Uncategorized

MEMO: The Consequences of Crazy, Volume 2: Todd Akin is a Legitimately Bad Candidate

“First of all, from what I understand from doctors, [pregnancy from rape] is really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”

– Todd Akin, The Jaco Report, August 19, 2012

Displaying an incomprehensibly poor understanding of human female biology and raising disconcerting questions about what distinguishes a “legitimate” rape from presumably lesser rapes, Rep. Todd Akin forever entered the political lexicon and emerged as a national punch line with his comments on “legitimate rape.”

For casual observers, the comments raised the question of how an individual holding such an extreme view not only wins a Senate primary, but holds onto a seat in the House of Representatives for over a decade. Indeed, such concerns are well warranted. Rather than an isolated incident, these remarks are just the latest in a long line of outrageous comments from Akin.

With the deadline passing for Akin to withdraw his name from the November ballot, Republican strategists are wishing that they had had a way to shut down his whole candidacy. Instead, they are finding out that these are the consequences of nominating crazy.

Top Ten Crazy Akin Moments:

10) Akin Compared Children’s Health Insurance To The Titanic. During a floor appearance in the House of Representatives on August 1, 2007, Akin said: “Madame Speaker, we can all think of instances where some great calamity was about to happen, and yet we have to stand by, powerless to help. Like the pilot of the Titanic, he sees the glacier emerging through the mists, he spins the wheel too late. And that is the case this morning, not with a steamship, but with SCHIP, the State Children’s Health Insurance Plan. It doesn’t take any towering intellect to see the problems. We’re going to vote to tax Americans with private health insurance, and we’re going to take the benefits away from older Americans with their Medicare, and we’re going to give that money to give free health insurance to children with families making more than $80,000, children of illegal immigrants. All of history suggests that socialized medicine is not the way to go. And yet, we are about to vote, the Democrats are about to vote for something which will make the Titanic wreck look small.” [C-Span Video Archive, House Session, 8/1/07] [11:25 – 12:35]

9) Akin Opposed Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Bill Because It Would “Increase Hatred In America,” And Because It Ran “Counter To Everything American Law Has Ever Stood For” By “Elevating One Group Over Another Group.” During a floor appearance in the House of Representatives on April 29, 2009, Akin said: “Thank you Mr. Speaker. There are two very good reasons to vote no on this bill. This bill is called the Hate Crimes bill. The first major reason to vote no is because this bill increases hatred in America. I will say it again. This bill increases hatred in America. How does that happen? It can be easily illustrated. Let’s say that you’re a parent, and you have a number of children. But you don’t give the children equal laws. Some you favor, and some you don’t. What quicker formula to create animosity between children? This law violates the most basic principle of law: Lady Justice always is supposed to have a blindfold across her face, because regardless of who you are, you appear before Lady Justice, black or white, male or female, rich or poor, fat or skinny, Lady Justice does not notice. This bill violates that basic principle. It creates animosity by elevating one group over another group, and thus creates hatred. This is counter to everything American law has ever stood for, and it will increase hatred in America, and for that reason alone, it should be voted no.” [C-Span Video Archive, House Session, 4/29/09] [5:12:45 – 5:14:12]

8) Akin Criticized Senate Version Of National Defense Authorization Act For “Legalizing Bestiality.” During a speech at Hill Park, Akin said: “Here’s the thing: NDAA, what that means is the entire bill that funds all of national defense. Ok, so this is the defense funding, every year we pass one of those for the Pentagon and for all the people that are our troops and all the things we do, army and air force and navy, ok. The bill is passed in the Senate and the House. The Senate version came across, a lot of Tea Party people take a good look at that bill and they’re going, we’re worried that this may give Obama authority to bring troops in and arrest Americans and detain them for long periods of time. Ok, so that was their concern. They should have read it closer, because it also legalized bestiality, the Senate gets a little weird, ok. So that was the Senate version.” [Hill Park,8/1/12]

7) Akin Bemoaned Loss Of State Sovereignty During Civil War. At a candidates forum in Wildwood, MO, Akin said: “Well certainly, the fact that over a period of time, the federal government has taken over more and more and more authority is a major problem. I don’t disagree with the premise of it. The question is, how do you get the cat back in the bag? When was it that that happened? Well it happened most predominantly, historically, during wars, and the worst case was the Civil War, where we lost states’ rights more than any other particular situation.” [Meet the Candidates Forum, 9/29/11]

6) Akin Denied the Existence of Climate Change, Saying “The Planet has not Really Been Warming”. During a floor appearance in the House of Representatives, Akin said: “And the thing that’s been embarrassing, you notice, we don’t hear as much global warming, we hear climate change, and the reason is because the planet has not really been warming the last number of years as all of these economic models were saying that it was going to. And that doesn’t necessarily mean the CO2 we’ve generated hasn’t created some warming, it’s just that it seems that the world climate is more connected to sunspot activity than these other things.” [C-Span Video Archive, House Session,6/2/09] [2:28:50 – 2:29:20]

