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Aug 29 2012

Todd Akin is not an extremist

The Republicans want you to think he is a fringe candidate, a wacky loner who just said something outrageous. But when you look at the voting record of Minnesota's Republicans, it becomes really clear: they all vote almost exactly as Todd Akin would on every abortion-related bill that comes up.

It’s really rather stunning: Democrats and Republicans are extraordinarily polarized on this issue. With only a few wobblers, Democrats vote for issues that give women reproductive choices, while Republicans vote against them. If you don’t think there is a bit of difference between the two parties, just look at that one issue.

By the way, about those wobblers…they aren’t, really. If you look at the detailed voting records, you find that there are a few Democrats who are actually stealth Republicans — they consistently vote more like a Republican on women’s rights issues. One of them is, unfortunately, my own state representative, Collin Peterson. I never vote for him, and I can never vote for his Republican challenger, either. Can we please get a real Democrat to run for that office and topple him?

25 comments

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  1. 1
    qwints

    Unfortunately, the Republican base has been much more active at challenging incumbents who do not share their values than Democrats have. I also feel like most pro-woman politicians spend less time talking about the importance of women’s right and women’s health than anti-women politicians.

  2. 2
    FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!)

    Living in Australia, I fear these sorts of American conservatives far more than I do the Taliban. We have all sorts of measures in place to prevent bombings and the like, from airport security theatre to full on espionage. But what protects us when the world’s cultural powerhouse decides to export its loathsome misogyny? It already appears to be happening with evangelical and baptist mega-churches showing up here. All we need is to elect Tony “The Mad Monk” Abbot as prime minister and we too will end up in a fight to merely hold onto the rights women have now.

  3. 3
    dianne

    But what protects us when the world’s cultural powerhouse decides to export its loathsome misogyny?

    Nothing. Especially given that it’s a country that believes that it is called upon by god to provide moral guidance to the rest of the world.

  4. 4
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    Wait a second though, I’d agree that Todd Akin *is* an extremist – so I guess I’d have to add the rest of those republicans are extremists too.

    (Let’s not confuse “extreme” positions with majority or common ones even, hey?)

  5. 5
    megs226

    @ FossilFishy – me too. As an American woman of reproductive age, the thought of losing the rights to my own reproductive system terrifies me – TERRIFIES me – more than anything else. It should frighten everyone, regardless of gender or nationality.

  6. 6
    vaiyt

    Don’t remind me, FossilFishy. We have a growing amount of Evangelicals down here, and some of the large denominations are right on the American payroll.

    They don’t follow the prosperity cred (since a lot of their followers are dirt-poor and the Overton Window is way over to the left compared with the American one), but they already blocked attempts at pro-choice legislation in our Congress before, and pressured the current president into denying she was going to push for it.

  7. 7
    Nick Gotts

    so I guess I’d have to add the rest of those republicans are extremists too. – StevoR

    And that of course includes Newt Gingrich.

  8. 8
    lexie

    FishyFossil – I agree that it is very worrying and that it could spread here. What really worries me is that since I left my conservative church and found some friends brought up by more secular families in my experience people who haven’t been directly exposed to it don’t seem to take the rise in the religious right here seriously. I’ve found so many people here who seem to think that this is solely a US problem. I worry that this could lead to the religious right increasing much more easily as there is less push back than there should be.

  9. 9
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    *sigh* It’s always man talking time.

  10. 10
    PZ Myers

    Hush, woman. Don’t you have a fetus to concentrate on?

  11. 11
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    @7.KG :

    so I guess I’d have to add the rest of those republicans are extremists too. – StevoR
    And that of course includes Newt Gingrich.

    Yes.

    When it comes to abortion the whole party seems to be very much in the Coathanger lobby anti-choice camp and that does include Gingrich. Not that he has any particualr relevance to anything anymore.

  12. 12
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Hush, woman. Don’t you have a fetus to concentrate on?

    *kicks off shoes, heads back home to the kitchen*

  13. 13
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Seriously:
    We should have all figured out that Akin wasn’t an extremist long before now because: 1) he’s using the same exact fucking language about rape that Republicans have been using since their War on Women bullshit started and 2) a plank of the Republican party platform calls for an Amendment to the US Constitution that would recognize a fertilized egg as a person and extend 14th Amendment rights to that fertilized egg. (And here I am, wondering why the hell the wing of the Republican party that wants to repeal the 14th (anchor babies!) isn’t all up in arms over the language that the GOP is using.)

