The Party of Rape
Every time the GOP claims to have purged rape extremism, another Republican opens his mouth.
So much for the dogma about stress, shutdowns, and fabricated rapes. But Gingrey didn’t stop there. He also whitewashed Mourdock’s remarks: “Mourdock basically said ‘Look, if there is conception in the aftermath of a rape, that’s still a child, and it’s a child of God, essentially.’ Now, in Indiana, that cost him the election.”
Wrong again. Mourdock didn’t say a child of rape is a child of God. He said, “Even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen.” Children don’t happen. They aren’t events. Conceptions happen, and in the case of rape, there’s no conception without assault. You can spin whatever theological distinctions you like, but if you say God intended that conception, you’re implying that God intended the rape.
A day after the breakfast, Gingrey pretended his comments had been misinterpreted. “I do not defend, nor do I stand by, the remarks made by Rep. Akin and Mr. Mourdock,” he said. “In my attempt to provide context as to what I presumed they meant, my position was misconstrued.” Hogwash. Gingrey tried to rewrite Mourdock’s lunacy as a pro-life cliché. He said Akin “was partially right … and yet the media took that and tore it apart.” That’s a defense.
Akin, King, Walsh, Mourdock. A plurality of Republican nominees for the U.S. Senate. The National Republican Senatorial Committee. Now, the chairman of the Republican Doctors Caucus. Every time the GOP claims to have purged rape mythology, rape theology, and rape extremism, another congressman opens his mouth. What worries me isn't how many Republicans have repeated this stuff in public, but how many more believe it.
William Saletan's latest short takes on the news, via Twitter:
Will Saletan covers science, technology, and politics for Slate and says a lot of things that get him in trouble.