Commentary: Political laughs are on Kansas and Missouri instead of Texas

The Fort Worth Star-TelegramAugust 23, 2012 

Thank goodness for Kansas and Missouri.

For a few days, the rest of America isn't laughing at Texas, thanks to one congressman who skinny-dipped where Jesus walked on the water and another with a divinity degree who singled out "legitimate" rapes.

In fact, I'll say Gov. Rick Perry ought to go ahead and make U.S. Reps. Kevin Yoder, R-Kan., and Todd Akin, R-Mo., Official Honorary Texans like Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh and our Tarrant County pal, Glenn Beck.

So far this week, nobody has talked about Texans fearing "terror babies" or saying public schooling came from Russia.

Oh, sure, Akin reminded everybody of West Texas cowboy Clayton Williams' rape joke in 1990. But don't forget that what really cost Williams the governor's race was not paying very much income tax.

Akin just repeated an old Sunday school tale about how rapes don't often cause pregnancy because "the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down."

In Texas, we'd let him write our women's health curriculum.

Akin kept support Tuesday from the Mississippi-based American Family Association and spokesman Bryan Fischer. Fischer wrote on Twitter that Akin was talking about "actual, forcible rape" and was right about that female-body thing.

Texas' leading anti-abortion organizations did not rush to agree.

Akin "misspoke in a highly offensive manner," wrote Joe Pojman of Austin-based Texas Alliance for Life. Pojman said he's concerned that young mothers don't report being raped.

Elizabeth Graham of Houston-based Texas Right to Life said Akin misspoke but added, "I think he's being treated very unfairly."

Republican Kyleen Wright of the Arlington-based Texans for Life Coalition said activists used to say rape rarely caused pregnancy but "that was 30 years ago -- now we know rapes weren't being reported."

She defended restricting abortion: "That child is no less a child."

But she said Akin left victims feeling belittled.

"I don't think he can walk that back," Wright said.

"There's nothing trivial about rape or sexual abuse."

Some comments are too rude even for Texas.

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