Skip to comments.The Todd Akin mess (Michelle Malkin weighs in)
Posted on 08/20/2012 10:10:15 AM PDT by Bratch
Over the weekend, GOP Rep. Todd Akin the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate in Missouri said some really, really stupid things. (Twitchy has comprehensive coverage. Click here and keep scrolling.)
Theres no sugar-coating or whitewashing this. It wasnt a gaffe. It was ignorant, garbled nonsense. Asked about his views on abortion in the case of rape, he claimed that If its a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.
Akins opponent, incumbent Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill (who is currently 11 points down in the polls), moved in quickly to capitalize on the comments by claiming that Akin was blaming the victims of rape. In the video clip above, however, youll note at the end that Akin makes clear that the rapists should be punished, not the victims.
Its about the only clear, sensible thing he said.
The legitimate rape phrase may have been a short-hand way, a la Whoopi Goldberg, of distinguishing between forcible rape and other types of rape or between real and phony claims of rape. Whatever he meant, he made a mess of it.
The cringe-worthiest part of his statement is this: the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.
I dont know what kind of biology classes Akin took, but rape-related pregnancies occur with significant frequency. No ifs, ands, or buts about it.
And here is something the feminists who are making great hay of Akins remarks wont tell you: There is most likely significant undercounting of those rape-related pregnancy figures, given what we know about Planned Parenthoods cover up of child rape and child sexual abuse and what we know from the invaluable investigative work of Lila Grace Rose and Live Action into Planned Parenthoods advice to young clients to hide statutory rape cases.
I understand the outrage many of my friends and fellow conservatives feel about the double standards the Right faces when it comes to media/political treatment of other politicians stupidity (looking at you, Bozo the VP). But the question Akin faced wasnt some obscure, gotcha question. It was basic abortion politics 101. His statement about the remarks issued yesterday doesnt even acknowledge the worst part of his botched answer.
GOP candidates in critical races that could swing the balance of the U.S. Senate ought to be ready for prime time. Period.
The Left, unsurprisingly, is now trying to hang Paul Ryan for Akins idiocy. Pro-abortion groups are already fund-raising off of it and every last celebrity on the planet is tweeting about it.
The Senate race in Missouri is still winnable. Big-spending, Obamacare cheerleader Sen. McCaskill has been in peril for months before the GOP nominee was decided.
No matter who wins the Missouri Republican nomination to the U.S. Senate on Aug. 7, Democrat Claire McCaskill is running from behind.
McCaskill, the first-term incumbent Democratic senator, trails all three of her likely Republican challengers, according to a new Post-Dispatch/News 4 poll. She would lose to GOP frontrunner John Brunner by 11 percentage points if they were matched up today, the poll found. She would fall to Sarah Steelman or Todd Akin as well, though by smaller margins.
Further, her unfavorable rating is higher than her favorable, and some of her worst numbers are among all-important independent voters.
The poll of 625 registered Missouri voters suggests a key source of McCaskills problems is her support of President Barack Obama. The Democratic president who almost won Missouri in 2008, and once considered the state a 2012 tossup now has a 51 percent negative rating here and a 9-point deficit against Republican challenger Mitt Romney, according to the poll.
A lot of people are going to hold her accountable for her close ties to the president, said pollster J. Brad Coker of Mason-Dixon Polling & Research Inc. of Washington, which conducted the poll.
On issues unpopular with Missourians, such as the Affordable Care Act and stimulus spending, shes sort of joined at the hip with him, said Coker.
That, paired with a Missouri electorate that is moving rightward, makes her path to re-election a narrow one, he said. Shes swimming upstream, and the currents getting stronger.
The question for Republicans in Missouri is whether sticking by self-inflicted-wounded Akin is more important than securing a U.S. Senate majority.
Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.. a longstanding GoP tradition rears its ugly head .. or just so much kabibble over words.. which according to the DEms and complicit media, doesn’t really matter when they say stupid things.
Get rid of Akin and put the Tea Party guy who lost the primary in.
Akin is just the sort of target we don’t need to give to the Dems.
Cut the guy loose.
I still have no doubt the GOP will win back the Senate but things like this doesn't help. The Rats are almost guaranteed to overplay their hand on this one.
