Calhoun’s Can(n)ons for August 23, 2012
“When someone shows you what he is, believe him.”
If you’re still a member of the Grand Old Party, please accept my most sincere condolences. Yes, it is a shame. It was only 158 years old, in the prime of its life, and now it’s dead – killed off by idiots.
I mean, Congressman Akin? Really? Guy’s on the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology. How the hell did that happen? Science? A guy who thinks women’s bodies can kill off sperm when they’ve been “legitimately raped” but not so much if they’ve only been illegitimately raped. Really?
Missouri, you have a lot to answer for. Put a paper bag on your head and go stand in the corner. (Stop smirking, Oklahoma. You’ve got “Inhofe,” the climate-change denier. That state’s drought-riddled corn is no longer as high as an elephant’s eye because the bright golden haze on its meadow is smoke from a state that’s burning up due to global warming. Honestly, were do the Republicans get these guys? )
O.K. I admit it’s been comic watching all the mainstream GOP bigwigs scrambling away from Akin – Noooo, don’t know that guy, never heard of him – while at the same time they were begging him on bended knee to drop out of the race --- Plueeze, plueeze Todd, you’re killing us. For some weird reason they thought maybe voters would confuse a God-driven theocrat like Akin with “mainstream” Republicans and recoil in horror.
Which actually is funny since at the same time the party big wigs were trying to strong arm Akin out the door like some flea-infested loon, the party platform committee itself was voting on a plank that supported Akin’s views perfectly – no abortion with no explicit exceptions for cases of rape or incest – legitimate or not.
Which gives hypocrisy a bad name. Makes people think that your party is in such philosophical disarray, or so full of liars that you can’t figure out what the hell you stand for except for one overriding Grand Old Principle: Say anything to win at all costs by any means necessary.
And anyway, it does no good to paint Akin as some lone-wolf, God-obsessed loony outlier. He’s joined at the hip with Vice-presidential pick, Paul Ryan. They’re spiritual twinsies. Ryan co-sponsored a bill that defined fetuses as “people entitled to full legal protection,” which would have to treat abortion and some forms of birth control as murder, backed bills that would cut off federal money for Planned parenthood and the Title X family planning program, voted for a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage and voted against a bill that would expand federal hate crime laws to cover sexual orientation.
In short, Akin is no outlier. His beliefs are totally compatible with the Republican Party, the party platform and the Vice Presidential nominee, a Veep who, if elected, would be one heartbeat away from the Presidency and/or be the tie-breaker in a divided congress.
Doesn’t get more central than that.
As for the Presidential nominee, well, Romney noted that “His [Akin’s] words with regards to rape are words that I can’t defend.” He made no comment on the ideas behind the words, just parsed the verbiage, then scampered for the door.
And that’s the problem. Nobody’s doing the follow-up questions anymore. Like, How is it possible, in this day and age, for a man to head up a committee with the word “science” in its title, yet be so abysmally ignorant about basic biology? Or are we meant to believe that he’s just an isolated case, some ignorant theocrat toodling on the edges of the conservative fringe?
That might be a pleasant fiction to be spoon-fed, but it’s hard to reconcile with this: Akin’s mind-set is clearly in lock-step with a huge number of his Republican colleagues and is aligned with the Republican party platform, so that’s the real question: Has the GOP finally become the radical theocracy it dreamed of becoming when it used Christian evangelicals as a tool to gaining more political power?
I mean, who could forget the 1990’s and the “Abramoff-Norquist-Reed triumvirate?” [Norquist? Grover Norquist? Yes. You think these people go away? They don’t. They get reborn and return, again and again.] Remember the lobbyist Jack Abramoff and the “Christian Coalition’s” evangelical poster-boy, Ralph Reed, scheming to fleece several Indian Casinos by using Reed, with his scrubbed cherubic face and publicly professed Christian piety, as the front-man? At the time, using Reed as judas goat to deliver the Christian right votes to the Republicans must have seemed like a good idea. But twenty years later, I suspect the law of unintended consequences is becoming clear: Theocrats answer only to God, not party bosses – the godly tail now owns the GOP elephant.
And the tail is wagging.