The Republican “War on Women” is a “cold war,” but it just got hotter. There were no guns or grenades. It was characterized by politicians who advocated the prevention of abortion in cases of rape and incest, and even an effort to redefine rape to include only “forcible rape.” Republicans have cut funding for Planned Parenthood, and even made it legal to kill doctors in South Dakota who perform abortions. In Texas Republicans have passed laws requiring that a woman must undergo violation by a vaginal sonogram and listen to the heartbeat of her unborn child before she is allowed to have an abortion. She is then required to spend the next 24 hours contemplating the abortion before she is allowed to proceed.
Just as women are gaining momentum in this war, Todd Akin, the Republican Congressman from Missouri, who is now running for Senate, shared with us his astute ideas about rape, and his scientific assessment about whether pregnancy could result from rape. He said:
The amazing thing is not that Akin holds these views. The amazing thing is that he said them in an interview. Even more amazing is the fact that Akin currently serves on the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology. However the most amazing thing about Todd Akin is that he and Paul Ryan co-sponsored a bill to re-define rape as only “forcible rape.” Thus Akin’s use of the term “legitimate rape” could easily be substituted with “forcible rape.” Paul Ryan, Romney’s pick for his Vice Presidential Candidate, agreed with Akin that abortion should only be allowed in cases of “forcible rape.” Ryan felt so strongly about the importance of distinguishing between “legitimate” rape, and non-legitimate rape, that he felt it appropriate to propose a bill in Congress to establish a difference in the consequences of the two.
In a sense of panic, Republicans around the country, have called for Todd Akin to withdraw from the race in Missouri, so that they can replace him with another Republican, before 5:00 p.m. today. If Todd Akin voluntarily withdraws by 5:00 today, the Republicans can nominate another Republican, who might not be stupid enough to proclaim what he really thinks, on national television. Mitt Romney and other Republican Senators have urged Todd Akin to step aside and withdrawn pledges of funds for his campaign. The ironic thing is that none of the Republicans have called for the withdrawal of Paul Ryan as the VP candidate to run with Romney.
While Republican leaders have condemned the words of Akin, it seems they only object to the fact that he disclosed his position at an inopportune time. It is not as if they were unaware of Akin’s positions before he shared his perspective in a televised interview. Akin was endorsed by such prominent leaders of the GOP as Michele Bachmann and Mike Huckabee. Mr. Akin advertises the 20 other Republican politicians who have endorsed him too.
Unfortunately for the Republican Party, unlike Sarah Palin, Mr. Akin says he is not a “quitter.” “By the Grace of God, we’re going to win this thing.” Like Sarah Palin, Todd Akin invokes God’s name in a fit of desperation, hoping to convince the electorate that God wants him to win. Like Sarah Palin, Todd Akin is destined to be Undefeated.
The Republicans have been embarrassed by other scandals in the last few weeks. Everybody agrees that Jerry Sandusky is a vile excuse for a human being. Nobody is talking about the fact that he is a Republican. Nobody’s talking about Gregory Peterson, a Republican activist and member of the church of Latter Day Saints in Salt Lake, who is on trial for the rape of four women. One of his victims met Peterson at a Republican fundraiser hosted by a singles group of a local LDS Church. Nobody is talking about the FOIA request made of Homeland Security regarding the meeting of Todd Palin, and David Chaney (one of the Secret Service agents involved in the Colombia prostitution scandal). That was the meeting in which Todd introduced David Chaney to his prostitute Shailey Tripp, so that he could be serviced while in Alaska checking out Sarah.
Perhaps in November when women turn out in record numbers to vote for Barack Obama, somebody will be talking about the victor in what was a cold war. Perhaps when the 2012 election is over, the cold war will be over. Men and women around the country will say to the Republican Party:
(Rufus Sewell the antagonist in Knight’s Tale, who lost the joust)