Thursday, October 25, 2012

What is it about ideologues and rape? Will it help or hurt Hoosier candidate

I’ll give Richard Mourdock, the Hoosier Republican who’s running for U.S. Senate, one bit of credit. He’s not offering up some phony-baloney non-apology for his comments concerning rape and pregnancy.
MOURDOCK: What was he thinking?

He’s standing solidly behind his statement that makes him sound like a buffoon.

THAT’S CALLED PRINCIPLES, I suppose. But at least the current Indiana state treasurer is not adding to the verbal trash that he initially spewed.

For it seems that the political people who want to appeal to conservative ideologues didn’t learn much of anything from the outcry that Senate candidate Todd Akin of Missouri caused when he referred to “legitimate rape.”

As though some acts of rape can be justified. A nonsense statement if ever there  was one.

Until Mourdock, the Republican with “Tea Party” alliances who knocked out long-time Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., in the May primary, came along.

WHAT BROUGHT UP the issue was a question about whether abortion should be restricted even in cases where a woman wants to end a pregnancy in a case involving a rape or incestuous conduct.

Even many Republicans who like to use the “pro-life” label and like to think they identify with the ranks of people who wish abortion were still considered a criminal act accept those areas as one where exceptions should be permitted.

Not Mourdock!
DONNELLY: Will he benefit?

As he put it, “I think, even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen.”

IS THAT REALLY how a rational human being thinks? God intends for some women to be raped? Perhaps Mourdock thinks that rape and pregnancy is “God’s way” of punishing the wicked! What hurts is that Mourdock’s attempts to clarify his meaning have been vague to the point of meaningless.

I really don’t know what to make of such a thought. Personally, I always thought of rape as another example of how some fairly crummy acts happen in life. The idea that there is some sort of thought process that can justify it is nothing more than absurd.

Yet this is the man whom Indiana Republicans picked to represent their political party in the Nov. 6 general elections, and for six years further should he manage to defeat Joe Donnelly – a South Bend attorney and member of the House of Representatives who has his own conservative ideological leanings.

But Donnelly gets Democratic backing – including some financial help in the way of fundraisers organized by Mayor Rahm Emanuel – because he will occasionally go along with President Barack Obama.

UNLIKE SOMEONE LIKE Mourdock, who seems to want to be a part of the faction that views itself as the “firewall” for society protecting us all from an Obama presidency.

The real question is how the Indiana residents (including those who live just across State Line Road from us) will react.

The Mitt Romney presidential campaign went so far as to issue a statement saying it “disagrees” with what Mourdock said, although later it came out with another statement clarifying that it still supported the Mourdock campaign. A part of me would not be surprised to learn that some Indiana residents react to that statement by dumping on Romney.

It might be construed as yet another example of how Romney isn’t really “one of them,” and how the party might have been better off with somebody like Michele Bachmann or Rick Santorum.

AS IT IS, various polls show the U.S. Senate from Indiana campaign to be a close one – so close that we don’t really know who’s leading (the dreaded statistical tie).

I don’t really know if this will weaken or strengthen Mourdock’s position. Among society as a whole, it hurts him.

But it becomes all too easy for the zealots to turn out in force and rely on the apathy of the masses to keep them at home on Election Day.


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