy would presumably say that when the two things they value conflict--the right to make your own decisions about your personal business and human life--the value of choice would yield to the value of protecting human life. Anyway, I don't agree with their politics, and while I don't think their answers to Bee's questions made them hypocrites, I did get a great big smile out of it. Watching them begin to see what path she was leading them down was hilarious.
posted by MoonOrb at 6:54 PM on August 30, 2012


How can it be OK for Mitt Romney to have a choice on whether babies live or die, then?

I'm sorry, it's rank hypocrisy. You can't be an absolutist and then make an exception for someone because he's in your political party. These people support a human life amendment that would take away even Romney's choice, much less that of pregnant women.
posted by msalt at 7:22 PM on August 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


On the plus side, that video just became a powerful new tool for teachers explaining hypocrisy and cognitive dissonance.
posted by notashroom at 7:35 PM on August 30, 2012


You can't be an absolutist and then make an exception for someone because he's in your political party.

Yes, that is the real disconnect. Romney supporters are saying that it's not OK for a rape victim to abort her baby; they are saying that it's OK for Mitt Romney to support legislation that allows rape victims to abort their babies.

It's absolutely ridiculous, and hopefully was an effective exercise for those GOPers.
posted by mrgrimm at 9:27 AM on August 31, 2012


Karl Rove offers a novel solution to the Akin problem.
posted by Joey Michaels at 2:20 PM on August 31, 2012


Does This Brutal Takedown of Todd Akin’s ‘Legitimate Rape’ Remark Go Too Far?

No.
posted by howfar at 2:29 PM on August 31, 2012


Does This Brutal Takedown of Todd Akin’s ‘Legitimate Rape’ Remark Go Too Far?

I don't think parody or satire can be considered "too far", given Akin's horrendous comments that it's based on. But it is a pretty tough-to-watch satirical piece, one I found impossible to laugh at. But too far? Not in a world where Akin and Ryan exist.
posted by crossoverman at 6:04 AM on September 1, 2012


Maryland Congressman Says ‘Few Pregnancies’ Result From Rape. Another House Republican is raising eyebrows for suggesting that women who are raped are less likely to become pregnant — just weeks after Rep. Todd Akin (R-MS) sparked controversy for his “legitimate rape” remark.

Speaking at a town hall on Thursday, Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD), responded to a question about abortion by reiterating his longstanding opposition to the procedure in every case except for rape, incest, and if the life of the woman is in danger. But when an audience member pressed Bartlett on the rape exception, he suggested that few pregnancies result from rape:
There are very few pregnancies as a result of rape, fortunately, and incest — compared to the usual abortion, what is the percentage of abortions for rape? It is tiny. It is a tiny, tiny percentage.”
Video. (around 3:10)
posted by cashman at 8:34 PM on September 1, 2012


It seems pretty clear he's saying that only a small percentage of aborted pregnancies are due to rape, not that a small percentage of rapes cause pregnancy. Far from pushing junk reproductive science, I think he's trying to deflect criticism from the right by suggesting that the rape exception implies relatively few abortions.

In other parts of the same video he goes to some trouble to illustrate his anti-death penalty stance, and also affirms support for Planned Parenthood. Yeah, he's pro-life and I disagree with that basic position, but this is not the nasty, irrational, dishonest sort of Republican that I'm inclined to get pissed off at. Based on that video, I kinda like the guy.
posted by jon1270 at 11:43 AM on September 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Todd Akin is Slowly Recovering From His "Legitimate Rape" Gaffe
posted by homunculus at 4:01 PM on September 2, 2012


Karl Rove offers a novel solution to the Akin problem.

Sadly for Rove, Akin only responds to legitimate assassinations.
posted by jaduncan at 4:34 PM on September 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Stand With Planned Parenthood
posted by homunculus at 11:16 AM on September 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


Does the Dems' Big Tent Still Have Room for Abortion Foes? Bart Stupak—who nearly derailed Obamacare over abortion—says Dems will never take back the House without people like him.
posted by homunculus at 1:02 PM on September 6, 2012


There should be room for Stupak and other anti-abortion Dems in the party. Dissent on a single issue should not make it impossible to be a Democrat. That's what Republicans have been doing to their members.

