Thursday, August 30, 2012

From the Desk of Todd Akin

Hey Paul,

Congratulations, old buddy. I caught your VP acceptance speech (on Fox, of course) and boy did you knock it out of the park. It hardly needs saying I'm green with envy. Things aren't going so good down here. Nobody likes me anymore. Remember that bill we worked on together that would have limited rape victims' access to abortion funding? How ironic, huh? Seems like a lifetime ago. Those were the good old days.

Listen, please extend my apologies to the ex-liberal-pro-abortion-turned-conservative-prolife Governor of Massachusetts for my ill-conceived (no wordplay intended, promise) remarks about rape and abortion. Whew. There ain't no do-overs in real life, are there? I had no intention of hurting his campaign (to say nothing of mine! LOL!) or the Republican Party at large. By "legitimate rape" I of course meant 'violent.' I don't know how that word came into my head. And on that matter of a woman's reproductive abilities shutting down, well, the science on all that is just too speculative. Should have kept my mouth shut until I got hold of all the facts.

You were also real nice during that phone call you made on the Guv's behalf. You're going to make a great diplomat; I know, because somehow after the call I didn't feel as if I'd been stabbed in the back by an old friend. I did wonder a little what it felt like for you, though, acting as the Guv's toady and all, doing his dirty work for him. Of course, now that I've had time to think about it, I realize that's exactly what happened: I got shivved from behind. I mean, you could have stuck up for me, you know, could have told people how we've worked together, how long you've known me, and reassured the public about my character and reputation, a reputation that should not have to suffer the slings and arrows of outraged members of my own party playing their fortunes against mine. Which is what you did in service to political ambition. After all, your views on abortion are closer to mine than his. But now I've seen the news reports (yeah, I get it all from the media now that you won't take my calls anymore) of how you're distancing yourself from my words ("rape is rape," etc.) and subordinating your own views to those of Romney, saying his are "a step in the right direction." Well, yeah, I guess, better than Obama's anyway. Anybody's better than Obama. But still. You could have stuck up for me.

Listen, I've got to overcome this bitterness. I'm going to work on it. In the meantime, here's what I really meant to say: The child conceived as a consequence of rape is everybody's child. No child is conceived by rape, but every child is conceived. The rape is one thing, a very bad thing; the conception is another, a very good thing. Hell, if every effect is evil by virtue of an evil cause, a whole lot of us could be in trouble. For example, both you and I (and Governor Romney) believe that fornication is evil, but if a woman gets pregnant because of it, we're not going to say she ought to kill it, are we? Same with adultery. Same with in vitro (don't know where the Gov stands on that one). We live in a country in which most people seem to think that fornication's a good thing (for God's sake, think of all the pornography they patronize), but not in a country that believes a good thing causes an equally good effect. In fact, it's all backwards. A lot of them think that if the good cause of fornication leads to the bad effect of a conceived child, the kid can be gotten rid of. Yeah, fornication is good, kid is bad. Imagine that. Funny thing though. That's how Romney thinks about rape. Bad rape equals bad kid (meaning that he, the kid, is the kind we can kill). Or maybe I'm being too literal. Let's give him credit for some degree of subtlety and say that bad rape equals such a bad effect on the mother that, out of compassion, we'll give her the choice to kill the kid. The fornicators will agree with him on that, but take it a step further: good (meaning consensual) fornication equals (sometimes) such a bad effect on the mother that we'll also give her the choice to kill it. I mean, what's the difference. Everything's confused and upside down.

In fact, I think I've confused myself and might be on the verge of uttering another inanity, so let me just conclude by saying that sex and conception, though connected, are separate events. The first might be good, depending on the circumstances, and the second always is. We should never speak of the "child of rape" or the "child conceived in rape," (been guilty of it myself) because they are not two facets of one event. To be raped is wrong. To be human and in existence is good, always and everywhere, without exception. Let's just stick with that principle and quit trying to hedge our bets when the questions get uncomfortable (which is what happened to me). I'm sure you'll agree, and will try to bring Romney over to our way of thinking.

