“When you shoot from the hip, you risk blowing off an important appendage.” — North’s law of unrehearsed comments.
Congressman Todd Akin takes a “no exceptions” position on abortion. Anyone who runs for office who holds this position had better know why. He never did. He still doesn’t.
He is running for U.S. Senate in Missouri.
If you run for office, and you say that your position on the most controversial campaign issue is not negotiable, then you must master the logic of your position. You must also rehearse your answers. This well-meaning dork did neither.
The hard core position is this: “Abortion is murder.” This requires you to call for the prosecution of the abortionist, the nurse, and the mother as murderers. This is the inescapable logic of the position. It is politically unacceptable. So, no one in the anti-abortion movement comes clean on this. This has always been true. Here is the public position: “Abortion is murder, but the civil sanction against murder in my state should not be applied. Maybe the state should impose a fine. I don’t know. But abortion is really mean. I’m opposed to it personally.” It is an untenable position politically. It is an untenable position logically and judicially.
This is why the anti-abortion organizations are useless, and always has been. They soft-pedal the crime. They want votes. The anti-abortion position is tenable only on the basis that abortion is murder, but the heads of these outfits are trying to play politics, so they duck the obvious question: “What is the appropriate penalty for murder?” This is why the movement is hopeless: no brains, no backbone, and no clarity. Its leaders are ashamed of the judicial implications of their position. “No, no, no: we don’t hold that.” To which the reporter should reply: “Then is abortion murder?”
The softer core position is this: “The child’s life must always be protected. The state must speak judicially on behalf of the unborn person.” It is squishy to the extent that it refuses to demand that the state prosecute for murder. The state speaks for all other victims of murder by imposing sanctions for murder, but not for victims of abortion. This is the position of the anti-abortion movement. So, hardly anyone takes this movement seriously. That is because people perceive that the movement does not take abortion seriously.
Anyone running for Congress should take this position: the federal government should have no jurisdiction here, for the Constitution lists only counterfeiting, treason, piracy, and felonies on the high seas as federal crimes. Therefore, the Supreme Court has overstepped its lawful jurisdiction in ruling on a state crime. Therefore, Congress should exercise its constitutional authority and remove abortion from the court’s jurisdiction. Article III, Section 2 states:
In all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, and those in which a State shall be Party, the supreme Court shall have original Jurisdiction. In all the other Cases before mentioned, the supreme Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact, with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make.
Akin failed to understand any of this. So, when asked the standard question — “What about victims of rape?” — he made a fool of himself. He said raped women don’t often get pregnant. His answer is all over the Web and the media.
He moved from legal protection of the child to the convenience of the mother. He gave away his position, and he looks like a dork in the process.
Now the dork has produced a video with an apology. He focuses on the protection of the woman in his video. The judicial issue was never the protection of the woman. It was protection of the child from a murderous mother who was the victim of a rape, and who wants to kill the child.
In his answer he says his wording was wrong. It sure was! He makes no attempt to explain his position. He thereby surrenders his position. He says that rape is a very bad thing. Well, duh.
The Republicans had a shot at a 51-vote majority in the Senate before this dork won the nomination. Odds at betting sites now say the Democrats will keep control of the Senate.
Harry Truman said it best: “If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.” Akin should never have run. If a politician cannot figure out why he holds his #1 controversial opinion, he should go into another line of work. Voters will have an opportunity in November to assist him in making new career plans.