ChrisWeigant.com

Please support ChrisWeigant.com this holiday season!

Championing Rapists' Fatherhood Rights

[ Posted Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011 – 15:33 PDT ]

Championing fatherhood rights for rapists would seem, at first glance, to be a politically suicidal position for any candidate for office in America. After all, who would champion any rights for rapists? Rapists aren't exactly a powerful political lobby in Washington, one would think. But this year's Republican nomination race seems to be testing this, in a big way. Maybe they're trying to get out the rapist vote, or something.

I am speaking, of course, of the position many Republicans have taken on the abortion issue. Such as Herman Cain's newfound position in favor of making abortion illegal in all circumstances. No exceptions would exist for rape victims, incest victims, or for the health of the mother -- abortion would not be a legal option in any of these cases.

Now, I realize Cain is currently having other problems in the "women's issues" arena, but I for one refuse to get sidetracked. If you're interested in Cain's other problems, I would direct you to the entire rest of the media universe, who seem to be doing a more-than-adequate job of covering Cain's problems on this front today.

Instead, I'd like to focus on Cain's evolving stance on abortion. When first asked about abortion, Cain gave a reasonable answer -- one that even fits in with standard conservative "get the government out of our lives" orthodoxy. Cain said that it was a personal decision (he even used the word "choice") to be made by the family involved, and their doctor.

This was, to put it mildly, completely unacceptable to a large swath of the Republican base. Cain hastily backtracked, and is now as "pro-life" as he can humanly be, stating that abortion should be illegal in every single case -- no matter what the extenuating circumstances.

This isn't just Cain's position, it is also many other Republicans' position on the issue. To them it is an easy moral judgment: no abortion, ever, period, end of sentence. But drawing such bright moral lines means abandoning all compassion for victims of sexual crimes, as well as all compassion for a woman who is about to die due to medical complications with her pregnancy. If abortion is forbidden, pregnant women will die. That is brutal, but it is also true.

What is equally as brutal (and equally as true) is the fate of rape and incest victims under the America envisioned by Herman Cain and his fellow Republicans. Drew Westen brought this up in his excellent book on political messaging (The Political Brain: The Role Of Emotion In Deciding The Fate Of The Nation) a few years back, and he puts it much better than I could manage. When he wrote the following passage, he was referring to the anti-abortion plank in the 2004 Republican Party Platform. Speaking as a Democrat running against a no-exceptions Republican, Westen suggests how to properly frame this issue:

"My opponent puts the rights of rapists above the rights of their victims, guaranteeing every rapist the right to choose the mother of his child. What he's proposing is a rapists' bill of rights."

This is the logical entailment of the Republicans' "culture of life." Perhaps the most fundamental right of a woman is to choose whose children she will bear. Yet in the Republican morality tale, if a woman is raped, she must have her rapist's baby. She can give up the child -- who is her own flesh and blood, mingled with the DNA of her rapist -- or she can wake up every morning and see the eyes of her rapist in her child. Those are her two choices. Tell that to the father of a teenage girl in rural Virginia and see how he responds. It is a deeply repugnant, and deeply immoral, position. But its repugnance is only apparent when you make the associative links.

Here is another example:

"My opponent believes that if a sixteen-year-old girl is molested by her father, she should be forced by the government to have his child, and if she doesn't want to, she should be forced by the government to go to the man who raped her and ask for his consent."

To these two examples from Westen, I would add a third of my own:

"My opponent would institute a death sentence for women who have serious medical problems with their pregnancies -- problems that medical science has known how to solve for decades. Instead of allowing a doctor to save a woman's life, my opponent would put not only the government between that woman and her doctor, he would also put a policeman and a jailer in the way as well. Women will die if my opponent has his way -- women whose lives could quite easily be saved. That's the bottom line, and I find it completely unacceptable."

