Maybe Akin’s revolting stubbornness is part of a deep, Machiavellian plot *UPDATED*

Rep. Todd Akin of Missouri is refusing to step down, despite the fact that everyone in the Republican/conservative establishment, from the RNC, to Rush, to Mark Levin, to Ann Coulter, to every major blog known to conservativism, is hollering that he must leave.

Akin’s arrogance and selfishness is depressing.  Or is it?

Maybe, just maybe, this is part of some deep-dyed Machiavellian plot.  I know I’m reaching here, but bear with me.

Once Akin went stupid, the inevitable happened, which was the Dems capitalized on what he said to tie his remarks to abortion and the alleged Republican war on women.  We know that stupid faux-biology about impregnation during rape has nothing to do with the question when life begins or when it becomes entitled to legal protections.  But the media is frothing at the mouth with excitement, convinced that a gaffe by a 32-nd rate Congressman can be used to define an entire political party.

You know, therefore, that if Akin had vanished immediately, the media frothing would have continued unabated.  That is, what he said is out there, and there’s nothing conservatives can do to stop it.

However, because Akin hasn’t stepped down, the one thing Republicans can do, with ever-increasing volume, is to disavow him and demand that he step down.  Those continued cries for his withdrawal should count as headline material.  In Akin’s absence, no one would care that the Republicans were saying “Aw, come on, MSM.  We don’t agree with him….”  However, in his presence, maybe someone will notice all the Republicans screaming at Akin, “Leave now, you unmitigated idiot.”

Okay.  I know nobody plotted for Akin to appear intransigent in order to improve Republican headlines.  Akin is refusing to leave because he is, in fact, an unmitigated idiot.  His known unmitigated idiocy is why, in Missouri’s open primaries, the Dems spent $1.5 million to get him elected (perfectly proving my ongoing point about the evils of open primaries, which deny parties the opportunity and the right to make their own, best choices about candidates).

Still, even though my theory amounts to pie-in-the-sky retrofitting of painful events, it still has merit.  We should make much of the fact that, unlike Dems who rally around their crooks and pedophiles, Republicans react ferociously when someone uses the Republican platform to engage in acts or make statements that are beyond the pale of reason or morality.

UPDATE:  The plot just thickened, because the Dems couldn’t restrain themselves and are now preparing for the Abortion Convention . . . er, Democrat Party Convention.  My sense is that even those Americans who identify as pro-Choice start feeling sickened by a three day orgy celebrating fetal death.

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  • http://OgBlog.net Earl

     
    I’m pretty sure that Akin is a “true believer”….and genuinely feels called to this “crusade” and that stepping down for the good of the Party would be a violation of principle for worldly reasons.  It’s a form of arrogance, of course….but “idiot” isn’t really a proper description, IMO.
     
    I completely agree with your point about “open primaries”….they are profoundly anti-democratic in the sense of how a representative republic ought to operate.
     
    One more thing…..about abortion and rape.  Can we all agree that the status of the unborn child is precisely the same, regardless of the circumstances under which it was conceived?  That is, an innocent, and deserving of protection…… 
     
    What that means to a libertarian, one who is committed to libertarian principles of not initiating aggression, is that abortion of any child conceived by a willing act of intercourse should be forbidden by the State.  No parent should be legally allowed to “change her/his mind” and visit the negative effects of that change on the innocent child, whether born or unborn.
     
    The difficulty is when the pregnancy is “forced” on an unwilling woman, by a rapist.  In this truly tragic situation, it seems to me that it would be best* for the mother to carry the pregnancy and give up the child for adoption, if that is her choice.  But no libertarian worthy of the name would wish to authorize the State to FORCE a woman to follow what I (at least) believe to be the right course.  Thus, in the case of forcible rape (as well as incest), an exception should be recognized in the law.
     
    At least….that’s how it looks from here.
     
     
    *The innocent child would live, the principle of non-aggression would be upheld, and the mother would not have the killing of her own child on her conscience.
     
     
     

  • Libby

    I know the Dems think they can ride Akin’s stupid remarks into an Obama victory, but they’ve sorely misjudged the fatigue many of us have for these divisive social issues like abortion and same-sex marriage. Yes, being pro-life and pro-traditional marriage turns off independents and libertarians, but the Left has been overplaying its hand with the HHS contraceptive mandate and Chick-fil-A boycott.
    I’ve seen two abortion-related Obama ads, one cartoony ad that hypes free birth control and nursing supplies (“Obamacare just made it easier to be a woman”), and one “scary” ad that claims Romney intends to overturn Roe v. Wade and destroy Planned Parenthood. Not only insulting, these ads assume that women are more concerned about “reproductive rights” than the US economy collapsing.
    Romney and Ryan are going to come off as the only adults in the room.

