What Planet Did You Say This Is?

During a televised interview, Missouri Representative Todd Akin, who is running for the U.S. Senate against incumbent Claire McCaskill, was asked about his position on abortion. Rep. Akin favors a complete ban, with no exception for rape or incest. He explained that an exception for rape was unnecessary, since victims of legitimate rape don’t get pregnant. The woman’s body “has a way to deal with that.”

Leaving aside the question of what constitutes “legitimate” rape, the more important questions are how this moron has managed to get elected, and how he won a statewide Republican primary. (He evidently serves on the House Subcommittee on Science, no less–a terrifying prospect.)

According to various reports, Akin sponsored legislation that would redefine rape in federal law to limit funding for abortion providers, and has a long track record of uninformed and extreme views about women’s health. He has a consistently radical  voting record on women’s issues, wants to ban the morning-after pill, and–my personal favorite– has expressed concern that criminalizing marital rape gives women “a legal weapon to beat up on the husband” during a divorce.

This guy is a real piece of work.

But before we laugh too hard at the people who actually voted to place this man in a position of authority, perhaps we should look at one of the men we have sent to Congress. Not only sent to Congress, but are likely to elevate to the top position in the state.

Google–as I did–Pence and Akin. You’ll find that they have co-sponsored several measures–one that would have distinguished between “forcible” and “other” rapes, one to de-fund Planned Parenthood, one to get rid of the Department of Energy, another to make English America’s “official” language….In fact, when I searched for “Pence Akin co-sponsor,” I got 1,730,000 hits. Obviously, hundreds if not thousands were duplicates, and thousands of others were perfectly innocuous… still, it became clear scrolling through them that Akin and Pence are cut from the same (poorly woven) cloth.

The only difference is that Mike Pence understands–as Akin clearly does not–that he needs to reinvent himself as someone who actually cares about Indiana’s economy and job creation, rather than the social issues which have been his major focus as a congressperson.

Unlike Akin, he realizes he needs to soft-pedal the crazy.


  1. Too many voters see a familiar name on the ballot and believe if they have been elected before, they deserve to stay in government. Indiana has a poor selection of Democrats to run against the money machine so we can look for no change in local local government and can expect conditions to deteriorate further. Look at the IPS fiasco; the total fiasco but start with the bus service for pubic school students, all controlled by brain dead but backed by big money Republicans.

  2. On OpenCongress, you can compare key votes since 2007 between Pence & Akin. They agree 94% of the time:


    Using the Library of Congress’ advanced search, I found 67 bills in the 112th Congress (2011-2012) where both Akin and Pence were co-sponsors. In the 111th (2009-2010), there appear to be 146 bills that listed both Akin and Pence as co-sponsors. (Unfortunately, I can’t link directly to the search results, but you can search yourself here: http://thomas.loc.gov/home/LegislativeData.php)

    And, sadly, it’s not just Mike Pence. There’s a ridiculous overlap in voting patterns between most of Indiana’s Congressional delegation and Todd Akin – it’s higher than the average voting similarity among Republicans.

  3. I kind of have a problem with anyone using the word “legitimate” and “rape” together as a term.

  4. I’m afraid if I start commenting on this subject, I won’t be able to stop. I thought this crap was settled in the 70s.

  5. I don’t dare ask if one of the wingnuts is trying to define “legitimate incest”.

  6. AgingLittleGirl – “Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty” – even though it was settled in the ’70s, too many women, too many people forgot this old quote.

    People have been trying to turn back the clock on everything that we thought was settled. Too many of us forgot to defend what had been gained.

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