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On Friday, Connecticut senate candidate Linda McMahon really stepped in it when she told the Hartford Courant editorial board that she thought Catholic hospitals should be able to deny emergency birth control to rape victims, not exactly a position a true pro-choice politican would take. So here she is in last night's debate, trying to clean up the mess with a flip-flop, and, well, failing spectacularly.

MCMAHON: It was really an issue about a Catholic church being forced to offer those pills if the person came in in an emergency rape. That was my response to it. I absolutely think that we should avail women who come in with rape victims the opportunity to have those morning after pills or the treatment that they should get.
Emergency rape? Is that anything like "legitimate" rape? Would McMahon deny birth control to non-emergency rape victims? And how many rape victims, emergency or not, go to a Catholic church for treatment?

Goal Thermometer
The question from the editorial board was clearly this: "So a rape victim, in a hospital. And it’s a hospital that is run by a Catholic institution." And McMahon said the hospital could deny that care. That she's trying to restate that question and her answer in such a hamhanded way shows that, well, she's utterly out of her element when it comes to thinking and talking at the same time.

McMahon is clearly not the pro-choice candidate she's pretending to be. She's also not the qualified candidate she's pretending to be. There's a reason one newspaper editorial board said that she "gives the impression of someone who has memorized talking points and doesn't know the difference between them and actual thoughts or policy positions." That's because that's who she is as a candidate.

Please send Chris Murphy $3 on ActBlue.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 08:47 AM PDT.

Also republished by Rape and Domestic Violence, Pro Choice, and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I love the smell of failure in the morning (19+ / 0-)

    Please, McMahon, don't stop talking. And more importantly, don't stop using your own money in this election.

    Cause honestly, this is hi-larious.

    •  Well, she's saturating my teevee (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lulusbackintown, dss, swampyankee

      with very effective, totally dishonest ads. Murphy cut $716 from Medicare for current beneficiaries (picture of frail looking old woman with terror in her eyes), Murphy took $1 million in congressional salary (gasp!) and didn't show up for 70% of his committee hearings. (Most of those have one or two members there, as we all know.) Linda is going to protect Medicare and Social Security, Chris Murphy wants to cut it and give the money to people who aren't you.

      This crap is on 8 times every half hour on every channel in CT.

  •  If nothing else, the current election campaign (16+ / 0-)

    is sure educating me that there are a huge number of rape categories that I never previously suspected to exist.

    Not sure if that's a good thing, however.

    •  Oh Rrraaaaaapppe! (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Roadbed Guy, GOPGO2H3LL, askyron, raincrow

      http://www.youtube.com/...

      Rape!
      R-a-a-a-pe!
      Raa-aa-aa-pe!

      A pretty rape!
      A literary rape!

      We've the obvious open schoolboy rape,
      With little mandolins and perhaps a cape.
      The rape by coach; it's little in request.
      The rape by day, but the rape by night is best.

      Just try to see it.
      And you will soon agree, señors,
      Why
      Invite regret,
      When you can get the sort of rape
      You'll never ever forget.

      You can get the rape emphatic.
      You can get the rape polite.
      You can get the rape with Indians:
      A very charming sight.
      You can get the rape on horseback;
      They'll all say it's new and gay.
      So you see the sort of rape
      Depends on what you pay.
      It depends on what you
      Pay.

      The kids will love it.
      It depends on what you pay!
      So why be stingy?
      It depends on what you --

      The spectacular rape,
      With costumes ordered from the East.
      Requires rehearsal
      And takes a dozen men at least.
      A couple of singers,
      And a string quartet.
      A major production.
      Requires a set.

      Sounds expensive!

      Just try to see it.
      And you will soon si,si señors,
      Why
      Invite regret,
      When you can get the sort of rape
      You'll never ever forget.

      You can get the rape emphatic.
      You can get the rape polite.
      You can get the rape with Indians:
      A very charming sight.
      You can get the rape on horseback;
      They'll all say it's new and gay.
      So you see the sort of rape
      Depends on what you pay.
      It depends on what you
      Pay.

      So why be stingy?
      It depends on what you pay!
      The kids will love it.
      It depends on what you --

      The comic rape.
      Perhaps it's just a trifle too unique.
      Romantic rape:
      Done while canoeing on a moonlit creek.
      The gothic rape!
      I play "Valkyrie" on a bass bassoon!
      The drunken rape.
      It's done completely in a cheap saloon.

      The rape Venetian
      Needs a blue lagoon.
      The rape with moonlight
      Or without a moon.
      Moonlight is expensive but it's in demand.
      The military rape:
      It's done with drummer and a band.

      You understand?
      I understand.
      It's very grand.
      It's very grand.
      It's done with drums and a great big brass band!
      Yeah!

