What was Todd Akin thinking...? Really.

Paul Evans

Soon-to-be former US Senate Candidate Todd Akin (R, Missouri) is either an idiot, insane, or the most committed (albeit wrong-minded) politician in modern political history.

Soon-to-be former US Senate Candidate Todd Akin (R, Missouri) is either an idiot, insane, or the most committed (albeit wrong-minded) politician in modern political history.

And for the record, he might just be all three.

After explaining his opinion on the differences between "legitimate" rape and what can only be supposed to be "illegitimate" alternatives, the six-term Congressman has become a lightning rod.

The kind that glows in the dark...

Like the puppy that actually catches the bumper of the passing truck, Akin is surprised at the magnitude of the storm now enveloping his campaign.

After all, he has been in public life for years and likely said similar things.

Right now he might just be the only Republican Nominee for the US Senate hoping the media will increase its focus on the stories about GOP skinny-dippers in Israel.

And truth be told, the story of GOP Congressmen stripping, running through the streets of Israel, and swimming in the nude - appears to be back page news.

It is an interesting time.

The Republican Party is at a crossroads.

No longer satisfied with being the foot-soldiers, the true-believers are now pushing for seats at the big table. And that comes at a high cost for the "establishment" Republicans.

It means cutting the budget - even the tax loopholes, DoD Budget, and sweetheart international deals establishment Republicans favor.

It means using the government to "engineer" social behaviors based upon "right-minded" values - a tricky wicket because most Americans do not favor such actions.

And it means keeping men and women "different" through policies on abortions, birth control access, and employment law.

Make no mistake about it, this clash is about rape - but it also about far more than rape.

The underlying issues involve social control, the power of women, and the direction of the Republican Party.

For years the establishment suits have been able to have it "both ways" - passing laws that secured the grip of the elite in economic terms, while doing enough on "social policies" that most self-identified grass-roots conservatives were content.

No longer.

The good news is that most Americans have some common sense.

Most Americans want a strong government, a government that does more good than harm, and at a price we can afford.

Most Americans want both a fair-market and freedom - to detemine for ourselves how best to live our lives in ways that do not hurt others, in ways that allow us to live by and through our own conscience.

And most Americans do not confuse themselves with trying to define "bad" rape, from "good" rape... We know that rape is rape, is rape.

The ugly truth is this: some men rape women (and men) for purposes of power. However, only women can become pregnant as a result. If men could become pregnant as a result of rape - we would probably not be having the debate underlying this controversy.

No woman should have to justify a choice about their health, period.

The Almighty gave us free will that no government should have the power to challenge, frustrate, or take away.

Choice transcends our experience, and it is time we began remembering the value of real freedom, and its real price.

On issues of choice, men have only one choice - trusting women to make choices regarding their bodies - anytime, everytime, all the time.

At some point our America will move past this debate, and we will be a stronger community as a result.

As for Akin, the next week will be roller-coaster ride of epic proportion.

In the end, Akin will likely retire from public life. Money will dry up, the "important people" will stop returning calls. And the message will be sent from the Romney/Ryan Ticket campaign staff.

But if he doesn't... this already hyper-charged political environment will become even more heated. For Romney, the worst outcome is Akin remaining the standard-bearer in a swing state - in a race that could have (at least theoretically) helped the Republicans regain the US Senate.

Soon enough we will see if the reactionary right (and its committed field grade officers - like Akin) has the chops to survive this fight for the nomination (for the US Senate).

Elections matter, and this sad story more than many, tells the tale.

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    From what I have read the Todd Akin theory of rape and conception is not new. It's been around in the anti-abortion movement since the 80s. It's another illustration where ideology trumps reason. If you want something to be true, then it is. There is extremism among us. Except now it is ruling one of the major two parties in our country.

    The GOP is funded by Koch Industries, the brothers whose father cofounded the John Birch Society. The John Birch Society and its ideology used to be considered a fringe extremist group in the political spectrum. Today the Party of Lincoln is dead and gone. What we have in its place is the John Birch Society, and we continue to have dishonest Republicans around to pretend that the Republican Party is still a party of reason and in the mainstream.

    Paul Ryan and Todd Akin are partners in redefining rape in Congress. They are on the same page that victims of rape who receive an abortion should be criminalized. Paul Ryan is second on the national ticket and has more clout than #1.

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    Just so we are aware, Todd Akin is not an aberration. He represents what the base of the GOP thinks. To this point he has advocated the end of school lunches for hungry low income children, the repeal of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Until this public embarrassment he has had the full throated and full dollar support of the GOP. These are their positions. Restoring legalized segregation, ending school lunches, re-legalizing Jim Crow voter oppression. Privatize the Soc. Sec. "Ponzi Scheme" to Wall St. Privatize and Voucherize Medicare. This is the party and positions that so-called "moderates" like our own Jack Roberts defend and support.

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    Todd Akin is about to announce he is not leaving the race. Wonder what the consequences of his decision will be?

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