An Observation about Akin
One thing that strikes me about Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin’s comments about rape and abortion is that he was trying to avoid actually taking a stand on the question of abortion in the case of rape. After all, if women can “shut that whole thing down” in the event of rape, then why even bother to address the rape exception?
The problem, of course, is that even within his own (incorrect) logic, there would still be cases of pregnancy as a result of rape. So what is his position? Clearly it is a “no exception” position, and therefor he should have stuck to his core belief and said so forthrightly instead of trying to hedge the issue. While he would have taken some criticism for such a stance, he would have hardly revived the attention he is currently enjoying (so to speak). Certainly such a statement would not have resulted in talk of his removal from the ballot nor a rebuke from his party’s presidential candidate.
Really, I think three things are going on here:
1. He knows that many who are otherwise pro-life think that rape, incest, and the health of the mother are areas of potential exception. So, he tried to hedge.
2. He knows that directly stating that he is opposed to abortion in the case of rape would bring on serious criticism from pro-choice sectors (so better to pretend like it is not an issue with his “shut that whole thing down” myth).
3. He speaks like person who has heard a third hand (at best) piece of “evidence” for his position that sounds convincing to him because it confirms his worldview and that when said in the presence of the like-minded sounds like a solid argument. However, it is the kind of thing that when said in the presence of a general population sounds ridiculous,