Todd Akin forgets brain to mouth filter, makes inflammatory comment.

By Dave Palmer

Election years have a way of bringing out the best and the worst in candidates. Sometimes they come off sounding reasoned and intelligent, and other times they completely stick their foot in their mouth. Based on Representative Todd Akin’s latest comments, it seems that he will have to get some “tough-actin Tinactin” to cure his athlete’s tongue.

“It seems to me, from what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare,  Akin said of pregnancies from rape. “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: I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be of the rapist, and not attacking the child.”

Open mouth, insert foot.

Akin has since tried to retract his comment, insisting that he misspoke and really meant “forcible rape.” Whether he meant “forcible” or “legitimate”, he has made it clear that he not only believes that there is a type of rape that is not forcible or legitimate, but that abortion is a punishment for both the unwanted baby and the mother who is choosing to abort the pregnancy.

Presidential candidate Mitt Romney and Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan have already called for Akin to drop out of the Missouri U.S. Senate race.

However, it is rather difficult to take either of those candidates at their word, especially considering the fact that Paul Ryan is an original co-sponsor of the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act,” a bill which rolls back a longstanding exemption to the federal ban on abortion funding for rape survivors unless the woman seeking to terminate her pregnancy experienced a “forcible rape.” Apparently, if a girl is given roofies or otherwise less than lucid when she is taken advantage of, it doesn’t count as rape.

As if this wasn’t enough to solidify the idea that neither Ryan nor Romney care about women’s rights, consider the fact that both of these candidates are in favor of a Constitutional amendment that would place an outright ban on all abortions, even in cases of rape, incest, or danger to a mother’s life.

There is only one precedent in the history of the Constitution in the form of the 18th Amendment when people were told that they could no longer do something that had once been perfectly legal (in that case, manufacture, distribute, or consume alcohol). As history tells us, Prohibition was such a miserable failure that we had to enact the 21st Amendment to repeal it. I have no doubt that in the extremely unlikely situation that Romney and Ryan could get such a reactionary amendment added to the Constitution that it would more than likely be repealed.

It is clear that Akin and those who are still supporting him are among a small, yet powerful group who wish to take America back 100 years or so in history. Back to the days when men were allowed to beat their wives with a switch so long as the switch was no wider than than their thumb. (the rule of thumb). Back to the days when a condition known as “hysteria” in women could be cured by taking her to the doctor and  allowing him to massage the woman’s genitalia with a vibrating wand to induce a state known as “hysterical paroxysm,” and that only a physician or a midwife could induce this state.

No matter which side of the fence you stand on the issue of abortion, very few people would agree that rape has degrees of severity or that there is even a difference between “legitimate rape”, “forcible rape” and “rape”. Todd Akin’s comment about rape and attempted retraction serve only to crystallize opinion and further divide the country between those who are pro-life and those who are pro-choice. His decision to not leave the race proves that he stands behind his comments and intends to take his reactionary agenda to the United States Senate.

Missouri voters, beware of Todd Akin.  Cast a third party or write-in vote if Clare McCaskill is not your cup of tea. In doing so, you will send Akin a message that when running for public office, it’s best to use your mouth as a way to convey your platform rather than a storage unit for your foot.