There is no denying that the Republican Party's policy on choice is more Catholic than the Pope. The GOP is aggressively hostile to the idea that women should be able to exercise sovereignty over their own bodies.
Akin was guilty of letting the cat out of the bag, of inviting the scrutiny of the mainstream press, who were shocked to discover that the Republican rank-and-file, the much-worshiped base, are intolerant, narrow-minded theocrats who believe that one-size sexuality should fit all.
But that is the essence of the modern Republican Party.
Barry Goldwater gave it perfect enunciation in 1964 when he said, "Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice. . . . Moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue." From Ronald Reagan to George W. Bush to Mitt Romney, the extreme right wing has moved slowly and surely to command the heart and soul of the GOP.
The Republican Party today is all about extremism, be it economics or social policy. The degrees of separation that exist between Akin and Ryan, Romney and Rove are so infinitesimal as to be meaningless. The Akin episode — whatever it holds for Missouri, or the potential balance in the Senate — may prove to be an unexpected jolt to the American psyche.
If it isn't, then title the next several years of American history "Night of the Living Brain-Dead."
: The Editorial Page
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