  • Mike Devx

    Earl, I agree that the baby is of course innocent.  I agree with your exception, too: I could never look a woman in the eye who has been raped and tell her she shall be forced, by law, to carry her rapist’s baby to term.  That’s just not possible for me.  It may be philosophically inconsistent, but it’s as solid and unwavering a position as any position I have.

    The Democrats seem to have this recent habit of gleefully, rabidly overplaying every hand they’re dealt.  They’re doing it again with this Akin abortion controversy.  They seem to have no boundaries.  I suspect that once again their frothing enthusiasm, way over the top, is what is going to come back to bite them.  They just can’t seem to STOP themselves from going too far!  Give them shovels, encourage them to dig!

    Book, I like your Machiavellian plot better than my mundane one.  I think Akin is ignorant in many ways, and he’s parochial, too.  He has been in a battle against his own GOP establishment in Missouri, and THEY have been piling on him big time.  I think he’s being simply resistant to his Missouri establishment GOP enemies, and that’s the story here.

    I remember a fellow high school biology teacher at the high school where I taught Math in the 80’s, educated and with a degree, who was teaching his students that women had one more rib than men had, because God had removed man’s rib to make Woman.  Religious belief flying in the face of easily provable scientific truth.  I bring that up because Akin does somehow believe that women’s bodies in the case of rape – ahem, “legitimate rape” ahem – “have a way of shutting that whole thing down.”  Sheesh.  Maybe if she’s so thoroughly traumatized that her BODY is shutting down in EVERY way… well, ok, you idiot.  Because otherwise, the vast majority of the time, her body and that baby have a way of persevering and fighting for the birth to happen, is my experience.  But intense religious belief is capable of blinding.

  • http://OgBlog.net Earl

     
    Mike: I can understand why some folks who understand that the baby is an innocent human being would want to protect it at all costs.  And were my wife (earlier) or my daughter raped, I would (gently) urge them to give the baby continued life.  Where I draw the line is allowing the State to make it a matter of law……I don’t want them to have that power, because it WILL be misused.
     
    As for “intense religious belief”, I’d have to say that it describes me pretty well.  I taught high school and college biology, too.  But when you can x-ray men’s and women’s ribs, and see clearly that they each have the same number, you do nothing for the religion you are committed to by telling people something that is so patently false.  And I say this as someone who accepts at face value the Creation story in Genesis.
     
    :-)

  • Caped Crusader

    Standing accused formerly of not having a grip on reality, and being reminded the Republicans were going to take the Senate, may I once again invoke the anthem and refrain of “Snakehead” Carville; “Only the Republicans can screw up a one car funeral”.

  • https://picasaweb.google.com/102427392960537405774 Kevin_B

    Arrogant, selfish, obstinate? Certainly those are fitting descriptions for Akin’s behavior. Idiotic? Perhaps that’s a bit too strong of a word… but certainly, stupid in a sense as well. And I also find it shameful. Yes, Akin should step down (any real man of honor would after making a severe error), and the fact that he refuses to, doesn’t speak good of him and his character at all; it paints a very nasty picture. But I don’t think this reflect upon the GOP as a whole.
     
    What Akin said was, on all levels, extremely stupid. But the reactions by Dems and the media (the “mouth frothing”) is stupid as well. But, what could you expect from the media anyway?
     
    Regarding abortion and rape… well, I’m pretty pro-Life. I believe abortion is only acceptable in cases where there is a direct, severe threat to the life of the mother if the pregnancy is continued, and only if there really are no other options. I don’t find abortion acceptable in cases of rape or incest. I would not make an exception for such, admittedly, extremely sad cases. I have very mixed feelings about the laws regarding abortion making an exception for such cases, but I think the arguments made by Earl and Mike Devx are pretty good. I certainly believe that women in such cases should be urged to let the child live.  But legally required? Not soo sure.
     
    But intense religious belief is capable of blinding.


    I agree, but religious belief, or even intense religious belief, doesn’t necessarily lead to blinding or idiocy. I also think religious belief can be very good. It really is, or at least can be, a two-edged sword.

     
    Earl: And I say this as someone who accepts at face value the Creation story in Genesis.


    May I, with no malice, ask what you mean by this, Earl? What exactly would you position be? If we use a kind of spectrum… young creationist, old creationist, intelligent design or theistic evolutionist? Just wondering. I personally tend more or less towards the latter – a theistic evolutionist view (I’m a theist). I think “God” and “Darwin” both play a role, so to speak, and I see nothing irrational, inconsistent or bad about this view. I don’t have much of a problem with intelligent design either.