These are the consequences of drawing such a bright line on the abortion issue. Republican politicians have previously used an "out" when speaking of the issue, declaring that while they'd prefer to see abortion completely outlawed, their hands are tied by those dastardly liberal courts -- so they reluctantly are forced to admit that abortions must be legal in the cases of rape, incest, or threats to the mother's life. This position has served a generation of Republican candidates well, stretching back to the mid-1980s.

But now, it seems, this position is no longer extreme enough to get elected (at least, in Iowa, whose very-conservative Republican voters are currently being courted by the candidates). Republican politicians like Cain and others now feel free to openly stake out the most unforgiving abortion stance they possibly can.

The media should really call them on it, but I'm not exactly holding my breath waiting for this to happen. I did see one Republican candidate asked by a journalist about victims of rape and incest, and he brushed it off as something that was, statistically, quite rare. That is of little use to a teenager in such a position, though. "Sorry, you are statistically insignificant, therefore you must have your rapist's baby" is cold comfort indeed.

But while the media timidly refuse to follow the Republican logic through to the unavoidable conclusions, Democrats should be under no such compunction. Call the Cain position on abortion what it really is, in as blunt terms as possible. Make that connection in voters' minds. Force the issue.

If Republicans like Cain ever get their way, and make all abortions illegal in all cases and all circumstances, women are going to needlessly die. You (or your wife or daughter) may be sentenced to death, while a doctor stands helplessly by with the knowledge that could easily save your life. Fathers will be able to molest their daughters fully aware that, while they personally may be punished if they are caught, their child/grandchild will be born anyway.

This is the bottom line: rapists and child molesters will have rights they simply do not have today. That is exactly what Republicans are fighting for. Rape victims will have no rights. Rapists will have new rights. Make no mistake about it, this is what Herman Cain and his ilk are championing: fatherhood rights for rapists.

-- Chris Weigant

 

Cross-posted at Business Insider
Cross-posted at The Huffington Post

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

 

23 Comments on “Championing Rapists' Fatherhood Rights”

  1. [1] 
    dsws wrote:

    drawing such bright moral lines means abandoning all compassion for victims of sexual crimes

    That would seem to presume that there was any there to abandon. These are Republicans we're talking about.

  2. [2] 
    Osborne Ink wrote:

    Question guaranteed to make heads asplode:

    Something between 37 and 50% of all pregnancies abort spontaneously, usually before the woman even knows she is pregnant. If God created the human reproductive system, doesn't that make Him the world's number one abortion provider?

  3. [3] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    Something between 37 and 50% of all pregnancies abort spontaneously, usually before the woman even knows she is pregnant. If God created the human reproductive system, doesn't that make Him the world's number one abortion provider?

    no, god only creates babies, the devil aborts them. get it straight buddy.

  4. [4] 
    Michale wrote:

    Now, I realize Cain is currently having other problems in the "women's issues" arena, but I for one refuse to get sidetracked.

    Good for you.. Because I am ready to unload with both barrels on ANY Democrat (ya know, the Party of Clinton) that wants to try and take the moral high road in the issue of sexual harassment..

    That would seem to presume that there was any there to abandon. These are Republicans we're talking about.

    The same can be said for Democrats as well.. See above...

    Michale.....

  5. [5] 
    Michale wrote:

    no, god only creates babies, the devil aborts them. get it straight buddy.

    "Maybe there is no devil, it's just God when he's drunk. Well, if God drinks do you think God gets high.... Look at a platypus... I think so."
    -Robin Williams, LIVE AT THE MET

    :D

    Michale.....

  6. [6] 
    dsws wrote:

    Bill Clinton did have some harassment allegations, but he was attacked primarily for unambiguously consensual adultery. There were a lot of Democrats who didn't defend him. If Gore had run on Clinton's substantive record instead of running from Clinton's personal reputation, he would probably have won Florida by a margin that couldn't have been successfully denied.

