by Gary Huerta
If you are reading this, you most likely know the source of the following sentence: “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”
This 18-word masterpiece of ignorant douche-baggery, compliments of Todd Akin, the Republican candidate for the Missouri Senate race, has set off a firestorm of debate. When I first heard his moronic babble, I almost did a spit-take, the likes of which would have impressed even the Three Stooges. And I wasn’t alone. Men, women, flora, fauna, vegetable and mineral throughout the world have voiced everything from disgust to outrage that someone running for office could have such an insensitive, unintelligent, uninformed point of view. Even Delta House poster boy Mitt Romney felt inclined to distance himself from his fellow conservative, although there is a betting line in Las Vegas on when he will flip-flop on that opinion. I’ve got my entire retirement account on Wednesday, November 7, 2012 – the day after the general election.
To clarify, the almost universal ire Akin drew was not because of his anti-abortion philosophies. Despite their discomfort with Akin’s verbal flatulence, the out-of-touch, middle-aged men in the GOP have made it abundantly clear they still want to control 100 percent of what goes in and out of a woman’s vagina – and that’s not metaphorically speaking.
On the upside, Todd Akin’s buffoonery could actually help all of us out in many different ways.
For starters, he has committed to staying in the race for the Missouri senate seat, which just happens to be good for Democrats. If they win that seat, it increases their chances of regaining control of the Senate, which could mean Republicans would no longer have as much opportunity to stop progress just so they can use economic stagnation as a political platform. In other words, Akin may fittingly go down in history as the laxative that helped our constipated government finally squeeze out a few soft laws over the next four years. So there’s that.
Second, Akin brought to light a desperate need in this country to enforce mandatory aptitude testing of those who serve us at the highest levels. I’m not talking about IQ testing for city council positions. Hell, we’d have empty chambers in every city hall throughout the country. And selfishly speaking, as someone who has been paid to comment on local government, I need dimwits in local offices to poke fun at. But the stupidity needs to be contained at the civic level.
Candidates for Congress, Senate and the Oval Office should be given some kind of examination to see if they can at least comprehend math, science and history on a junior high school level, and construct basic sentences in English using, “legitimate” words found in the dictionary. Akin may not be the fist person in politics to prove intelligence is not required to run for office, but wouldn’t it be nice if his dopey moment in the spotlight were the last? We’ve endured knucklehead after knucklehead after knucklehead. For God’s sake, in 2008 Sarah Palin ran for the second highest position in all the land. There are websites dedicated to her stupidity.
I know. It seems like a revolutionary notion to have our leaders be smarter than us. But considering nearly half of the country believes God made man and Earth within the last 10,000 years, I’d say we need people with an above average IQ to protect us from ourselves. If Akin’s inability to comprehend basic physiology and anatomy leads us to the realization that we’d be better served by more literate people on both sides in Washington D.C., we win.
Third, Akin may have galvanized female voters like no one else. Regardless of their stance on abortion, I have yet to hear a whole lot of women stand up and defend Akin’s dual definition of rape as rational thinking. Incredibly, some have. But they are really on the fringe of sanity, in my humble opinion. I have to think even Democrats ought to be able to find countless ways to show how Akin’s thinking is not completely out-of-step with many other Republicans in office during the remaining weeks of the presidential race. Then again, I’ve seen them squander bigger Republican missteps.
And finally, there’s the matter of how Akin’s ass-backward use of the word, “legitimate” can help us all in our desire to rationalize our lives on a daily basis. Let’s face it, when you’ve got “legitimate” in your bag of tricks, you can justify almost any belief, even if it’s complete crap.
“I’m sorry. I can’t pay for this Dom Perignon and lobster dinner. It just doesn’t feel like a legitimate five-star meal to me.”
Of course, my hope is that one day, when Todd Akin really needs a justice system to defend him, the judge will also abide by the word “legitimate” as a definition.
“Well, Mr. Akin. I do understand you feel like you were violated in your health club. But the fact of the matter is, you dropped the bar of soap in the shower. So I don’t think we can call anything that happened to you after that a legitimate rape.”