    Also, Earl, thumbs up for being/having been a biology teacher. I think that’s a lovely occupation. For many reasons, but I mostly say this because I really like biology. I have a big interest in the “life sciences” and find them marvellous. For me that includes also the evolutionary branch of biology. Someone who is religious, but also seems to have an interest in and/or love for science? I can definitely applaud that.

  • http://OgBlog.net Earl

     
    Sure, Kevin_B:  I’m a traditional Creationist – young earth – in my private life and personal beliefs, because I’m committed to the Bible as God’s word, and can’t figure out how to “interpret” Genesis in harmony with current science without eliminating Christ’s death and resurrection as historical reality using the same criteria. 
     
    On the other hand, when I’m wearing my “science hat”, I have recognized for a long time that a short chronology for life on earth can’t be squared with the bulk of the empirical evidence.  Of course, the Darwinist story of the origin of life and its diversity is in the same boat – there is no credible evidence that new genetic information can originate in the random movements of molecules.  So, in my judgment, the most logical interpretation of the evidence currently available is that life and its diversity originated from a previously existing intelligence (or Intelligence), a long time ago.
     
    Once people realize that “historical science” is interpretation of data, rather than the result of a strict application of the scientific method, it’s a lot easier to see that our presuppositions guide our interpretations.  And this is true whether one is a materialist, a theist, or anything in between.  Every human being accepts things that can’t be established scientifically, including all the Darwinists.
     
    Actually, the theistic evolutionist story is closest to the most logical interpretation of the data we have currently…..it’s the other side of things (the Bible) that’s the sticking point for me with that one.

  • chip4200

    Machiavellian? Remember back in 1963 Congressman Herlong of Florida read into the Congressional Record the 45 goals of the American Communist Party as defined by Cleon Schousen in his book, “The Naked Communist.” Number 15 was “Gain control of one or both political parties.” I was listening to Rush yesterday, and a caller stated that his belief was that Akin had been bought off. If that is the case, bought off by whom? Maybe it’s time to follow Congressman Akin’s money trail.

  • Danny Lemieux

    Kevin_B and Earl, just so that you recognize that an acceptance of “evolution” or “creation” is not mutually exclusive. I, too, am degreed in the life sciences but I have no problem accepting on with the other (neither do Roman Catholics and other major denominations).

    For example, I see evolutionary progress as one of God’s mechanisms for creation and adaptation. I also believe that we understand relatively little about evolutionary mechanisms and that Evolutionists, as a group, have been notorious for fabricating or altering data to support their beliefs. There are Orthodox Jews that believe we are still in the “6th day” or “6th phase” of creation, as the world and life on it is still in the formative stages. I also see the Old Testament rather differently than fundamentalist (“Old Testament”) Christians, as being more allegorical than the New Testament, which I take literally. I find it interesting that the “Big Bang” theory for the creation of the Universe was posited by a Belgian priest and physicist (George LeMaitre) and that the evidence accumulated thus far in support of this theory follows roughly the same sequence posited by those that wrote the Book of Genesis.

    These are all interesting question, but I don’t lose sleep over them. I happen to believe that both Creationist and Evolutionary Darwinists are wrong and fundamentalists each in their own way. And so what?  Whether or not someone chooses to believe in Creationism or Evolution has no bearing, in my view, on someone’s faith and how they choose to lead their lives on this earth. 

  • https://picasaweb.google.com/102427392960537405774 Kevin_B

    Well Earl, in part we will have to agree to disagree, I’m afraid, but I think you articulated your point very well, and I see nothing to get all fired up about – I’m not an extremist. 
     
    About the interpretation thing… I guess there are Christians – I don’t know how many – who don’t see the same issue (which I guess Mr. Lemieux also alluded too) you do.
     
    So, in my judgment, the most logical interpretation of the evidence currently available is that life and its diversity originated from a previously existing intelligence (or Intelligence), a long time ago.


    Which I guess isn’t too far from my beliefs.
     
    Once people realize that “historical science” is interpretation of data, rather than the result of a strict application of the scientific method, it’s a lot easier to see that our presuppositions guide our interpretations. 


    It would definitely help if people admitted/recognized this on all sides of this debate. The fundamentalist atheists/evolutionists can be pretty extremist and blind to. I have some experience with them and don’t like them much. I don’t like religious fundamentalists either – which is still something different from being devoutly or intensely religious.


