Gaffes vs. Stupidity
The news is all abuzz today about Rep. Todd Akin’s comment on whatever the hell the Jaco Report is. When asked about whether pregnancy in the event of rape should be legal, his exact quote is:
First of all, from what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. But let’s assume that maybe that didn’t work or something.
What baffles me is that what everyone is upset about is the fact that he said “legitimate rape” because it implies there’s a such thing as illegitimate rape.
Really? That’s what we’re pissed about here? It seems like this is clearly just a verbal gaffe. I think we can all give Rep. Akin a break and assume that he isn’t pro-rape, and doesn’t really mean rape is ever “illegitimate”.
What we can’t give him a break on is the fact that he clearly thinks medical science has come to the conclusion, or at least has some evidence to support the idea that women naturally abort pregnancies that come from rape. A claim for which, by the way, a cursory Google search shows there’s no evidence. Not that you really needed to search for that one to know it’s idiotic.
I’m all for having Congressmen who sometimes put their foot in their mouth. It’s makes for good Daily Shows, and shows they’re human. I don’t think I could do as many interviews and public events as one of them does without something coming out wrong every now and then.
But the idea of a Congressman who actually believes in bogus medical science that any 12 year old would laugh at, a guy who can actually vote on health care laws, just offends me as an American. And the fact that the media is focusing entirely on the gaffe rather than the underlying stupidity makes me afraid for my country.