Whether Todd Akin is a suitable Republican candidate for the House of Representatives in face of his inexcusable blunder on how babies come into the world is a decision that the people of Missouri will have to make on their own I suppose. Far be it from anyone in the State of Illinois to dictate candidacy standards to the rest of the nation. It's not like we're some shining beacon on the hill in that regard.
Still, Akin's less than stellar understanding of the female reproductive system? I'm telling you, it's like something out of a 1950s biology textbook; I'd like to vet him on his knowledge of pregnancy via toilet seats since we're on the subject of old wives tales, but even if he's not an appropriate option for Congress, there may still be some wiggle room as a VP choice if he'd be willing to switch parties, so he does have that going for him.
For Akin's sake, that might be his wisest course of action. Ignorance frequently comes off as sacramental rites of passage when you have a 'D' after your name. There's no escaping the immutable truth… the big 'R' that follows the names of Republican candidates comes with a level of accountability that not everyone can hold themselves to, and as much as the conservative media wants to circle the wagons on this mess and defend the indefensible, I prefer being in a party that has at least some understanding of culpability. Of course, that's just me. Winning is nice but being right is usually better.
Since the subject of abortion has now been broached as an official theme for the 2012 election cycle and Republicans find themselves on the wrong end of Rahm Emanuel's rapid fire response to Akin's rhetorical vomit – proving once and for all that at least some semi-automatic weaponry is legal in the Windy City – perhaps it should be time for the GOP to get its ducks in a row and think about where the party stands on this growing culture of death that we call reproductive choice. Better late than never, because the Republican Party's deer in the headlights reaction to questions about abortion in the case of rape or incest is…painfully tedious. Stunned silence followed by mumbling stammers is not a response that exudes any level of moral authority. With or without Akin's biology tutorial which includes his newly revised flight plan for the storks, the topic of abortion was going to present itself eventually. Again. Far be it from me to suggest to the GOPs power brokers that they should have some answers prepared on the subject, but there you have it. They should probably start thinking about it.
So it breaks down like this. You've got certain justifications for abortion that large portions of society have deemed preferable to the so called punishment of a pregnancy and this conflicts with the heartfelt conservative belief that abortion is always wrong. Holding to that belief comes off as extreme when the situation surrounding the abortion becomes extreme. On the face of it, this immovable conviction seems to lack compassion. But it does not. A growing number of people say, "Giving birth to a child who was the result of a rape is salt in the wound for the victim."
And yes, it most certainly is.
But so is an abortion. And this is the unchallenged flaw with the abortion solution right from the get-go. Killing one's baby does not end the pain associated with rape. At best, it sublimates it. At worst, it acerbates it. This is a misdirect from the valid point that a woman should not ever be put into the intolerable position of choosing nine months of gestation over the death of her child in the first place. In the case of a rape, the physical act of violating another human being sets into motion a series of events that shatters lives. And that fact is in no way improved by physically violating an unborn child's rights as some malformed act of reparation. You see, that's the problem with the Left's compassion because they don't deal with the act of violence in their demand for reproductive justice. They perpetuate it by doubling down.
Here's a question. How do we deal with the criminal who committed the rape in the first place? The sins of the felon are paid in full with the blood of a child and no one blinks an eye because compassion demands that the victim not be punished with an unwanted pregnancy, but how does the rapist make amends? In jail for a few months? Maybe some psych evaluations to give the illusion of rehabilitation and then out he goes on to the street to sin no more? What is the recidivism rate for rapists? According to a 1998 study which followed convicted rapists after they were released from prison, 50% of these men committed additional criminal offenses within 5 years of their discharge. 26% percent of these men committed violent crimes and 16% of them committed sex crimes. That's huge. And that's the real problem – not this red herring we call reproductive freedom.
Side bar - I'm not sure how many of the violent offenders actually ran for Congress on the Democrat ticket after their release. The study makes no mention of that kind of data, so I guess that's a discussion for another day. The fact remains the same. We demand an option for the death penalty for an unborn child but we do not demand the same punishment for the rapist. Why is that?
And that brings us to our unresolved discussion of legal versus moral which is the argument that the members of the GOP leadership should be having instead of staring at their shoes and wishing this topic of conversation would just go away.
The Republican Party cannot alter the fact of abortion. The Supreme Court made abortion the law of the land with Roe v Wade. With this dam broken, all we can do is stem our culture of death's tide by suggesting limitations to the growing list of preciously guarded rights that America women can expect for their biological suffering. Are Republicans going to impede a woman who has been raped from getting an abortion? No. They are not. First of all, they can't and most wouldn't if they could. Are they going to pretend that it's moral for a woman to kill her child even in the case of rape or incest? Again. No. They are not. It's not the right solution to the violence, but it is a woman's right to be wrong and that's that.
Here's an idea. Could we move forward to a criminal code which actually punishes the men who commit heinous acts of violence against women with the death penalty? Well, gosh. I guess that's not a very nice thing to suggest. Because why? It's an overreaction to this kind of criminal act? Should not a rapist receive at least the same punishment that an unborn child can expect to get? Would not the promise of a lethal injection at least give some rapist a momentary pause before he destroys the lives of his victim and an unborn child? Is it really so radical to want actual solutions to the problems associated with violent crimes or is society Hell-bent on its own victimhood?