Congressman Akin’s Big Mistake

Todd Akin is in hot water.

Over the weekend, in an interview with local St. Louis reporter Charles Jaco from FOX 2, Congressman Akin made a statement which he now, I’m sure, deeply regrets. He said, and I’m paraphrasing here, that “legitimate rape” rarely caused pregnancies, and he stated that doctors had explained to him that women’s bodies could shut out pregnancy in cases of rape.

Let me be very clear from the beginning: there is no excuse for what Mr. Akin said. His comments were not only scientifically inaccurate, but emotionally inconsiderate. As someone who has very vocally supported Todd Akin for months now, I will be the first to admit that Todd Akin stuck his foot in his mouth, down all the way to the heel, maybe even up the ankle.

With that said, he’s since apologized. With that said, he’s admitted his mistake. With that said, he’s come back from the brink.

Still, the internet and Twitterverse today are alive with rumors, speculation, and demands that Todd Akin should or will withdraw from the election. GOP Senators Johnson and Brown have demanded he withdraw from the race. The Romney campaign has openly condemned his remarks, though they did not go so far as to call for the Congressman to withdraw. NRSC has asked for him to withdraw, and Crossroads have withdrawn their ads.

Todd Akin’s back is against the wall. He will, at least for the time being, receive little funding on the national stge. He is now the black sheep of the party; the lowest caste; the untouchable. The fact of the matter is that Todd Akin has been blacklisted.,,

But SHOULD he have been?

Everyone knew that Akin was very Conservative, especially on religious issues. Everyone knew that he was against all kinds of abortion. Everyone knew that, when asked,this would be his position.

Did Todd Akin screw up? Yes. Does he deserve rebuke? Yes. But his statement, while misinformed, while inconsiderate, wasn’t malicious. Todd Akin was saying this for base political gain. Todd Akin says less for base political gain than any politician I’ve ever seen. He is a man who firmly believes in what he says, whether or not others agree with him. He’s voted against party lines, against the personal requests of President Bush, because he believed the votes were wrong. He believes abortion is wrong.

What Todd Akin said was indefensible. He has apologized. Clearly, what he said was not what he intended to mean. If you want to disagree with a politician because of his beliefs, that’s fine. But if you want to quarter a man because he misspoke, even egregiously so, you have another problem.

I’ll rehash here what I said on Twitter:

I hope you won’t judge me harshly for still supporting Akin. I’m not supporting his comments. I’m supporting the decent man who made them.

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