E pluribus unum wallpaper. E pluribus unum is from the Latin, “Out of many, one”. For about the first 175 years it was the de facto motto of the United States.
To review, Rep. Todd Akin (R) the conservative candidate for Senate in Missouri told a local Missouri station in an interview that “legitimate rape” does not lead to pregnancy.
“First of all, from what I understand from doctors [pregnancy from rape] is really rare,” Akin said in an interview with KTVI-TV that caused a furor online Sunday afternoon after being posted on TPM. “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”
Akin’s comments came during a discussion of his hardline stand against permitting legal abortions for rape victims. “I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be on the rapist and not attacking the child,” he said.
McCaskill quickly rebuked him — “As a woman & former prosecutor who handled 100s of rape cases, I’m stunned by Rep. Akin’s comments about victims this AM,” she tweeted — and Republican operatives on Twitter joined in the chorus decrying his remarks and speculating that he would need to be pulled from the race if the GOP wanted to continue to have any shot at taking her seat. Akin, who had been leading in polls, issued a lengthy statement explaining that he “misspoke.”
It may sound like snark but it is incredibly dishonest of the Republican Party and their cabal of commentators to scream for Akin to quite the race. Akin has said or done nothing wrong in the framework of what the conservative movement stands for and the goals of is agenda. As many have already heard, Vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Rep. Akins (R-MO) co-sponsored H.R. 3 .
Last year, Akin joined with GOP vice presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) as two of the original co-sponsors of the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act,” a bill which, among other things, introduced the country to the bizarre term “forcible rape.”
Federal law prevents federal Medicaid funds and similar programs from paying for abortions. Yet the law also contains an exception for women who are raped. The bill Akin and Ryan cosponsored would have narrowed this exception, providing that only pregnancies arising from “forcible rape” may be terminated. Because the primary target of Akin and Ryan’s effort are Medicaid recipients — patients who are unlikely to be able to afford an abortion absent Medicaid funding — the likely impact of this bill would have been forcing many rape survivors to carry their rapist’s baby to term. Michelle Goldberg explains who Akin and Ryan would likely target:
Under H.R. 3, only victims of “forcible rape” would qualify for federally funded abortions. Victims of statutory rape—say, a 13-year-old girl impregnated by a 30-year-old man—would be on their own. So would victims of incest if they’re over 18. And while “forcible rape” isn’t defined in the criminal code, the addition of the adjective seems certain to exclude acts of rape that don’t involve overt violence—say, cases where a woman is drugged or has a limited mental capacity. “It’s basically putting more restrictions on what was defined historically as rape,” says Keenan.
Although a version of this bill passed the GOP-controlled House, the “forcible rape” language was eventually removed due to widespread public outcry.
And just in the news today, Ryan Refuses To Say Abortions Should Be Available To Women Who Are Raped. Mitt Romney has condemned Akins, yet CNN Reports Republican Party Platform Will Include No Exception For Rape, ‘Legitimate’ Or Otherwise. This is Romney’s platform, the agenda on which his campaign rests. Akin’s has offered up yet another strange non-apology in the annals of strange apologies from conservatives,
“I feel just as strongly as ever that my background and ability will be a big asset in replacing [Sen.] Clare McCaskill and putting some sanity back in our government. I’m not a quitter, and my belief is we’re going to take this thing forward, and by the grace of God we’re going to win this race.”
Most of the Republicans in the presidential primaries said God told them to run. Now we have Akins claiming that a man who believes that women should be used as incubators for the babies of rapists thinks God is on his side. The real motivation for the clearly false outrage on behalf of Romney, Ryan and others is over the fact that Akins so openly and bluntly stated what they believe – and have believed for years ( a good history of the bizarre way conservatives view rape and women’s rights here – THE MAINSTREAM CONSERVATIVE ROOTS OF TODD AKIN’S PREGNANCY THEORY (sorry not my caps). They’re not outraged over the substance, they’re outraged at letting an unvarnished version of what they believe out into the world. Todd Akins (R-MO) has had his defenders. Defenders in the sense – with friends like these who needs enemies - Second CNN Contributor Scrambles To Deflect Criticism From GOP Rep. Akin’s “Legitimate Rape”
CNN contributor Erick Erickson jumped to deflect criticism from Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO) after Akin said that “legitimate rape” rarely results in pregnancies. In his response, Erickson used a discredited criticism of President Obama.