Yeah - cause Obama’s sock puppet McCaskill has never said anything stupid or offensive.
Well,at least he’s not a witch!
Does the Party have any ability to remove the winner of the primary if he does not resign?
How could he not have had a clear, rehearsed answer for this question?
He’s an idiot.
“Akins opponent, incumbent Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill “
Just a coincidence, I assure you.
Can folks please call and urge him to drop out?
I called the Republican Senatorial committee, the RNC, the MO GOP Party, Akins DC office (the local offices aren’t answering or taking messages). I also call the two co-chairs of the MO Republican Committee (different from the party and the ones who would actually chose a replacement).
This has the potential to hurt the ticket from top to bottom, it could be “maccacca” x infinity.
Malkin is right, the guy is not ready for prime time. He could have said he was opposed to abortion in all cases except life of the mother, he could have said that in a dignified way. But no, he uses the word “legitimate” and “rape” in the same sentence and acts like no woman ever got pregnant from being raped. Well, I guess he doesn’t go to too many pro-life rallies, because there are always women like that there, telling their courageous stories. Somehow this dolt managed to insult them too.
PLEASE CALL AND TELL HIM TO GET OUT! TODAY!
yet Elizabeth “Biggie HaHa” Warren, continues to be in her race......
It's not just that he's a complete and ignorant fool, he has betrayed his party and his country by handing a senate seat to the dark side.
Akin, listen up. There is no coming back from this.
You have to wonder how many other republicans are in politics who are this stupid.
the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.
That is without doubt the most stupid statement I ever heard, why didn’t the stupid basket just tell women to get out a coat hanger.,
He needs to get out of the way and let someone else run.
It’s another Macaca Moment - meaningless in itself, but with relentless media massaging it becomes a Tipping Point for making the GOP candidate Unacceptable.
Is Akin a RINO?
Obama made a surprise visit to WH press room(on now). First question from the presstitutes asked him if he thought all republicans thought like Akin. I just shook my head. Akin needs to go now.
Akin stepped into a trap here and I'll even go so far as to say he should quit for the sake of the GOP winning this election.
But he was not wrong. The 5% pregnant conclusion for rape-related pregnancies is total BS.
The most efficient way to achieve pregnancy is for the woman to lie on her back, buttocks elevated by pillows or rolled towels, legs spread wide apart. Her man enters from the top with gentle but repeated thrusting. This position is efficient for a number of reasons including the following:
My wife and I discovered this as our preferred position many years ago. Totally wonder and ecstatic for you younger people who haven't tried it. Definitely, give it a try as this country could use a lot more baby Freepers.
If we are at the national average for married couples who have intercourse roughly twice a week (and it was way closer to twice a day during our early years of marriage), this means we've had intercourse at least 3,000 times, most of it in the preferred position described.
This means Mrs. Vigilanteman should have been pregnant 3000 x 5% or 150 times. The actual result: three times or 0.1%. This is using the most efficient position most of the time with consensual and relaxed sexual intercourse.
The details may be different for other couples, but I doubt that the actual results are all that different. Do we really want to start a survey thread to check this math?
Akin has made a gaffe that no Republican candidate can ever recover from. Yes, if he was a Democrat he would get a pass. A Democrat can say just about anything and the lamestream media will provide cover. It isn’t fair, but life isn’t fair.
It doesn’t matter how good of a candidate Akin might have been. He is now toast. If he does not step down, then the Democrat will win the seat.
Plus, Akin will pull down conservative candidates all over the country. Every Democrat running for any office in the U.S. will be running ads with Akin as the poster child for the conservative “war on women.”
She was running "anti-Akin" ads before the primary describing what a scary right-wing extremist Akin was, and that he was just to extreme for Missouri. I suspect she was signalling Democrat voters to cross over and vote for him, and it worked.
Akin will never step aside. He is a professional politician who is totally unqualified for any real-world occupation.
what I dont like is that Joe Biden gets a pass on all the idiotic stuff that spews forth from his mouth but this guy says one thing wrong and he is toast. If anything he should just admit he said something stupid and speak to a panel of OBGYNs so that he learns from his mistake. If there’s one thing I know for sure, most men ( other than doctors) are not very informed about women’s reproductive issues (my husband stays as far away from that subject as possible). I think if he sets out to learn more about the subject, I know I would forgive him. At least it would be seen as a step in the right direction.
