Too legit to quit

First, Ron Paul’s “honest rape”, now Akin’s “legitimate rape”. These aren’t anonymous commenters on Red State, it’s Senate nominees and reasonably high-profile presidential candidates. So, fuck yeah, Ryan-Romney should have to answer for it:

Missouri Republican Senate nominee Todd Akin’s claim that women who are victims of “legitimate rape” have biological defenses to prevent pregnancy — and therefore don’t need the legal right to have an abortion — is already shaking up the Senate race in the Show Me State.

But it’s also perfectly timed to put heat on the Republican presidential ticket, given the recent selection of Rep. Paul Ryan and his especially conservative views on abortion.

Ryan’s abortion positions were already threatening to break out as a major issue in the campaign as Democrats seek to harness their advantage with women voters. Akin’s comments are likely to thrust a glaring spotlight onto Ryan’s views. (Hours after he made the comments, Akin said he “misspoke” amid a firestorm.)

Ryan and Akin largely agree when it comes to abortion rights. Both believe abortion should be illegal even in the case of rape and incest. Both were co-sponsors of H.R. 3, the 2011 bill that would have limited the federal abortion coverage exemption only to victims of “forcible rape” and women whose physical health was in danger from her pregnancy, closing a supposed loophole in health-of-the-mother exemptions conservatives have been crowing about for years.

Where the fuck do they find these people? Maybe I’m wrong, but all this terminology smacks of “she was asking for it, the way she was dressed” blah blah blah. I thought we were past that.

But we’re not, we’re going to have a Senator who believes that next term. And if the Villagers have their way, we’ll have a beautiful blue-eyed VP who believes it too.

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88 replies
  1. 1
    Patricia Kayden says:

    So Repubs can tell the “loose” women from the “virtuous” ones based on which ones get pregnant when raped. Gotcha.

  2. 2

    False flag! Akin is a Communist-Muslim-Feminazi plant to discredit the Right and distract people with obscene stances on “values issues” that Ryan just happens to agree with!

    WHY CAN’T WE TALK ABOUT THE ISSUES ONE OF WHICH IS NOT HOW WE WANT TO REDUCE WOMEN TO AXLOTL TANKS WITH NO RIGHTS BECAUSE REALLY GOD WANTS IT THAT WAY

  3. 3
    kd bart says:

    Obviously, this is good news for McCain

  4. 4

    I loved Lizz Winstead’s take on this the other day “hey talking about my uterus does not create jobs, hell even my uterus doesn’t do the job it was designed to do anymore”. I didn’t think that Lizz was old enough for menopause (perhaps there was some other issue) but as a post menopausal woman I thought the quip was perfect.

  5. 5
    srv says:

    Look, you people don’t have any medical facts that what Akin said is wrong. So hold your tongue.

  6. 6
    JGabriel says:

    DougJ:

    Maybe I’m wrong, but all this terminology smacks of “she was asking for it, the way she was dressed” blah blah blah. I thought we were past that.

    Sometimes I wonder if we shouldn’t bring back eugenics, because it seems a shame that modern Republicans are permitted to reproduce, and abusive to let them parent children.

    .

  7. 7
    edmund dantes says:

    What the hell is “forcible rape”? These people are nuts. Rape is rape. It’s against your will and desire, by the very definition it’s forcible no matter how it’s done.

  8. 8
    kd bart says:

    The question is are there enough voters in Missouri who will realize that they can’t have this houseplant representing them in the Senate to defeat him?

  9. 9
    lamh35 says:

    If Claire McCaskill and her team have even an ounce of political skill, they will be able to use this if not to close the gap with this POS, at the very least, put a dent in the 5-10% lead this guys has on her.

    But IDK if she and her team does have the skill. I wrote her off around the time she decided that going to the Dem Convention was oh so wrong.

  10. 10
    JGabriel says:

    @edmund dantes:

    What the hell is “forcible rape”?

