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Posts Tagged ‘Todd Akin’

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.

 

 

What women voters want / Kathleen Parker of the Washington Post

 

How many years of the woman have we had? Let me count.

To the extent that women’s votes count more than men’s, it’s been the year of the woman since at least 1964 — when women began outvoting men.

 In 2008, 10 million more women than men voted, according to the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University.

The operative assumption, obviously, is that women pick winners and losers as a voting bloc. Nothing could be further from the truth.

It is true that more women are trending toward Barack Obama than Mitt Romney. But this owes only partly to the usual “women’s issues.” And it is, potentially, temporary.

Thanks to certain outspoken members/supporters of the GOP, the Democratic Party has been able to capitalize on a fiction created by the Obama campaign — the alleged “war on women.” It is not helpful when people such as Rush Limbaugh call Sandra Fluke a “slut” for her position that insurance should cover contraception. Then there was Todd Akin’s strange intelligence that victims of “legitimate rape” don’t get pregnant, a flourish of rare ignorance. Check the birthrates in countries where rape is employed as a weapon. Finally, some Republican-led states have waved one too many ultrasound wands at women.

While these incidents and anecdotes provide handy faces for dart practice, they constitute a war on women only if all women find these positions reprehensible. And only if all women care more about contraception and reproductive rights above all other issues, which is not the case.

This also happens to be the year of the fiscal cliff, when automatic spending cuts take effect at the same time Bush-era tax breaks expire. It’s the fourth year of a $1 trillion budget deficit. It is a year that the number of unemployed Americans is still too high and economic recovery too slow.

It is also the year that al-Qaeda caught its breath and began gaining traction again, and when terrorists murdered one of our ambassadors. It is another year when America’s standing as the world’s brightest light continues to dim, and that the Arab Spring descended into an extremist winter.

These are things that women care about, too.

Women, in other words, recognize the gravity of the problems this nation faces and are likely to pick a candidate based on these issues rather than on a party’s platform on abortion and contraception.

In fact, women, who are not a monolithic group any more than men are, don’t really rank reproductive issues at the top of their concerns. A recent Kaiser Family Foundation survey found that fewer than 1 percent of respondents mentioned women’s health or birth control as top election-year issues. On access to birth control and abortion, attitudes tend to reflect party affiliation rather than gender. A USA Today-Gallup poll this year found that women split on abortion in numbers comparable to the country as a whole, which is 49 percent to 45 percent favoring abortion rights.

Topping women’s concerns are the same things that are men’s highest concerns: the economy and jobs. The smartest candidate will recognize this sooner rather than later.

In Virginia’s Senate race between former governors Tim Kaine and George Allen, Kaine, the Democrat, has tried to merge the issues. Abortion and birth control are fundamentally economic issues, he says. Few seem to recall that, in one of the early Republican primary debates, Romney responded to a question about contraception as follows: “It’s working just fine. Just leave it alone.”

This doesn’t sound like a call to arms against women.

When subsequently asked what he thought about the gender gap, Romney said he wished that his wife, Ann, were there to answer the question. Romney benefits greatly from his better half, as he would put it, but he errs in thinking a woman would do a better job answering the question than would a man.

Women do not require special handling because, for the most part, they do not think of themselves first or primarily as women. (This is big news for those men who failed to take note.)

Women think of themselves as breadwinners and job-seekers. They think of themselves as parents who want good schools and enough money to send their kids to college. They think of themselves as Americans who worry about national security and the nation’s image abroad.

These are the issues that matter to women, the vast majority of whom will cast their votes accordingly. How about we ditch the gender nonsense and declare this the year of the American?

kathleenparker@washpost.com

By , Published: October 9

How many years of the woman have we had? Let me count.

To the extent that women’s votes count more than men’s, it’s been the year of the woman since at least 1964 — when women began outvoting men.

In 2008, 10 million more women than men voted, according to the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University.

The operative assumption, obviously, is that women pick winners and losers as a voting bloc. Nothing could be further from the truth.

It is true that more women are trending toward Barack Obama than Mitt Romney. But this owes only partly to the usual “women’s issues.” And it is, potentially, temporary.

Thanks to certain outspoken members/supporters of the GOP, the Democratic Party has been able to capitalize on a fiction created by the Obama campaign — the alleged “war on women.” It is not helpful when people such as Rush Limbaugh call Sandra Fluke a “slut” for her position that insurance should cover contraception. Then there was Todd Akin’s strange intelligence that victims of “legitimate rape” don’t get pregnant, a flourish of rare ignorance. Check the birthrates in countries where rape is employed as a weapon. Finally, some Republican-led states have waved one too many ultrasound wands at women.

While these incidents and anecdotes provide handy faces for dart practice, they constitute a war on women only if all women find these positions reprehensible. And only if all women care more about contraception and reproductive rights above all other issues, which is not the case.

This also happens to be the year of the fiscal cliff, when automatic spending cuts take effect at the same time Bush-era tax breaks expire. It’s the fourth year of a $1 trillion budget deficit. It is a year that the number of unemployed Americans is still too high and economic recovery too slow.

It is also the year that al-Qaeda caught its breath and began gaining traction again, and when terrorists murdered one of our ambassadors. It is another year when America’s standing as the world’s brightest light continues to dim, and that the Arab Spring descended into an extremist winter.

These are things that women care about, too.

Women, in other words, recognize the gravity of the problems this nation faces and are likely to pick a candidate based on these issues rather than on a party’s platform on abortion and contraception.

In fact, women, who are not a monolithic group any more than men are, don’t really rank reproductive issues at the top of their concerns. A recent Kaiser Family Foundation survey found that fewer than 1 percent of respondents mentioned women’s health or birth control as top election-year issues. On access to birth control and abortion, attitudes tend to reflect party affiliation rather than gender. A USA Today-Gallup poll this year found that women split on abortion in numbers comparable to the country as a whole, which is 49 percent to 45 percent favoring abortion rights.

Topping women’s concerns are the same things that are men’s highest concerns: the economy and jobs. The smartest candidate will recognize this sooner rather than later.

In Virginia’s Senate race between former governors Tim Kaine and George Allen, Kaine, the Democrat, has tried to merge the issues. Abortion and birth control are fundamentally economic issues, he says. Few seem to recall that, in one of the early Republican primary debates, Romney responded to a question about contraception as follows: “It’s working just fine. Just leave it alone.”

This doesn’t sound like a call to arms against women.

When subsequently asked what he thought about the gender gap, Romney said he wished that his wife, Ann, were there to answer the question. Romney benefits greatly from his better half, as he would put it, but he errs in thinking a woman would do a better job answering the question than would a man.

Women do not require special handling because, for the most part, they do not think of themselves first or primarily as women. (This is big news for those men who failed to take note.)

Women think of themselves as breadwinners and job-seekers. They think of themselves as parents who want good schools and enough money to send their kids to college. They think of themselves as Americans who worry about national security and the nation’s image abroad.

These are the issues that matter to women, the vast majority of whom will cast their votes accordingly. How about we ditch the gender nonsense and declare this the year of the American?

 

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/