      Just try to see it.
      I see it!
      I see it!
      And you will soon si,si señors,
      Why
      Invite regret,
      When you can get the sort of rape
      You'll never ever forget.

      You can get the rape emphatic.
      You can get the rape polite.
      You can get the rape with Indians:
      A very charming sight.
      You can get the rape on horseback;
      They'll all say it's new and gay.
      So you see the sort of rape
      Depends on what you pay.
      So you see the sort of rape
      Depends on what you pay.
      So you see the sort of rape
      Depends on what you pay.
      So you see the sort of rape
      Depends on what you pay.
      Depends on what you pay.
      Depends on what you pay.
      Depends on what you pay.
      Depends on what you pay.

      So why be stingy?
      It depends on what you pay!
      The kids will love it.
      It depends on what you

      Ra-aa-aa-pe!
      Ole!

      I used to be Snow White. And then I drifted. - Mae West

      by CherryTheTart on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 09:02:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I understand your plight… (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Roadbed Guy, GOPGO2H3LL

      I am also having a tough time knowing what non-emergency rape is.  Is an emergency rape one characterized by the perpetrator beating the snot out of the victim as opposed to a kinder, gentler invasion?

      I am also having a problem with legitimate versus illegitimate rape.  Is one less a crime than the other?  Maybe one is committed by a dirty, street denizen as opposed to a businessman on a business trip out having some fun?

  •  "McMahon flip-flops, badly" (8+ / 0-)

    and pins herself to the mat.

    At least she didn't try to smash herself in the face with a chair before attempting that stunt

    The 1st Amendment gives you the right to say stupid things, the 1st Amendment doesn't guarantee a paycheck to say stupid things.

    by JML9999 on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 09:13:45 AM PDT

  •  So women who come in with the rape victims (15+ / 0-)

    can have the morning after pill but not the actual rape victim?  

    I absolutely think that we should avail women who come in with rape victims the opportunity to have those morning after pills or the treatment that they should get
    Holy hell was she a mess in that response.  

    "The Democratic Party is not our friend: it is the only party we can negotiate with." Rebecca Solnit The Rain on Our Parade.

    by Jacoby Jonze on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 09:15:48 AM PDT

    •  And that's her clarification! (9+ / 0-)

      She's a mess.

      "There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning." —Warren Buffett

      by Joan McCarter on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 09:18:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I've got a rape victim here! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Brainwrap, raincrow

      Quick, give me a morning after pill.

      Oh, sorry actual rape victim, you're on your own.  Good luck.

      Keep Calm and Carry On. But kick some unholy ass if the situation warrants.

      by GOPGO2H3LL on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 09:21:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  More where that came from: (0+ / 0-)
      It was really an issue about a Catholic church being forced to offer those pills if the person came in in an emergency rape.
      OK, Joan already addressed the "church" part (I assume she meant "hospital") and the "emergency rape" part (I assume she meant...well, I'm not sure what the hell that meant. Apparently there are some rapes that are simply "predicament rapes", not "emergencies").

      However, there's two more word-salad bits here:

      "If the person came in"..."the person"?? Really? Don't get me wrong, I do recognize that there's a small percentage of men who are raped (usually boys, I would imagine...and a large percentage of those have been by...wait for it...Catholic priests...but that's another issue).

      However, male rape victims, for all the trauma they suffered, don't require emergency contraception...which makes McMahon's weird reference to "the person" coming in instead of "the woman" really, really strange.

      Not as strange as the rest of the sentence, though, in which she refers to "the person coming in in an emergency rape".

      Perhaps my understanding of the laws of physics and the space-time continuum are off, but I don't think a fully-grown "person" can physically exist INSIDE OF an act of violence. But that's just me.

  •  Catholic churchs don't dispense any drugs: (5+ / 0-)

    she meant "hospital affiliated with a catholic order", which isn't QUITE the same thing.  The latter aren't religious institutions, they are hospitals, in the business of providing care, not promoting theologies.  That's why the victim showed up there in the first place instead of going to see a priest: she was seeking medical care.    For a hospital to pull a switch and then say it's not a caregiver but a religion, go somewhere else with your emergency, is exactly the problem.

    "The one big advantage to being a boring candidate is that you give the appearance of calm and stability. But, suddenly, Romney seemed to want to go for a piquant mélange of dull and hotheaded."-- Gail Collins

    by Inland on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 09:17:58 AM PDT

  •  EMERGENCY EMERGENCY (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Matt Z

    Quick, rape something!

    Keep Calm and Carry On. But kick some unholy ass if the situation warrants.

    by GOPGO2H3LL on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 09:19:46 AM PDT

  •  Chris absolutely (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Matt Z, mconvente

    knocked it out of the park.

    Bravo!