Asked during a local television interview whether he would keep abortion legal in the case of rape, Akin said:
AKIN: First of all, from what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. But let’s assume that maybe that didn’t work, or something. You know, I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be on the rapist and not attacking the child.
Akin has subsequently said: “In reviewing my off-the-cuff remarks, it’s clear that I misspoke in this interview and it does not reflect the deep empathy I hold for the thousands of women who are raped and abused every year.”
Erickson responded to Akin’s comments by writing:
Todd Akin, the Republican Senate nominee in Missouri, made an inarticulate and rather dumb statement about rape and abortion on television in Missouri. He subsequently clarified his remarks. Congressman Akin, like many devout Christians, does not believe in a rape exception for abortion.
Erickson later added that he’d “take Todd Akin’s inarticulate remarks over an infanticide supporter any day of the week”:
Todd Akin was inarticulate. Some are now accusing him of being pro-rape. The people horrid by Todd Akin’s remarks are, I’m sure, thrilled to have a President who defended infanticide. I’ll take Todd Akin’s inarticulate remarks over an infanticide supporter any day of the week.
I’m not going to spend too much time parsing this grotesque word salad that Erickson thinks passes for a rebuttal and his lame deflection to a myth regarding president Obama’s service as an Illinois state senator. Many devout Christians, Jews and good folks from various religions support a women’s right to have dominion over her own body, especially in cases of rape, incest and medical issues that make pregnancy medically problematic for the woman. Conservatives, such as the perennially arrogant Erickson do not own Christianity.
Mike Huckabee also chimed in to Todd Akins (R-MO) defense with this stunner, Huckabee to Akin: ‘Horrible’ rapes created some extraordinary people
The former Arkansas governor and onetime GOP presidential contender suggested a couple of cases in which he suggested that rapes, though “horrible tragedies,” had produced admirable human beings.
“Ethel Waters, for example, was the result of a forcible rape,” Huckabee said of the late American gospel singer. One-time presidential candidate Huckabee added: “I used to work for James Robison back in the 1970s, he leads a large Christian organization. He, himself, was the result of a forcible rape. And so I know it happens, and yet even from those horrible, horrible tragedies of rape, which are inexcusable and indefensible, life has come and sometimes, you know, those people are able to do extraordinary things.”
Huckabee left the seminary in 1976 to become director of communications for the fiery televangelist Robison, who once declared he was “sick and tired of hearing about all of the radicals and the perverts and the liberals and the leftists and the communists coming out of the closet.” Robison called on “God’s people to come out of the closet” and re-take control of America.
I wish I could wash my brain of the number of times I have heard similar Republican rationales for treating women and their wombs as though they were petri dishes. In this bizarre Huckabeeian logic be thankful your house burned down and killed your dog, you can build a new house and get a new dog. Ya see folks everything has a silver lining. Be happy that mugger knocked out your teeth, now you can get dentures and never have to worry about cavities. In this upside down world all terrible tragedies are good because some good may come of it, so bring on some more tragedy. This philosophy fits in with the Republican tendency to see themselves as beleaguered martyrs. Like most Americans I believe in trying to make the best of bad situations, but like so many good things the concept can be carried to sick twisted extremes.
