Todd Akin, the Republican challenger to Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-MO, willingly and through nobody’s fault but his own stepped into the wonderful world of political double standards this weekend. And, as it is with political double standards in America, he as a conservative received the full treatment of disdain and ridicule.
Akin is a staunch pro-life advocate and believes no exceptions for abortion should be allowed, even for cases of when rape results in pregnancy.
In articulating that view he said: "It seems to me, from what I understand from doctors, that is really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. But let’s assume that maybe that didn’t work: I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be of the rapist, and not attacking the child."
"Legitimate rape"? Well, you can imagine the ripples that caused in the media over the weekend.
GOP presidential ticket of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan quickly distanced themselves from the comment. The media tried to put them together.
Akin’s opponent, Sen. McCaskill, couldn’t tamp down her smug Monday morning in responding to Akin. She’s even raising money on the "legitimate rape" comment. McCaskill is a classic example in politics, as in golf, that it is sometimes better to be lucky than good.
She doesn’t need to raise another dime. This race is officially over. It’s an unfair turn of events because it’s clear the guy was trying to make what he thinks is a scientific point in defense of his anti-abortion view. I don’t know whether he is right, but it is a debate point, I suppose. But in the context of a U.S. Senate race with national consequences, it was badly phrased. It certainly was neither the time nor place.
But before we leave this Republican’s step into the Twilight Zone of American politics, let’s re-visit a similar comment from a Democrat.
Commenting on the movie-director Roman Polanski, "The View" commentator Whoopi Goldberg defended Polanski’s rape of a minor.
She said: "I know it wasn’t rape-rape. It was something else but I don’t believe it was rape-rape. He went to jail and when they let him out he was like ‘You know what this guy’s going to give me a hundred years in jail I’m not staying, so that’s why he left.’"
Whoopi also said, "Would I want my 14-year-old daughter having sex? Not necessarily."
Not necessarily? What kind of mom answer "not necessarily" to that question?
The point is that the other liberals on "The View" laughed at the Whoopi comment. Her "rape-rape" comment barely made a ripple in the national media.
Now I know it’s two different comments in a different time and place. But it does seem odd that Whoopi received a pass on her comment and still today associates with liberal candidates without consequence.
Akin, meanwhile, looks like he’s headed for "do not associate" bin.
PS: At least one person in the media defends Akin’s comment. Here it is.