  •  She is exactly what Mitt Romney is. A rich, (4+ / 0-)

    power-hungry elitist who masquerades as someone interested in actual public service purely so they can further pad their ego and resume in order to leveraged for even greater financial gains shortly down the road.  

    Having no real ideas or principles of their own, but rather simply memorize a list of talking points and selling their souls in order to do/say absolutely ANYTHING necessary to get elected is just good business.  Something they've done every day of their business lives, so why not also do it in their political lives.  What the hell is the difference?

  •  I like the fact (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Joan McCarter, raincrow

    that, in the short time available, Chris Murphy sketched out just how this works even a little bit.

    Wish I'd seen more here, and wish there was more of it in general. I think the way to really embarrass these people is to put the audience in the shoes of a woman for a second. And to expose the fact that they're advocating for a few old celibate men against a whole array of competing interests. They've picked a side; let's show some other sides.

    Plus: opponents should also point out that getting emergency contraception is not the only thing that happens in a hospital post-rape. Doctors also do a rape kit -- to help police prosecute the crime.

    Are Catholic hospitals not interested in helping the police prosecute the crime of rape? Or will they agree to take a rape kit, but then send a woman out into the street to find another hospital so she can prevent a pregnancy from the result of that crime? Do they assume there are no compassionate doctors or nurses inside a Catholic hospital who see caring for a rape victim as crucial to their mission?

    The plural of anecdote is not data.

    by vernonlee on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 09:28:21 AM PDT

  •  The Catholic hierarchy (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skyounkin, llywrch

    which is the overstuffed, pedophile protecting or pedophiles themselves, businessmen, non-religious people should get out of the business of medical processing of humans.  They are compromising medical professionals' ethics and abusing those in need.

    Linda McMahon needs to be humiliated at the polls.  

    I live in a very red "city."  The Murphy/Esty/Democratic headquarters is always full -- all ages and many Latinos -- we are a pretty much white/Latino area.  These folks are motivated.

    " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

    by gchaucer2 on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 09:31:25 AM PDT

  •  Churches do not have to open hospitals. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    raincrow, Zinman

    Hospitals which fail to treat "some" people crowd out others who would be willing to have their public facility serve all citizens equally.   You know there isn't time in an emergency to research whether they don't serve blacks, or Seventh Day Adventists, or women,  or Wiccans.   Open to the public and taking government tax dollars paid in by all ---- trumps their right to exercise bigotry.

    Anti death penalty folks should not seek jobs as the state paid executioner.    Anti emergency care folks shouldn't open emergency rooms.

    Morning after pill IS by definition an emergency.  Whether by rape or failed contraception ---- there is a limited window of time.  Especially in states which put up impossible roadblocks like first having to schedule an appointment to get doctor to write a prescription.

    De fund + de bunk = de EXIT--->>>>>

    by Neon Mama on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 09:34:09 AM PDT

  •  I'm more impressed with Rep. Murphy's answer, (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skyounkin, NMDad, raincrow, llywrch

    than with McMahon's fail moment.

    I've never heard a more clear-cut, succinct, and truthful answer to the question of emergency contraception than the one that Rep. Murphy stated, and remarkably in only 30 seconds.

    I'm going to totally use that response whenever I have debates with hard-line Catholics when they rail about religious freedom and all that other garbage.

    Rep. Murphy is 100% correct - in an emergency, you go to the nearest hospital to your current location.  Just because it may be a Catholic affiliated hospital (or whatever religion), you should be afforded the same standard of care available to women elsewhere - and that definitely should include emergency contraception.

    #RomneyRyan2012: Because one white, rich, male Republican asshole is never enough.

    by mconvente on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 09:36:10 AM PDT

  •  She probably thinks it's an emergency only if (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Brainwrap

    the woman is brought in beaten and bloodied - evidence that she fought back against her attacker and did not in any way enjoy the raping, and even if her body malfunctioned and did not "shut down" as it should have.  These people are off the charts in their stupidity and in the belief that they will go unchallenged when they say this kind of shit.

  •  linda mcmahon (0+ / 0-)

    is a typical gop candidate, they seems credible when they are talking to the fanatical low information voters that subscribe to their bible based extreme reality of society and its mores, she doesn't seem so informed when confronted by someone who is coming from a secular background on the issues, thats where the bible says or made me do it has no standing with an informed voter who is more science oriented.
    if anyone thinks that linda mcmahon is using all her and her husbands wealth over the last two election cycles to do the right thing for the voters i have a bridge to sell you, she believes she can recoup her investment and more by getting elected to the senate just as she reaped a harvest as a promoter of the wwe.

  •  Is it me...or are they trying to move the (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    raincrow, CTMET, AmazingBlaise

    narration/debate to where only rape victims should have access to the morning after pill?

