(Washington, DC) Don Meredith blessed us with that song. It’s just about time to sing it regarding the 2012 Presidential Election. (Graph source)
Why? Because Mitt Romney’s pick for vice president, the ultra-fit Representative Paul Ryan, is tightly associated with a make no mistake about it misogynist of the very worst kind. Republican Representative Todd Akin of Missouri is running in the Republican primary to oppose incumbent Democrat Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO). At least he was until he revealed just how warped he really is at in an August 19 interview with Charles Jaco on the Fox local outlet in St. Louis, Missouri.
Jaco: In the case of rape, should that [abortion] be legal or not?
Rep. Todd Akin: … from what I understand from doctors, if it’s a legitimate rape, the female bodies have ways to try to shut that whole thing down. But let’s assume that maybe that doesn’t work or something, I think there should be some punishment but the punishment should in the rapist… (Charles Jaco, KTVI Fox, St. Louis, MO)
This isn’t Ryan speaking but the slime may well stick to Ryan. Romney’s number two is cosponsor of pieces of legislation with Rep. Akin. The Sanctity of Human Life Act equates a fertilized egg with a human being. Any procedure, birth control or abortion that ends the viability of the egg would be considered homicide (see Center for American Progress). Ryan isn’t casual about this issue. In a joint press release today, the Romney campaign clarified that Ryan opposes abortion in the case of rape. Romney does not.
Why is this issue so important?
Women are targets for violence, sexual and domestic. Nearly 30 million women have been subject to rape or attempted rape. Add on other forms of sexual assault and domestic violence and you reach one conclusion. Women are an endangered class. It is as though rapists (99% male) see women as prey.
Rape and sexual assault victims know this and it’s no secret to women as a class.
When someone like Todd Akin talks about “legitimate rape,” it is an alarm to any woman aware of male on female violence. What is Akin talking about? How can he imply that any rape is legitimate? Does he think that rape absent a physical assault isn’t really rape?
The Akin comments reflect the views held by a faction of just one party. The other party will spare little expense hammering the point home. Romney chose Ryan. Ryan is closely tied with Akin through the radical antiabortion bill pending in the House. Ryan has worked closely with Akin on other issues.
The Republican Senate Campaign Committee told Akin there would be no funding if he wins the Missouri Senate primary. The Post reported that Ryan personally asked Akin to drop out of the race. It is too late. The point was made and it’s a valid point. Ryan and Akin are blood brothers in the misogynist camp.
This isn’t a sound bite war in the 24 hour news cycle. It’s an enduring assault on half of the population. Women are forced to live with a consciousness and fear of attacks by men on a regular basis. Representative Akin did us all a service by demonstrating just how vile the views are of the extremists who dominate the Republican Party.
Romney is a fool for not vetting Ryan on this issue. The Sanctity of Human Life Act alone should have been enough to warn of Ryan’s heavy baggage. Worse, by not vetting Ryan, Romney showed a profound insensitivity, despite his differences with Ryan on abortion as a result of rape.
How did we end up with this dreadful choice?
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