The victory of Barack Obama yesterday was the result of nearly sweeping the crucial battleground states. But in the various Senate races up for grabs across the country, where Republicans were hopeful that they might be able to wrest control of the senate from the Democrats for the coming term, the party of the people showed up in a big way, handing some major upsets to the GOP and retaining power over the Senate for the next two years at least. Of those who failed to reach their goals; two men who had made it clear that they were not fit to create policy.
In Missouri, disgraced politician Todd Akin, whose comments about female biology during instances of “legitimate rape” made him a target for equality advocates across the nation, had already been cut off from the Republican party. Even former candidate (how good does it feel to say that!) Mitt Romney spoke to him amidst the controversy asking him to drop out of the race. The former presidential candidate was keenly aware of the War on Women and the negative view of the GOP held by anyone in the USA with a vagina, and everyone else in the USA who cares about them. Romney and Republican party officials wanted Akin out to calm nerves and maneuver in a candidate who might have had a chance at winning.
Headstrong, Akin decided to stay in, polls had him remaining competitive. But his support evaporated, and the opposition materialized. He was successfully kept out of the Senate and most likely will never surface again in politics. Good riddance.
Akin was not the only man to reveal that he has no idea how female (or human) biology works while at the same time trying make the case to enact laws to control reproductive rights. Richard Mourdock, the former treasurer of the state of Indiana, got into trouble when he made comments about pregnancy resulting from rape being the will of God. While his blatant ignorance and disregard of reality was on display for the entirety of his campaign, it was this that pushed him over the edge and eroded the incredible amount of support he was able to amass during his beginning of his campaign.
Mourdock was a Tea Party favorite, whose anti-Washington, anti-government, and anti-tax message caused him to defeat Republican Senator Dick Lugar — who served 36 years in the Senate — by over 20 percentage points during the Republican primaries. He looked like a shoe-in for victory in a Republican state with a popular Republican governor (Mitch Daniels). He fell to Democrat Joe Donnelly, whose biggest asset was simply that he wasn’t a religious radical who wanted to control women while understanding nothing about reality.
The fall of the Tea Party darlings is probably the nail in the coffin for the radical right wing group that has cannibalized the Republican party. Their hypocritical, sexist, and entirely ignorant beliefs are becoming increasingly marginalized, and thanks to the velocity that news can morph and travel on the internet, it is impossible to escape any questionable comments. Society is too modern for these time-traveling chauvinists.
To dismiss these comments from both men as simply “errors” of speech would be to classify them like Mitt Romney’s “Binders full of women” comment. Romney’s comment caught fire because of the potential comical images that come to mind immediately. Akin and Mourdock actually believe what they said. They actually believe that access to contraceptives, abortion, and family planning are against the will of God. They fail to accept that as a progressive society we need a standard of health that is identical between men and women, and that this standard must be based on science and common morality, not the Bible. They represent an older, radical demographic that is quickly shrinking into irrelevancy. Hopefully the results from yesterday mean that at least two more men are out of the game for good.