The Todd Aiken fiasco and right ideologues
Missouri Representative Todd Aiken made one of the most ignorant and foolish statements of the year concerning rape and abortion has quickly spread across the nation.
Full stop. That’s the story. There’s little if any real debate that what he said was uninformed and ignorant.
For the most part, the right has condemned and disassociated themselves with Aiken’s statement. Many have ask him to step down (I say that’s up to the voters of Missouri – if they want to punish the man, they can do so in November). He’s likely given Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill another 6 years in the Senate.
There’s no avoiding the fact, at least for honest people, that what Aiken said was abysmally ignorant and not at all supported by science. One has to wonder where in the world he got such an idea (and why he’s seemingly held it for so long).
But what has me torqued about the incident is nonsense like this:
Two top officials from the Family Research Council said the Missouri congressman is the target of a Democratic smear campaign and chided those Republicans who have condemned Akin.
Connie Mackey, who heads the group’s political action committee, said the group "strongly supports" Todd Akin.
"We feel this is a case of gotcha politics," Mackey told reporters in Tampa, where the Republican National Committee was gathering ahead of the party’s convention next week. "He has been elected five times in that community in Missouri. They know who Todd Akin is. We know who Todd Akin is. We’ve worked with him up on the hill. He’s a defender of life."
"Todd Akin is getting a really bad break here," she added. "I don’t know anything about the science or the legal implications of his statement. I do know politics, and I know gotcha politics when I see it."
Gotcha politics? This wasn’t a case of “gotcha politics”. This was ignorance that caused an unforced error. Had he simply stated his opposition to abortion for any reason, he might have taken some heat from the other side, but it’s a stance he’s had for the 5 terms he’s been in Congress and it’s no big deal, politically.
But he chose to elaborate on the point with this faux-scientific nonsense about the body knowing if it is “legitimate rape” (instead of some playfully rough sex one assumes) and disallowing any chance of pregnancy.
The right, even the pro-life right for the most part, threw up their hands and said, “whoa, sorry, we can’t support that because it’s just not true”.
Except for the boobs above. Instead they “strongly support” Aiken.
Really? How!? By flinging equally uniformed political poo and looking like total fools? Even Aiken doesn’t support what Aiken said (given his apology):
Family Research Council president Tony Perkins fired back at Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown, a leading moderate voice in the GOP who called Akin’s remarks "outrageous" and encouraged him to drop his challenge to Democrat Claire McCaskill.
"He should be careful because based on some of his statements there may be some call for him to get out of his race," Perkins said of Brown. "He has been off the reservation on a number of Republican issues, conservative issues I should say. His support among conservatives is very shallow."
Mackey said that Republicans calling on Akin to apologize or drop out should get "backbone."
A “backbone”? The kind of blind and ignorant backing they call for is what causes many to call GOP the “stupid party” (of course it’s not the only reason). One has to be an ignorant ideologue to support such a ridiculous call. And that’s precisely what Perkins and Mackey portray themselves as (and call for the rest of the party to emulate).
One final thing – again social conservative issues, which aren’t even on the public’s political issue radar screen, are being forced to the front and tripping up Republicans. This sort of nonsense allows the left to dictate the topic du jure and avoid the economic elephant in the room.
Refusing to acknowledge the stupidity of the statement and throwing down on those within the GOP who’ve condemned it only prolongs the stupidity surrounding the incident and hands the left what it wants – distraction.
But that doesn’t matter to unthinking ideologues, does it?