    "A victim of a brutal assualt.." is what Congressman Murphy said.

    How about any woman who wants one should be able to get one?  Isn't that what is basically accepted for abortion?  Unless your a rethug of course.

    "I'm not scared of anyone or anything, Angie. Isn't that the way life should be?" Jack Hawksmoor

    by skyounkin on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 09:50:42 AM PDT

    •  Unfortunately it seems so. I still starting to (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      skyounkin

      like Murphy though.

      The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy;the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness

      by CTMET on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 09:55:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  To be fair, we're talking about a specific case (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      skyounkin, gramofsam1

      here, with regards to requiring emergency contraception.

      Murphy is not the most liberal guy in Congress, but he's a lot closer to Bernie Sanders than he is to Joe Lieberman.

      We don't want our country back, we want our country FORWARD. --Eclectablog

      by Samer on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 09:55:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And for that we can be thankful! (0+ / 0-)

        The fact that he's using working within the frame is a bit of a mistake on his part, I doubt that he's consciously shifting the premise. But skyounkin's point is good and bears watching.

  •  Outside the Nation's capitol, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    raincrow, llywrch

    in between two parks that are popular with joggers and bike commuters and sexual assaults occur from time to time,

    near three metro stations that provide a convenient location for a sexual assault with a guaranteed quick get-away,

    tucked into one of the largest suburban population areas,

    near three nightclub/restaurant/bar centers and concert venues,

    is a Catholic run hospital.  

    You can see it from the Beltway.  It is the hospital that the ambulance will take you should you be involved in a sexual assault.  

    Let me repeat:  should you be sexually assaulted in one of the largest suburbs in the Washington, DC metro area, you will be taken to a Catholic hospital.

    So how's that policy on protecting religious institutions working for you now?

  •  it was clearly not a 'legitimate' (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gbaked


    rape comment, because her mouth didn't 'have a way to shut that whole thing down.'

    "Kossacks are held to a higher standard. Like Hebrew National hot dogs." - blueaardvark

    by louisev on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 10:02:53 AM PDT

  •  Linda, you chose the wrong state to run (0+ / 0-)

    for the senate.

    Perhaps, you should've chosen a state where the IQ level is as low as some of the people who pay money to watch your product on WWE Raw.

    Oh, but I understand why she's running. She has a "plan to get people back to work."

    The nerve of these people.

    "Do they call you Rush because you're in a rush to eat?" -"Stutterin' John" Melendez to Rush Limbaugh.

    by Nedsdag on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 10:21:22 AM PDT

    •  Now, now! (0+ / 0-)

      CT has it's share of dipsh!ts, don't go slamming people over their geography.
      Give you an example: We had a Republican Governor that was so corrupt that he ended his term in federal prison. Along the way, he'd steered hundreds of millions of dollars to cronies and was one of the drivers behind many ugly projects including Kelo Vs New London. After he was removed from office, CT elected his Lt Gov, Jody Rell.
      She had been in the same office, surrounded, literally by all this corrupt administration, not twenty feet from her desk, and we elected her to 4 years after her half term was up!
      Do you think she was somehow clean? Explain.
      The Democratic Party in CT was pretty burned out at the time. Chris Dood and Joe Lie berman and the DLC nightmare had given the GOP an organizing incentive. Instead of retaking our party, instead of demanding that the Ds straighten out their own act, the let the Rs gain a strong foothold here.
      So neither party has a monopoly on stupid or sleazy in this state and before we start ragging on Alabama or Oklahoma, it would do us well to get our own house in order.

  •  I am confused. Catholic hospitals aren't (0+ / 0-)

    obligated to provide the morning after pill, are they?  I remember something about rape victims being taken to other hospitals because they wouldn't get one at a Catholic hospital.  Is she not talking about Catholic hospitals or something else?

  •  EC _prevents_ embryo death (0+ / 0-)

    Emergency contracertion's only confirmed mode of operation is to prevent ovulation. Yes, that works after sex, because sperm last longer than ova. By preventing conception, EC is preventing large numbers of natural miscarriages.

    It may also work by upsetting the chemical gradients that help lead the sperm to the egg. That's pure speculation, though, no more or less likely than the "prevents implantation" theory.

    Anti-choice catholics know that it won't sell if they say what they really think: "unwanted babies are God's punishment for sluts." Many of them couldn't even live with themselves if they said that out loud. So they cover it with "EC kills snowflake babies". Trouble is, for that to work, they have to twist the science as much as they're twisting theology and morality.

    Bitter prudes.

    Senate rules which prevent any reform of the filibuster are unconstitutional. Therefore, we can rein in the filibuster tomorrow with 51 votes.

    by homunq on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 10:39:08 AM PDT

  •  McMahon's right (0+ / 0-)

    but good God man, get a better suit

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