Let’s start with the obvious: Todd Akin is an idiot. Indeed, his contemptible asininity renders his presence on the House Science Committee at once bemusing and disturbing. So before I continue, let’s all have a hearty laugh at his expense. I’m glad we all agree that Todd Akin is not fit to represent anyone.
Now that we’ve cleared that up, let’s deal with the Left. Predictably eager to avoid their failed policies, our liberal friends want to make Akin a general indictment of the Right. Sure, Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS and the National Republican Senatorial Committee have abandoned Akin to his madness. And yes, Ann Coulter called on him to make the sacrificial play for the good of the Party, with the editor-in-chief of RedState being far blunter about it. And ok, the leader of the Party, Mitt Romney, did not mince words in condemning the congressman and rebuking the policy of forcing a rape victim to give birth. But the Family Research Council defends Akin, right? Surely, they must speak for the conservative movement! (Spoiler: they don’t.)
The defenders of the president would have us believe this election should hinge on fringe social positions pushed by a conspiracy of monomaniacal extremists. So let me make this clear: I do not support Todd Akin. In case the preceding paragraph has not made this obvious: the Republican Party does not endorse his inanity. Are there conservatives in Congress who oppose abortion? Of course. Do some of them have uncomfortably hardline views on the issue? Definitely. But you need only look to the failed Personhood Amendment in Mississippi to see there are limits to how far the pro-life movement goes. And some Republicans, albeit a small minority, are still prochoice.
The GOP is a diverse party, and reasonable people can disagree about the extent to which abortion should be legal and available, and how federal law should differ from state law. But Todd Akin is not normal. He is an invidiously cruel joke told at our expense to confirm every liberal reduction of conservatism to pathology. For his complicity in this, Todd Akin deserves and will get no sympathy from the Right. Duly have we cast him out to beg his fortunes from the streets, and duly will we move on beyond him.
I trust Akin will meet a “legitimate” fate. As for you, Mr. President, onward to November.
Update: Rep. Akin is refusing to bow out gracefully and has released an ad seeking forgiveness. That might be an easier pill to swallow if he were not insisting he meant “forcible rape” instead of “legitimate rape”. As surprises nobody who is not Todd Akin, this “clarification” does not remotely reduce the mendacious idiocy of his original statement. “Forcible rape” is the source of many unintended pregnancies, and is closely linked with family and domestic violence. Mr. Akin, if you won’t take “No” for answer, then do us all the minimal kindness of caging your unrepentant hostility to truth and good decency.