Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Breaking: Someone Says Awful Truth [UPDATE]

There has been a lot of outrage in the wake of Indiana U.S. Senate candidate Richard Mourdock's statement last night that he does not support abortion in cases of rape.
“I struggled with it myself for a long time, but I came to realize that life is a gift from God. And, I think, even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen.”
Earlier today, Mourdock tried to walk the comments back, saying:
"I said life is precious. I believe rape is a brutal act. It is something that I abhor. That anyone would come away with any meaning other than what I said is regrettable, and for that I apologize."
But I have to confess I am very confused and actually somewhat surprised that Mourdock's quote last night has caused such outrage. To be clear, I think it's a terrible thought, completely devoid of humanity, compassion, and understanding. I also think it's just plain wrong. I disagree with it in every sense, and suspect that Mourdock is the worst kind of hypocrite.

But for all the terrible things that Mourdock's statement is, it's also completely logically consistent with his stated belief. And the belief of our possibly-soon-to-be-vice-president, Paul Ryan.

Paul Ryan and his colleague Todd Aiken
Paul Ryan cosponsored the artfully titled “No Taxpayer Funding For Abortion Act.”
“I’m very proud of my pro-life record, and I’ve always adopted the idea that — the method of conception doesn’t change the definition of life,” Ryan has said.
Paul Ryan, Richard Mourdock, Todd Aiken, these are all guys on record as supporting a ban on abortion in cases of rape. And if you asked Paul Ryan, and he was honest or just politically stupid, why he thought a raped woman should carry her pregnancy to term, he'd give you some speech about the sanctity of human life. And if you asked him whether he thought God has a hand in creating human life, and whether God's plan plays a role in his belief, I bet he'd say something very similar to what Mourdock said last night. Ryan is clear that his faith in God informs his view on abortion policy. The idea that every pregnancy is a gift from God is completely in line with his stated beliefs. Even if Ryan only believes some variation of Mourdock's statement, we know he agrees with the important part.

This is what these guys believe. When someone slips up and says it plainly there is a lot of coverage and outrage. How about when male U.S. Representatives like Ryan and Aiken introduce legislation that would have impact beyond mere words? How about when a presidential candidate picks a sponsor of that legislation to be next in line for the presidency? Where is the outrage there?

There is none. Whether it's because of laziness, intellectual dishonesty, or a fear of being called biased, the actual policy gets a free ride in the media. Just don't say the belief out loud.

No matter what he said during his debate against Vice President Biden, Paul Ryan personally believes that the government should prevent a woman who has been raped and impregnated from terminating her pregnancy. And if she flouts the law that he proposes, he would presumably like her criminally prosecuted.

But a note to victims in Paul Ryan's America: Just don't ask the government to make raising the child any easier.

UPDATE 10/25/12 @ 7:37pm

Apparently, I'm not alone in my surprise at the shocked reaction to Murdock's comments. The New Republic's Amy Sullivan gives an eloquent breakdown here.


C. P. Coleta said...

The problem with liberals' attack against and on right-wingers like Mourdock is how they seem to miss the obvious broadside for some narrow irrelevance that's dressed up a self-righteousness. The issue is a mere material one. If women can have no recourse to end a pregnancy - one in which that was not planned - then they are and would be a liability in the workforce. Their jobs would be to produce workers, and sans birth control measures, they'd be producing what My Boy accurately terms the "reserve army of the unemployed". Thus, while you can cloak Mr. Mouordock's language in religious tribalism, chauvinism and insensitivity, the effects are exactly what reactionaries would prefer: an "economic" one.

Anonymous said...

top [url=]casino online[/url] check the latest [url=]free casino games[/url] free no set aside perk at the chief [url=]baywatchcasino