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Romney + sincerity = Todd Akin

Published on September 17, 2012 by: in: Politics

Over the past few days, the leading politicians of the Republican Party have put a lot of effort into media action directed at convincing public opinion in the USA that Todd Akin is just a loony outsider of their party. No doubt that Akin deserves to be perceived in this way as in one of his utterances he expressed his support to abortion ban demand also in the case of rape and the statement included elements of grotesque medical ignorance (after all, the famous comment begun with “from what I heard” – a phrase which should be usually avoided if someone wants to keep at least some elementary dignity). Todd Akin’s disdain for American youth lifestyle (which includes also those youngsters who are politically conservative) declared by the suggestion that rape victims often had it coming by dressing up and behaving inappropriately and that in such case it is not an “actual rape” and naturally Akin’s dull fanaticism are the factors determining the above-mentioned perception of him. However, even all of that wasn’t a reason why two parliamentary Republican leaders, Boehner and McConnell, attacked Akin so vigorously – the latter even suggested that Akin should resign from the party’s nomination to Senate. It was also not the reason why Mitt Romney – the party’s candidate to the White House – has distanced himself from the controversial statement. The reason for the hysterical reaction of the Republican party bosses was simply Todd Akin’s scandalous sincerity.

picture: DonkeyHotey

Romney may say freely that when it comes to the heart of the matter he doesn’t agree with Akin. Maybe so. After all, until recently the pro-choice presidential candidate “seems” to have changed his views to conservative approach solely due to his presidential ambitions while privately he remains a man rather liberally oriented (and by that he may appear as an American doppelganger of the Polish prime minister Donald Tusk). What is certain is that Paul Ryan – Romney’s candidate for a vice president position – precisely shares Akin’s views. And more importantly, the majority of the party does so. We have to state it openly: when it comes to the issue of acceptability of abortion in the case of rape or incest, not Romney but Akin is the spokesman of the Republican Party. The Akin’s problem are therefore not his controversial beliefs but his reckless violation of the principle (which was applied by the Republican Party in the election campaigns throughout many decades) that  “silence is golden”.

Akin suddenly opened up which resulted in his apologizing even to the party colleagues and the public opinion. Being a sincere Republican is like being a Democrat wearing cowboy shoes with muck on sole – it happens but is usually very weird. And of course politically harmful for it induces an average voter to excessive interest in Republicans’ official program of the 2012 voting period.  This document contains a constitutional abortion ban demand on all abortions in all circumstances. By distancing himself from Akin, Romney at the same time distances himself from the program of his own party and, by extension, from Ryan. We must add however, that according to information of „Los Angeles Times”  it was the political campaign staff which had a decisive influence on the essence of the electoral platform. The question “what’s going on then?” inevitably comes to mind.

Well, the thing that is going on is the same as usual. Republicans have in their political program a lot of “dead bodies in the closet” which shall be understood as demands previously rejected by the majority of voters who remain “independent” in the center of political spectrum but also by a large number of declared Republican voters. Such “dead bodies” are for example anti-abortion support and radical libertarianistic approach to national finances – at the moment advocated primarily by the party’s vice presidential candidate who wants to cut the expenses radically but in a way that the  country’s defence expenditures could be increased while the top 1% of richest citizens would pay lower taxes. This is what during election campaigns is usually left unsaid. It is being executed only after coming into power. And that’s what Akin doesn’t get.  The mutual understanding exists however between Romney, Ryan, McConnell and Boehner. The question is whether Americans will manage to realise it before the 6th of November.

Translation: Olga Łabendowicz

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About Piotr Beniuszys

Piotr Beniuszys holds Master’s degree in sociology and political science; his views are to the right in economic issues, to the left in ethical and moral issues – i.e. liberal in both cases; the final chairman of Unia Wolności in Gdańsk, a former member of Democratic Party – demokraci.pl.

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