In the meantime, best of luck with the campaign. I'll soldier on down here, and if by some miracle I pull this thing out and make it to the senate, you can tell Governor Romney, that bet-hedging, fence-sitting compromiser-in-chief, that as a loyal (and genuine) conservative he can count on me never to forget who threw me under the bus.

Best regards,


TS said...

Oh ol' Todd ought to soldier up, suck it up, and vote for Romney. And withdraw if he ain't gonna beat Claire "Pro Abort" McCasskill. Ain't nothing Romney done that St. Peter hisself didn't do and worse (he threw Jesus under the bus!).

William Luse said...

While we're comparing Romney to St. Peter, it's probably best to recall Peter made up for it by getting himself crucified. Romney crucifies others who actually believe what our faith teaches about the value of innocent life. Worse, Romney doesn't even know who Jesus is. Go read some Mormon theology. You're right that Romney didn't actually do the deed himself, though. He got his co-opted, Catholic, pro-life lackey to do it for him.

Lydia McGrew said...

TS, all this "withdrawing" talk is ridiculous. George Neumeyer made a double-whammy smart point in the article Bill linked in the last entry: The GOP started screaming for Akin to withdraw *without even having a plan B* and without talking to Akin's grassroots in his state. How strategic is that? Answer: It's not. Indeed, it amounts to actively trying to hand a win to a Democrat rather than supporting a Republican whom the establishment has decided is persona non grata. And the same goes for telling Akin that they won't fund him anymore. Yeah, that's _real_ strategic.

If he can't beat his Democrat opponent, what reason is there to think that some hastily drummed-up-at-the-last-minute alternative candidate without Akin's carefully cultivated grassroots support is going to be able to do it? Is there reason to think such a person is _more_ likely to win? And how likely is it that such a candidate--who would presumably be hand-picked by the establishment to be Not Todd Akin--will be as pro-life as Akin is?

Calls for Akin to withdraw aren't strategic. They sound like not being able to see past one's own nose. "Oh, here, do this, quick, quick, and all will be well!"

This is not thinking like a general, that's for sure.

Anonymous said...

Throwing Akin under a bus was only "strategic" in the same sense that throwing vocal infidels out of a religious service is "strategic". Ripping the living bodies of infants to shreds is not impious; indeed it is a sacrament. But suggesting that the category "rape" has come to mean things that are not actually rape, and that furthermore the stress of legitimate rape might actually impact the odds of conception, was blasphemy.

This isn't about strategy except to the extent that blasphemy against narrowly defined politically correct liberalism impacts strategy. Conclusion: actually winning the Senate is less important to Republicans than observing liberal pieties.

Lydia McGrew said...

I think that's true, Zippy. But a lot of people think it was strategic in the sense of increasing the odds of winning the Senate. I think they need a wakeup call on that to challenge this simplistic view of practical strategy vs. principle. Very often that isn't even the case, as here.

Another case where the GOP establishment showed that it would rather lose the seat to a Democrat than endorse someone it had decided to declare a "weirdo" was with Christine O'Donnell. Even after she won the primary, which they desperately had wanted her to lose, the GOP big-wigs kept bad-mouthing her. It was almost as though they were forgetting, "Oh, yeah, she's our candidate now. What? Do you just want the Democrat to win?"

Even the trust in the GOP leadership to be pragmatically smart as far as winning Republican seats should be called into question at this point. Very serious question.

William Luse said...

"winning the Senate is less important to Republicans than observing liberal pieties."

That's what needs to be kept in mind here. Romney took as his own, wrapped himself in the mantle of, the enemy's morality. To use a variation on one of Lydia's analogies, he thought, as pilot, that he could persuade that enemy to stop firing missiles at his plane full of passengers by throwing the prolife extremist out the emergency exit.