    If she isn’t dead or in a coma, then she must have wanted it because she didn’t fight hard enough. This is the Republican mind-set.

    .

  11. 11
    scav says:

    Both “honest” and “legitimate” are words with generally good connotations, even to the point of desirable connotations. And they now use them to describe rape.

  12. 12
    JPL says:

    @edmund dantes: They introduced a law in the house because of statutory rape because if you are twelve or thirteen you should know better. Hell is to good for these folks.

  13. 13
    Ben Franklin says:

    Where the fuck do they find these people?

    The free market of political opportunism, of course. But the wind direction, is changing, and these self-aggrandizers will bungee-back to the polarity of populism central as soon as they feel it. Check the Mainsail.

  14. 14
    Comrade Jake says:

    It’s almost like these people take pride in being ignorant.

    Who said that?

  15. 15
    Heliopause says:

    Where the fuck do they find these people?

    Um, in the general population, maybe? Tens of millions of your fellow citizens think things like this.

  16. 16
    Hunter Gathers says:

    Ryan doesn’t have much to worry about. He’ll spout out something about how ‘it should be left to the states’ and then the MSM will go right back to it’s preferred narrative – ‘Show me on the doll where Obama’s Unforgivable Blackness touched you.’

  17. 17
    James E. Powell says:

    Maybe I’m wrong, but all this terminology smacks of “she was asking for it, the way she was dressed” blah blah blah. I thought we were past that.

    Really? You’ve been following American political discourse for years now and you though we were past that?

    There is a meanness in far too many Americans. It is born of fear and anxiety. The Republicans have built their coalition by feeding those fears and anxieties. Other than ‘Rich people should rule us!’ they really don’t have much else.

  18. 18
    Robin G. says:

    I love the “misspoke” defense. He explains his position in detail… but he “misspoke”. Uh-huh. I’m just glad I have people like Rep. Akin to explain to me whether I was raped; I would never know otherwise.

    Tweet!win from Nate Silver: “Is it possible to win a Senate race with 0% of the women’s vote? Asking for a friend.”

  19. 19

    @Robin G.:

    Ha Ha I love me some Nate Silver.

  20. 20
    AkaDad says:

    @Patricia Kayden:

    Loose women are the ones who acknowledge my existence.

  21. 21
    Svensker says:

    In his “misspoke” statement he talks about the sanctity of life and his empathy for victims of bad things and how Obama is a bum — but he never mentions whether he still believes that women’s bodies can kill sperm from “real” rapists.

    I’d like to hear someone ask him that question.

  22. 22
    Mark S. says:

    This is just distracting us from Romney’s non-existent plan to create jobs that we aren’t allowed to ask about. You people should be ashamed of yourselves.

  23. 23
    jheartney says:

    Thirty five years ago in Catholic High School I remember hearing similar arguments. While it’s true that you can use them to assert that pregnant rape victims were asking for it, I think the real reason they were pushing this nonsense is that they need a rationalization for an across-the-board abortion ban. It’s not so much about blaming rape victims as it is about forcing all women to carry their pregnancies to term; this pseudoscience waves away the most obvious example of why such a policy is horrible.

    If you’ve already decided that every zygote is the moral equivalent of a live human, then there really isn’t a consistent rationale for allowing the abortion of any pregnancy, even one that results from rape. Pregnant women are hostages to their uteri’s contents.

    Pretending that rapes don’t cause pregnancy is a convenient way of ignoring the monstrousness of the concept of fetal personhood.

  24. 24
    Mino says:

    “Health of the mother” was not a consideration for women in childbirth back in the 50’s, if you were an observant Catholic.

  25. 25
    Mino says:

    @Mark S.: Exactly. What if half the population voted with their uterii? Would Pennsylvania recognize it?