    Kevin_B and Earl, just so that you recognize that an acceptance of “evolution” or “creation” is not mutually exclusive. I, too, am degreed in the life sciences but I have no problem accepting on with the other (neither do Roman Catholics and other major denominations).


    I’m aware of that, Mr Lemieux. I’m most familiar – although not that much – with the views of the Roman Catholic Church. I attended a Catholic High School; evolution was taught in biology class and the religion classes had a few lessons about it as well, in which similar views were discussed.


    I also see the Old Testament rather differently than fundamentalist (“Old Testament”) Christians, as being more allegorical than the New Testament, which I take literally.


    On what grounds, if I may be so curious?


    These are all interesting question, but I don’t lose sleep over them. I happen to believe that both Creationist and Evolutionary Darwinists are wrong and fundamentalists each in their own way. And so what?  Whether or not someone chooses to believe in Creationism or Evolution has no bearing, in my view, on someone’s faith and how they choose to lead their lives on this earth.


    Well, I contend that there are bigger fish to fry than solving this particular question. And there are much bigger issues to address in society as well. Political correctness regarding the islamic ideology and the danger of islam and its jihad is one prime example I can think of. I have a little bit of experience with fundamentalist/new atheists // darwinists, whatever you wish to call them, and it wasn’t good. If you have just slightly different views, well, let’s just say you got it pretty hard.


    I think some people, on both sides, think that your beliefs in this respect do have important effects. I guess they might think that you views in this respect can influence how you view God, faith, religion, the world, mankind et cetera. And that because off this, it does matter.

  • Texan99

    I guess you would call me a theist evolutionist, too.  The best sense I can make of the fossil record, etc., is that life started from simple forms several billion years ago and has been changing ever since as a result of natural selection.  The part I can’t wrap my mind around is how evolution started, before there was DNA or even rudimentary RNA or the very beginnings of something like the genetic code that every living creature on Earth now uses.  Not that I can’t imagine we’ll ever figure this out, but no one’s got a handle on it yet.  There can’t be evolutionary pressure until there’s inheritable genetic code, so we have to posit a different kind of natural force to gin up the code in the first place.  It’s a tricky one, but normally glossed over in “origins of life” science.  Only in the last few years have I started to see serious attention paid to the problem.

  • Danny Lemieux

    Kevin_B “On what grounds, if I may be so curious?”

    Kevin_B – My interpretation of the Old Testament is that it was based on oral traditions and mistranslations that muddied the waters, so to speak. This is in contrast to the more recent, largely written heritage that makes up the New Testament.Plus, there are the problems of Old Testament translations into Greek and English (the commandment “thou shalt not murder” mistranslated into “thou shalt not kill”, for example).

    In St. Paul’s letters, Saul of Tarsus noted that we can only perceive God “through a glass darkly”. I don’t believe that it was any different for the Old Testament figures. Don’t get me wrong – I don’t discount the Old Testament. It is our best record of God’s developing relationship with us, recorded by fallible people, His creations, and it sets the stage for Christ’s coming. The 10 Commandments are set in stone. In addition, I would not in any way detract from the profundity of the Books of Isaiah or Daniel, or the beauty of Psalms, or the wisdom of Solomon’s proverbs and Ecclesiastes.

    In this, of course, where I and people who believe in the literal interpretation of the Old Testament diverge. That’s OK. I don’t believe that one perspective or the other defines us as Christians. I can say, though, that I do not find myself having to twist my beliefs into a rhetorical pretzel to have to try and justify the atrocious passages of Book of Numbers 31 and the acts described therein being attributed to God. Those passages certainly don’t describe the God that I know through Jesus Christ. The utterances of such a god may have been so perceived by primitive Jewish tribes thousands of years ago through a glass darkly, however. 

     

  • http://OgBlog.net Earl

     
    Oh, this is SO interesting….and not unimportant.  Although I’m with Danny (I think) and Dennis Prager (for sure) that one’s actions are far more important than one’s belief when it comes to our standing with G-d.  This is the sort of discussion that would be a LOT easier to carry on around the dinner table, or sitting in the living room, or out on the patio as the sun sets!  In the comments section of a blog post, it’s a bit more difficult.
     
    OK, it is almost universally accepted that the writers of those O.T. books that are written as history believed that they were writing a true account of what had happened in real time.  If we interpret them in any way but literally, then we’re saying that we know better.  That’s a tough leap for me to make.
     
    Having said that, I have a standard by which I decide what I will insist on as my real belief, and what I am willing to leave in the realm of “mystery*” and plan to ask G-d about when I meet Him, as I fully expect to do.  And that standard rests on my perception of the purpose of Scripture….which is to communicate to us the Story of Redemption. 
     