Akin is the Tea Party guy.
The dems have been hoping for a Maccaca moment and it looks like the GOP has handed them one.
Too bad he isn’t running against Joe Biden. It might still be a contest.
It's more than just stupid.
And, normally I advise GOPers and other conservatives to hang tough.
This statement is so toxic that it will damage anyone who does not judge it to be in complete opposition to what they believe. (This is not an abortion issue, it's a fundamental ignorance of biology issue, and there is no [nor should there be] any walking it back.)
Condemn this foolish and ignorant statement with all we have and IN UNISON, DEMAND WITHDRAWAL.
I don't know if there is any electoral technicality available, short of a unified write in campaign.
That was a slam dunk seat we had in the net..... wow.
Akin is not the Tea Party guy. He's the social conservative guy.
In 1984 he earned a Master of Divinity degree at Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis
Akin is an outspoken opponent of abortion in all cases, including health reasons or in cases of rape or incest.
He opposes embryonic stem cell research.
He earned a 96% rating from the American Conservative Union in 2008, and 100% in 2007.
Akin is an advocate of a federal prohibition of online poker. In 2006, he co-sponsored H.R. 4411, the Goodlatte-Leach Internet Gambling Prohibition Act, and H.R. 4777, the Internet Gambling Prohibition Act.
Yep. He may have cost Republicans the Senate.
At least he's not a RINO, am I right?
Let’s not blow this out of proportion, please.
That's not what people were saying week before last.
That was a slam dunk seat we had in the net..... wow.
Kick this loser to the curb and bring in the Palin-endorsed candidate.
Tea Party Express backed Steelman.
Then Steelman the guy.
That's not what people were saying week before last. Touting tea party backing, Akin's endorsed by Bachmann and King
Do you even read your own links?
"Akins corralling of U.S. Reps. Bachmann, R-Minn., and Steve King, R-Iowa staunch conservatives who, along with Akin, were among the caucus founding members in 2010 follows last months dispute over the significance of the Tea Party Express endorsement of GOP Senate contender and former state Treasurer Sarah Steelman."
"Upset with that decision by the nations biggest tea party political action committee, 18 Missouri-based tea party groups issued a statement in March disavowing the endorsement..."
The local conservatives overrode the Tea Party Express' endorsement of Sarah Steelman because she wasn't conservative enough.
Posted on August 19 2012 - 11:59 PM - Posted by: Mary Beth House
In 2006, then gubernatorial candidate Sarah Palin was asked whether or not she would support abortion in instances of rape. Her answer?
I would choose life.
Notice the manner in which Governor Palin responded here because this is key.
She didnt drone on. She didnt complicate matters by spinning or bloviating. She spoke plainly and clearly that she would always err on the side of life.
Now contrast what Missouri GOP Senate candidate, Representative Todd Akin said in a TV interview airing Sunday:
First of all, from what I understand from doctors, (pregnancy from rape) is really rare, Akin told KTVI-TV in a clip posted to YouTube by the Democratic super PAC American Bridge. If its a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.
Akin added: But lets assume that maybe that didnt work or something. I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be on the rapist and not attacking the child.
After the inevitable firestorm erupted, Akin tried to walk back his foot-in-mouth moment:
In reviewing my off-the-cuff remarks, its clear that I misspoke in this interview and it does not reflect the deep empathy I hold for the thousands of women who are raped and abused every year. I recognize that abortion, and particularly in the case of rape, is a very emotionally charged issue. But I believe deeply in the protection of all life and I do not believe that harming another innocent victim is the right course of action.
There are some good conservatives who are trying to push back and are defending Akins comments. I understand their positions and I even agree with some of their reasoning, which I will cover below; but I do not and cannot come to the same conclusions as they do.
The first bit of pushback from the right was the general response why do we always eat our own? Why dont we fight back and unite when our side is under attack? I agree with this basic premise, however I do not think the application is universal.
For instance, when someone is lied about or smeared, when their record is distorted and a false narrative is being pushed about them. At times like this, I believe it is essential for conservatives to rally and push back and fight because the source is a lie or a distortion.
