You'd think Todd Akin, who nobody heard of until last month, was running on the Romney/Ryan ticket the way Democrats are using him as a cudgel to beat Republicans with. The congressman's face is plastered on attack ads coming from President Obama all the way down to Julia Brownley, to paint Republicans as women h,aters.
Two issues arise from this. First, what are Akin's "rape comments" exactly? Just the phrase sounds horrific. But are Democrats being truthful about what he said? Second, is it fair to tie all Republicans to his comments?
What did Akin really say? Brownley's attack ad against Tony Strickland states:
We were all shocked when Congressman Todd Akin claimed that women don't become pregnant when they are "legitimately raped," and that women who are not raped "forcibly" should not be allowed to have an abortion when they are pregnant.
Here's what Akin said in the clip heard 'round the world.
"It seems to be, first of all, from what I understand from doctors, it's really rare."
Uh, that's totally different than what Brownley's campaign is telling voters he said. "Seems to be really rare" is not the same as "women don't become pregnant." Obviously he's saying they can become pregnant, it's just rare. So that's dishonest of Brownley.
As for his comment about "legitimate rape." He said:
"If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut the whole thing down."
By "legitimate rape", Akin seems to have meant that if it were a "real rape" the body has ways of shutting "the whole thing down." That implies that some things we call rape aren't really rape, either because they don't rise to the definition of "real rape" or because they are false accusations of "real rape." The Duke Lacrosse case is an example of a false accusation of rape, but what the heck does Akin mean by acts that don't rise to the definition of "real rape?"
Democrats, at least during this campaign, believe that rape is rape no matter how you slice it. With that, they'd have to believe that a man who has sex with a girl who consumed two beers at a party should get the same prison sentence as the man who holds a girl down at knifepoint in a dark alleyway. I wonder how many Democrats would be serving prison sentences if we held them to that standard.
It seems the Democrats took Akin's remarks out of context, and, in Brownley's case, said he said something he did not.
What about the link to connect Akin and Strickland?
Akin is a Republican...Strickland is a Republican. Mitt Romney is a Republican. That seems to be the only connection that's warranted for Democrats to go ballistic. After all, these are the people that call Romney a felon without any proof, make him out to be an evil guy because a long time ago he traveled with a dog kennel tied to the roof of his car, and when he was in high school he gave a guy a haircut.
Democrats would argue that Tea Party congressmen like Akin and Paul Ryan cosponsored a bill that would prohibit federal funds to pay for abortions except in the case of "forcible rape" (as opposed to just "rape") and therefore Ryan (and therefore Romney) has his own version of a "legitimate rape" comment. Perhaps that was an attempt to discourage people from claiming a rape occurred when it didn't just so they can procure funds for an abortion.
In the final analysis, Democrats are being disingenuous when it comes to conveying Akin's remarks and are silly when trying to connect the dots from Akin to Strickland and from Akin to Ryan to Romney. Par for the course for election season.
Oh by the way, since very few people are willing to give it the objective analysis you'll find here, the attacks will work, whether they are "legitimate", or not.