While Trying to Silence Todd Akin, the GOP Adopts His Abortion Stance as Its Official Position
While establishment Republicans are sweating bullets trying to get Missouri Representative Todd Akin to withdraw from his senatorial campaign for speaking the truth as to what Republicans believe about abortion, the party has incorporated Akin’s stance into its official platform:
In what will probably strike many people as a monumentally tone-deaf move, the GOP plans to include a plank in its 2012 platform calling for an amendment that would outlaw abortions under any circumstance. CNN reported on the draft language it obtained on Monday night, and the platform committee approved it on Tuesday:
This plank isn’t new for the GOP; it was also part of the party’s platform in 2008. But given the major flap this week over Missouri Republican Todd Akin’s remark that women who are the victims of “legitimate rape” can’t get pregnant and therefore a rape exception isn’t necessary, the release of the draft language arrives at a pretty bad time for the GOP. Scores of Republicans have condemned Akin’s remarks. But by including it in the platform, the party is formally aligning behind a position that shows the same disregard for women who are the victims of rape that Akin got pilloried for vocalizing.
The last few words there are key: “got pilloried for vocalizing.” Republicans would rather not talk about their no-abortion-ever stand. If they did, they might lose the all-important independent vote. Akin isn’t being pilloried for his beliefs, he’s being pilloried for talking about them in such a public forum. Republicans agree with him ideologically; it’s just that they hope to win elections by keeping quiet about that, and then to stealthily slip laws under the door, in the middle of the night, to codify those beliefs.