God wanted you to have a baby, but you weren't cooperating, so God had you raped so you could accept this glorious gift. As cruel, callous and crazy as that sounds, Indiana senate candidate Richard Mourdock suggests it is true and wonders what all the fuss is about. Mourdock is the poster child for regressive politics. He is so extreme, what should be an easy win in a very red state, is being rated too close to call. Mitt Romney has appeared in ads with him and he is the darling of religious fundamentalists and teaparty activists. However, his remarks may cause some head winds for Romney.
Mourdock was told by John McCain to apologize or lose his endorsement. Mourdock apologized. However, an apology makes no sense. What exactly is he apologizing for? Is her sorry he said it because of the political firestorm it caused? Is he sorry for saying it, but still believes it to be true? Maybe he is sorry if anyone was offended by his remarks, which would make him maybe sorry. Since he said it, he must believe it, so what is the substance of his apology? He claims the remarks were distorted out of context. If so, what is he apologizing for?
Romney used the last debate to throw on Harry Potter's cloak of invisibility to hide everything he really believes. He wants peace, love and sunshine for everyone. In the hope of appealing to women, Romney was talking about all of us getting along while Obama was promising to get our enemies. Romney desperately needs women to like him and yet he has aligned himself with some of the most extreme actors in his party. Romney has not denounced Mourdock. He simply says he disagrees with him.
Romney's running mate, Paul Ryan, is much more extreme than Mourdock. Ryan sponsored a bill which would deny a woman an abortion unless she was "forcibly" raped. (another way to say that is unless the rape is "legitimate") Ryan supported a human life amendment which would affectively outlaw most forms of contraception along with all abortions. Both Ryan and Romney support legislation to create a "religious exception" so any employer can refuse to provide health benefits which include contraception simply by claiming it offends his or her morals or religion. (Obama called Romney on this in the second debate and Romney denied his open support for such a measure)
According to polls, women don't find Romney as onerous as they once did. The man who wants to cut funding for Planned Parenthood and overturn Roe v Wade...the man who didn't know any qualified women to include in his cabinet in Massachusetts and opposed the Lilly Ledbetter Act...the man who endorsed Mourdock and picked Ryan as his vice president...is today more attractive to women voters despite them saying in polls abortion is the top issue for them. Huh? Romney is trying to double down on this momentum by repudiating everything he said in the last 18 months about putting more soldiers in Iraq, not leaving Afghanistan in 2014, going to war with Iran and appointing Supreme Court justices who would mirror the likes of Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, all with the hope women won't find him to be so off-putting and will embrace the kinder, gentler Mormon. Yet, each time he cloaks himself, he faces colleagues who persist in claiming to speak for God and who appear to shop at Misogynists 'R Us.
Mourdock has apologized. Akins in Missouri has apologized. Romney and Ryan are on an apology tour, begging women not to pay any attention to that man behind the curtain who has been running for president for 8 years. Whatever he may have said, pay it no heed now.
My guess is God finds this all quite amusing. She must get a chuckle out of those who want to portray Her as a rapist or terrorist. (remember Oral Roberts who God was going to kill if he didn't raise enough money?) Jerry Falwell claimed Hurricane Katrina was God's punishment because of the sins of New Orleans or who see Her as a serial murderer (the list is too long of Republicans who claimed AIDS was God's wrath imposed on people for being gay) Maybe amused is the wrong word. Perhaps God's more saddened and perplexed and disappointed. Through Jesus She revealed the way to Her was through loving your enemy, turning the other cheek, caring for the least among you, and yet the religious Imams of the Republican party choose to ignore all of these epiphanies in favor of a God who uses rape and bombs and national disasters to kill or hunt anyone who doesn't agree with the Lord of Lords, who sent the Prince of Peace.
I understand women need jobs, and this economy has taken purchasing power away from them. Obama has been president during this economic meltdown, but the folks occupying Romney Street would force women to bare children, refuse to pay equal wages with men and treat them like second class citizens who need flex-time in the workplace so they can get home and put dinner on the table for their family.
Richard Mourdock fits in perfectly with a Romney administration.