Despite the fact that the economy is horrible, much of the media has seized on the absurd comments of Senatorial candidate Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO), who said:
“It seems to me, from what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare,” Mr. Akin said of pregnancies from rape. “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. But let’s assume that maybe that didn’t work or something: I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be of the rapist, and not attacking the child.”
Yes, he said that. It’s stupid. It defies science.
I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who legitimately thinks that. Wait, nevermind, I’ve met Todd Akin. Correction: I’ve met one person who thinks that, despite Akin’s futile attempts to walk back his comments (i.e. telling Piers Morgan he’d go on his program and then not show up).
I’m of the view that Todd Akin should have stepped aside. Maybe he’ll do it later, or maybe he won’t at all. He won the GOP nomination, after all. Maybe he feels he should fall on his sword and lose or something gentlemanly like that — but that’s doubtful. More likely, he still thinks he can win, I guess. He should step aside.
In the wake of Rep. Akin’s comments (which have inspired everything from memes to fundraising pitches for Democrats) many people took to facebook and twitter to voice their outrage — Republicans and Democrats.
But it has spurred people asking stupid questions or making dumb declarations. HuffPo tweeted “Should men vote on women’s issues?” A friend informed me a gal wrote on his wall “men shouldn’t be able to vote on women’s issues.”
This is absurd. How would such a regime work? What would it apply to? What is a “woman’s issue?” — how would it be defined? Would it apply at all levels of government — including courts — and on ballot initiatives?
It doesn’t matter because it’s highly unlikely that any regime would be constitutional. Don’t respond to stupid with stupid.
Guess what? People who make crazy statements, offensive statements, and the like all usually share something in common — unless they’re felons or under 18 — the right to vote.
And hey, even some of these people get elected to make decisions for us. Surprise! There are a ton of them in office.
A few examples:
Akin’s opponent, Senator McCaskill once said:
Sen. (then-candidate) Claire McCaskill, D-Mo.: After Hurricane Katrina, President Bush “let people die on rooftops in New Orleans because they were poor and because they were black.”
Senator Patty Murray praised Osama Bin Laden. Vice President Biden suggested a loose correlation between budget cuts and rapes. Rep. Lynne Westmoreland wants the 10 commandments displayed in Congress and cannot name them. There are probably 400 other incidents of elected officials — or candidates — saying thoughtless things that I could compile if I wanted, and you get the point.
Are all of them on the level of Rep. Akin’s comments? No. But some are. If voters don’t want people they think are thoughtless or dumb representing them, this is why we have elections.
But you can’t regulate thoughtlessness out of the picture by saying moronic things like “men shouldn’t vote on women’s issues” because in our system, they do have that right.
And in our system, stupid people get to vote, too. You know, people who make comments like “men shouldn’t vote on women’s issues.”