The Conscious Strategy of “Legitimate Rape”.

The first thing that crossed my alleged mind when I heard about Todd Akin’s shall we say, remarkable abuse of biological science, common decency and common sense, was that “This is no surprise to the crowd that put him where he is.”

No one rises to the party nomination for U.S. Senator without being thoroughly vetted, not so much by “average voters” as by well-connected, usually deep-pocketed party elders … and their minders in the national party. Particularly in Missouri this  year.

As has been exhaustively repeated the incumbent Democrat, Claire McCaskill, is pretty much a sitting duck. All the Republicans really had to do is put up someone who bathed regularly and knew the difference between a fork and a spoon to guarantee a win … and take a giant step closer to making Mitch McConnell Majority Leader.

Maybe Akin performs his ablutions regularly, but the fundamentals of what is real and what is — as The Great and Wonderful Austin said in the previous post — medieval religious hysteria kind of escape him. He’s a modern troglodyte, but by strategic design he has plenty of company.

The like of Todd Akin is very much what today’s modern Republican elders, overseers, party professionals and strategists are regularly endorsing and financing.. I’m certain Akin saying what he believes in his out-loud voice disappointed them, but it sure as hell didn’t surprise them, if for no other reason than what Akin believes about gynecological function is essentially no different from what, I strongly suspect, dozens of other “true conservatives” currently taking up space in Congress also believe.

Do the names of Steve King, Louie Gohmert, Bob Aderholt, Jeff Flake, John Boozman, Brian Bilbray, Gary Miller, Sand Adams, Allan West, Paul Broun, Raul Labrador, Joe Walsh, Dan Burton … and Michele Bachmann to name just a few, mean anything to you? While most know better than to say — out loud and on TV — what Akin said, what do you think those deep thinkers discuss privately when it comes to “legitimate” or, (equally absurd and offensive) “forcible rape”?

It as been pointed out that the Tea Party’s intellectual leader, Paul Ryan, co-authored with the bumbling Mr. Akin, the short-lived legislation deploying the term “forcible rape”, (as opposed to, I don’t know, the kind where the woman touches up her lipstick and gives the drunken thug her best “come hither” look). Ryan’s purpose in exploiting that term — i.e. pandering to the most superstitious, know-nothing instincts of his base — was to blunt an imagined scheme by Planned Parenthood to qualify all teen pregnancies as statutory rape … and have taxpayers pay for abortions.

It’s a “moral” thing with this crowd, you understand. Not that they’ve added anything to the prosecution of the characters who melted down the world economy.

With Karl Rove pulling his money out of Mr. Akin’s campaign, I see no way the pathetic doof survives. But the modern GOP has a deep well of like-minded “talent”. The party hierarchy has actively recruited and sponsored a small army of mini Torquemadas, people of often astonishing ignorance but reliable recklessness who can be counted on to advance the hierarchy’s primary objective — reduced tax rates for themselves — while creating no end of collateral damage along the way.

The lesson the party minders will take away from Mr. Akin’s “lapse” is a fresh set of talking points of “what to never say in public”.


43 thoughts on “The Conscious Strategy of “Legitimate Rape”.

    1. Mike Thomas says:


      I knew I would wake you up from your latte coma. What is your point? (Your link was broken anyway, re-fresh your bookmarks on your laptop)
      Akin is a lousy candidate, who is arguing? What you are trying poorly to say is that his thoughts echo all Republicans. If that is what you truly want to believe then you would have to assume that the likes of Blago, Bill Clinton, Al Franken (everyone’s favorite carpet bagger who is also a specialist when it comes to rape jokes), Alvin Greene who yes won the primary (sorry Democrats it’s true) Ku Klux Klan leader Robert Byrd (was still in office two years ago), offshore tax evading Charlie Rangel (let’s see his tax returns), land dealre Harry Reid,,,and so on….

      1. Jim Leinfelder says:

        The NYT link works when I click on it, Mike, unlike your “latte coma” line. Caffeine’s a stimulant.

        Anyway, give it another click or paste it into your browser and then read the piece, or Google any of the other pieces beyond your primary source, Wikipedia, about Greene’s inexplicable win in the South Carolina Democratic Primary at the time.

        Greene was completely unknown to the Democratic Party of South Carolina, such as it is, or pretty much anybody else. You dishonestly try to make it seem as though he were nominated at their state convention. Make an effort, Mike.

      2. Mike: As much as possible I try to make a distinction between “ordinary” Republicans and conservatives and today’s “modern conservatives”. The latter — embodied by Mr. Akin — is the issue here, and, as I say, he is not alone. Comparing Akin to Bill Clinton is one hell of a leap of hyperbole and beside the point of a superstition-free understanding of science.

        The healthy option for any and all “conservatives” would be to disavow this whole moronic crowd. The ‘liberal establishment” didn’t exactly have a broad strategy to encourage hundreds of Alvin Greene-types to run for public office.