That said, I would expect an anti-choice Dem to be on board with progressive sex education, coverage for birth control and increased child support options. The best way to prevent abortions is to reduce the need for them. Increasing access to birth control, helping young people to learn how to avoid pregnancy in as many ways as possible, and ensuring that all children aren't born to a life of poverty and suffering will reduce abortions much more than being total Akin-like dicks.
posted by Joey Michaels at 5:53 PM on September 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


Akin TV Ad Buy Canceled — For Failure To Pay The Station
posted by homunculus at 9:51 PM on September 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Romney on SCOTUS Picks: It Would be My Preference They Reverse Roe v. Wade
posted by homunculus at 12:16 PM on September 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


@AdamSerwer: Politifact says statutory rapes aren't rapey enough http://t.co/v6qbBPpJ
posted by zombieflanders at 2:25 PM on September 10, 2012


Virginia Delegate Robert G. "Sodomy is not a civil right" Marshall says a vengeful God will punish you for that abortion:
"The number of children who are born subsequent to a first abortion who have handicaps has increased dramatically. Why? Because when you abort the firstborn of any, nature takes its vengeance on the subsequent children," Marshall said.

"In the Old Testament, the firstborn of every being, animal and man, was dedicated to the Lord," he added. "There's a special punishment Christians would suggest -- and with the knowledge that they have in faith, it's been verified by a study from Virginia Commonwealth University -- first abortions, of a first pregnancy, are much more damaging than later abortions."
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:02 PM on September 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah a lot of Bible scholars agree that that "dedicated to the Lord" business refers to infanticide. Dr. Robert S. Price discusses it in this episode of his podcast. So much for "pro life".
posted by chrchr at 4:30 PM on September 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ah, if I may continue this derail a moment longer, we're talking about Exodus 22:29-30:

Do not hold back offerings from your granaries or your vats. You must give me the firstborn of your sons. Do the same with your cattle and your sheep. Let them stay with their mothers for seven days, but give them to me on the eighth day.

Earlier in Exodus at 13:13 God orders that firstborn children should be redeemed, but it is thought that that was a later addition.
posted by chrchr at 5:25 PM on September 10, 2012


SLoG, that Marshall bit about abortion and disabilities is from February 2010.
posted by jon1270 at 7:42 PM on September 10, 2012


Meet Jonathan Dine, the Libertarian Who Could Swing the McCaskill-Akin Race
posted by zombieflanders at 4:05 AM on September 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Pat Robertson, marital counselor
...Robertson fields a question from a viewer with a troubled marriage -- his wife, the viewer said, "has no respect for me as the head of the house," insults him, threatens violence, and undermines his "self-confidence." The host's advice? "Well, you could become a Muslim and you could beat her," Robertson said.

He added that, "I think this man has got to stand up to her. And he can't let her get away with this stuff.... I don't think we condone wife beating these days, but something's got to be done." After arguing that the wife must have some kind of psychological problem, Robertson concluded, "You can't divorce her, according to the scripture, so I say move to Saudi Arabia."

When the video was posted to the Christian Broadcast Network's website, Robertson's words were carefully edited, so that the host's sentence ended with, "You can't divorce her, according to the scripture."
posted by zombieflanders at 10:04 AM on September 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


SLoG, that Marshall bit about abortion and disabilities is from February 2010.

He is still spouting that line of crap
. As recently as Sept 6 of this year he held a press conference where he spoke out against state funding for Planned Parenthood. Why should we care what this crazy guy says? Because he is the Virginia lawmaker who pushed for the two recent anti-abortion laws in Virginia. The first makes a fetus a person and the second requires a transvaginal ultrasound before every abortion.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 3:53 PM on September 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


He is still spouting that line of crap.

Wow.
posted by jon1270 at 4:36 AM on September 12, 2012


Oh wait, that one was copyright 2010 as well. And many of the quotes are identical.
posted by jon1270 at 4:43 AM on September 12, 2012


"Yeah a lot of Bible scholars agree that that "dedicated to the Lord" business refers to infanticide. Dr. Robert S. Price discusses it in this episode of his podcast. So much for "pro life"."

I just listened to that podcast, and that is at best an incredibly aggressive way to interpret what that passage means. For starters, in the Hebrew it is written in, it is grammatically unclear whether it is Moses or his son whom God intends to kill, furthermore it is unclear from context whether the foreskin is touched to the feet/legs of Moses, God, or the son. To present something so fundamentally mysterious in the most lurid and sensational way possible, and with such certainty, would be disgusting in its own right - but the way in which it follows the format of blood libel so precisely is beneath contempt.

