Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Akins remarks on rape grotesque but so was Obama's response.

Todd Akin surely did Obama and the Democrats a favor with his insidious, ignorant remarks on rape that were not just grotesque but medieval. But if anyone was looking for President Obama to stand up and not just put Aiken and those who think as he does in their place but to use them to help define the election, women's rights, and something called basic decency, they were left with rhetoric that couldn't soar to the heights of a paper plane. The best it seems Obama could muster is "rape is rape".

First, one would think that Obama would have eviscerated Akin for his concept of "legitimate rape", whatever he thinks that is.

What did Akin mean by "legitimate rape"? Why didn't Obama ask? Does Akin make a distinction between "legitimate rape" and" illegitimate rape" ? Does he think there is a difference?

There is no such thing as "legitimate rape". All rape is illegitimate. Did he mean by "legitimate" "authentic"? Was he making a distinction between different kinds of rape, making some legitimate and real, crimes of violence, but others not?

Add to that Akin's comment that a woman's uterus somehow puts up a "gone fishin'" sign when they are raped and that sperm cells go home is the kind of medieval cartoon minds typical of the extreme right,and the absurdities of Republican conservatism led by the collection of the most ignorant people in the country with respect to the values and principles and history on which the country was founded, the Tea Party.

And where was Obama? Where was his outrage? Where was his defense of human rights? Where was his moral indignation? Okay he doesn't have any of that but you would think he would have tried to fake it. Instead his response to all of this was "rape is rape". Okay. Well that clears that up. That soars doesn't it?

Yet many Democratic organizations have taken up Obama's "rape is rape" as if it was a bold statement, a rallying cry when instead it was as weak and tepid a statement as one could make. But this has been the problem with Democrats and so called "progressive" groups, like MoveOn for the last four years. They blindly follow Obama's tepid, even pathetic lead on most issues still afraid to honestly criticize him for the weak leader without real principles or convictions that he is. Obama actually made matters worse by saying a day later, that "Akin obviously missed science class", thereby trivializing the entire issue even more and trying to funny about something over which there is nothing to be funny about.  If his own wife or daughters had been victims its not likely Obama would be making jokes about  Akin's comments about rape by talking about Akin " missing science class". But again, that's who and what Obama is and always has been -- an empty political suit with no real principles or convictions or the ability to see understand things beyond his own self-interest. Which he tries to cover up by using the word "calibrate" at least twice a week.

Yes, given the choice between the worst president the Democrats ever had and the kind of right wing medieval minds like Aiken that Romney has embraced with his choice of Paul Ryan, its going to be hold your nose time on election day and  a vote for Obama just to keep the right wing out of the White House. But it doesnt mean Democrats and progressive groups have to be stupid and play Polly Wanna Cracker for Obama and his tepid, almost mindless responses.

With Republicans running for the hills over Akin, trying desperately to get him to drop out of a senate race that Republicans desperately want to win, you would think Obama would use Akin and what he represents, not just to political advantage ( which is all Obama ever seems to know how to do anyway) but to make some real moral points and use it as a clear dividing line between liberal thought and decency and conservative thought when it comes to morality since it is always in the name of morality that Republicans and conservatives commit the most immoral acts and propose the most immoral solutions.

Akin represents the kind of medieval thinking that permeates the far right wing, the wing Romney for no apparent reason decided to embrace thereby snatching defeat from what might have been a very large victory. His only support is coming from the Christian right which once again shows the genius of Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and the founders of creating the establishment clause of the first amendment to insure that the church would never and could never have an official voice in running the government.

The conservative reaction to Akin's remarks,were, typically, neanderthal and shows again that, as is always the case with conservatives, their lust for political power trumps even a small sense of decency and common sense. Typical was the reaction of a woman conservative in Akin's district in St. Louis as reported by the Chicago Tribune:

At first I felt (Akin's comments) were offensive to women
and insulting to my intelligence," said Lisa Payne-Naeger, a
member of the conservative Missouri Grassroots Coalition, who
has an online political radio show. "What changed it for me was
the Republican establishment's effort to chop him off at the
knees and install one of their own in the race."

This idiocy permeates conservative thinking where its politics that matter and not substance. But in all liklihood Akin will lose, dealing another blow to the Tea Party and proving they are a non-entity on the national stage as they did in New York not long ago when a Tea Party candidate defeated a moderate Republican in a primary and then lost a House seat that had been Republican since 1859 to a Democrat.

Akin's comments that when a woman is the victim of "legitimate rape" her systems shut down preventing pregnancy is something Romney and the Republicans are going to have to deal with for as long as Aiken is a candidate. But when it came to standing up for something that mattered,  when there was the opportunity to go on the offensive, something Democrats do not know how to do, when it came to using those comments to draw a bright line between what the two parties stand for,  once again, it was Obama who shut down.

NOTE: ironically it was Akin himself who yesterday publicly apologized specifically for using the word "legitimate" when talking about rape.Which,as usual, doesn't say much for Obama.

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