Dear Rep. Todd Akin,
I have one question, not as a journalist but as a member of the voting public, along with a follow-up.
Question: Sir, what were you thinking when you said that Claire McCaskill needed to be more "ladylike"? Really?
The follow-up: Are you purposely trying to lose Missouri’s Senate race?
You and I are the two ends of the continuum in the worlds of politics and religion. Like you, I have been a student of American political rhetoric for close to 30 years. I have watched your career since my coming to Missouri almost a decade ago. You, sir, have been a wily and smart politician and campaigner and have lived up to your political convictions in the Capitol and in debates.
Yet in September, you made, what I consider, two major gaffes that might cause you to lose no matter how hard you apologize, back away from or deny the events. I will not go into any more detail of your “six seconds of shame.” Those words, those beliefs, the impromptu comments, have been and will continue to be ripped apart by your opposition and used by the McCaskill campaign.
Now you have added fuel to the fire. The flames are licking at your feet with only a kitchen fire extinguisher to fight the growing inferno. Like any great fire, you are now under the lights of worldwide media and not for the right reasons.
Were you really expecting to debate a "Stepford Wife" or a facsimile of June Cleaver during the debates? If meant as a joke, it did not go over well. What it did accomplish was to complete the direct line between your campaign and the Kingsford fire lighter fluid factory.
This, along with your “six seconds of shame,” is placing you in the middle of the growing pyre, and your story seems to be prepping to engulf the entire state of Missouri. I have been asked more than once, “Do all Missourians really think like that?” You, sir, are losing the Missouri female vote.
I am sure there was some reasoning behind your demeaning comments, maybe illogical but reasoning nonetheless.
The hope is your ideas are not based on your deeply held religious beliefs. Are you among those who claim Eve was responsible for eating the fruit of knowledge thus allowing evil into the world? That the female homo sapien is somehow inferior to the male because God made man in His image, then made woman from the “bloody rib of man?” I know you believe the story is true, but are women inferior?
I hope it is not your newly morphed politics, wanting to join others in the extreme conservative and tea party movements who advocate stay-at-home mothers and “traditional families” and who deny pay disparity between the genders?
Strong women are found in the Scriptures and include Ruth, Abigail and Esther, the Virgin Mary and Mary Magdalene. Strong women are found today in and out of public office. Three secretaries of state in the past 30 years, senators and fellow representatives in Congress, Prime Ministers Margaret Thatcher and Golda Meir, and this list continues to grow. Do you want these women to act more ladylike?
Do these rules apply to the extreme conservative and tea party women? Do the rules apply to Michele Bachmann, Sarah Palin, Christine O'Donnell, and my “close and dearest friend” Ann Coulter? Should they too be more ladylike as well?
I am reading Coulter’s newest book, “Mugged” and think that the title is more than appropriate. From the very first words on the very first page, she is mugging and demonizing Democrats, Liberals and Progressives. She forgets to write that before the First World War, the Republican Party was quite progressive and liberal. She is definitely not ladylike.
Mr. Akin, you seem to be in very good company with the new strategy of using verbal gaffes to blow elections in 2012. The leader, of course, is Mitt Romney. Even Joe Biden’s noted misstatements and embarrassment of the president and administration have not been as bad. They seem, at worst, small trash-can fires.
A bit of political campaigning advice Mr. Akin: Engage brain before opening mouth. Speak as if a microphone or camera is always on and near you. Remember the 47 percent comments from Romney.