  26. 26
    Nicole says:

    I get uncomfortable with “he opposes abortion even in the cases of rape and incest” because I feel that it makes us, as supporters of women’s rights, willing to entertain the idea that there is something morally wrong about terminating an unwanted pregnancy, and that the moral wrong of rape and incest, because it outweighs the alleged moral wrong of abortion, justifies abortion in a way that a broken condom doesn’t. Akin and Ryan are far more consistent in their views on abortion than the “except in the cases of rape and incest” crowd.

    You know who else was very consistent in her position on abortion? Ryan’s beloved Ayn Rand. Here’s what she had to say about it:

    “An embryo has no rights. Rights do not pertain to a potential, only to an actual being. A child cannot acquire any rights until it is born. The living take precedence over the not-yet-living (or the unborn).

    Abortion is a moral right—which should be left to the sole discretion of the woman involved; morally, nothing other than her wish in the matter is to be considered. Who can conceivably have the right to dictate to her what disposition she is to make of the functions of her own body?”

  27. 27
    👽 Martin says:

    There’s a bright side to all of this. If any of you thought you might not be smart enough to run for high office, good news! You definitely are!

  28. 28
    jrg says:

    Someone needs to give that guy a roofie and shove a cabbage patch doll up his ass.

  29. 29
    👽 Martin says:

    @Mino: Only if your drivers license has a distinguishable photo of your uterus on it and can sign an affidavit that it’s in the country legally.

  30. 30
    scav says:

    @Mark S.: Women are just so uppity at times, worrying about issues that directly impact their lives, instead of catering to the needs of those beings shouting “You People”. Frustrating, isn’t it?

  31. 31
    Zach says:

    Weird how these folks invoke evolutionary principles to claim that women have a say in conception or that the only natural coupling is heterosexual but dont actually believe in, you know, evolution.

  32. 32
    AkaDad says:

    @jrg:

    I have to pay extra for that.

  33. 33
    👽 Martin says:

    @jrg: And then tell him that legally, he can’t have it removed unless he delivers it naturally.

  34. 34
    mamayaga says:

    @Mino: “Health of the mother” was apparently not a consideration for Romney in his role as a Mormon bishop either. Don’t know if this story has been discussed previously, but Vanity Fair had an interesting article on what they called Romney’s dark side that included a story about his trying to pressure a pregnant woman in a life-threatening situation from a blood clot to continue the pregnancy even though the chance of bringing the baby to term was no more than 50%. Even her stake president said it was OK to have an abortion under those circumstances, but Romney apparently thought it was outrageous.

  35. 35
  36. 36
    LanceThruster says:

    @edmund dantes:

    What if they are kissed during the “lovemaking?”

    Wouldn’t the proof of the tenderness of this act be in gift from Glob the baby represents?

    Note: I threw up a little in my mouth knowing that this “parody” of Rethuglican “logic” could easily represent the views of those arguing such a delusional take on the whole “process.”

    I don’t want to live on this planet anymore.

  37. 37
    Linda Featheringill says:

    This would be a good time for Claire McCaskill to come out and be an honest Democrat. Now she can speak out for what she really believes, whatever that is. Sucking up to the conservative side wasn’t working for her, anyway. Being a Blue Dog wasn’t earning her a reelection.

    Now is also a good time for DCCC and DSCC to publish some ads connecting Akin’s idiocy with Ryan’s views on abortion.

  38. 38
    Geoduck says:

    @JGabriel: Ditto. “Thought we were past this”?? We’ve barely reached the point in this country where people admit that rape is a problem.

  39. 39
    dance around in your bones says:

    OMF GAWD – Is this like, 1859 again??

    Give me a fucking break.

    I quite literally LOATHE these people.

    L.O.A.T.H.E.

  40. 40
    James E. Powell says:

    @Linda Featheringill:

    I don’t know why McCaskill doesn’t try running as a Democrat. The people in Missouri aren’t going to go for her apologetic Democrat routine any more than Arkansans went for Blanche Lincoln.

