‘Legitimate rape’ not Akin’s first gaffe, or last

Republican candidate for Senate, U.S. Rep. Todd Akin, lost to Claire McCaskill.
Republican candidate for Senate, U.S. Rep. Todd Akin, lost to Claire McCaskill.
Christian Gooden/AP Photo/St. Louis Post-Dispatch,

Two months ago, Missouri Congressman Todd Akin made headlines for insisting that women who are victims of “legitimate rape” can’t get pregnant. That instance outed the Republican Senate candidate as dangerously uninformed at best, and sexist at worst.

It’s enough to expect that such incendiary bombast occurs once in a person’s political tenure. But Amanda Marcotte over at Slate unearthed a video from 2008 of Akin on the house floor making yet an even more outlandishly mendacious remark (emphasis mine):

“You find that along with the culture of death go all kinds of other law-breaking: Not following good sanitary procedure, giving abortions to women who are not actually pregnant, cheating on taxes, all these kinds of things.”

“All of these things are common practice,” Akin continued, “but all of that information is available for America.”

Also available to America is YouTube, on which comments of Akin’s from a town hall last Thursday can be found. The man seeking to unseat Democrat Claire McCaskill was probed about not supporting the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. His response invokes the most dangerous and careless brand of libertarianism (again, emphasis mine):

“Well, first of all, the premise of your question is that I’m making that particular distinction. I believe in free enterprise. I don’t think the government should be telling people what you pay and what you don’t pay. I think it’s about freedom. If someone what’s 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.”

According to two polls, Rasmussen and Public Policy Polling, McCaskill is up by six points in their face-off. That’s feeling too close for comfort.