I spent a few minutes tonight chatting politics with a friend of mine. We’re both more liberal than we’re not. We both listen to talk radio, or at least I did until Jay Severin went over to the dark side back in ’08. We enjoy actually thinking and being grounded in our positions, which is why he asked me tonight if I find it difficult to know when to trust the left.
I like that question, because this country is overflowing with millions of people who aren’t very bright, who are desperate to be told what to think so they won’t show it, and who regurgitate anything the talking heads tell them because thinking is for commies.
I was driving somewhere a few years ago during the Terry Schiavo debacle, clearly without an iPod handy, or else I wouldn’t have been listening to Sean Hannity. He was explaining his ludicrous theory on how Terry’s husband planned her execution. The show ended, and the next host took a caller who opened with, “It’s well-documented and clearly proven that….” and vomited Hannity’s theory up word for word.
The answer to my friend’s question? Give the benefit of the doubt, to everybody. And then hit them with a Buick.
Todd Akin’s infamous comment hit twitter last week while I was at a friend’s house. I read it in spurts and thought the totality of the thing was that here’s another anti-science moron explaining how vaginal venom works. I didn’t hear about the legitimate rape comment until later. So let’s apply the benefit of the doubt theory to Mr. Akin. He didn’t mean to say “legitimate” rape. He meant to say”forcible” rape. In Akin’s mind, there’s a difference between a woman who is violently raped in an alley and a woman who has sex and changed her mind at some point and didn’t give the right signals. He probably would have called this “gray rape” if they let him talk long enough. These are the only two classifications of rape his teeny little brain can handle.
Legislatively, Akin and Paul Ryan and every single Republican in the House of Representatives (plus sixteen conservative Democrats) want federal rape laws to only apply with evidence of force. They want women to prove to doctors that they were raped before being allowed an abortion. They want to repeat the word “forcible” as many times as they can so that in a decade or two, like they made us think all welfare recipients are slobs, an accusation of rape will carry no weight in society unless it is accompanied by an incriminating X-ray.
In the case of Akin, he got screwed. He’s a member of a secret society with a 20-year plan and a great PR department. Hate the thought of pink slime? I bet you wouldn’t blink at ordering lean finely textured beef. Akin is in lockstep with his party, but used the wrong word and was on his own, ostracized and fired upon by people who think he’s absolutely right, but don’t want to give themselves up.
I guess the vaginal venom put it over the top.
Tonight, Rep Tom Smith, a Pennsylvania Senate candidate, was pressed on the abortion issue. He described himself as 100% pro-life and then went on to compare a rape victim’s decision to have an abortion with his daughter’s decision to have a child out of wedlock. Understandably, the media standing nearby asked him 163 times if he was comparing rape to single motherhood. Hundreds of miles away, Paul Ryan took heat for calling rape a “method to conception.”
Benefit of the doubt recap. Akin was a covert agent who blew his cover and was turned on by fellow covert agents. He got screwed, not because of what he believed, but because he actually said the quiet part loud. Tom Smith was probably thinking about two women deciding whether to have a child, one conceived from rape and other, unintentionally from consensual sex. That’s it. Paul Ryan? He is correct that rape is a method to conception. I give him credit for that one, because it proves the vaginal venom theory is losing its core audience.
That said, it’s Buick time. Akin, Smith and Ryan may each very well think that any act of abortion is the killing of life. In Ryan’s case, he has no problem pointing out that he is proudly joining the ticket of someone who would only allow murder in certain situations, so I’m not quite clear on what that says about his character. Standing next to Mitt Romney, he’s lucky to be insulated from character attacks. The issue here is that in stating their abortion positions, they’ve shown themselves to be heartless. Watch the Paul Ryan video from today – the method to conception one – where he showed absolutely no empathy for women who are raped. I’m sure it didn’t cross his mind. I keep jumping back in my mind to the 2003 press conference George Bush called when he signed an abortion restricting bill. You could barely see Bush signing the bill for all the old, white men surrounding him.
Right here, in August 2012, subject to change at any time, the Republican Party platform exists to restrict abortion rights, restrict gay marriage, restrict health care options, and to explode the deficit by eliminating taxes to people like Mitt Romney. Their elected leaders in the House of Representatives don’t believe in global warming. They say it’s because a few scientists cooked some numbers, likely for the same reasons a lot of the Wall Street crowd shame-walked in handcuffs cooked the numbers. I guess that means capitalism is a hoax, too. Their logic, not mine. (They later admitted God will end the world when he’s good and ready and we shouldn’t do anything to interfere with his plans.) They don’t think we should require the HPV vaccine because they got a forward from someone stupider than they are that saying it causes mental retardation. No science. No facts. All PR.
If it doesn’t smell like that, you trust the left.