Nothing has changed, in my view.
Mourdock’s comments are being portrayed as “pro-rape” by his political opponents, but that is a gross mischaracterization.
Some thoughtful writers have pointed this out even as they disagree with Mourdock on substance, including this post at WaPo by Melinda Hennenberger:
Last spring, I spent a morning shadowing Mourdock as he went door-knocking in Evansville, then interviewed him at length over coffee. This fall, we spoke again, at a campaign event in Indianapolis, and when his aides finally pulled him out the door, he called me from his truck and stayed on the line until every last question had been answered. He’s an earnest and emotional guy, tearing up repeatedly as he spoke of America’s greatness and challenges. As I’ve written before, one thing I appreciate about him — and was pretty sure would get him into trouble — is that he will answer any question he’s asked, directly, fully, and the first time. If he were elected, Washington would have one more straight-talker, but there’s a price for letting it roll, and he’s paying it….
What Mourdock says he meant is that life is always intended, though violence never is…. Donnelly commercials contain more than a kernel of truth about his avowed contempt for compromise. But because he worships a God who likes to see women humiliated? That’s willful distortion, it seems to me….
The writer I probably agree with more often than any other, Amy Sullivan, now at the New Republic, wrote Thursday that “I don’t think that politicians like Mourdock oppose rape exceptions because they hate women or want to control women. I think they’re totally oblivious and insensitive and can’t for a moment place themselves in the shoes of a woman who becomes pregnant from a rape.” Just this once, even Amy and I part company, because I do understand those who oppose exceptions, though I myself don’t.
That’s because opposition with no exceptions is the logical conclusion of believing that life begins at conception — just as some have argued that post-birth abortion is the logical conclusion of believing that abortion’s fine at any point and for any reason. That’s why so many of us are in the messy, inconsistent middle, wary of the investigative nightmare that criminalization would set off, but also uncomprehending of the logic that it’s only a baby if and when we say it is….
[R]ape isn’t a joke, and shouldn’t ever be used to score political points; if you can’t get it right, maybe you really shouldn’t say anything at all.
As between Joe Donnelly, himself allegedly pro-life, and Richard Mourdock, it’s an easy choice.
Donnelly is the shameless huckster who will wilfully distort his opponent’s words to try to take advantage of rape; Mourdock is the straight shooter who honestly and openly struggles with the slippery slope of his belief in the sanctity of life. I’ll take that straight shooter any day.
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