[B]oth pro- and anti-abortion groups are focusing on the “legitimate rape” part because it distracts from the very issue Akin himself was trying to hide from: What about pregnancy that results from rape. Akin doesn’t want to confront that this happens, which is why he put forth his dumb rape-doesn’t-cause-pregnancy theory. Pro-choicers, for the most part, don’t want to confront that an abortion that happens after a rape is still just as much an abortion as one that happens because nobody bothered with birth control.Rush Limbaugh had a similar theme on his show today:
I think both sides should own it. Stand in your truth and be straightforward about what you really believe.
The Democrats are gonna try to go to town on this Akin thing as much as they can. Their convention is gonna be the pro-abortion convention. They're gonna end up celebrating abortion at their convention. And, folks, psst, let me tell you something. I don't want you to tell anybody. Let them do it. Let them turn over their convention to Planned Parenthood and to NARAL and every other feminazi out there, you let them do it. Let them go right ahead and turn their convention into pro-abortion. If that's what they think is gonna win the election for them, if they really think this War on Women thing, that they can play it out, let them do it...
"The Democrat Party strongly and unequivocally supports Roe v. Wade and a woman's right to choose a safe and legal abortion regardless of ability to pay, and we oppose any and all efforts to weaken or undermine that right." Well, this includes now partial-birth abortion and taxpayer-funded abortion. The Democrats are making it plain they support all of that. The American people don't support taxpayer-funded abortion. The American people don't support partial-birth abortion.Swing voters — including me — think both parties, if they say what they really believe, are too extreme on abortion. Therefore, whichever party is clearest and most emphatic about abortion is the one that will lose votes. That's why Rush is saying let the Democrats have their big celebration of abortion and why Republicans are hot to rid themselves of Akin. It's better for each party to have its message be only about its general tendency — the Democrats toward access to abortions and the Republicans toward valuing the life of the unborn child.
Rush knows this too, because he stresses that Republicans shouldn't answer probing questions about abortion and rape. They should respond by demanding that the Democrats be asked "why they have blanket support for partial-birth abortion and taxpayer-funded abortion... why they think it's permissible for the government to tell the Catholic Church and other organizations they must make abortion available against their religious beliefs?"
Abortion politics is a strange game of displaying principles without showing how those principles would apply in the hard cases. We swing voters might warm up to your big principle, but will be horrified to hear about its principled application. Partial-birth abortion is to pro-choice as rape is to pro-life. The trick is to talk about the other side's details and your own big idea.