        Among the many things that baffle me about conservatives, and not just politicians, who are not — or were not — pig ignorant about science is their reluctance to reflexively, instinctively say, “That is an idiot talking, get him off my lawn.” Worse for those who can’t bring themselves to make a clean, unambiguous break with the Akin-Bachmann-Gohmert crowd is that it so badly undermines their credibility on other issues. Would you take financial advice from someone who defended Todd Akin, much less Akin himself?

        Game-playing conservatives have been betting that buffoons like Akin and Bachmann would deliver reliable anti-Democrat votes. With Paul Ryan now attached to Akin’s borderline cretinism, the insurgency may be backfiring.

    1. Mike Thomas says:

      Um Professor Leinfelder..
      So to your logic then and I have read all the apologies for the Greene candidacy is that Democrat voters are too stupid to vote for the right people? That is pretty much it right? They are too stupid to obtain ID’s, too stupid to understand a ballot in Florida, too stupid to understand what to eat and drink or you name your favorite liberal program – the masses are too stupid to understand it.

      Nothing dishonest just pointing out that your home team (progressive, liberal, enlightened, etc) can pick out some real bone head candidates too. And I am no apologist for Akin, he should be removed from the ticket and never serve in public office, but to the contrary there is no evidence bedsides some assumption that every conservative believes in the ridiculousness of the comments he made. Some politicians find rape funny (Al Franken), some settle sexual harassment charges (Bill Clinton), some kill women (Ted Kennedy).

      It is not out of left field to bring up Bill Clinton as the left has absurdly created a campaign that if you are not for Obama that somehow you hate your mother, sister, and women. The keynote speaker at the RNC did not have to settle with a former female staffer or was disbarred for lying about cheating on his wife with a young intern.

      Oh and as for my latte comment, you know it was just one of those jokes not to be taken in literal science there. I will have to brush up on some more of your youtube videos you cut and paste into this blog to learn some of that “wacky” humor apparently I lack and you excel at.

      (setting the board game timer upside down now..go)

      1. Jim Leinfelder says:


        Take responsibility for this stuff you peck out, to wit:

        “And for you the leader of the modern Democratic party…..

        So, to answer your question: No. At most, conspiracy theories aside, Greene’s anemic candidacy is an electoral foot note, hardly “the leader of the modern Democratic party…” He’s never even held elected or party office. So, it’s not the masses’ lack of understanding that is an annoyance here. He’s simply not relevant to this discussion.

        As for your other points, yes, there is, in fact, ample evidence. It was Speaker Boehner himself who referred to these extremist members of his caucus who make his life as speaker so very difficult as “knuckle draggers,” when he characterized Rep. Ryan (coiner of “forcible rape”) as being not one of them.

        (Board game timer? What year is it over on the east side?)

    2. Mike Thomas says:

      Again Leinfelder, the insinuation from the blog post was that Akin represents the entire conservative base, that is just as thin of an argument as Alvin Greene representing the Democratic party. Or maybe Al Franken and his rape jokes (that is the main pulse of this emotional issue), Bill Clinton’s sexual accusations, or name any number of other mentally ill things your heroes did represent the principles you stand for. Again for the second time Akin needs to go away, what he said was wrong, mis-statement or not, he needs to own it and go away. What does that have to do with Eric Paulson, Norm Coleman, John Kline, and a whole list of other Republicans who have served office with dignity and respect (you can pick apart all my candidates but follow me here). By the way I do not recall in any of your hundreds of blog comments ever condemning Al Franken for making light of raping Leslie Stahl or any other sexually disgusting remark he made. But hey when it’s Al Franken everything is ok. These “jokes” were not made on live TV they were written and printed. That Harvard education really went to good use on that one. I can imagine if Tom Barnard or Bill O’Reilly had made a similar joke what the reaction from this rowdy crowd would be.

      And yes Professor Leinfelder I also used a retro reference on a board game minute timer. It is called humor, look into finding some. I though you were suppose to be “wacky”.

  1. I’m loving the GOP’s rebuttal strategy on Akin — namely, that it was the Democrats who ran ads for him, and five-term conservative from St.Louis western suburbs (not exactly off the big media radar) and crossed over to vote for him.

    Besides asking us to believe that Missouri Republicans were unaware of Akin’s bizarre notions of violent crime and biology, we are also being asked to believe they were in some way (hell, any way) vehemently opposed to his candidacy and have a deep pool of more reasonable. moderate candidates they would have pushed forward … had not those wily, diabolical Democrats messed with their machinery.

    What the likes of John Hinderaker and our trolls here refuse to accept is that they have sole, exclusive ownership of Akin-like think which is running rampant in their party today.