Here, however, we have a self-inflicted wound. We can see the footage and can see for ourselves that Rep. Akin did in fact say these words. I dont believe we should support stupid statements and bad votes just because the guy who made stupid statements or bad votes has an R next to his name. I think it is essential that we say, No, that quote or that vote does not represent my position and I will not be tied down to it.
The next response I came across was that what Akin said wasnt all that bad compared to the wide variety of stupid things Democrats have said or that next to the disastrous record of McCaskill and Obama, a bad soundbyte paled in comparison.
Again, I agree with the premise. Democrats have said a lot of stupid things and McCaskill and Obamas records are nightmares.
But the difference here of course is that McCaskill and Obama have a press that salivates to defend and cover for them and destroy any challenge to their maintaining power. The right does not have this.
Furthermore, do we really want the campaign to be about what is and is not legitimate rape? Really?
And when the left brings forth an ocean of women who got pregnant from rape who look into the cameras with either wounded or angry expressions talking about how horrified they are that the validity of their trauma was being questioned what then?
The ads almost write themselves: My name is Samantha and when I was 15, I was raped by my uncle and got pregnant. The experience traumatized me in ways I cannot even begin to describe and yet Todd Akin believes that pregnancy cannot be the result of rape. So I guess I should take comfort that my rape was not considered legitimate by Mr. Akin, right?
And now let us consider the overflow effect. Congressional and Senatorial candidates will be asked to go on the record as to whether or not theyll shun Akin and his asinine comments. The GOP Presidential nominees campaign has already issued a statement disagreeing with Akin.
Akin will become nationally radioactive at that point and the Senate seat, and quite possibly the chance to retake the Senate, will be gone.
Oh and by the way, if youre busy talking about what is and is not legitimate rape in this the most important election cycle of my lifetime instead of why Obama and McCaskill pose a continued and growing threat to our Constitutional Republic, youre losing.
I know some will argue that Im jumping the proverbial gun and that I should wait to see how this plays out. But, see, I cannot come up with a scenario where this issue gets diffused on its own over the course of the next few months. Instead, I see it going national as the ultimate in distraction campaigns, re-igniting the so-called war on women line from the left and taking attention away from our most imperative goals, which are defeating Obama and retaking the Senate while keeping the House.
Akins presence in the race threatens all three objectives.
As for the rush, Republican strategist Patrick Ruffini, who also recommended that a new nominee be subbed in for Akin, pointed out why we cannot wait:
Akin has until Tuesday at 5pm to drop, so there is a fair amount of urgency here. moga.mo.gov/statutes/c100-
Patrick Ruffini (@PatrickRuffini) August 20, 2012
I want to make it perfectly clear for those reading this article that I speak for myself only on this. This is my opinion. But I believe it is necessary for Todd Akin to drop out of this race post-haste.
We still have a chance to right this situation and defeat Claire McCaskill. We still have a chance to retake the Senate.
Please, Mr. Akin, for the sake of this election and for the sake of our Republic.
Please step down.
UPDATE (h/t Steve Flesher): Claire McCaskill spent $2 million on Akin. Per WaPo:
No wonder Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill wanted to run against Rep. Todd Akin, even investing in his GOP primary victory two weeks ago by spending $2 million on ads that described him as too conservative. Missouri Republicans saw that as a plus, just as shed hoped.
UPDATE 2 (h/t Steve Flesher): Theres a growing chorus of voices calling for Akin to pull out of the race:
He does weigh more than a duck...
Steelman was/is plenty conservative. She angered establishment types. They turned on via various and nefarious ways.
Akin’s stupidity has made the news in Denmark.
41 should read:They turned on her via...
Akin should step aside for the sake of our country.
Country First - before party!
I'm afraid this could get very, very ugly.
Posted on August 20 2012 - 2:01 PM - Posted by: Doug Brady
Mary Beth and Steve have an excellent post on this and if you havent read it it yet, I urge you to do so. Phillip Klein makes some additional points today in a piece at the Washington Examiner. First Klein focuses on the sheer stupidity of Akins comments:
By now, anybody who follows politics enough to be reading this post has likely heard Missouri Republican U.S. Senate candidate Todd Akins idiotic and offensive statement when asked about whether abortion should be allowed in the case of rape. In case you need a refresher, Akin said, If its a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.
