President Obama will have to face the same divided Congress in his second term as he did in his first. Come January 5th, the 113th Congress will not have a change in the overall balance of power, with the Democrats holding power in the Senate, and the Republicans holding a majority in the House. But Democrats scored some victories in tight races --meaning some of the #batcrapcrazy politicians have been weeded out.
Here are the Republican politicians we bid farewell to, in no particular order:
1. Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO)
You may remember him as the man who famously declared,
"Well you know, people always want to try to make that as one of those things, well how do you, how do you slice this particularly tough sort of ethical question. First of all, from what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. But let’s assume that maybe that didn’t work or something. I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be on the rapist and not attacking the child."
2. Richard Mourdock (R-IN)
Mourdock asserted that rape babies were "intended to happen" and affirmed this in a press conference by apologizing for the confusion surrounding his statements-- but not for his actual beliefs.
"I believe that life begins at conception. The only exception I have to have an abortion is in that case of the life of the mother. I just struggled with it myself for a long time but I came to realize life is that gift from God that I think even if life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen."
3. Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL)
In addition to The Last Word's TV ban on Representative Joe Walsh, it looks like his congressional district has also banned him from representing them. He said his challenger, Tammy Duckworth, an Iraq War veteran and double amputee, was not "a true hero." And he also attracted headlines when he stated that he was opposed to abortion, including "cases of rape and incest," and when the life of the mother is at stake.
4. State Rep. Roger Rivard (R-WI)
State Rep. Rivard drew criticism for saying his father warned him when Rivard was younger that "some girls rape easy" as a way to warn him that a woman could agree to sex but then later claim that it wasn't consensual. Rivard lost his to Democrat Stephen Smith.
5. Tom Smith (R-PA)
Senator Bob Casey defeated his Republican opponent Tom Smith last night, holding onto his seat for six more years. A week after the Akin firestorm, Smith stirred up further controversy by comparing a pregnancy caused by rape to "having a baby out of wedlock."
6. John Koster (R-WA)
The Washington congressional candidate attempted to explain why he is opposed to abortion in the case of incest and rape. He first called incest "rare," and clarified his position on the circumstance of rape.
“On the rape thing, it’s like, how does putting more violence onto a woman’s body and taking the life of an innocent child that’s the consequence of this crime, how does that make it better?” Koster said. “You know what I mean?”
Last night, Democrat Suzan DelBene soundly defeated Smith in the state's most competitive race.
7. And last but not least, Paul Ryan, who still is a Wisconsin Congressman but will not be the next Vice President of the United States.
Although the Romney-Ryan ticket was defeated, Ryan can hold onto his Wisconsin congressional seat. But let's never forget Ryan asserting his views on abortion and upholding the sanctity of life:
"The method of conception doesn't change the definition of life."
The Last Word also believes that the following politicians deserve a special mention:
- Allen West, who has not yet conceded to his opponent, is calling for a court order to seize ballots and voting machines as he trails Democrat Patrick Murphy by around 2,000 votes. He is alleging "disturbing irregularities" at the polls, including possible tabulation mistakes and voters being locked out.
- Iowa Republican Congressman Steve King was re-elected, defeating former first lady Christie Vilsack (D). A Tea Party favorite, King will begin his sixth term in the House next year.
- Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) will also hold onto his seat in Congress, and we await Gohmer's return to the headlines. He's the one who, after the Aurora movie theater shooting, said that the country's shift from its "Judeo-Christian beliefs" was responsible for God taking away his protective hand.
- And Michele Bachmann has also won her congressional seat in Minnesota...barely. The darling of the Tea Party, Bachmann won a fourth term in the House. We expect to be hearing from here soon.