TPM Reader TF plumbs some more of them …
What strikes me about this whole flap is that Akin’s response, and Republicans’ response to him, is that use of the phrase “legitimate rape” was what was offensive. Akin’s “apology,” as well as many statements from people decrying the original flap, imply that it’s terrible to say that rape is sometimes “legitimate.” But as Brian pointed out, this is not what Akin said at all. Rather, he was distinguishing genuine rape from rape that the woman may actually have wanted, or falsely claimed, or something like that.
But what’s most interesting to me is the subtext of Akin’s response. In apologizing for having called some rape “legitimate”, he reveals that his press team looked at what he said (women’s bodies have mechanisms to prevent impregnation from rape) and made the calculated decision that they’d rather portray him as having said some rape is OK than as having said what he actually said. This could be because they fear the electoral backlash of having made such a crazy statement, but it could also be because they fear backlash from the base because what he said reflects what a lot of the base actually believes.
Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.