Wednesday, August 22, 2012

To Akin: Get out, please, with honey on top

Welcome to O-pinion. I'm associate editor Fannie Flono, your host today.

While Republicans are loudly berating U.S. Senate candidate Todd Akin for saying out loud what far too many believe, Bill Kristol, who some view as the party's intellectual power has some interesting advice about how to get him to leave the race - some Lincolnesque honey. "You've made your point," he wrote in this morning's Weekly Standard, referring to "conservatives and Republicans desperate"to see Akin off the ballot in Missouri. By the way, a new Public Policy Polling flash poll from Monday evening is creating quite a stir. It shows Akin with a slim 44-43 percent lead over Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill.

Kristol writes in his entreaty, "You've bewailed and denounced and threatened. Now it's time to hearken to the words of Lincoln, in his great Temperance Address."

In that address, Lincoln counseled "unassuming persuasion" was the order of the day.

Said Lincoln: "It is an old and a true maxim, that a 'drop of honey catches more flies than a gallon of gall.' So with men. If you would win a man to your cause, first convince him that you are his sincere friend. Therein is a drop of honey that catches his heart, which, say what he will, is the great highroad to his reason, and which, when once gained, you will find but little trouble in convincing his judgment of the justice of your cause."

Kristol goes on to say that Akin has "given plenty of indications he remains open to leaving the field. Now is the time for kind, unassuming—and private—persuasion by conservatives, by pro-life and pro-marriage advocates, by serious people who've worked with Akin and by his fellow Missourians... I suspect by the Democratic convention, by Labor Day, Akin will have stepped aside."

But to get to Kristol's destination, Akin will have to travel a long way from his knuckle-headed belief that he only made a slip of the tongue with "one word and one sentence on one day" and that his staying in the race will "strengthen our country... and ultimately, the Republican Party" because he is "standing on a principle of what America is."

Those words sound almost as nonsensical as his contention that bodies of women who are raped can shut down and prevent pregnancy. He's back-tracked on the words but not very convincingly, noting to conservative broadcaster and FOX television show host Sean Hannity that he had heard a medical report which led him to believe that the female body rejects unwanted pregnancies. Hannity should have pressed him on where he could have heard such crazy talk. But he may already know.

It's the center piece contention of Dr. Jack Willke, founder of the International Right to Life Federation, a supporter of Akin's who came to his defense this week. Willke pointed reporters to his book, "Abortion, Questions and Answers," noting that "there is a full chapter on this issue, fully documented, which completely exonerates [Akin]."

The book, first published in 1971, asserts that "assault rape" rarely results in pregnancy because the assault traumatizes the woman and makes her body less habitable. It's "just downright unusual" for a woman to get pregnant from a rape, Willke said this week to the LA Times. He contends that there are only about one or two pregnancies for every 1,000 women who are raped every year.
But those statements are directly contradicted by statistics from the Journal of American Obstetrics and Gynecology and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that found more than 32,000 women experience rape-related pregnancy every year.

Unfortunately, some conservative antiabortion activists prefer Willke's theory to scientific fact. Akin is one. So this was no slip of the tongue. It's an ideological position that is playing a big role in conservative policy-setting. In that arena, medical science and women's needs are taking a secondary role.

That's wrong, whether Akin pulls out of the Senate race by Labor Day, as Kristol predicts, or by September 25, the last day his name can be taken off the ballot. Democrat or Republican, male or female, we all should be troubled by it.


Skippy said...

And still not one single word about this from the yellow sycophants at the CO. What do we call this, the "war on young boys", perhaps:

Democratic leaders in Minnesota are demanding a state lawmaker withdraw from his re-election bid after police claim he admitted to having sex with a 17-year-old boy at a rest stop.

While Rep. Kerry Gauthier, 56, will lose support from fellow Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party members if he continues with his campaign, party leaders stopped short Monday of asking him to immediately resign.

The first-term legislator wasn’t charged in the alleged July 22 encounter because the legal age of consent in Minnesota is 16 and no money was exchanged, according to the St. Louis County attorney’s office. Police say the two had oral sex behind a rest stop pavilion in Duluth after the teen responded to Gauthier’s Craigslist ad looking for a “no strings attached” sex.

Anonymous said...

I realize this is a blog - an opinion blog at that - and not a space for objective reporting, but Fannie Flono's posts here show such utter contempt for anything that isn't Democrat or liberal is amazing. I wish she would give her opinion in more measured tone. Ask Peter St. Onge for help; he's very good at it.

"Akin...saying out loud what far too many believe..."

This statement smacks of stereotyping; it implies that most people who are registered Republicans or ideologically conservative hold this opinion. I disagree. This is part of the extreme religious right, not a representation of the party or ideology as a whole. I think this line of thinking is held by people who do not personally know anyone who has ever been raped. I know several who have; rape is rape, period.

For the record, I believe a human is a human from the moment of conception, that abortion is murder, and the "constitutional right to privacy" that Roe vs. Wade was based on is a complete fallacy. However, I also believe that legislating morality is a bad idea. We tried it once, with prohibition, and not only did it not stop people from drinking, it gave birth to the Mafia. So I do not support the anti-abortion bills of the extreme religious right. We have to get the economy growing and the runaway government spending under control and leave these morality debates for another time.

Fire Coach K said...

"This statement smacks of stereotyping; it implies that most people who are registered Republicans or ideologically conservative hold this opinion."

No it doesn't. She simply said that Akin said what "far too many believe."

Well ... what Akin said was scientifically false. If two people believe it, that's far too many, because no one -- zero people -- should believe that load of nonsense.

But as per usual, no matter what the right says or does, the odds are 100 percent that they will cry about how they're the victims and the mean ol' media is out to get them.

Larry Comrades said...

I am glad nobody is talking about the economy.