    It’s nice to have numbers and charts to back this shit up, but the fact that Republicans are anti-women scumbags should come as no surprise to anyone here.

  14. 14
    zb24601

    In Virginia’s 2nd district, we got rid of our Republican Congresswoman (Drake) by electing a person running as a Democrat (Nie). But he turned out to be a DINO (i.e., blue dog democrat). So he got little support for re-election and a Tea-bagger won (Rigell). Now we have a “Moderate” democrat running against our Tea-bagger. A moderate is as liberal as we are likely to get in Virginia’s 2nd district, but it will be better than we have had in a long time (IMHO).

    So, PZ, maybe you need to start voting for the Republican, in order to get the DINO out and a better candidate for the election after that.

  15. 15
    Reginald Selkirk

    Christian apologist William Lane Craig has Todd Akin’s back. That 5% pregnancy figure for rape which you have probably seen in the last week or so – it’s suspect because it’s from pro-choice sources. WLC has seen figures as low as 1%. Sources not cited. And if you’re one of those 1%, you’re screwed, WLC would not support a rape exception in an abortion ban. Also lengthy discussion of “legitimate” rape, and much more.

  16. 16
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Christian apologist William Lane Craig has Todd Akin’s back.

    Perfect. WLC can have a debate about abortions with an empty chair that represents a woman who is pregnant because of rape.

  17. 17
    Ingdigo Jump

    The chair is for WLC’s conscience

  18. 18
    Bart B. Van Bockstaele

    No, he is indeed not an extremist. If anything, he is mainstream. So mainstream that his ilk is not only common in the US, but they exist in other countries as well, such as in Holland where politician Van der Staaij makes the same claims about women not or extremely rarely becoming pregnant after being raped.

    Isn’t religion wonderful? It is always right. 100%. You have been raped and did not become pregnant? It was a legitimate rape. But, no harm done, since you are not pregnant.

    You have been raped and became pregnant? You are a filthy whore, and deserve what you got.

  19. 19
    crocswsocks

    At least the Democrats do vote for them. Sometimes it seems like they don’t do anything at all.

  20. 20
    nakarti

    Just like
    Ted Haggard is Completely Heterosexual, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HZmHC75FDqQ

  21. 21
    NitricAcid

    I was surprised by the idea that rape victims don’t get pregnant, but then I remembered reading of a woman who was convinced that Person A was the father of her child because he was the one who gave her an orgasm (which “everyone knows” is the sign of conception). So I shouldn’t be surprised that there are people who believe that you can’t get pregnant if you don’t enjoy it (or if it’s your first time, or…).

  22. 22
    ChasCPeterson

    I love how that guy in the last panel is fingering the knobt of his tie.

  23. 23
    michaelbusch

    I am somewhat encouraged to be voting in the 4th congressional district, and to have Betty McCollmum as my representative.

    But I’m confused by something. The MinnPost piece quotes HR1473, the 2011 budget, as including “D.C. abortion restrictions”. Pulling the final text of the legislation off of the Library of Congress legislation page (http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c112:H.R.1473:), I don’t find the word ‘abortion’ in it anywhere. Likewise for ‘pregnancy’ or ‘embryo’.

    I haven’t read all 451 pages of HR1473, but I’m wondering:

    -Was the MinnPost wrong on this one?
    -Is abortion being referred to by some odd euphemism?
    -Are the restrictions referred to in a rider not included in the text of HR1473, similar to the Hyde Amendment?

  24. 24
    HappiestSadist, Repellent Little Martyr

    Megs226@ #5: I’m in Canada, but when I got my tubes tied back in 2008 (and in the few years of trying to get that done), I gave the increasingly anti-choice climate as a reason. People generally acted like I was being a bit over the top. As the years creep on, people seem to think it wasn’t that unreasonable.

  25. 25
    JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness

    Hell, I had to fight and find a doctor that would even give me a 10 year IUD after I had my baby. I was 17 at the time. The doctor that finally did it was old enough to remember his doctoring days of before Roe v Wade and the horrors that happened.

    With all this shit happening, especially since AZ’s new fucked up laws, I really wish I could get my tubes tied. I’m worried I won’t even be able to get an IUD replacement in 5 years.

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