Take a good look at this picture:
On the left is Paul Ryan. He’s Mitt Romney‘s pick for the GOP vice presidential slot. On the right is Todd Akin. He’s an idiot.
Akin talked about “legitimate” rape yesterday. The Romney camp would like you to believe that it totally disavows Akin and everything he believes in.
But Bloomberg news service points out
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. …
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.
Actually, calling Akin an idiot is unfair. Because he isn’t an outlier in Republican politics. He just expresses the views of the far-right Tea Bagger wing. The reason he won the nomination in Missouri is because his constituents have fundamentally (and fundamentalist) insane beliefs.
Those beliefs, according to Creative Destruction, include:
- Evolution is false; the earth is actually 6,000 years old and humans and dinosaurs roamed the earth at the same time.
- The theory of global warming was created in a conspiracy between environmentalists and climate scientists to destroy the American way of life.
- Barack Obama is a Muslim born in Kenya who got a scholarship to Columbia University as a foreign student.
- The Muslim Brotherhood has infiltrated the U.S. State Department.
- Barack Obama has a plan to confiscate your guns. Part of this plan is the “fast and furious” scandal which the Obama Administration created to gin up support for gun control.
- The United States was founded as an explicitly Christian nation.
- Gay people are more likely to be pedophiles than straight people.
- NAFTA is part of a plan to erase the border between the U.S. and Mexico and replace the United States with a federation called the North American Union.
These are just their greatest hits. They’ve got a ton more on the B-side of their album.
The problem is there’s no way to argue with them, because these “facts” have no basis in reality. When one side is dealing with reality and the other is mired in fantasy, there is no convenient “middle ground” to occupy. Wrong is wrong, and accepting an illegitimate point makes the compromise illegitimate.
The Republican voters in Missouri got the candidate they wanted. And his beliefs are their beliefs. To them, it’s just an inarguable fact that a “legitimate” rape doesn’t lead to pregnancy because women’s bodies will shut down the fertilization process. There is no scientific basis in reality for this argument, except in a world where basic science includes the fact that men and dinosaurs roamed the Earth at the same time (i.e. “The Flintstones” as historic documents). What Akin said is the foundation of the right-wing belief system concerning women and sexuality.
Just one other point. The guy who conducted this interview demonstrates why television and newspapers are failing to inform the public. The second Akin came up with his “legitimate rape” comment, the very next thing that should have come out of the interviewer’s mouth was: “Are you serious?”
Instead, he just went on with his list of questions. Interviewers have to listen to what their subjects are saying and then follow up with: “What scientific basis do you have for that?” “Who told you that?” “Do you know others that believe that?”
I probably wouldn’t have been good on the follow-up question, though. My response when I read the initial report on this was: “Are you f—ing kidding me?”
That kind of question ends an interview pretty quickly.