The Party of Legitimate Rape Strikes Again

It is truly illuminating to hear the current crop of Republicans, especially their not so illuminated menfolk, expound their views on rape. And their views, which are so extraordinarily extreme, speak volumes as to who controls the modern GOP. In Missouri, Rep. Todd Akin now running against Senator Claire McCaskill thinks that not all rapes are "legitimate" basically implying that some women just ask for it. He further went to mouth off such quackery that in any other country, he would have been laughed into oblivion. Said Todd Akin, “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down."

No Mr. Akin, the body does not have that capability. And shame on you for rape is rape.

But the shameful ignorance doesn't end there. Over in neighboring Illinois, first-term Rep. Joe Walsh just last week noted that abortions are "absolutely" never necessary to save the lives of pregnant women. "With modern technology and science, you can't find one instance," Walsh said. "There is no such exception as life of the mother, and as far as health of the mother, same thing."

While we are all aware that the modern GOP is not the party of science, this ignorance is beyond the pale. My Aunt Miriam, aged 46, died in 1970 having bled to death because doctors refused to abort a fetus that had turned in a malignant tumor. She hemorrhaged to her death in a country where abortion remains largely illegal. It was only in 2006 after decades of pressing for a few exceptions did Colombia's Constitutional Court grant the right to an abortion in cases of rape, incest or when the mother's life is in danger. So read this correctly, what Joe Walsh wants is for women like my aunt to bleed to death. I find this morally repulsive.

And now we are told that rape is an act of God. In Indiana, Richard Mourdock, the man who ended Dick Lugar's 36-year Senatorial career because he was deemed too centrist, claimed yesterday in a debate that pregnancies from rape are "something that God intended to happen".

One wonders is Mr. Mourdock a candidate for a post in the secular US Senate or is he a candidate for the ministry in some bizarre cult? Well to be frank, he, like Akin and Walsh, is already a member of a bizarre cult called the Tea Party and that cult is who effectively controls the modern GOP.

Please help defeat these extremists by donating to Democrats who fight to keep abortion safe, legal and rare:

Missouri Senate Race: Senator Claire McCaskill

Eighth Congressional District of Illinois: Tammy Duckworth

Indiana Senate Race: Joe Donnelly for Indiana

IL-14: The Losing Strategy

What happens in Podunk shouldn't stay there.  Or at least if it does, the Democratic Party Establishment, the corporate wing of the Democratic Party, the Blue Dogs among us, will have won one more unrecorded battle against those of us who want real change.

What's happening most immediately in the IL-14 corner of Podunk (a term I use here to describe anything not directly inside the DC Beltway) is a primary and a special primary on Tuesday, between the DC insider "pick" for our district, an attorney who is a relative newcomer to both politics and our area, and John Laesch, the nominee against Denny Hastert last time out, and the only progressive in the race.

At this point, I'd call it a significant bellwether for the upcoming Congressional elections that virtually no one outside of IL-14 is paying much attention to in the glare of the presidential race, as well as a bellwether event in the battle for control of the party.  So while I don't expect this diary to get much attention, I want to leave a record of what has happened in this primary.  Bellwethers, however unobserved at the time, sometimes have a way of becoming useful history for those who follow.  

There's more...

Duckworth Looks at Another Run in Illinois 6

(Just as an aside as I quickly connect to the internet from O'Hare airport in Chicago en route to Portland: As I alluded to in my previous post, I was hoping to be able to use my wireless broadband card from ATT/Cingular to connect my MacBook Pro to the internet this weekend so I could blog during a family vacation, but simply put the card did not work even though there was more than sufficient coverage from the company where I was. A few of you recommended switching over to Sprint. Do others agree? Any other suggestions for those in my boat who have a Mac and want to have wireless broadband coverage?)

According to a blog post from the Chicago Sun-Times' columnist Lynn Sweet, one of the Democrats' most heralded and watched 2006 congressional candidates, Tammy Duckworth, is looking at possibly making another bid for the House in 2008.

Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs chief Tammy Duckworth told the Chicago Sun-Times she is considering a second run for Congress, torn this Memorial Day weekend over whether she can do more good for vets in her current post or in the House.

Duckworth, a wounded Iraq war vet, is weighing a rematch with Rep. Peter Roskam (R-Ill.) in the west suburban 6th District after a narrow loss to him in 2006.

"I am wrestling with it on a daily basis," she said when we talked Sunday.

Without wading into previous debates over the role of the Democratic Congressional Committee in the primary in Illinois' sixth congressional district during the 2006 cycle, I just want to take the opportunity to lay down a few thoughts on the prospect of another run by Duckworth in 2008.

I am not inherently opposed to Duckworth running again, at least in part because I think she can win in the district, which leans about three points towards the Republicans in presidential campaigns, according to the Cook Partisan Voting Index. But if she is to run again, I believe it would be in her best interest to run a fundamentally different campaign in 2008 than she did in 2006.

Take Nancy Boyda as an example. During the 2004 cycle, when she first ran against Jim Ryun as a much touted candidate for the Democrats, she matched the Republican incumbent almost dollar for dollar with strong support -- and perhaps too much advice -- from Democrats inside the Beltway, losing by a 15-point margin. In 2006, however, Boyda ran a significantly more grassroots-focused campaign with less support and attention from the Beltway, but managed to win by a 4-point margin despite being outspent by a significant amount of money.

This, of course, is not to say that Duckworth should forsake campaign contributions in a potential 2008 run. Far from that. But if she wants to run and win in 2008, I would hope that she would learn from her mistakes during the 2006 cycle as well as the successes of candidates like Boyda and New Hampshire's Carol Shea-Porter, both of whom were able to overcome the odds to win by relying more heavily on the grassroots than those in the Beltway.

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Massa on Fox, Democracy Now, Tue. Dec. 12

24 year Navy Veteran & Fighting Dem Eric Massa, who narrowly lost to Rep. Randy Kuhl in New York's 29th district in 2006, will be on Fox's Martha McCallum show today, Dec. 12 in the 1:00 PM hour (EST). Schedules are subject to change.

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Fighting Dem Documentary: Discovery's "Taking the Hill"

Last week I saw a partial screening (55 minutes) of  one of the best political documentary films I've ever seen, "Taking the Hill".  The final product (90 minutes) airs on the Discovery Times Channel this Tuesday, Dec. 12, at 9:00 EST.  Discovery Times is available on most digital & satellite cable systems.

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