Todd Akin
Credit: Are Tågvold Flaten\Flickr

While trying to explain both why the Republicans have so few women in the Senate and why they should run more women as candidates, Nathan L. Gonzales of Roll Call offers this observation:

One seemingly obvious way to avoid Republican men’s temptation to offer their biological views on abortion and choice is to nominate a woman.

He’s obviously hearkening back to Senate candidates Todd Akin of Missouri and Richard Mourdock of Indiana who both lost five years ago when they expressed their views on pregnancies that result from rape. Akin said that rape pregnancies don’t happen and Mourdock said that they’re God’s will.

Presumably, no woman would ever say something so stupid and offensive. I guess that’s the argument. But isn’t it sad that anyone would think this was a necessary precaution? And how does that work when trying to recruit women to run? Please represent this party that is full of rape-baby apologists?

I read analysis like this and it’s not so much that I think it’s wrong exactly as that I just don’t ever want to get to the point where I think it’s normal.

How about recruiting women to run because you think they’ll be good politicians and excellent public servants?

And how about having a party that’s not so chock full of nutcase men that you think women’s primary value is that they won’t say something so dumb and toxic as to lose you a winnable seat?

Martin Longman

Martin Longman is the web editor for the Washington Monthly. See all his writing at