    I** see that Story as encompassing the Creation of a perfect world, the entrance of sin through the Fall, the working out of G-d’s plan for our salvation through the birth, life, death and bodily Resurrection of His Son, and the return of Jesus Christ to take us home at the end of time.  So, if other Biblical stories (in a book, or a chapter, or a text) are foundational to this central Story of Scripture, I accept them as written.  If they are peripheral (this means, a particular story appears peripheral [or central] to me – I could be convinced otherwise by logical argumentation), then I refuse to insist on accepting them as “True”.
     
    Note the Central Story’s symmetry – reinforced over and over in Scripture – from perfect to fallen to a restoration of the perfect original.  This makes the “evolutionary creation” that many wish to accept seriously problematic to my logical mind.
     
    I think there’s a bit of a parallel between the different ways of reading Scripture and the different ways of reading the Constitution.  Do we accept the writer’s intent, or do we view the text as “living” in some way, to be constantly re-interpreted in ways that satisfy our modern minds…..?
     
    I do not say, or believe, that people who disagree with me on these things are damned, or aren’t committed to G-d.  Although I’m not a universalist, I do believe that many who do not even name the name of Christ on this earth will be saved at the end of time.  G-d speaks to every one of us with His “still small voice”.  Those who hear that voice, and (even eventually) follow it, belong to Him and will be with Him at the end.  Read C.S. Lewis’ The Last Battle and consider Emeth’s story for a far better exposition of this position than I can give here.  Given THAT latitude, there’s plenty of room for me if I’m mistaken, or for you if I happen to have hit on the “correct” way of looking at this situation.
     
    Finally, I know many people who reject a literal Creation but insist on a literal story of Jesus.  So it’s possible to do this — but I don’t think that (within the church, at least) it’s a stable position.  There are a number of denominations who have followed the road of disbelief from one to the other, and there are others currently on the journey.  It appears to me that the move is inevitable….it just takes more time for some than for others.  And young people are far more disturbed by logical disconnects than many of us oldsters.
     
    At least, that’s how it looks from here.
     
     
    *After writing that, I realize that many of the things I insist on believing fall into the realm of “mystery”, also.  What I’m trying to say here is that the story of Job paints such a difficult picture of God that I would not ‘burn at the stake” for it.  Yet, while the Virgin Birth, death and bodily Resurrection of Christ is at least as great a mystery, my faith depends on insisting that it took place as described.
     
    **This isn’t terribly idiosyncratic, either — it was the belief of the entire Christian church, historically.

  • Danny Lemieux

    Actually, Earl, I really don’t disagree with anything you said.
     

  • Mike Devx

    I wrote: But intense religious belief is capable of blinding.
    Kevin B (and others) responded: I agree, but religious belief, or even intense religious belief, doesn’t necessarily lead to blinding or idiocy.

    I hesitated over that entire paragraph and reworded that twice.  I still didn’t get it right, it’s clear.

    The problem is, challenging yourself on your axioms.  I should have talked about ‘deeply cherished beliefs’, not merely religious beliefs.  Any deeply held belief is one people are not likely to challenge.   It seems they often won’t do so at any point in their lives.

    I think you have to challenge your axioms, every so often.

    But I am NOT saying you have to live in that horrid universe of moral relativity, believing in nothing.  To live your life eternally upon shifting sands is abhorrent to me.  You live on the rock-solid foundation of the things that you believe – period.  But, all I am saying, is every so often, visit those assumptions, and wonder about some of them.  “Is this something I know, or just something I believe.  If I know it… based on what evidence?”

    The danger of the unexamined life, aside from the unexamined life being not worth living, is that you never know when you’re going to commit a Todd Akin Moment.

     

  • Mike Devx

    We often make the mistake that the currently held dogma of a scientific theory is the be-all, and that it’s the end of it.  This is true of Evolution as a theory.  Al Gore likes to say “the debate is closed”.  Well, in science, it is never closed.

    Evolution has a number of things going for it as a theory.  It also has a number of problems.  Does the rate of natural selection, under the pressure of necessary adaptation and/or mutation, really account, mathematically, for the rate of speciation that must have occurred for us to see the grand complexity of life forms all around us?  There are interesting studies that indicate that the understood current theory is ORDERS OF MAGNITUDE off.

    Questions in my mind: What could have caused the Cambrian explosion?  What about the three major extinction events?  Extinction events can be caused by some massive catastrophe, but do we have such an explanation for all major extinction events?  In any case, evolution cannot account for the Cambrian explosion.