  41. 41
    Roger Moore says:

    @Svensker:
    I think “misspoke” means he thinks he said something that was impolitic, not that he said something that was untrue. It’s like the old “I’m sorry if anyone was offended” crap, where the problem isn’t that they’re a bunch of bigots but that people react badly to their bigotry.

  42. 42
    PaminBB says:

    There are 2 sides of the coin. Either the rapees are sluts who were asking for it, or they may not be sluts but they should have been prepared to “stand their ground” and defend themselves. (Let’s face it, the patriarchal thinking is that all women should have a male protector at all stages of life).

    The usual – heads you lose, tails you still lose.

  43. 43
  44. 44

    @jheartney:
    I agree. They don’t want to hurt women per se, they just don’t value women’s lives, happiness, or rights in any way. So they’re going to stomp all over those things to pursue abstract ideals like ‘Sexual promiscuity is bad’ or ‘Abortion is bad.’ It’s a variation on IGMFY. Even a fair number of conservative women support this stuff, because they’ve convinced themselves they won’t suffer for it, and all other women are unimportant. They like their ideal, and they will impose it on the rest of the world. You see this applied to every minority and even to themselves if they can convince themselves of that ‘it won’t affect me’ part.

  45. 45
    wrb says:

    @Patricia Kayden:

    So Repubs can tell the “loose” women from the “virtuous” ones based on which ones get pregnant when raped. Gotcha.

    This is ancient stuff. After your city was sacked, those who weren’t liking it didn’t get preggers, so a guy could still be with them without humiliation.

  46. 46
    Roger Moore says:

    @Buffalo Rude:

    Um. . . I’m a bit confused. What definition of “legitimate” properly modifies rape?

    I think that would be “4 : conforming to recognized principles or accepted rules and standards”. In the paleolithic view of the extreme right, it’s only really rape if it’s carried out by violence, and the only sure sign of that is if the victim fights back hard enough to be physically injured. Otherwise it’s just a he said/she said, and they’re naturally going to side with the perpetrator over the victim.

  47. 47

    @Roger Moore:
    Well, they have just the slightest empathy with one side of that conflict and none whatsoever with the other, after all.

  48. 48
    AkaDad says:

    Akin misspoke. There really is no war on women. I swear.

  49. 49
    Heliopause says:

    @Buffalo Rude:

    In the mind of the user I would guess #2, “being exactly as purposed : neither spurious nor false.” That is, “rape” as I, the speaker, understand the term, not some expansive, liberal meaning of the word.

  50. 50
    Heliopause says:

    @Buffalo Rude:

    In the mind of the user I would guess #2, “being exactly as purposed : neither spurious nor false.” That is, “rape” as I, the speaker, understand the term, not some expansive, liberal meaning of the word.

  51. 51
    a geek named Bob says:

    When guys like Akin keep going on… Spitting in the face of decency, logic, science, ethics, and plitical savvy…

    I want to go out into a field and wait for the alien mothership to get us the hell out of here.

  52. 52
    a geek named Bob says:

    When guys like Akin keep going on… Spitting in the face of decency, logic, science, ethics, and political savvy…

    I want to go out into a field and wait for the alien mothership to get us the hell out of here.

  53. 53
    Heliopause says:

    @Buffalo Rude:

    In the mind of the user I would guess #2, “being exactly as purposed : neither spurious nor false.” That is, “rape” as I, the speaker, understand the term, not some expansive, liberal meaning of the word.

  54. 54
    a geek named Bob says:

    When guys like Akin keep going on… Spitting in the face of decency, logic, science, ethics, and political savvy…

    I want to go out into a field and wait for the alien mothership to get us the hell out of here.

  55. 55
    a geek named Bob says:

    When guys like Akin keep going on… Spitting in the face of decency, logic, science, ethics, and political savvy…

    I want to go out into a field and wait for the alien mothership to get us the hell out of here.

