TAG | Todd Akin
The Washington Post reports:
McCaskill had 54.7 percent of the vote, Akin 39.2 percent and the Libertarian candidate Jonathan Dine 6.1 percent…
By staying in the race this grotesquely selfish man threw away what should have been a GOP senate gain and, while he was at it, further tarnished a Republican national campaign already scarred by the earlier success of Rick Santorum.
What a disgrace.
Tampa, Florida (CNN) – Mike Huckabee participated in a conference call Friday night with hundreds of Baptist pastors and Christian talk radio hosts in Missouri that was organized to coordinate a robust defense of Rep. Todd Akin as he faces pressure from Washington Republicans to drop his Senate bid against Democrat Claire McCaskill…
Speaking harshly about establishment Republicans who have tried to force Akin from the Missouri race, Huckabee at one point compared the National Republican Senatorial Committee to “union goons” who “kneecap” their enemies.
The former Arkansas governor said party bosses were “opening up rounds and rounds” of ammunition on Akin and “then running over with tanks and trucks and leaving him to be ravaged by the other side.”
“This is unprecedented, to see to this orchestrated attempt to humiliate and devastate a fellow Republican,” Huckabee said of Akin, who has deep ties to the Christian conservative movement. Akin spent Thursday in Florida meeting with evangelical leaders and evaluating his political future.
All we need now is Santorum.
From the Guardian, one possible theory for the source of Akin’s idiot ‘science’:
The idea that rape victims cannot get pregnant has long roots. The legal position that pregnancy disproved a claim of rape appears to have been instituted in the UK sometime in the 13th century. One of the earliest British legal texts, Fleta, has a clause in the first book of the second volume stating that:
“If, however, the woman should have conceived at the time alleged in the appeal, it abates, for without a woman’s consent she could not conceive.”
This was a long-lived legal argument. Samuel Farr’s Elements of Medical Jurisprudence contained the same idea as late as 1814:
“For without an excitation of lust, or the enjoyment of pleasure in the venereal act, no conception can probably take place. So that if an absolute rape were to be perpetrated, it is not likely she would become pregnant.”
This “absolute rape” is not quite the same as Akin’s “legitimate rape”. Akin seems to be suggesting that the body suppresses conception or causes a miscarriage, while the earlier idea of Farr relates specifically to the importance of orgasm. Through the medieval and early modern period it was widely thought, by lay people as well as doctors, that women could only conceive if they had an orgasm.
It is of course sheer political opportunism to seize on Todd Akin’s use of “legitimate” to qualify “rape” as representing his views. There is not a chance that he meant to signify that rape is ever legitimate, but was rather clumsily trying to distinguish stranger rape from drunken acquaintance rape. And the debate over whether abortion following rape should be permitted is largely theoretical, allowing both sides to get righteously worked up over a principle. Akin’s doctor expert claims that less than 1% of rapes result in pregnancy; the New York Times’ medical experts allege that the data is weak but that the pregnancy rate may be more like 5%, still a pretty low number. But if Akin believes he is following God’s mandate, it shouldn’t matter if every rape resulted in a pregnancy—the principle is the same.
Todd Akin lends an assist to the Democrats (the New York Times reports):
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — In an effort to explain his stance on abortion, Representative Todd Akin, the Republican Senate nominee from Missouri, provoked ire across the political spectrum on Sunday by saying that in instances of what he called “legitimate rape,” women’s bodies somehow blocked an unwanted pregnancy.
In a senate already filled with clowns, Akin would fit right in. But I doubt that he’ll get the chance.
Obama must be laughing.