Update: Due to Tropical Storm Isaac, the RNC has cancelled Monday’s events. According to the updated schedule, Huckabee will speak on Wednesday in primetime.
It was inevitable that the backlash to Representative Todd Akin’s (R-MO) shocking assertion that in instances of “legitimate rape” a woman cannot get pregnant would generate its own counter-reaction on the right. Akin has a long been a vocal proponent of Christianist conservatism, and it has earned him some loyalty on the religious right.
As the Washington Post reports:
Akin has tried mightily to increase the role of religion in government. He proposed creating a National Year of the Bible in 2008 and an official day of fasting and prayer in 2003 to gird the nation for war in Iraq. Four times, the Missouri Republican wrote bills to keep judges from striking “under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance.
None of them became law….
But if Akin has carved out only a small legacy on the Hill, he has made loyal allies among conservative legislators and Christian groups.
So while the entire Republican establishment begs Akin to drop out of the Missouri Senate race, a small but growing number of social conservatives are complaining about how the GOP is treating him.
It began on Wednesday with the obscure religious-right group American Vision. Their director of research, Joel McDurmon, wrote a caustic blog post titled “Legitimate Political Gang Rape,” complaining that Akin was the victim of a double standard:
We expect leftists, liberals, and other miscreants to pounce opportunistically, to lie, cheat, and twist (all the while drooling) over a phrase like “legitimate rape” when uttered by a strong conservative Christian politician. But should we expect the same from alleged conservatives?
Yet this is exactly what we’ve seen from several prominent conservatives in the wake of a media gaffe from U.S. Senate candidate Todd Akin (R-MO) in regard to alleged “legitimate rape” and abortion.
And in this case, the volley of verbal bullets came with disproportionate verve. It’s almost like the GOP establishment is more than eager to get rid of the most conservative tea-party types among them.
Bryan Fischer, who works for the American Family Association and hosts a radio show on its network, also compared Akin’s treatment to that of a rape victim. “You talk about a forcible situation,” he said, “you talk about somebody being a victim of kind of forcible assault, that would be Todd Akin.”
Although Fischer has some genuine influence on the right—he takes credit for getting Romney’s foreign policy spokesman Richard Grenell fired for being pro–gay marriage—he is known for being unusually strident. But now a more mainstream Christian conservative has stepped up to defend Akin, and he happens to be giving a major speech at the Republican National Convention.