Todd Akin and Paul Ryan are more alike than you think – or Romney would care to admit
Paul Ryan/Todd Akin mutual support league addressing Ryan’s voodoo budget
Daylife/AP Photo used by permission
Todd Akin’s remarks about some rapes being “legitimate,” and the ability of a woman to miraculously self-abort in those instances, have many of his fellow Republicans desperate to distinguish him from others in their party. This isn’t easy.
Akin, a member of the U.S. House of Representatives who is seeking to unseat Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri, is not an outlier. No less than Paul Ryan, the Republican candidate for vice president, shares his views. Ryan, Akin’s colleague in the House, has sponsored legislation with him that also sought to distinguish between types of rape: Instead of “legitimate,” it used the word “forcible.”
What Akin’s remarks have unleashed is a discussion in the presidential race over social issues that will be hard for Republicans to control. They were reasonably sure they could paper over the differences between Ryan and his running mate, Mitt Romney, on Medicare. On social issues, the problem is the opposite: The difference between Ryan’s views and Akin’s could fit on a Post-it note.
On Sunday…when asked on a St. Louis TV program if he would make an exception to his anti-abortion stand for rape, Akin said he would not because in those instances a woman’s body will somehow know to end the pregnancy itself…
The Romney-Ryan campaign has come out with escalating rejections of Akin’s remarks. Yet Ryan and Akin are in the mainstream of the prevailing House Republican view on abortion.
Not only did Akin and Ryan co-sponsor legislation redefining rape, Ryan ran for Congress as a strong pro-lifer and has a 100 percent rating from the National Right to Life Committee. “This includes support for the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act, the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act,” the committee notes. Last year Ryan and Akin were co-sponsors of the Sanctity of Human Life Act, also known as “personhood” legislation, which would give a fertilized egg the same rights as a human being and would outlaw some forms of birth control…
What Akin apparently fails to understand is this: Just because colleagues like Ryan share his views, that doesn’t mean he can talk about them when there’s a presidential race going on — especially a race in which his party’s candidate is fudging his views on the subject in hopes of attracting moderates…
Given that the clown-in-charge of the Republican platform committee for their convention is Governor Ultrasound from Virginia, Akins won’t have to worry about being separated from the Kool Aid science portion of the Republican Party. So-called leaders remaining from the dregs of traditional Republican politics haven’t grown testosterone-producing organs in the interim.
Join those two currents with the Ron Paul voodoo-economics brigade and the Republican convention might be fun watching for someone who doesn’t DVR segments from daytime Bloomberg TV or House Hunters International. Since my household falls into the latter category, I’ll give the Republicans a miss to match our non-view of the Democrats.
Admittedly, the Dems may come up with a few decent speeches that touch down into the reality column – a little bit of science, economics bypassing Herbert Hoover’s last campaign, a willingness to support civil rights for all Americans, support of libertarian choices for women as well as men. You know – stuff today’s Republican Party rejects out of hand.
The only process I find interesting enough to track is where and when Democrats have sufficient backbone to pursue a progressive agenda to counter the nutballs in charge of the GOP – instead of sticking to the Clintonesque drone about centrist ethics. Whatever that might mean – this week?