Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Akin Stays In Senate Race: Excellent News For Democrats

Rep. Todd Akin (left), Republican opponent of Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri, received calls from party leaders to exit the race following remarks on Sunday that victims of "legitimate rape" rarely get pregnant and if they do, they should not get an abortion. Akin defied his colleagues, stating that he'll remain a senatorial candidate. That is excellent news for Democrats.

Akin has divided the GOP between those who want him to stick to his positions and those who, pragmatically, want him to do no further damage by truthfully stating Republican ideas. He has heightened McCaskill's chances for re-election and made the Republican quest to take over the Senate more difficult. He has brought new attention to Romney's flip-flopping on abortion and Ryan's extreme positions–positions that resemble Akin's. Indeed, Akin reflects today's extremist Republican Party, whose platform condemns abortion and contains no rape exception. Akin exposes the Republicans' war on women, and that is why party leaders want him to step down.

Let those who might vote for Akin consider the mistrust for women contained in the words "legitimate rape"–a concept shared with other Republicans. Let them consider his absurd views on female reproduction. Let them think about whether women who are raped and impregnated should be forced to bear their rapist's child. Finally, let them reflect on the fact that Todd Akin represents current GOP beliefs. Akin brings all this out in the open, rendering his continued candidacy an overwhelmingly positive development.

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