Monday, August 20, 2012

Todd Akin and believing crazy sh#t.

Todd Akin has said that he believes (I'm paraphrasing) that women who are raped are unable to become pregnant because of the encounter, so they don't need access to medical care for unwanted pregnancy.  I suppose it logically follows that if one becomes pregnant then the intercourse that led to it was de facto consensual (perhaps on some deep, sub-conscious some cases...or something).

He says he believes this because doctors told him it was true.  He describes some "red alert" system in a woman's nether regions that won't allow her to become pregnant if it's because of rape (which I assume is the case with forced sexual intercourse).  Apparently, he's been told that things "shut down" in that case.

I believe him.  I've known doctors that might say things like that, some of them OB-GYN's.  Education does not protect from delusion.

I think he's being quite transparent in his beliefs.  His problem is not openness, it is that he believes some crazy sh#t!

Quite predictably, he's being bludgeoned from all sides for his beliefs.  His actions, that is, how he's been voting and applying the resources of his office, are indistinguishable from dozens of other rank-and-file social conservatives.  It would make absolutely no difference to the operation of the government for him to be replaced by another rank-and-file social conservative who publicly concedes that rape can cause pregnancy.  That person and Todd Akin would vote identically.

I think this is too harsh.  His only offense is saying he believes crazy sh#t.  I happen to think that Mitt Romney believes some sh#t that is every bit as crazy.  I believe that I know something real about a Japanese zen monk that died over 700 years before I was conceived.  We all believe crazy sh#t.

Of course, this kind of contrarianism is easy.  Todd Akin is through as a public figure.  Hubris brought him down.  I won't have to defend my position later.  Stick a fork in him.

But, I really want to live in a society where you can believe what you want.  What should matter is what you do, not what you think.  Akin hasn't done anything, or cast any vote, that dozens of others, many of who now condemn him, haven't done or cast right alongside him.

I wish that mattered more.