  7. [7] 
    DerFarm wrote:

    Spontaneous abortion, which is the loss of a pregnancy without outside intervention before 20 weeks’ gestation, affects up to 20 percent of recognized pregnancies
    http://www.aafp.org/afp/2005/1001/p1243.html
    http://www.estronaut.com/a/spontaneous_abortion_common.htm

    Troglodyte:
    1.a prehistoric cave dweller.
    2.a person of degraded, primitive, or brutal character.
    3.a person living in seclusion.
    4.a person unacquainted with affairs of the world.
    5.an animal living underground.
    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/troglodyte

    I think #2 pretty much sums it up, with perhaps a dash of #4

    Michale's brave declaration of both barrels aside, the right is missing the entire point of the sexual abrasiveness:

    Most Democrates don't run on family values issues.
    Most Repulican's do.

    see: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/hypocrite

  8. [8] 
    Michale wrote:

    Bill Clinton did have some harassment allegations,

    Some???

    That's like saying I have "some" issues with Democrats.. :D

    but he was attacked primarily for unambiguously consensual adultery.

    It's only "unambiguously consensual adultery" because it was a Democrat who was the predator...

    If it had been a Republican, all the women's groups that defended Clinton and demonized Lewinsky and all Democrats would have crucified said Republican..

    Democrats have absolutely NO moral standing whatsoever to comment on Cain's alleged sexual harassment.

    None... Zip... Zero... Zilch... Nada..

    Michale....

  9. [9] 
    Michale wrote:

    DerFarm,

    Most Democrates don't run on family values issues.
    Most Repulican's do.

    That's a good point...

    However, it still doesn't fully exonerate Democrats who want to throw Republicans into the fiery pit, yet will give Democrats who are predators a pass...

    But it is a good point nonetheless...

    Michale.....

  10. [10] 
    DerFarm wrote:

    Michale,

    You toss around the term predator with abandon. The use suggests that you really don't know much about sexual predation.

    I would suggest you learn more about what a predator really is.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sexual_predator

    http://www.enotes.com/forensic-science/sexual-predation-characteristics

    http://www.drphil.com/articles/article/266

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-merseyside-15451103

    By all accounts, the sexual encounters indulged in by Clinton were consensual. Being a poon hound does not automatically make you a predator.

    I would further suggest that you volunteer at a rape crises center for a few weeks. It will introduce you to the REAL predators.

    My wife was instrumental in funding the first rape crises center in New Mexico, I was a volunteer guard there for a year. It was an eye opener to be sure.

    Bill Clinton a predator? Absurd.

  11. [11] 
    DerFarm wrote:

    Chris, when are you going to get the multiple links thing straightened out?

    Or have I missed something during my sojourn to west of reality?

  12. [12] 
    Michale wrote:

    DF,

    At the risk of speaking for CW (but in the interests of getting you a quick answer), there isn't really anything wrong..

    It's an Anti-Spam setting that sets it so any post with more than one link is held for moderation....

    Or have I missed something during my sojourn to west of reality?

    You were west of reality!!?? Hope ya got pics! :D

    Michale.....

  13. [13] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    DerFarm -

    Sorry for the delay. Every time you post a comment with multiple links, it will be held for moderation (this is automatic, the software does it). Michale's right, I do this to avoid what's known as "comment spam" (ads).

    If you don't want these delays, there are two ways around it:

    Post only one link per comment. If you have five links to post, do it in a series of five comments.

    Or, post the link without the "http" and the punctuation in front of it. So I can write "Visit http://www.chrisweigant.com" and the software doesn't see it as a link.

    Michale did this (the second one) earlier, on another thread, and I went ahead and made them links while I was reading them. That way, your comment will post right away, and when I get around to reading it, I will magically make the links work. Either way, you can avoid the auto-hold.

    -CW

  14. [14] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Michale -

    Oops. I guess that second one is wrong. How did you avoid this problem, Michale, in that earlier comment? By making it italic?

    Anyway, no time to fool with this, sorry, got to get today's Poll Watch column written...

    -CW

  15. [15] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    DerFarm -

    Is west of reality anywhere near east of Eden?

    Inquiring minds want to know!

    Heh.

