By M.D. Kittle ǀ Wisconsin Reporter
Let’s begin with the obvious: Todd Akin is an idiot.
At least the Missouri Congressman’s dunderheaded comments about “legitimate rape” fall under the category of What Idiots Say.
Just in case you were caught under a rock for most of the week, Akin, the Republican running for U.S. Senate against incumbent Democrat Claire McCaskill, said this in response to a Missouri TV interviewer’s questions about abortions for rape victims:
“It seems to me, first of all, from what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut the whole thing down.”
Akin’s stupid statement is akin to telling someone with terminal cancer that she’s faking it. And Mr. Hip Waders In Mouth turned what appeared to be a Senate race cake walk for the GOP into a rallying cry for an overmatched Democrat and the Democratic Party at large.
Republicans from Jersey City to Janesville distanced themselves from the Mouth of Missouri faster than the country club revelers in “Caddie Shack” parted from the pool at the site of a floating Baby Ruth.
In Wisconsin, top Republicans – from Gov. Scott Walker to Sen. Ron Johnson to Mitt Romney running mate Congressman Paul Ryan – have blasted Akin’s comments for what they are and called for him to get out of the Senate race.
Akin effectively said, ‘Screw you,’ to his Republican brethren.
He’s staying put.
And, right on schedule, Democrats from Sarasota to Sacramento are using the Republicans’ Akin pain for political gain. Ah, politics, where righteous indignation is quickly transformed into campaign rhetoric.
Here’s obvious point No. 2.
Most Republicans don’t care for abortions. Many Republicans don’t want taxpayers to pay for them.
You knew that going in, of course.
So, if pro-abortion policies are important to you, as much as or more than, say, the nation’s jobless rate or skyrocketing U.S. debt, you’re probably going to vote for candidates who preach pro-abortion positions.
But the Democrats have now made political sport of Akin’s idiotic musings, attempting to tie every Republican candidate to the congressman and his infamous words.
“For years, people in Wisconsin have watched as Tommy Thompson and Paul Ryan advocated turning back the clock for women and the ability of women to make their own health care decisions. Now, after Todd Akin committed the crime of explaining his beliefs, they have tried to distance themselves from his political fortunes,” pronounced the king of unrighteous indignation, Wisconsin Democratic Party Chairman Mike Tate, on the party’s website.
Tate, of course, points to Ryan’s record of co-sponsoring more than three dozen anti-abortion bills, including House Resolution 5939. The measure, co-sponsored by Akin, would have banned all taxpayer-funded abortions except in cases of “forcible rape.”
News Flash! Paul Ryan doesn’t want taxpayers to pick up the tab for abortions.
Then there’s good old Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the Democratic National Committee spokeswoman starring in the political spin, “Debbie Does the Truth.”
She perhaps more than any Dem, not surprisingly, has pushed the Akin issue. She’s also lied about it.
CNN’s Anderson Cooper, no conservative paramour, called out Wasserman Schultz this week for misquoting the Los Angeles Times and misrepresenting Romney’s views on abortion.
Politco picked up on the confrontation.
The DNC spokeswoman in a fundraising email massaged the Times story, asserting the GOP platform on abortion “was, and I quote, ‘written at the direction of Romney’s campaign.’” The newspaper had reported Romney delegates to the GOP convention were “voting down substantive changes to the GOP platform that were written at the direction of Romney’s campaign.
“I think what you say does matter,” Cooper scolded Wasserman Schultz. “You’re quoting the LA Times and, again, you’ve misquoted them to back up a position.”
Dems, it seems, have gone all-in on the Akin debacle. I suggest they go all-all-in.
Here’s how it works.
Should President Obama be asked a serious question about the nation’s 8.3 percent jobless rate last month, in which, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, 44 states saw unemployment rates climb, he can say:
“Well, yes, that is true. It is true that the unemployment rate is above 8 percent and has been historically high over the course of my term. But you have to understand the dynamics in play, that the Republican Party and the face of the Republican Party, Claude Akin, is that his name, wants to take away a woman’s right to have an abortion. Sure, we’ve got some challenges, but remember this, a Republican said, ‘legitimate rape.’
Should the question about the nation’s crippling $16 trillion debt come up, Debbie Wasserman Schultz could screech:
“I don’t know anything about those kinds of big numbers, but did you hear that Akin guy talk about ‘legitimate rape?’”
Hell, why stand on any pretense? Just get to the punch line.
Ask Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid how Congress can work together to avoid falling off the “fiscal cliff” and send the economy back into recession.
“Legitimate rape,” Reid will grunt in reply.
The obvious point in politics isn’t making lemonade out of lemons. It’s taking something stupid and making it more stupid.
Contact Kittle at firstname.lastname@example.org