Ten Miles Square


August 20, 2012 1:00 PM “Legitimate Rape” as a Contraceptive: Part of a Pattern

By Mark Kleiman

As the Republican establishment runs away from the insane comment of the Republican Senate candidate in Missouri, let’s pause to notice the underlying pattern. Now that the GOP is the Party with the Fringe on Top, its membership has given itself permission – with the aid of the Murdoch press – to simply invent new “facts,” both natural and social. Young-Earth Creationism, Global Warming Denialism, Supply-Side Economics, Birtherism, and the claim that the current Adminisration is “socialist” are all of a piece with, e.g., Paul Ryan’s budget arithmetic. They’re simply false. And they’re also articles of faith among one or more Wingnut factions.

In this particular case, the claimed “fact” happened to be deeply offensive to women and to men who care about women, so Akin is getting hammered on it. But equally silly claims are the rule, not the exception, in his speeches and those of his co-partisans. Akin’s anti-feminism is appalling, but his contempt for truth – shared by an entire political party – is a threat to the Republic.

[Cross-posted at The Reality-based Community]

Mark Kleiman is a professor of public policy at the University of California Los Angeles.


  • David Martin on August 20, 2012 7:12 PM:

    Conservatives represent a large and lucrative market for "facts" that suit their opinions. Pseudo-historian David Barton's book on Thomas Jefferson suddenly made the New York Times best seller list when the publisher (the very conservative Thomas Nelson) withdrew the book for lack of credibility.

  • davidp on August 21, 2012 9:09 AM:

    Is the GOP establishment running from the comment itself, i.e., the content, or from the fact that Akin said it out loud?