In Tampa, the GOP is wishing two things would blow over: Hurricane Isaac and Rep. Todd Akin’s comments.
Forty-eight hours after making the most regrettable comment of his political career, the Missouri Congressman is still apologizing. Since Monday, when he tried to distinguish between rape and “legitimate rape,” this six-term conservative has been the universal target of angry hysteria and public condemnation. And that’s just on the Republican side! Senate leaders, congressional leaders, and both presidential candidates have attacked Todd with the kind of ferocity that is usually reserved for the Anthony Weiners of the world.
Was his statement offensive? Absolutely. Was it inappropriate? Without a doubt. But if we abandoned every politician who made a ridiculous comment in their careers, there’d be no one left in Washington! Todd Akin has a long and distinguished record of defending women, children, and families–and unlike the GOP establishment, I refuse to throw him under the bus over one inarticulate comment for which he has apologized. If Congressmen Akin stays in the race, it will be up to voters to decide if his candidacy is a viable one. Until then, FRC Action is not going to walk away from a man whom we support based on a lifetime of service–not one indefensible moment.
Let’s not forget: While Todd’s comment may be in question, his character is not. For 12 years, he has consistently fought for legislation that honors marriage, human life, religious freedom, and national security. He also has a long record of opposing the commodification of women–in stark contrast to his opponent and liberal detractors, who promote groups like Planned Parenthood while ignoring how abortion harms them!
And while we’re on the subject of protecting women, Americans should know that it is Todd’s loudest critics who send billions of taxpayer dollars to an organization, Planned Parenthood, that tolerates statutory rape. As for the GOP, it has no rational basis for deserting Akin when it has stood by moderate Republicans who’ve done worse. Singling out Todd suggests a double standard, designed to drive out social conservatives.
Meanwhile, President Obama certainly didn’t waste any time pouncing on the chance to saddle the Republican Party with more “war on women” rhetoric. Within hours, the Obama campaign had already pushed “send” on a fundraising email trying to yoke the GOP platform to Akin’s misstatement. “Obama’s team is trying to make the [pro-life plank] scandalous by pointing out that it doesn’t have an explicit exception for victims of rape. But the fact is, there’s never been language about rape either way…” Ken Klukowski writes on Breitbart.
This is nothing but a manufactured controversy, aimed to misconstrue more than 32 years of stated GOP policy. “Obama’s allies say this silence is somehow an explicit refusal to allow exceptions for rape–[even] dubbing this pro-life plank the Akin Amendment”–despite the fact that Congressman Akin had nothing to do with the platform.
The fact that the Left has turned the pro-life plank (which dates back to Ronald Reagan) into an Akin controversy is just another example of slanted media coverage. (I await the same coverage on the “McCaskill language” of the Democratic platform which calls for taxpayer funding of abortion on demand!) The GOP is a party that respects all human life. Now is the time to stand by the leaders who fight for it.
LifeNews Note: Tony Perkins is the president of the Family Research Council.