  56. 56
    a geek named Bob says:

    When guys like Akin keep going on… Spitting in the face of decency, logic, science, ethics, and political savvy…

    I want to go out into a field and wait for the alien mothership to get us the hell out of here.

  57. 57
    chrome agnomen says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    i don’t know who ‘they’ are, but i earnestly believe a significant number of ‘them’ really do want to hurt women.

  58. 58
    a geek named Bob says:

    When guys like Akin keep going on… Spitting in the face of decency, logic, science, ethics, and political savvy…

    I want to go out into a field and wait for the alien mothership to get us the hell out of here.

  59. 59
    chrome agnomen says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    i don’t know who ‘they’ are, but i earnestly believe a significant number of ‘them’ really do want to hurt women.

  60. 60
    Spatula says:

    Maybe I’m wrong, but all this terminology smacks of “she was asking for it, the way she was dressed” blah blah blah. I thought we were past that.

    Oh come on, DJ. This is America. Why would you think we were past that?

  61. 61
    chrome agnomen says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    i don’t know who ‘they’ are, but i earnestly believe a significant number of ‘them’ really do want to hurt women.

  62. 62
    var says:

    I saw these remarks and, quite honestly, was not shocked by them. Not shocked because I lost my ability to be shocked by what Republicans will actually say. Not even sure if these remarks are in the top 10 of idiocy.

    What was that focus group they did on the Ryan plan? Obama’s team had a hard time getting people to believe that, in fact, Ryan was going to cut taxes on the rich in order to cut programs to the poor. People were literally in a state of disbelief.

  63. 63
    chrome agnomen says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    i don’t know who ‘they’ are, but i earnestly believe a significant number of ‘them’ really do want to hurt women.

  64. 64
    chrome agnomen says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    i don’t know who ‘they’ are, but i earnestly believe a significant number of ‘them’ really do want to hurt women.

  65. 65
    var says:

    I saw these remarks and, quite honestly, was not shocked by them. Not shocked because I lost my ability to be shocked by what Republicans will actually say. Not even sure if these remarks are in the top 10 of idiocy.

    What was that focus group they did on the Ryan plan? Obama’s team had a hard time getting people to believe that, in fact, Ryan was going to cut taxes on the rich in order to cut programs to the poor. People were literally in a state of disbelief.

  66. 66
    var says:

    I saw these remarks and, quite honestly, was not shocked by them. Not shocked because I lost my ability to be shocked by what Republicans will actually say. Not even sure if these remarks are in the top 10 of idiocy.

    What was that focus group they did on the Ryan plan? Obama’s team had a hard time getting people to believe that, in fact, Ryan was going to cut taxes on the rich in order to cut programs to the poor. People were literally in a state of disbelief.

  67. 67
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @lol:

    The Obama team are just MAGIC.
    How Do Dey Do Dat?

  68. 68
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    I know Charlie Pierce rarely posts on weekends (although he did make an amusing exception yesterday).

    But I really can’t wait for him to take on Akins in a post tomorrow morning. You know he will just eviscerate this fcuk.

  69. 69
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Where the fuck do they find these people?

    Somewhere around here there’s a Krell super computer that’s materializing monsters from the Id.

  70. 70
    TenguPhule says:

    Where the fuck do they find these people?

    You think this is bad? Keep in Mind these Necrons are still waking up from their Tomb Worlds.

  71. 71

    But we’re not, we’re going to have a Senator who believes that next term.

    So one more than the 20 or 30 we probably have now?

  72. 72
    JPL says:

    The liberal Washington Post has 2000 comments already an I skimmed the first hundred and only one tried to justify it.
    Since only 5 percent get pregnant, then he might be right. One comment mentioned the the Missouri Repubs are trying to get him to drop out now. Not sure if that is true either.

