Republican Rape Rants Will Ruin Party's Election Chances

The Republican Party's continued attacks on women will damage not only the individual candidacies of Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock, but the party as a whole.

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There they go again. Their ridiculous rants about rape will ruin Republicans next week.

You would think that Republican congressional candidates would keep quiet about rape after GOP Senate candidates Rep. Todd Akin and Richard Murdock hurt their own candidacies and GOP chances to gain control of the Senate by trivializing the harm sexual assault inflicts on women. If you did think that, you were wrong. Sunday, John Koster, the GOP hopeful in the First Congressional District of Washington twice described a sexual assault against a woman as "the rape thing." In announcing his opposition to abortion in cases of rape, Koster dismissed the traumatic effects of rape on the lives and well being of women.

[See a collection of political cartoons on the Republican Party.]

Why do Republican candidates minimize the trauma of rape? The answer is that it's a way of justifying their total opposition to a woman's right to choose. Remember all three of these guys are running on a party platform that opposes abortions in all cases, even when a woman's life is in danger or when she is the victim of rape and incest. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

The hard line positions on rape and abortion also reflect the GOP's priorities. During the 2010 midterm elections, Republican congressional candidates promised that fixing the economy would be the party's priority if it gained control of the House. The GOP did win the House and the party showed its true colors when the first and third bills the new majority proposed limited the availability of abortions. House Resolution 3 would have allowed federal funding for abortions only in cases of "forcible rape," whatever that is. Notably, the sponsors of HR 3 were the GOP vice presidential candidate, Paul Ryan and the infamous Representative Akin.

[Take the U.S. News Poll: Will Richard Mourdock's Comments on God and Rape Sink the GOP?]

Independent voters will keep these incidents in mind when they vote Tuesday. These attacks on women foreshadow Republican intentions if they win the trifecta and control of both houses of Congress and the White House. You can forget about the economy, Washington will be rape and abortion 24/7. The GOP insults may also have an ironic backlash. Ryan, Akin, Murdock, and Koster are poster boys for the need for more women in Congress, so Republican attacks on women may mean the election of more women. Fortunately in the cases of Akin and Koster, voters have the opportunity to send Claire McCaskill and Suzan DelBene to Washington.

The really scary thing is these GOP candidates actually believe what they say. The Republican attacks on women will keep on coming. They just can't help themselves. Fanatics never can.

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