  2. Erik says:


    I do recall Akin’s nugget presented as fact during the course of freshman biology or sociology course I was enrolled in 25 years ago. The scientific underpinnings seem to have been at least or more legitimate as the somewhat contemporaneous speculation that domestic violence incidents spike on Super Bowl Sunday. This last chestnut being from the left and analogous as junk science in an equally absurd way.

    I don’t see any legs here. If McCaskill wins her seat it will be perhaps some consolation to Dems that GOP doesn’t get the Senate / Cong / POTUS trifecta.

    1. Jim Leinfelder says:

      Aside from your conveniently vague recollections from your freshman year in college reading like a deliberate lie, the comparison of Akin’s assertion and the bogus, but at least plausible, media myth that domestic violence goes up on Super Bowl Sunday, render your posting ludicrous.

      In service to what dubious end would the Super Bowl domestic violence myth have been? What, do you support domestic violence, Erik, or object to any societal efforts to reduce it? Or do you believe domestic violence does not exist generally? Or was this, in your mind, a left-wing plot against the Super Bowl?

      1. Erik says:

        Sigh. Chill Jim. I’m a pedanticist, and you know this as fact. I don’t / can’t conveniently embellish or lie about details. I’m OCD / aspergers on details.

        I’ve heard this Akin stuff before. It was a long time ago, and I’ve never circulated in Republican politics. I suspect I heard it as an undergrad. I’m googling a bit now, and there seems to be a history that predates all of us.

      2. Jim Leinfelder says:

        Yes, I’ve heard appalling assertions like Akin’s before, too. But not in any classroom, college or otherwise. I’m just going by your text, Erik. Vaguely recalling “hearing” this nonsense somewhere and then making the leap to the context of a college biology or sociology classroom, as though that in any way mitigates Akin’s remarks, is quite another.

        What’s your point, that Akin’s a victim of bad info while satisfying his undergrad distribution requirements?

      3. Erik says:

        My visual memory is of a professor saying it. I doubt he was quoting from text. I can’t put a name to this face. I had one professor who was arguably right wing, and this wasn’t him. FWIW.

        Akin is a dork, but suffice it to say I don’t share the outrage. I don’t buy into the argument that being stridently anti-abortion passes for misogyny. I don’t think most voter’s connect this to a larger picture of GOP misogyny. Akin is passable as the outrage du jour certainly. But even if it keeps the Senate from going GOP, I expect several blue dogs will cross over to enact President Romney’s economic agenda.

        I’m saying the glee derived from Akin being the outrage du jour and a reflection on … whatever…. is misplaced.

    1. Jim Leinfelder says:

      You’re attempting to equate an entire party’s policy based on deliberate, repeated and systematic misrepresentations of fact and one guy’s sexual proclivities. Do you actually lack the ability to make that distinction? Apparently.

  3. john sherman says:

    I remember when ignorance was bipartisan maybe in the late 70’s. Florian Chimeleski (sp?) a “pro-life” DFL state senator said on the floor of the Minnesota senate that it was impossible for a woman to conceive through rape because ovulation required orgasm.

    Eventually the idiots migrated to the Republican Party where they found a happier home.

    1. pm says:

      I remember Florian from his Tv show up in Duluth, “Chimileski Fun Time “.

      He might not have been too smart but he played a great polka on the accordion. I remember in particular his rendition of “I don’t want her you can have her she ‘s too fat for me”……

      1. Mike Thomas says:

        I am completely sure Al Franken published jokes about rape, completely sure Ted Kennedy drove off a bridge and left a woman to drown, completely sure John Edwards was cheating on his dying wife and then lied about paternity, completely sure Bill Clinton had to settle for sexual harrasment and also took advantage of a young intern. But alas the Democrats are the party for women!

      2. Jim Leinfelder says:

        Pretty sure these two lack the capacity to discern the difference between individual acts and public policy positions.

      3. Mike Thomas says:

        The above mentioned Democrat’s policies are typically wrong also as a matter a fact – point is in the wake of one moronic Republican candidate and a stand taken by the Catholic Church last spring Democrats are running on the mirage that they are the pro-woman party when the actions of some of their most revered leaders are very anti woman in their personal lives, hypocrisy at it’s best.

        Pretty sure you will not condemn a Democrat or liberal no matter how disgusting their personal or public actions are. Again I ask, do you condemn Al Franken’s jokes (written, planned, satiric or otherwise) on rape? Setting the casio digital timer…and go!

  4. Newt says:

    Which US Senator from MN said these words in 1995?

    “And, ‘I give the pills to Lesley Stahl. Then, when Lesley’s passed out, I take her to the closet and rape her.’ Or, ‘That’s why you never see Lesley until February.’ Or, ‘When she passes out, I put her in various positions and take pictures of her.’”

