Enter Richard Mourdock, the Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in Indiana:
The only exception I have to have an abortion is in that case of the life of the mother. I struggled with it myself for a long time, but I came to realize that life is that gift from God and I think even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape that it is something God intended to happen.The Republican Party has long believed—and has tried to legislate—the idea that rape isn't really that bad, especially because sometimes it's not really rape, and besides, if you end up impregnated by your rapist, just turn that frown upside down and be thankful for God's little gift to you. They've been saying this—and trying to legislate it—for years. It's not new. It's not news. It's just the Republican Party.
Every now and then, though, one Republican will express this widely held Republican principle in such an honest way that it's embarrassing for the party, and his fellow Republicans, who agree with him completely, will pretend they don't because they think that's the politically expedient thing to do. See, for example, magic lady parts theorist Todd Akin of Missouri, from whom his entire party, especially the two men on the presidential ticket, tried to run as fast as their cowardly legs could take them.
But this is different. The election is less than two weeks away. Republicans can't call on Mourdock to drop out of the race so they can replace him with someone equally vile, but who hasn't embarrassed them yet. Which begs the question: What will Paul Ryan do?
Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan Monday used his first campaign stop in Indiana to do some fundraising and delivered a ringing endorsement of Indiana Republican Senate candidate Richard Mourdock.
“Please, please send us Richard Mourdock. We need this man in the United States Senate,” Ryan told a midday crowd of more than 100 people who had paid at least $1,000 per ticket to hear him speak at the J.W. Marriott in downtown Indianapolis.
Ryan didn't just stump for Mourdock; his PAC also gave Mourdock $5,000 in June. Mourdock is Ryan's kind of guy, after all. It wouldn't be noteworthy that Ryan is dedicated to Mourdock's election—except, now that Ryan is on the national ticket, he's supposed to pretend he's not the American Taliban poster boy he actually is. That's why the Romney campaign forced him to pretend to distance himself from Todd Akin in August. And that's why it's going to be very interesting to see whether Ryan is forced once again by the campaign to condemn Mourdock's comments and pretend he doesn't agree. Even though we already know he does.
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