Friday, August 24, 2012

The GOP Problem That Akin Has Exposed

Whether or not Akin should heed the calls to step down because of his “legitimate rape” comment, I don’t know.  His gaffe has been costly for Romney's support in the state, according to a new poll.  And he has scheduled a press conference this afternoon, so maybe he will announce his withdrawal, or just dig in.
Maybe he should withdraw, but that signals a very disturbing reality.  It shows that conservatives are truly impotent in terms of information relay to the public, unable to counter a calculated and false social assault by the leftist media.  It shows that conservatives are incapable of conveying reality to Americans, even though that reality is painfully obvious. 
Disarmed by an uncomfortable series of questions, Akin cited “legitimate rape” when he clearly meant to reference “forcible rape,” a legally viable distinction referring to the violent, physical act of rape that one commonly thinks of when the word “rape” is uttered.  This is different than, say, statutory rape, in which a twenty year old might engage in consensual sex with a sixteen year old, which is why a legal distinction exists between the two.  Akin’s purpose was to convey that in situations of forcible rape when a woman is in peril, the stress can cause female reproductive functions to be compromised. 
Sure, this is silly support to reach his thrust- that in instances of rape, the “punishment ought to be on the rapist and not attacking the child.”  And politically, this hardlined stance is a topic he should be avoiding in an election anyway, given that most Americans agree that abortions should be available to rape victims.  But it was simply a gaffe, and nothing more.   It does not signal that he is pro-rape or insensitive to women, as some of the more wild accusations suggest. 
But conservatives seem helpless to convey that fact, and have chosen to cannibalize one of their own- not because he is as extreme as the left says he is, but because the left says he's as extreme as they want him to be portrayed, and conservatives lack the means to direct the conversation otherwise.
And that is sad.
William Sullivan

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