    :-)

    -CW

  16. [16] 
    DerFarm wrote:

    I grew up with term in Southern Mo. Ridge country with a nasalized accent so think it sounded like another language.

    To the best of my knowledge, the early Irish coming into the Ozarks brought the knowledge of the fair island to the west of Ireland, Hy-Breasil. Another name for paradise. You could only see it once every 7 years, or if you were pure of heart and beloved of many you might be stolen and taken there.

    To be "west of reality" means you're out of your head with grief over the death of someone or something you thought you couldn't live without. The implication is also that you probably didn't realize whatever was so important to you.

    My dog died 2 weeks ago.

  17. [17] 
    Michale wrote:

    CW,

    Oops. I guess that second one is wrong. How did you avoid this problem, Michale, in that earlier comment? By making it italic?

    Yea.. Basically, if you post an http colon backslash backslash blaa blaa blaa or a www dot blaa blaa blaaa your software reads it as a link and changes it. Under those circumstances, the one link per post rule comes into effect.

    What I usually do when I post multiple links is to get rid of the http blaa blaa and/or the www dot blaa blaa and then italicize the "link"...

    DF,

    Sorry to hear that.

    We had a rottie that we had raised from the time she was no larger than a dollar bill til she died of cancer at 9 years old.

    It was like.. no, it was the same as losing a family member.

    My sincerest condolences...

    Michale....

  18. [18] 
    Michale wrote:

    And, my apologies for the flippant remark earlier...

    I hadn't realized....

    Michale....

  19. [19] 
    DerFarm wrote:

    Michale,

    You did nothing ill mannered or inconsiderate. No reason you should have known. It could just as easily have had the meaning that I fell off the wagon, bought a mule from a man, got caught playing hopscotch or found the behinderbeast.

    No problem.

  20. [20] 
    DerFarm wrote:

    For any interested a good telling of many of the more esoteric mountain (primarily Applachian) folktales would enjoy WHO FEARS THE DEVIL by Manly Wade Wellman.

    I think many of the stories are actually to be found in the Ozarks, but literary license ...

  21. [21] 
    Michale wrote:

    DF,

    No problem.

    Yer a gentleman and a scholar.. :D

    Michale.....

  22. [22] 
    Michale wrote:

    What I usually do when I post multiple links is to get rid of the http blaa blaa and/or the www dot blaa blaa and then italicize the "link"...

    That SHOULD read:

    What I usually do when I post multiple links is to get rid of the "http colon backslash backslash" and/or the "www dot" and then italicize the "link"...

    My bust...

    Michale.....

  23. [23] 
    Michale wrote:

    DF,

    Apologies for not addressing this sooner...

    By all accounts, the sexual encounters indulged in by Clinton were consensual. Being a poon hound does not automatically make you a predator.

    Ask Paula Jones if the encounter was consensual.. Or Juanita Broderick... Or Kathleen Wiley...

    Clinton is the textbook definition of a sexual predator as defined by your Wiki link..

    obtaining or trying to obtain sexual contact with another person in a metaphorically "predatory" manner.

    As a former LEO, I share your disgust for sexual predators.. No matter how you slice it, Clinton is a sexual predator..

    Would I let my daughter work for Clinton??

    Absolutely..

    Because my daughter is usually armed and knows that "gun control" is being able to hit your target..

    I taught her well... :D

    It's also interesting to see how the Media has covered the alleged Cain incident compared to how it covered Clinton..

    With Cain, there were a total of 50 reports or stories within the first 3 days of the "scandal"..

    With Clinton, there was one story in the first 3 days after Paula Jones reported the sexual assault 1994. There were 3 stories in the first 3 days when Kathleen Wiley reported that Clinton sexually assaulted her. 3 days after Juanita Broaddrick came forward in February 1999 to say Mr. Clinton raped her, there were also just 3 stories..

    No matter how you slice it, Clinton got a pass from the Media and many MANY Democrat individuals and organizations...

    Michale.....

Comments for this article are closed.
[Powered by WordPress]