Aug 21, 2012

What irritates me about media coverage and ultimately society is the incessant focus on a specific phrase or statement while totally ignoring context and the big picture.  The congressman supposedly used a poor choice of words.  I would argue that he used an accurate choice of words to describe the policy and legislation that he is advocating.  His problem was that he spoke too honestly.  He did not misspeak; his error was not adequately disguising his intentions.  Categorizing a horrific trauma such as rape is indeed offensive.  But the fact of the matter is if this man had not spoken honestly, this still would have been his agenda.  It probably still is a part of the GOP agenda.  There are others that are quietly pursuing this agenda. The media has uncovered that Congressman Paul Ryan, the GOP vice presidential nominee, has co-sponsored the legislation with this congressman.  This fact was mentioned, but glossed over. To me, that is a rather big story, an even bigger story.  Now the hot topic is the push for him to drop out of the senate race and him pleading his case for remaining in the race.  And this means what?  I do not know that he can be replaced since he won the primary.  But if he can be replaced, will he just be replaced with someone supporting the same policy, but knows how to talk around it?

Legitimate rape are the two words that everyone is focusing on.  Yeah it is completely foolish to think that our bodies on its own can prevent pregnancy due to trauma.  He apologized for being offensive but he is not changing his position on policy.  He said the rapist should be the one punished not the innocent child.  It doesn't even occur to him that the woman is being punished for having to carry, bear, and raise a child that will be a constant reminder of the trauma she suffered.  Who's to say that the mother will now have unconditional love for that child?  We all know of stories of mothers mistreating and even abandoning unwanted children.  Even if the mother is wonderful, what happens when the child asks about daddy? Finding out that daddy is a rapist and that he or she was conceived through rape can be a serious blow to a child's psyche, esteem, and development. So indeed the innocent child will indeed be punished. 

The Romney campaign released a statement saying that they support abortion in the instances of rape.  Does this mean that he will not pursue any changes to existing laws or will this be a bait and switch if he gets into office because so many other people will pressure him to stray from this position?  The latter would not surprise me.

So let's just say Congressman Akin caves to the pressure of his party and drops out of the senate race.  Will the attention on this particular policy just disappear?  History says yes.  The immediate headline should he drop out would say something along the lines of "Romney and GOP Dodged a Bullet."  I would say that they still took a hit because both women and men can see or at least should see right through their plot.  Getting rid of the congressman is no assurance that this agenda will not be pursued.  My hope is that the electorate will not forget this like the media will.
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