So Roy Blunt finally decided that the chorus condemning Todd Akin had reached sufficient decibel level that he could safly join in. Not all on his lonesome, however, but safely ensconced in a group of other of Missouri’s mainline GOP establishment, former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft and former Senators Kit Bond, John Danforth and Jim Talent, who, jointly, want us to know that:
We do not believe it serves the national interest for Congressman Todd Akin to stay in this race. The issues at stake are too big, and this election is simply too important. The right decision is to step aside. …
Blunt, it seems, is also willing to let it be kown that, as a very influential Republican, he has spoken to Akin privately several times since he (Akin) managed to put the GOP’s anti-women policy proposals in the spotlight, “urging” him to, basically, get the hell out of Dodge.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the GOP has been preparing its 2012 electoral platform. And guess what? Except for the pseudo-medical mumbo-jumbo that half of the GOP probably believes – at least when safely in private – there’s almost no light between what Akin was saying about abortion policy and what the rest of the GOP wants to enshrine in the document that is intended to encapsulate what they stand for:
CNN reported on Monday that the draft of the GOP’s official 2012 platform calls for a federal ban on abortion with no exception for rape and incest survivors — the same policy Akin was trying to defend when he asserted that victims of “legitimate rape” have a natural bodily mechanism that prevents them from getting pregnant.
Nor could there be when you stop to think about it. After all, the VP pick, Rep. Paul Ryan, very publicly joined Brother Todd to promote legislation that would have denied federal funding for abortions in the case of “forcible” rape – a somewhat more precise way to say what Todd meant when he was talking about “legitimate” rape. Ryan has also sponsored “personhood” legislation that would effectively give the full panoply of legal rights to a fertilized cell, while denying the rights of the woman involved in hosting it.
And even worse, the personhood part of this radical anti-abortion brew has been endorsed by Mitt Romney. Arguably, the “personhood” strategy is even more dangerous than the “forcible rape” ruse to limit abortions. Some critics hold that personhood legislation could be used to even ban contraceptives. Of course, all that was before Akin’s ineptitude turned up the heat, and Romney’s campaign decided that he’d better forget about his former pandering to the radical anti-abortion base and pretend to be “moderate” – at least for now.
The real question for Messrs. Blunt, Ashcroft, Talent, and Bond is to ask how they can unload on poor, dim Akin and still support the GOP platform this year. And then we will want to know if Roy and his pals will ask Romney and Ryan to once and for all, forcefully repudiate their past, embarrassing radicalism – or step down for the good of the party?