Sometimes I wonder why politicians ever open their month. The last couple of weeks have been crazy.
First, you have Congressman Todd Akin choking on his own foot over the issue of rape and pregnancy. Now the guy actually thinks he still has a chance to win. That alone shows a degree of political dementia that should disqualify him from the race. And the sad thing, or good thing — depending on your political orientation, is the idiot may cost his own party the White House and control of the Senate.
If you don’t say something stupid yourself, there are plenty of people out there who are more than willing to tell the world that you did. The latest involves Paul Ryan, who, a slew of liberal political bloggers would tell you, described rape as “just another method of conception.”
Shock! Horror! Won’t these Republicans ever learn?
However, when you look at the context of his entire sentence and his entire answer, you can see that his statement was not shocking, and actually wasn’t addressing rape anyway. His statement addressed the question of the “life-status” of an embryo.
“I’m very proud of my pro-life record. I’ve always adopted the idea that the method of conception doesn’t change the definition of life…”
He could have just as easily have said something like “…regardless of how the insemination occurred…”
If you are “pro-choice”, there is plenty in that statement for you to contest. You may disagree with his view on the start of human life, but, in context, it’s difficult to classify that as an unbelievably offensive statement.
Being an equal opportunity critic, let me jump in on the President’s side. He has been famously taken to task for saying that “…if you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that.”
How many people who have expressed shock and dismay have actually read the entire statement and understood what he was trying to say? In context, he was saying that no one works in a vacuum, and that we need to work together to accomplish great things. Not very controversial, is it?
I don’t want to take anything away from someone who has built a successful business. They deserve acclaim. But the President has a point. How many of them benefited from the support offered by society, in general terms like infrastructure and education, but also in specific terms, like tax-breaks, low interest loans, employment services, even the generous commercial lending climate encouraged by the Federal Reserve in the pre-2007 years, and so on.
You can agree or disagree with the President, but again, in context, that is not really a totally outrageous statement.
And we still have two and a half months until the November election. Oh my!