Akin comments, GOP reaction: Just symptoms of what ails our current form of politics?
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Akin comments, GOP reaction: Just symptoms of what ails our current form of politics?

Somerset : NJ : USA | Aug 21, 2012 at 4:09 PM PDT
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August 21, 2012

I’ve spent much time since late spring talking and communing with common people, in part from necessity due to the passing away of three family members within a four month period. Traveling "back home," a distance of about 400 miles from my current home of the past 23 years, allowed for the experiencing of different local perspectives on national and world events.

Locally, I also returned to some familiar haunts at a youth baseball complex where for almost 15 years much of my free time had been spent coaching and teaching boys and girls about the game—a great one to use metaphorically to illustrate values, including sportsmanship and fair play. We played to win, but not to win at all costs.

This political season, some have justified the "WAAC" mentality as necessary to “save the country," or to try to convince groups of people to get their votes that it is. However it is this “scorched earth” practice of vilifying any opposition to or reflective questioning of a position or proposal that really turns people off, often making them sick to their stomachs about games being played while so many suffer, most often due to no fault of their own.

What common Americans are concerned about is the blatant hypocrisy of modern politics in the country by both major parties, despite the technological advantages, and disadvantages for people such as Missouri Rep. Todd Akin (R) or Mitt Romney, for that matter. Videotape replays can be damaging, damning or vindicating, even if sometimes prone to being "spun" to convince people that they didn’t see what they thought they saw, or the way they thought they saw it. The average American’s disdain is rooted in politicians’ and their operatives’ apparently not giving a damn about how the masses who they claim to represent and care about perceive their words and actions, even when their explanations don’t hold water.

Some distortion is expected in politics, but common people dislike outright prevarication and the deviant examples they represent for young people, while those who are parents attempt to rear them with foundational values to consistently "do the right thing" in general. The lesson the pols seem to impart to everyone is that "lying and deception is OK as long as you don’t get caught in them."

It’s quite interesting to see the new GOP that has been evolving since the economic collapse during the Bush-Cheney years, trying to force Akin out of the Missouri Senate race immediately for his televised statements about rape and abortion. Financial backing for him has already been discontinued by some groups as his repudiation has been aired by a plethora of Republicans. Their obvious concerns are the link between Akin and GOP VP candidate Rep. Paul Ryan (WI) and the potential damage to the top of their ticket, as well as causing enough of a local backlash that could result in his failure to upset current incumbent Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill (D).

She was trailing Akin in polls by five percentage points before his interview was aired over the past week end and reportedly has closed the gap to a single point already.[1] Should the worst happen from the GOP perspective, their bid to achieve a majority in the Senate would be seriously damaged. Additionally, they’re concerned Akin’s comments could taint other candidates in other states and worst of all, potentially causing the state’s electoral votes to be won by President Obama.

Whether they considered themselves pro-life or not, many Americans weren’t aware that Republicans have been pushing similar policies in other states over the past few years as well as on the national level, mirroring Akin’s comments, as does the failed “forcible rape” legislation that he co-sponsored with Ryan.

Regardless as to how one feels about abortion as a complex, emotional issue and any related circumstances that might be relevant to them, the covers are being pulled off enough to make many wonder pejoratively, where in hell do they find some of these people and why they weren’t checked out ahead of time? Others will question why his comments provoke such a reaction from his side, since what he said isn’t far different from the GOP platform plank that is likely to remain at the convention’s end next week.

If you like to write about U.S. politics and Campaign 2012, enter "The American Pundit" competition. Allvoices is awarding four $250 prizes each month between now and November. These monthly winners earn eligibility for the $5,000 grand prize, to be awarded after the November election.

Sources, resources and references: Fox News, MSNBC, NBC, CNN.

[1] MSNBC, MSNBC Live, August 21, 2012.

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The Big Picture
Some people will wonder why Rep. Akin's comments provoked such a reaction from fellow Republicans, since what he said isn't far different from the GOP platform plank that is likely to remain after their convention ends next week.
James A. Hamilton is based in Somerset, New Jersey, United States of America, and is an Anchor on Allvoices.
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  • 	 Some people will wonder why Rep. Akin's comments provoked such a reaction from fellow Republicans, since what he said isn’t far different from the GOP platform plank that is likely to remain after their convention ends next week.

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