    1. Jim Leinfelder says:

      Is it in the Democratic platform, Newt? Because what Akin said IS in the GOP platform. As Will Rogers said, when Congress makes a joke, it’s a law. See, Franken was a spitballing writer on SNL when he concocted that unfunny, imaginary scenario. That’s what happens at late at night in writers’ meetings. But he’s not trying to get his joke memorialized into federal law. Can you grasp the very important difference?

      1. Newt says:

        You’re over-analyzing. Akin is anti-abortion. This is old news.

        Akin is an idiot for citing bogus medical information, and he got rightfully skewered by the press. Franken is an idiot for trivializing rape. Franken gets a free pass.

        Akin always was and will be anti-abortion. There is no change in the GOP platform as a result of Akin’s moronic comment or views.

        Obama favors partial-birth abortion into the third trimester.

      2. Newt says:

        Obama favors 3rd trimester infanticide over outlawing it.

        He voted against the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act.

  5. Newt says:

    BFD – one party supports abortion, the other opposes it. Both sides have an ample number of fringe kooks and misfits The Dems pretend that they have a lock on sanity – it ain’t so.

    1. Jim Leinfelder says:

      Newt, maybe Franken got out of comedy when he saw the way the far right murders irony day after day. I mean, just how does one satirize this steady flow of self parody?

      RNC Official: N.M. Governor ‘Dishonored’ Gen. Custer By Meeting With American Indians

      A progressive group called on Republican National Committee leader Pat Rogers to step down on Friday after emails showed him telling New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez’s staff that meeting with a group of American Indians “dishonored” Gen. George Armstrong Custer, the 19th
      century commander who killed scores of American Indians.

      “The state is going to hell,” Rogers, who is a member of the GOP executive committee and is currently in Tampa for the RNC convention, wrote in a June 8 email released by Progress Now New Mexico. Former Republican gubernatorial candidate Col. Allen Weh “would not have dishonored Col Custer in this manner,” he wrote.

      Martinez is required by law to attend the annual state-tribal leaders summit, according to Progress Now New Mexico, which called for him to step down.

      “Such a blatantly racist statement against our native people is offensive from anyone, but to come from a national GOP leader and lobbyist for some of our country’s largest corporations is indefensible,” Progress Now New Mexico’s executive director Pat Davis said in a statement.

      1. Erik says:

        Ahem. I’ll take this opportunity to note again that the Lakota and Cheyenne rebuffed Custer’s assault by using rifles with high capacity magazines.

        Alrighty…. This guy is a knob….. But I have a feeling there is some context missing. I bet his objection was not that Martinez was meeting with Indians, but that she was meeting with them on the anniversary of Little Big Horn, which would have been coming up in June when this email was written.

        I don’t see this guy as expressly racist. He’s a ludicrous military worshipper.

      2. Jim Leinfelder says:

        Pick the pejorative you prefer, Erik. It hardly matters. The guy’s a manifest imbecile. Even if one were to allow your for your credulous rationalization, none of the tribes in what is now New Mexico had anything to do with Custer’s last stand anyway.

        The adjective I’d use for him as a representative of the right-wing extremists to whom the mainstream of the GOP has mortgaged its credibility –typical.

      3. Erik says:

        I have no sense that’s indicative of extremism of any sort. It’s just a weird fetish. But yea, yea, whatever. Onion headline: Liberal misanthropes pretty sure GOP full of extremists.

      4. Mike Thomas says:

        Leinfelder, partisan hack he is simply will not condem a liberal regardless of how disgusting their personal actions are or hypocritical their political actions are.
        Intellectually dishonest as most of his arguments are the reality is Republican party is pro-life and the Democratic Party is pro choice. A moron in Missouri made ridiculous remarks and Leinfelder through his dillusion wants to believe that the majority of pro life candidates believe in the stupid garbage that came out of the platform. For that to be true than we can also assume the Democratic Party is pro partial birth abortion or pro welfare or pro illegal alien…sound ridiculous? That’s the thin argument Leinfelder tries to make. Leinfelder, make an effort buddy…

      5. Jim Leinfelder says:

        Erik, everybody’s pro-life. Some people, though, are anti-choice and many draw the lines for that choice at different places. Making up cynical phrases like “legitimate rape,” or “forcible rape,” and perpetuating nonsense about women being able to “shut down” pregnancy when they are raped, is magical thinking meant to obviate the need to draw the line at allowing women who DO get pregnant from being raped to end that pregnancy. Those people enjoy lots of political currency in your party. One of them is about to be anointed as the number two on your ticket.

        As to your example there in Cleveland, I’m not aware this alleged effort at domestic terrorism is enjoying any support from elected officials of either party, so I don’t see why you bring it up. Yes, bombings are bad, Erik.

      6. Erik says:

        I bring it up as analogous on the left. The Democrat party tries to both co-opt the Occutard message and entice the Occutards to vote for them. The Occutards enjoy currency in the Democrat party. And they are extremists.

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