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Seems like Todd Akin isn’t the only member of his family who has problems understanding simple linguistic concepts. Just consider the following statement from Todd Akin’s wife (National Journal via Talking Points Memo):

Lulli Akin said that efforts to push her husband out of the race threaten to replace elections “by the people and for the people” with “tyranny, a top-down approach.” She added, “Party bosses dictating who is allowed to advance through the party and make all the decisions-it’s just like 1776 in that way.”

She cited colonists who “rose up and said, ‘Not in my home, you don’t come and rape my daughters and my … wife. But that is where we are again. There has been a freedom of elections, not tyranny of selections since way back. Why are we going to roll over and let them steamroll us, be it Democrats or Republicans or whomever?”

Perhaps, given that all actions, incuding Todd Akin’s, have consequences, his treatment by members of his party could be viewed as “legitimate” rape? I can see where the RNC might be inclined to say he was asking for it.

Tasteless jokes aside, though, it seems to me that what has happened is that the national party asked Akin to consider the good of his faction, he declined and they washed their hands of him. Actually, I’m sympathetic to the claim that that Akin is the legitimate candidate, but it doesn’t seem to me that anyone is contesting that fact. However, it also seems to me that withdrawing support for a damaged candidate is the prerogative of a national political organization that has to spend its dollars wisely. And now Akin’s wife is comparing the action to rape? She thinks that the GOP doesn’t have a right to be concerned about losing what is for them a crucial Senate seat?

Aside from the sheer joy of playing victim in such a grandiose way – even Brother Todd noted that comparisons to 1776 might be a little over the top – lots of this rhetoric seems to stem from nothing more than basic confusion about the actual meaning of words. Of course, this linguistic confusion may be the best thing that Akin has going for him since lots of Missourians seem to be equally unclear on many of the same concepts that cause Akin difficulty. It’s not just rape, but the way that Akin and his supporters use words like religion, socialism and freedom that reflect today’s strangely twisted right-wing logic. Do you think the explanation for the right-wing effort to revisit and reinterpret history, science and even language itself might be as simple as the exhausted and worn-out nature of conservative ideology itself?