Monday, August 20, 2012
Posted by philmon at Monday, August 20, 2012
Got an email from Todd Akin tonight saying he is in it to stay. My vote was a tossup between him and Brunner. Akin's been there for 12 years, but he does have a good voting record.
And if it's between McCaskill and a rotting carcass, I'm voting for the carcass.
I agree the comment was boneheaded. I imagine the "stress" claim is junk science, and apparently enough people believe it that Planned Parenthood has it in their FAQ just to tell people it isn't (not that I'd run to Planned Parenthood for bias-free opinions, the point being the belief is apparently wide enough spread to get their attention). The fact of the matter is, only about 5% of rapes result in pregnancies in the first place .... probably because I don't imagine most rapists make it a priority to sit around calculating their victims' cycles ahead of time to figure out when optimal timing might be. With that one might expect 3/30 or 1/10 chance of actually getting pregnant -- but you have to figure in that many are too young or too old to get pregnant, and the act itself doesn't necessarily even involve penetration ... so ... And you know what? I'll even lay out the possibility (since I don't know for sure) ... that the stress claim is true. But it doesn't matter. The statistic doesn't even address the morality of the issue in the first place.
Akin was standing up for the right to Life, which is one of the reasons he's so popular. He just chose a poor argument (like I said, even if it turns out to be true).
It's like listening to Hannity, which I mainly avoid. I agree with most of his conclusions, but his arguments often drive me batty.
The "all abortion, all the time, for any reason, and we'll even try to talk you into it if you're hesitating at all" crowd (and don't forget Barack Obama's "hey, if you tried to kill 'em and failed and he comes out alive anyway, you can still kill 'em" position) runs straight to the "rape" argument every time. It's the first stop... the "safety" flag pole. But most people (not all, but most) even on the Pro-Life side would support a measure that made exceptions for rape victims -- all 5% of them that it will matter for. He was arguing "hey, not very many get pregnant anyway" which is true. Even the feminists don't claim more than 10% do. Where he really went wrong was going on to try to explain why that might be. Like I said, it only hurt his argument.
In the end, Akin's out to respect and protect human life, McCaskill's fine with throwing it in the garbage if it's inconvenient.
It pays to start with a position based on a principle and build your arguments from there. If you start your arguments from the conclusion and start grasping for explanations (especially in front of microphones or in emails) ... no matter how right your "starting" point was, you just end up hurting your cause.
UPDATE: Upon further reading it looks like most of the flap is over his use of the word "legitimate". Again, I agree... boneheaded.
On the other hand, "rape is rape" may be the prevailing Newspeak, but it's no more true than "murder is murder". There are varying degrees of murder, recognized by the law ... some crimes that fall under "murder" are far more heinous than others ... and only the boneheaded would disagree. If you add to it the fact that rape can now be claimed retroactively ... "hey, even if I acted willing, we didn't sign a contract and I've decided now that it was a bad idea and I now retroactively refuse" can now be considered in court ... I can see where one might come up with the word "legitimate" to distinguish it from these fuzzier re-definitions that have occurred over the years.
It's really not any different than Whoopie Goldberg on Roman Polanski, "I know it wasn't rape-rape. I think it was something else, but I don't believe it was rape-rape." So apparently Whoopie doesn't think "rape is rape", either.
Remember, NewSpeak is a language IngSoc used to keep the population from talking about differences between things and making distinctions and ... you know ... actually thinking. (and they introduced it slowly, over time, broadening the definitions of some words while dropping the words people used to use from the language. Is any of this at all sounding like it describes what we see going on today ... to you?)