GOP Senate candidate Todd Akin of Missouri created a firestorm when he told a St. Louis reporter that women generally can’t conceive as a result of “legitimate rape.” According to information the learned congressman claims to have gleaned from doctors, women’s reproductive systems shut down automatically from the trauma.
In the hypocritical fallout over his remarks, chagrined Republican leaders called on Akin to resign – despite the fact the GOP’s official stance on rape and abortion is identical to Akin’s. The party’s 2012 platform calls for a federal ban on abortion, with no exception for rape and incest survivors – the very policy that Akin was defending when he made his offensive comment.
Akin joined with Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan in sponsoring last year’s No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act of 2011. That bill stated that insurance should only cover abortion in cases of “forcible rape” – language that echoes Akin’s. Ryan also sponsored a federal law seeking to give a fertilized egg the same rights as a living person – the so-called “fetal personhood” law. That measure would have outlawed abortion under any circumstances, even when the mother’s life was at stake.
Ryan plans to headline the “Values Voter Summit” this month, a far-right confab hosted by the American Family Association. The Southern Poverty Law Center has branded AFA as a hate group for spreading inflammatory lies about LGBT people. AFA spokesman Bryan Fischer has been one of Akin’s most vocal supporters.
“You talk about a forcible situation, you talk about somebody being a victim of forcible assault, that would be Todd Akin,” Fischer said recently in an attempt to cast the congressman’s treatment by GOP leaders as the equivalent of a “legitimate rape” victim.
Tony Perkins, head of the Family Research Council, another designated hate group, is so tight with GOP leadership that he was given the privilege of writing the Republican National Committee’s plank on marriage, which calls for a constitutional amendment banning marriage equality in all the states forever.
Of course, none of these positions were featured during the Republican National Convention. Even the GOP knows they are not winning policies.
So, the hypocrisy continued, as speaker after speaker tried to humanize the party’s hardline right agenda. As New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd wrote, the convention was a masquerade of caring: “They care deeply about making us think that they care deeply,” she opined.
Before the cameras, Mitt Romney and Ryan struggled to convince America that they’re capable of normal human feelings by sharing tidbits of their personal histories. Meanwhile, their cruel agenda was being drafted backstage, partly by hardline evangelists like Perkins, who would gladly sacrifice a woman’s life for his ideology, and partly by big-money interests like the Koch brothers, whose goal is to sack the middle class, destroy the free market economy and establish an oligarchy headed by privileged straight white men like themselves.
The GOP has become the very definition of hypocrisy, a smiling mask concealing an evil grin.