From the candidate that spouted claims that raped women don’t get pregnant if the rape is “legitimate,” we have another round of woman-bashing. His latest comment comes less than a week after bashing his opponent, Sen. Claire McCaskill for not being “ladylike.” There can only be a few explanations; either Todd Akin is brain damaged or he is secretly working for the Democrats.
It wouldn’t be the first time someone suggested a big name conservative was actually an underground operative for the Democratic Party; Mitt Romney was suspected, following a difficult campaign, a lukewarm convention and two weeks of doubling down on his foot in mouth. But Mitt’s since begun pulling himself together, seemingly handing the baton back to Akin; are they in cahoots?
Politicians know the rules; don’t alienate important voter blocks (rich, poor, different races and women) and if your foot is in your mouth, take it out. These are the basic elements of smart campaigning, nothing profound.
Evidently, Akin’s “ladylike” comment didn’t get enough outrage or attention, so today he’s talking equal pay. “I believe in free enterprise. I don’t think the government should be telling people what you pay and what you don’t pay,” Akin responded about voting against fair pay. “It’s about freedom. If somebody wants to hire somebody and they agree on a salary, that’s fine, however it wants to work. So, the government sticking its nose into all kinds of things has gotten us into huge trouble.”
Akin’s gaffes have forced other conservatives into the hot seat, either standing by awkwardly nodding but not agreeing so vehemently as to seem completely sold or renouncing any affiliation with any Akin ideology. Where the GOP could cut financial support for the gaffe-master, they haven’t. The move risks guilt by association for other candidates with GOP backing; it adds sexist undertones across the party.
But conservatives haven’t saved the fringes for women. Joe the Plumber set out to alienate Latinos, by suggesting we build a fence and start shooting into Mexico for our next immigration solution, and then went on to offend the gay community. Mitt and Ann Romney held their own gaffe spree, discounting the 47% lower income earners as “lazy, government dependants” who will never be convinced to “take personal responsibility for their own lives.” Ann took the reins, calling her own party “the chattering class.” Seniors aren’t immune either; the Romney camp has spent months trying to untangle the campaign from Paul Ryan’s Medicare and Social Security plans while. Meanwhile, other Republican groups have been accused of targeting seniors in voter suppression efforts.
Akin’s gaffes add weight to arguments to rumors he is secretly working for the Democratic Party. In Romney’s case, he might not be a Democratic operative, though at times Obama should consider employing a “quick, get Romney a microphone” strategy. But how deep does the infiltration run? While it’s prudent at this point to suspect Akin, we might also ask, “Is the GOP secretly a Democrat?” If not, the “Party of ‘No’” sure seems generous this election.