I'm getting really tired of the pile-on of Missouri Congressman Todd Akin. He isn't being treated fairly, and I think it should stop.
During an interview Mr. Akin answered a question regarding his views on abortion. "If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down."
The idea of ladies having a Venomous Venus Flytrap-like apparatus that slams shut when there's an unwanted intruder sounds awesome. It's not true. Last year 32,000 American women were impregnated after being raped. "Legitimately."
OK, women -- we're kind of mysterious. Most guys didn't watch those awkward sex-ed film strips in grade school. That thing that looked like a bullhead with horns was on the inside, and they spent more time looking at the JC Penney underwear pages.
I don't understand why Republicans are piling on Akin. He simply said what other Republican leaders have been thinking and saying for years.
The Supreme Court calls it "disparate treatment." If everyone shows up five minutes late to work and you're fired for showing up five minutes late, you have a legitimate case. Todd Akin is being discriminated against by his own party.
I am here to defend Mr. Akin's ignorance. It's not that he didn't pay attention; he actually learned the wrong thing.
Dr. Jack Willke, who helped found the International Right to Life Federation in 1984 and served as president of the U.S. National Right to Life Committee, was his source. This week the not-so-good doctor told the New York Times, "This is a traumatic thing -- she's, shall we say, she's uptight. 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." Uptight? Spastic? Really?
Dr. Willke isn't seen as a quack by the Republican party. He is wooed by candidates. Mitt Romney's 2007 campaign lauded the doctor's endorsement stating Willke would be "an important surrogate for Governor Romney's pro-life and pro-family agenda." The press release went on, "I am proud to have the support of a man who has meant so much to the pro-life movement in our country. He knows how important it is to have someone in Washington who will actively promote pro-life policies." When Congressman Akin apologized, he did so for using the wrong word. One wrong word. He said "legitimate" when he meant to say "forcible."
The No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act bill, filed last year, co-sponsored by Congressman Akin and VP pick Paul Ryan, used the doctor's published theory and language of "forcible rape." Their idea was to remove incest, statutory, drugged or developmentally disabled victims from the list of real rape in order to deny federally funded abortion. Forced birth.
So who called the Code Red on Congressman Akin? Seriously? Mitt Romney was endorsed by the doc. Romney selected Akin's ideological twin in Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan.
Even Rush Limbaugh wanted Akin to drop out. Rush. Yes, the guy who thinks you should take as many birth control pills as you have sexual encounters and likes the word "slut." Could someone please tell him lady pills are different than Viagra?
Sen. Lisa Murkowski, along with many others in her party, called on Akin to quit. Why? Did she forget when the same people in her party scolded her for running a write-in campaign? The Republicans will vote Monday to accept their plank that has no abortion exceptions for rape or incest. What about the next Papa Pilgrim who moves his family into the boonies so he can rape his daughters in private? What if he impregnates his daughter? Should she be forced to give birth to her half-brother/son?! Are you SERIOUS? Yes. That's what Republicans want -- abortion made illegal including rape and incest. For women who choose to have their rapists' babies, 27 states have no statutes to protect them from having to share custody with the man who attacked them.
After courting the evangelicals with pledges to ban abortions and gay weddings, the Republicans are about to bring to full term what they conceived. They had no intention of terminating either of those boogie men. The social issues raise money and distract us all (on both sides) from discussing matters more appropriate for government. The Mike Huckabees and Palins and mega-church preachers want their due after falling in line for several decades.
Akin is them. They are Akin. Hypocritical voices are calling for the congressman, who won his primary, to quit. He's more dangerous to them than anyone else. He exposes their values in a way that most of us can't accept. Rape is rape. A woman shouldn't be forced by her government to have a child -- it's so Handmaid's Tale.
So, Republican elites, back off and let the man run his race and his mouth.
This column first appeared in the Anchorage Daily News.