Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Akin For A Breakin'

When U.S. Representative Todd Akin of Missouri, the Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate in that state, suggested that women could shut down their bodies to prevent impregnation during rape, he put a whole shoe store in his mouth.
He not only jeopardized his own candidacy (though, without much polling in the aftermath of his remarks, the race is still considered a tossup), he cast light on the position of Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan, who opposes abortion even in case of rape and has supported a "personhood" bill in Congress  declaring  a fertilized egg to be a person. 
Akin could still win, but the real reason Republicans want him out of the Senate campaign is to keep him from encouraging Democratic votes in the presidential contest at the top of the GOP ticket - not in Missouri, which has become more reliably Republican of late (it hasn't gone Democratic in a presidential election since 1996), but elsewhere, mainly in swing states.
As for how the Republican party is dealing with Akin's remarks about the body shutting down to prevent something unwanted, the party is already shutting down its support for Akin to keep him from continuing his campaign.
If he leaves the ticket, this won't be the first time a Missourian has had to quit a campaign under pressure.  Anyone remember Thomas Eagleton, George McGovern's first vice presidential running mate? He was replaced by Sargent Shriver after it was revealed he'd received electroconvulsive therapy and been hospitalized thrice for physical and nervous exhaustion, as well as having suffered from depression.  In other words, Eagleton had less baggage than Akin.       

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