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Akin Still Racin’

A while back Mr. Akin, running for the senate from Missouri against Claire McCaskill, was ostracized/repudiated by the republican establishment for remarks he made at a public event, basically claiming a woman’s physiology enables her to avoid pregnancy during rape. She controls her body, even in this circumstance, he contended, can will it to be unreceptive during criminal assault.

The medical community, women’s groups and of course democrats jumped on it. They were immediately up at arms, claiming this was medically outrageous, ridiculous and disrespectful of women. Akin must be a complete idiot to make such a statement, not to mention being an out-of-control, fanatical pro-lifer. They went on – see, this is what republicans stand for in their war against women!

Here we go. One minute Akin is the republican darling poised to defeat the vile democrat/liberal McCaskill. The next, he’s persona non grata, virtually banned by the party and cut off from all funding and endorsements. In fact, he was asked almost immediately to withdraw from the race, he being such an idiot and all. He said no.

Hmmmmm. Does this sound right? Was there some over-reaction here? Are the republicans so determined to show they’re as much pro-choice as pro-life that they’d throw one of their own under the bus? Guess so. Too bad.

I’m searching for the truth here, for the absolute essence of the harm that was done. How did his remark hurt us, besides momentarily spreading disinformation which most reasonable, learned people knew to be false? Did it cost someone money? Damage someone’s property? Ruin someone’s reputation? Taint the entire republican party as being rabidly, unremorsefully pro-life? I don’t think so.

Still, Akin becomes a scapegoat. A political sacrifice on an altar of outrageousness and hypocrisy. I’m remembering Harry Reid say he had it on good but anonymous authority Mitt Romney hasn’t paid taxes for 10yrs. Was he asked to turn in his gavel and step down, after making such an unsupported, slanderous accusation?

Or Nancy Pelosi saying it didn’t matter what’s in the healthcare bill. It was none of our business and anyway, we’d find out when it passed! Or Stephanie Cutter claiming she’d no connection/control over the superPac running an ad suggesting Romney was a murderer, since he laid off a man years before who lost his healthcare and so couldn’t save his wife dying of cancer.

Or his opponent McCaskill suggesting/charging George Bush was a racist and a murderer for not getting aid quickly enough to black families and residents of New Orleans, in Katrina’s aftermath.

Or more recently, Secretary Clinton, Ambassador Rice, DNC chair Schultz, Stephanie Cutter, Jay Carney and scads more including Obama himself all stating/claiming repeatedly for more than two weeks what was an absolute lie: that Libyan Ambassador Stevens was killed by an out of control mob, incited by an under-ground video debasing Islam.

So, does it matter what the lie is about? Who says the lie? How bad it hurts either yourself or your opponent? Whether the lie is intentional or just a mistake? Timing of the lie? The place where the lie is told? I mean, besides the halls of congress, senate chamber, even the White House, is there someplace more inappropriate for a lie to be told?

I don’t know where Akin made his misstatement and unfounded claim, but I don’t think it was anywhere in particular, or that he was deliberately lying. He believed what he said, never mind him wanting to believe it. The point is, he wasn’t lying like those others. When confronted with his error, he immediately retracted his statement and apologized, and to my knowledge hasn’t tried again to perpetrate this myth.

So why all the fuss? Why did the entire republican establishment and all its bigwigs, including Romney himself, immediately dump Akin? Two-part answer: political correctness & political survival.

Never mind character, integrity, honesty or any other value judgment we can look to with the others. Akin besmirched none of these. He simply misspoke, and apologized.

But in their quest to defeat Obama the republicans knew this was a brilliant opportunity for democrats and pro-choicers to seize the moment and justify their we protect women and republicans don’t! Look at their dummy in Missouri, making his ignorant unsympathetic statements.

They couldn’t allow this, had to head it off at the pass. What better way than to distance themselves from Akin, disavow/disconnect all support from his campaign. Then they couldn’t be seen as supporting what he said, not in the slightest.

All very convenient, and effective. But acceptable? Reasonable? I think not. I think bowing to these forces and influences cheapens and coarsens our society, muddies political waters at the very top, giving folks who don’t know any better license to do it again, and again and again.

Political correctness is when Disneyland folks remove the scene in Pirates of Carribean, where lusty pirates chase busty women. Probably an accurate depiction in its time, but certainly inappropriate messaging for our present day.

But to damage if not ruin a man’s career and reputation on the premise that, given all the facts and a little time, people would not come to understand it was simply a mistake, and not something  deeply representative of the republican party in particular, or pro-lifers in general. No, this is not acceptable!

It’s heartening to me Todd Akin has been able to get past all this, still giving Claire McCaskill a run for her money. Last I checked, they were virtually tied, meaning he’s picked up a lot of ground in the past month. Just think, wonder of wonders, that he wins and picks up another critical seat for republicans in the senate? Won’t this be something? Do you think they’ll apologize, make amends, insuring he’ll vote the party line? Do they deserve his support?

I for one will support him, so long as he follows his heart, no matter what he does. I would rather follow a fellow who sometimes misspeaks, then one who often misleads. In any case, I don’t suffer fools easily. I worry we’ve got that permeating both the parties, the upper echelons of government, and the White House. More fools us, for having created this situation!

Oh yes, and if Mr. Akin becomes the next senator from Missouri,  I think a public apology would be in order from every republican official/talking head who denounced him, including Mr. Romney!


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I’m Al Shane

Alvan I. Shane Author, The Day Liberty Wept 2270 N Euclid Ave Frequent Op-Ed Contributor Upland, Calif 91784 Political Donor to Cons Grps / Causes (909) 946-5104 Ex-Marine / California native Tax Accountant / Mar 43yrs / 1 son
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