  73. 73
    bago says:

    *KSSH* This is Mission Control from the Senate science and space subcommittee. The reports indicate that the landing module for the raper unit “Legitimate” bas begun it’s descent.
    *KSSH*
    Now from here the temperature rises to an unbearable amount as heat from the press adds up.
    *KSSH*
    Next stage of descent, PR flacks at Republican Mission control center back in DC will jettison the useless heat shield and deploy the raper “Legitimate”‘s parachute consultants to slow the descent.
    *Kssh*
    Now the skycrane of male priviledga should lower the “Legitimate” gently to the ground.
    *KSSH*
    Oh no, the spin control unit on the skycrane has malfunctioned!
    Teams at the Mcasciscill Control center Cheer with joy!!
    Raper “Legitimate” has hit rock bottom.
    The electoral observation unit “538” confirms that there is a debris field.

  74. 74
    scav says:

    Wimmmin’z innerds and chemistry are clearly a marvel to behold. Imagine the processing involved in identifying if the specific non-consensual sexual act is occurring in a jurisdiction where the specific non-consensual sexual actions performed attain the legal definition of “legitimate” rape and then calling upon mysterious chemical means to deny the right of Santomum’s God to bestow one of his blessings upon the wimmin involved.

  75. 75
    SectarianSofa says:

    @DougJ et al, Re: “she was asking for it, the way she was dressed”
    This seems much weirder and more extreme to me.
    When you throw science out the window, and replace it with wackity-wack-wack winger mindbuggery, I guess this is what you get.

  76. 76
  77. 77
    dance around in your bones says:

    Ok. I think the answer is 42.

    But not the good kind of 42.

  78. 78
    Narcissus says:

    I tried to come up with snark for this in order to protect my mind but was unable

  79. 79
    russell says:

    i don’t even ask “wtf?!?” anymore.

    these people are ignorant, crazy mf’ers, and that is all there is to it.

  80. 80
    Commish says:

    “Legitimate rape” may actually imply a position worse than “she was asking for it, the way she was dressed.” On another blog someone who claimed to be familiar with Akin’s record said that in the past he’s proposed decriminalization of marital rape.

  81. 81
    fuckwit says:

    It’s worse. It’s more like “if she sinks, she’s not a witch, and if she floats, she’s a witch”.

    A TPM commenter analyzed it and got FP’ed. It’s standard anti-sex crusader bullshit, particularly of the catholic variety. They apparently believe that pregancy is biologically impossible in cases of rape, and therefore, if there’s a pregnancy, it wasn’t rape, you see.

    What the fuck these people are smoking, I have no idea. Incense, perhaps.

  82. 82
    JoeyJoeJoe says:

    This isn’t the first time we’ve heard this from a Senate candidate. Back in 1998, Fay Boozman in Arkansas (running against Blanche Lambert Lincoln) said something about “God’s special shield” or something protectin grape victims from pregnancy. That did not go over well there.

  83. 83
    Larry Tate says:

    As someone who grew up in an evangelical household and community, I can tell you that this is a very common meme. I was told this as a young person. The myth of the sperm-killing secretion during rape serves a very convenient rhetorical and ideological purpose. 1) It makes it easy to justify a hard line stance against abortion even under such heartbreaking circumstances. 2) It means that you can shame or gaslight the woman into believing that somehow she really *wanted* the sex/rape. #2 bolsters #1.

  84. 84
    blah says:

    “Maybe I’m wrong”

    understatement of this blog.

  85. 85

    […] was asking for it, the way she was dressed’ blah blah blah. I thought we were past that,” wrote Balloon Juice blogger […]

  86. 86
    Marie says:

    Um, yes we do. It’s called reproductive science, pick up a book.

    Raped women get pregnant all the time. In fact, any penis entering any vagina can result in pregnancy whether he or she wants it or not.

  87. 87
    Clover says:

    5% is the chance of pregnancy from any p in v intercourse, (consensual or otherwise) while a women is ovulating, i.e. when she is at the most fertile stage of her cycle assuming no contraceptive is being used.

  88. 88
    Byron Acosta says:

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