To be clear, Jews stretching back though reliably recorded history did not practice infanticide in a way that was unique in the ancient world before the Common Era and the spread of Christianity. In the eras that the Tanakh was written a child was pretty exclusively considered to be its father's chattel, both Plato and Aristotle recommended infanticide as legitimate state policy. Later in Roman law, the Patria Protestas granted the father the right to dispose of his offspring as he saw fit. The Twelve Tables of Roman Law held that "Deformed infants shall be killed" (De Legibus, 3.8). Where deformed was often broadly construed in such a way meant no more than the baby appeared 'weakly.' The Twelve Tables also explicitly permitted a father to expose any female infant. Cicero defended infanticide by referring to the Twelve Tables. Even Seneca, who was famous for his relatively high moral standards, stated, "we drown children at birth who are weakly and abnormal" in his work De Ira (1.15). Hell, infanticide was a casually considered phenomenon, check out this letter that we have, "Know that I am still in Alexandria.... I ask and beg you to take good care of our baby son, and as soon as I received payment I shall send it up to you. If you are delivered (before I come home), if it is a boy keep it, if a girl, discard it." Naphtali Lewis, Life in Egypt Under Roman Rule, page 54. Cornelius Tacitus went so far as to condemn the Jews for their opposition to infanticide. In Histories 5.5 He stated that the Jewish view that "it was a deadly sin to kill an unwanted child" was just another of the many "sinister and revolting practices" of the Jews.
posted by Blasdelb at 2:51 PM on September 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Blasdelb, I pointed to the wrong podcast. The discussion of Exocus 13:13 and Exodus 22:29-30 is in the second episode of the Human Bible at about 35:22. In any case, I'm not gonna argue about it here, and you're welcome to take it up with Dr. Price.
posted by chrchr at 3:18 PM on September 12, 2012


From: Meet Jonathan Dine, the Libertarian Who Could Swing the McCaskill-Akin Race

In fact, Dine is a twice-convicted felon. He earned a 2005 conviction in Kansas for identity theft when he purchased a car with his brother’s driver’s license. Either felony would render him ineligible to hold state office in Missouri. But there’s nothing in the Constitution to prevent him from running for Senator.

Related: If Convicted Felons Could Vote...

Things like that and compulsory voting proposals must give the GOP nightmares.

In Florida, Kentucky and Virginia, more than one in five African-Americans is disenfranchised.

BOO!
posted by mrgrimm at 7:43 AM on September 13, 2012


Obviously Akin has confused women for female ducks.

(yes, I googled "twisted duck cloaca sex" to back up this comment.)


I wonder if he would approve of Cloaxia: Cloacas for Women.
posted by homunculus at 12:27 PM on September 13, 2012


Todd Akin: Obama Is 'Apologizing Because He Didn't Like America'
posted by homunculus at 1:07 PM on September 13, 2012


Anti-Abortion Ohio Representative Has Never Thought About Why Women Would Want One
posted by homunculus at 1:12 PM on September 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


Rasmussen poll puts McCaskill up by 6.

(Which is actually an improvement for Akin from Rasmussen's previous poll of this race, but Rasmussen apparently tends to lean Republican, so cannot be a good sign for Akin).
posted by MoonOrb at 2:48 PM on September 13, 2012


Todd Akins' wife weighs in by comparing his treatment in the media to rape.
posted by MoonOrb at 4:41 PM on September 17, 2012


...

These people really can't hear themeselves, can they?
posted by Artw at 4:43 PM on September 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


"I'm a women and I support Todd!"
posted by Horace Rumpole at 6:45 AM on September 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


That video is pretty astonishing. The woman in the dark? The 19 year old Russian who claims she grew up under Communism? The slow descent into the most depressing Miss World interview section ever?

Does Akin have these women's families held hostage somewhere?
posted by howfar at 10:40 AM on September 18, 2012


I get an "Access denied" error when I try to go to http://www.akin.org/campaign/missouri-women-stand-todd-akin

He absolutely ruined my stereotype of a conservative Republican with his eagerness to meet me, to inquire about me, to make me feel comfortable and to converse with me about things that matter in life.

I can't believe that a conservative Republican wasn't a sociopath!
posted by mrgrimm at 10:53 AM on September 18, 2012


Oh, it's been pulled from YouTube too ...
posted by mrgrimm at 10:55 AM on September 18, 2012


tpm reports that they pulled it down after it turned out that it contained pictures of democrats.
posted by rmd1023 at 11:35 AM on September 18, 2012


and it's back.
posted by rmd1023 at 7:08 PM on September 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


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