5) Akin Said There Was “A Huge Economic Incentive For People To Be The Have-Nots.” During a radio interview on The Take Away, Akin said: “Well you see, the condition of haves and have-nots is made worse and worse the more the government pays people for not being productive. The more and more people that are on the government dole, they won’t produce anything and so they’re going to fall, so you have a huge economic incentive for people to be the have-nots, and this is a budget which is closer to what is justice, that is whatever you make you pay a certain percent, no special deal for rich guy, no special deal for poor guy.” [The Take Away, 3/29/12]

BONUS: Akin compared President Obama to the devil [Missouri Lincoln Days, Republican Debate, 2/18/12]

4) Akin “Questioned The Constitutionality Of Medicare.” “Akin’s ideal federal government would be far different from how it functions today. He questioned the constitutionality of Medicare at a tea party meeting in Fulton and says he would close the Department of Education and the Department of Energy given the chance. ‘When we started, the federal government did almost nothing, and now it’s involved in everything under the sun, and I don’t think we do a very good job of that,’ Akin said.” [Columbia Daily Tribune, 7/29/12]

3) Akin Recited Bizarre Fictional Story Of Human Clone To Illuminate His Opposition To Stem Cell Research. During a floor appearance in the House of Representatives on May 24, 2005, Akin said: “Now there are people who want to use public money to destroy embryos, and they talk about this bill as being a good first step. What happens if we run the clock to step two or step three? My own daughter wrote a little story – I will read it – about step three. ‘I live with 40 others in a compound, supervised by cool, efficient orderlies. Instead of playing, I stood pondering a troubling dream from the night before. It was of a loving father, giving his child a name. I’ve always been just 5-25-61-B. I started imagining what it would be like to be named, when a lab technician called me down the sterile white hall to my monthly check-up. I was given the usual clear injection and scanned. The medic flipped through the images which showed my organs and wrote, ‘Healthy – Still Usable,’ across the file. Several weeks later, I heard footsteps outside my cell and low voices. The door unlocked and I was led again into the clinic and placed on the stainless table. But the injection this time was amber-colored, and I immediately sensed that something was wrong. Numbness started spreading across my body, great agony, no breathing, and the table was lifted and I slid down a chute into a large steel box with waste paper and garbage from the lunch room. My body now thrashed uncontrollably, but as everything grew dark, there was a bright figure who seemed to protect me. He looked at me with such love and said, ‘I’ve given you the name Ticia, which means ‘Loved of God.’ I woke to see a wrinkled face and twinkling black eyes, framed by white hair. He must have seen the question on my expression and explained, ‘You were a clone being held as a source for body parts, but when a recipient dies, the clone is considered useless and is given a lethal injection. I managed to get to you before the poison finished its work.’ I was stunned. After a pause, he said, ‘what shall I call you?’ At first, I was startled. Then I remembered. I said, ‘Ticia.’” [C-Span Video Archive, House Session, 5/24/05] [4:45:34 – 4:47:42]

2) Akin Compared Federal Student Loans To “Stage 3 Cancer Of Socialism” In America. “Under pressure from President Obama and Senate Democrats, House Republicans unveiled their plan to prevent a scheduled hike in interest rates on federal student loans Wednesday, but they probably won’t be counting on the support of Missouri Rep. Todd Akin (R). At a debate over the weekend, Akin, who is running for Senate, said involving the government in the student loan process has given the government a ‘stage three cancer of socialism’: ‘AKIN: America has got the equivalent of the stage three cancer of socialism because the federal government is tampering in all kinds of stuff it has no business tampering in. So first, to answer your question precisely, what the Democrats get rid of the private student loans and take it all over by the government was wrong, it was a lousy bill, and that’s why I voted no. The government needs to get its nose out of the education business.'” [ThinkProgress, 4/26/12]

1) Akin Endorsed Raising Social Security Retirement Age, Perhaps As High As 83 Years Old. At an event with the Jefferson County Tea Party: “QUESTION: Where are you on Medicare and Social Security? TODD AKIN: Right, those are good ones, let’s do, I’ll do the easier one first, Social Security. First of all, if I had been back in the days of FDR, I’m not so sure I would have voted for it, but it was a pretty watered-down proposal then, it was wholly voluntary, it was only like 1% or half of a percent or something, and etc. etc. But it sure has changed. And so now what’s happened is that a whole lot of people who paid into a system which was mathematically broken when it started, made worse when politicians took the money out of it as it was going wrong, so what is the, how do we deal with it now? I think the fact is, because people are dependent on it, and have paid into it, we have some obligation to try to keep the people that are on Social Security, to allow them to continue. At the same time, the way it is now, there’s going to come a time when they would not get any money at all, the way it’s going, so we have an obligation to try to fix it the best we can. Part of the nature of that was not just the wickedness of Congress, although there’s plenty of blame to go around. Some of it was, when Social Security started, the average age that people died was 62, Social Security started at 65. So if we were to adjust it today, average age is 97, that would put Social Security at about 83 or so. So in other words what you may need to do is to increase the age over time when people qualify.” [Tea Party Event, Pevely, MO, 1/26/12]