Michelle Malkin has a good post ripping into Akin, deservedly so. A lot of the focus has been on the phrase legitimate rape. Was he trying to differentiate between violent/forcible rape and statutory rape? Was he suggesting marital rape or date rape arent legitimately rape? Was he trying to suggest that a lot of rapes are faked? His attempt to make such distinctions, to this observer, is offensive, but at the very minimum its unclear.
The second part of the statement, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down is sheer idiocy with no basis in science.
Excellent points. Im still trying to wrap my arms around his use of the term legitimate rape. Whats that mean? When is rape legitimate? As Mary Beth and Steve noted, there are growing calls from Republicans for Akin to step aside. Most of these calls have centered on electability issues: if Akin stays in the race, Claire McCaskill will pound Akin over his comments for the next 10 weeks, turning what was once a winnable election for the GOP into a referendum on when rape is or is not legitimate. Fantastic. This is how a golden opportunity to flip a Democrat Senate seat is lost. And lets not forget that prior to the August 7 primary, polling data consistently indicated Akin was the weakest of the three potential candidates the Republicans could field against McCaskill. In addition to the electability issue, though, Klein also notes another big problem with Akin: what happens in the unlikely event he someone holds on to beat McCaskill:
Politically, a lot of the analysis as to whether Akin should drop out of the race has focused on whether he could still recover from this horrendous statement and win. A more important question is what kind of senator Republicans would be getting if he could hang on and they could gain a majority in the Senate. Anybody capable of making a statement as simultaneously offensive and moronic as Akins is likely to make more such statements. That means, even if Akin wins, hes likely to embarrass his party for six years and undermine the pro-life cause.
Exactly. Not only will the cause be undermined, but the Democrat Party will have been given more ammo in their ceaseless the GOP hates women campaign. Indeed Akins comments have the potential to negatively impact other GOP races in this crucial election year. The Democrat Party is desperate to change the subject from their disastrous stewardship of the economy, and Akins continued presence in the race will doubtless be viewed by them as the gift that keeps on giving. The only recourse for Republicans is for Akin to drop out, and do so immediately. Klein adds his name to that chorus:
Missouri Republicans have other choices. Both Sarah Steelman and John Brunner led troubled Democratic incumbent Sen. Claire McCaskill in polls taken during the GOP primary, and both were closer to the Tea Party than Akin (Steelman was endorsed by Sarah Palin). If Akin drops out of the race by tomorrow, the Missouri GOP could still pick another candidate. Akin has caused enough damage already. He should do the right thing and step aside and make room for somebody else while theres still time.
Obviously Sarah Steelman is my choice, but even Brunner is preferable to Akin. Will he drop out? I hope so, but I think thats a long shot at best. Most politicians are in the game for their own self-aggrandizement, and Ive seen no indication that Akin is an exception. Hell likely stay in till the bitter end, and help Democrats keep Dingy Harry in charge of the Senate calendar. I hope Im wrong.
Update: Big surprise. Akin just told the Huckster (who, naturally, endorsed Akin) that he will remain in the race till the aforementioned bitter end. And bitter it will be. For all of us. Via the Washington Post:
Rep. Todd Akin said Monday that he will not give in to calls for him to end his Missouri Senate campaign after his controversial comments about legitimate rape.
Im not a quitter. My belief is were going to move this thing forward, he said during an appearance Monday afternoon on Mike Huckabees radio show. To quote my friend John Paul Jones, Ive not yet begun to fight.
Akin also said he still sees himself as the right candidate to take on Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), even as many Republicans have begun to doubt it. He apologized for his remarks but said it doesnt mean he should end his campaign.
I hate when Im right. Sometimes.
So was Steelman? Endorsed by Palin?
“To quote my friend John Paul Jones, Ive not yet begun to fight.”
His friend. I know someone will defend him as they tried on another thread.
Jone Paul Jones passed in 1792.
And by me, for all the good it did her.
Wow, Viglanteman; my husband has taken our kids to see their grandmother for the next week in the Gaspe while I work. That is unfortunate for me right now, as you have made quite an interesting, informative post, even though I’m likely beyond childbearing years. Whew! :)