If you’re going to keep selling the same snake-oil to voters Rep. Akins (R-MO) should take lessons from Scott Brown (R-MS). brown seems to have had some success in conning the voters of Massachusetts into believing he is a nice guy, a moderate guy/ Like George Bush he even runs around in a work jackets and a truck – see I’m a stand-up guy, not a two-faced opportunist who drinks the same kool-aid as Todd Akins, Two Faced Scott Brown (R-MS) Supports Todd Akin’s Agenda Even As He Calls On Akin To Quit
As Rep. Todd Akin’s despicable comments on “legitimate rape” rightfully provoke outrage, the Massachusetts Democratic Party reminds voters that Republican U.S. Senator Scott Brown has given thousands of dollars to other Republican candidates for the U.S. Senate who would redefine rape as “forcible rape” and threaten women’s rights if, with Brown, they gain control of the U.S. Senate.
Republican Vice Presidential Candidate Paul Ryan also supports the bill.
Brown’s PAC, SCOTTPAC, has made campaign contributions to four House members, including three U.S. Senate candidates, after they cosponsored the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act.
Scott Brown is supporting a Vice Presidential nominee and three of his fellow senate candidates who want to redefine rape, excluding protections to victims of violent sexual assaults. Brown donated to current Senate candidates Rep. Jeff Flake (R-AZ), Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-MT), and Rep. Rick Berg (R-ND), as well as Rep. Jeff Denham (R-CA). The Republican nominee for Vice President, Paul Ryan, also cosponsored the bill.
…Scott Brown has made campaign contributions to the following supporters of the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act that would redefine rape:
Scott Brown’s PAC contributed $5,000 to Jeff Flake for US Senate Inc[OpenSecrets.org, Accessed 8/20/12]
Scott Brown’s PAC contributed $10,000 to Montanans for Rehberg [OpenSecrets.org, Accessed 8/20/12]
Scott Brown’s PAC contributed $5,000 to Berg for Senate [OpenSecrets.org, Accessed 8/20/12]
Scott Brown’s PAC contributed $10,000 to Denham for Congress [OpenSecrets.org, Accessed 8/20/12]
Brown – the moderate – has also joined his fellow Senate conservatives in blocking any jobs bills, including – Dem Jobs Bill For Teachers, Firefighters…….Republicans block Bring Jobs Home Act, protecting companies that outsource jobs…..Republicans Obstruct Third Jobs Measure in Senate….and Brown supports Romney’s Tax Plan Which May Cost U.S. As Many As 800,000 Jobs: Report.
This is the party and agenda of Romney, Ryan, Akins, Erickson, Huckabee and Brown - Eight staggering Conservative Republican comments on rape and women
7. When women sign up for the military to hang out with aggressive dudes, they are asking to be raped. Notoriously anti-woman Fox News talking-head Liz Trotta wondered of enlisted women who were assaulted, “What did they expect?” She also blasted feminist calls for infrastructure and support to help the increasing number of women in this position. And refused to apologize.
8. Santorum and Huckabee are all about rape victims taking one for team “Life.” Let’s not forget our Rick Santorum and Mike Huckabee, respectively, think rape victims should “make the best” of it and see the unwanted child as a gift and sometimes cool people are conceived in rape.
Krugman has a good blog post up today on the relentless Medicare – Mediscare campaign of Romney-Ryan ( which many down ticket conservatives have adopted as talking points) – Understanding Medicare “Cuts”
Jackie Calmes has a very good piece about those Medicare “cuts” Romney promises to repeal. As she emphasizes, all of these involve reductions in payments to insurance companies and health providers, rather than reductions in patient benefits. So what are we talking about?
Sarah Kliff had a good summary. Most of the proposed savings come from reducing overpayments to Medicare Advantage and reducing reimbursement rates to hospitals.
What should you know about these changes?
Medicare Advantage is a 15-year failed experiment in privatization. Running Medicare through private insurance companies was supposed to save money through the magic of the marketplace; in reality, private insurers, with their extra overhead, have never been able to compete on a level playing field with conventional Medicare. But Congress refused to take no for an answer, and kept the program alive by paying the insurers substantially more than the costs per patient of regular Medicare. All the ACA does is end this overpayment.