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What Ashley Judd and Todd Akin are doing in the same sentence

What Ashley Judd and Todd Akin are doing in the same sentence

Bill Lambrecht, Post-Dispatch

WASHINGTON • It’s unclear where it started, probably in blogging land.

But it stuck, and across the internet the actor and U.S. Senate candidate-in-waiting is being compared to the former Missouri congressman in this shorthand: Is Ashley Judd the Democrats’ Todd Akin?

Her supporters rebut the analogy vigorously, but it’s a certainty that if Judd continues on her path to challenge Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ken., in 2014, her past remarks would put her under Akin-like scrutiny.

National Journal’s headline on a story yesterday read thusly: Is Ashley Judd a 30-second ad waiting to happen?

The piece by Jill Lawrence observes that Judd, an activist on women’s issues and other matters, has uttered incendiary things like: “The era of the coal plant is over.”

That might not be the most prudent campaign platform in the state that ranks third in coal production.

Judd, 44, has no qualms about talking publicly about rape. She has spoken of being a three-time rape survivor, and offered comments that some might find inspiring but others in a red state like Kentucky could find hard to digest.

Akin enters the picture again in the recounting of her response to his fateful remarks last August about “legitimate rape” and the female capacity to ward off rape from pregnancy.

“At any time, in any relationship, at any age, and in any place, rape is rape,” CNN reported her saying at the Democratic National Convention last year.

“If we make medically accurate sex education available to boys and girls and women and men, and we make modern family planning available to them, (then) we prevent unintended pregnancy,” she said.

Another account said she recalled her work on behalf of women in Congo, remarking that “most of them conceived in rape” — and then made a “gesture” regarding Akin.”

Judd’s supporters contend that women especially would appreciate her straight talk. And rather than a Hollywood loose cannon as cast by her detractors, they see her as a thoughtful, committed professional who took the time recently to get an M.A. from Harvard.

Provocative or not, Judd surely likely would elevate the Kentucky contest to the marquee Senate race in 2014.

 

 

Sheer Miss-e-ree for women voters here in Missouri

I have resisted blogging about the Todd Akin fiasco hitting home here in Missouri because I didn’t want to help Sen. Claire McCaskill get re-elected. That and with the economy in the shape it’s in, we have had to agree to disagree on social issues. But Sen. John C. Danforth said it best when he said, “It’s not that we keep shooting ourselves in the foot, we keep shooting ourselves in the eyes.” Akin needs to step down and the party needs to replace him with Rep. Jo Ann Emerson. She is the salve for this wound. She is a true fiscal conservative who will take a hard line on spending. Most importantly, she will convey the soft message to women, the kind of message you see and feel as opposed to hear from the lips of a slick spokesperson, that women matter to the Republican Party.  And kudos to Presidential candidate Mitt Romney and his running mate Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan for acknowledging how important this distraction could be to derailing their focus on the economy by calling Akin and politely but respectfully urging him to step aside. Missouri matters. In fact, I can think of no better state to take the lead on reconciliation than this one. We have an illustrious legacy of leadership on both sides of the aisle but it has been awhile since one of our leaders made headlines for character and not controversy.

Akin’s comments that women are less likely to get pregnant from a “legitimate rape” because their bodies would consider that a hostile encounter is unfathomable. First of all, a “legitimate rape?” Second, what a slap in the face to the many loving and nurturing women who have willed their bodies to allow them to bear children, only to find they were barren and in need of fertility treatments. As if women can use their minds to create or not create life. It also represents a new low as far as the kind of tunnel vision some men in the Republican Party exhibit when trying to corner the market on social conservatives. I recognize that it is shrewd strategy to claim ‘foot in mouth disease’ and run commercials asking for forgiveness but Mr. Akin, you will forgive us for replacing you as our candidate. Recognize that by not stepping down you are handing Claire McCaskill the election. Your party has asked you not to attend the convention, your money is drying up and yet, you are still defiant. Maybe the time has come to defy voters’ perceptions of the Republican Party being a boys’ club and be a true leader by stepping aside for the sake of the party, the State and these critical national elections.

http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2012/08/todd-akin-opens-door-to-possible-exit/