This weekend, however, we may have seen a tipping point. When it comes to triggering hatred, Republican Congressman Todd Akin may have crossed the line in justifying his hard line that abortion can never be accepted as legitimate, even in the most extreme circumstances. As just about everyone knows by now, the “trigger words,” so to speak, were the following:
If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.These words have the power to tap into that same sort of visceral hatred that Republicans have tried to direct towards our President and those who agree with him that government has a role in trying to offer a better life for all of its citizens, rather than just the wealthy ones. Akin’s statement might not offend all women. However, they are likely to cut through to a strong majority of them, even those with Republican loyalties; and, given Mitt Romney’s immediate distancing from those words, one might expect that there are plenty of men out there, regardless of party affiliation, will to recognize that Akin went far over the line of basic human decency.
It would be nice if Akin inadvertently sounded the wake-up call that hate-mongering is no way to run a political campaign. I would not hold my breath. Nevertheless, it is about time the Republicans get a better feel for what it is like to be on the receiving end of such irrationality. I suspect that hate-free campaigning is beyond reasonable expectation; but, if Akln’s behavior leads to even a slight turning down of the rhetorical heat, there may be a glass of lemonade coming from his oversized lemon.