Overtly misogynistic Republicans get asses handed to them in election

We hope you’ve enjoyed our coverage of some of the most gobmackingly uninformed bullshit the GOP has spouted regarding women, rape and pregnancy in recent months. Now for a little post-election follow-up.

Senate hopeful Tom Smith, who said pregnancy from consensual sex is just like pregnancy from rape, from “the father’s” perspective, lost the election.

Richard Mourdock of “rape pregnancies are God’s will” fame lost the election.

Joe Walsh, who said women never need abortions to save their lives lost the election to Tammy Duckworth, whom he criticized for mentioning her undeserved (in his opinion) war hero status too often. Oh, yes, he said that. Oh, no, he did not serve himself.

Todd Akin, who thinks an egg can grow a powershield to avoid being impregnated through rape (I guess; whatever his theory, I learned better in sixth grade biology) and accused doctors of “giving abortions to women who are not actually pregnant” (wow; I could not make this shit up), lost the election to Claire McCaskill.

Tommy Thompson, Dubya’s lil’ buddy whose son recently suggested Obama should go “back to Kenya“, lost his senate bid to Tammy Baldwin, who is now the first openly gay senator in US history.

ETA: John Koster of “the rape thing” shouldn’t be an exception for abortion and “incest is so rare, I mean it’s so rare” lost the election to Suzan DelBene.

Oh, and despite binders full of women, Romney lost, too.

And Elizabeth Warren won her election, even though her opponent didn’t say anything tragically offensive in public, just because she rocks.

Just some thoughts to mull over.


  1. Meredith says

    Scott Brown never said anything openly misogynistic in public, but I live in MA and the flyers that were mailed to us had unflattering photos of Warren and implied all sorts of ugly things. I can’t express how proud I am to live in MA and have a female senator. This was a good election.

  2. sbg says

    I have to say I ate up all the quips going around the internets about how the female body had a way of shutting the whole thing down, especially relevant to Akin but clearly not limited to him, with a giant spoon of relish. YES.

  3. says

    I just added an ETA to the article: John Koster, who said “the rape thing” shouldn’t be an exception, also lost – to a woman. Part of what I’m loving so much about this is how many of them lost to the very gender they thought they could say dismissive, hurtful things about without harming their chances. Fools.

    glauke, I know. I really feel for people in other countries who are deeply affected by our leaders but have no say in choosing them.

    Meredith, thanks for sharing that! That makes her victory even more pleasing!

    It’s been suggested often in recent months on talk radio that the Republican strategy has always been, “As long as we get the white male vote, we win!” And now it doesn’t work anymore because white men are no longer the majority of turnout voters. The Republicans may have dismissed as hopeless the strategy of trying to appeal to women and minorities, and instead embraced a strategy of disenfranchising as many minorities as possible and courting ever more extreme right-wing views in hopes of growing the base in that direction. But the latter didn’t work because – and I’m speculating, but I think analysis will bear this out eventually – there just aren’t enough genuine extremists out there. The first strategy definitely impacted a lot of people, but again either the numbers weren’t sufficient or there was too much counter-scrutiny for it to work.

    Also, I think the Republicans have relied on the media reporting early exit poll results in the past as indicative of Republican wins (since several red states are the first to close their polls and get counting). They’ve lost that advantage now too, and I think this bears some scrutiny:

    On my facebook and elsewhere, I’ve been touting a guy named Nate Silver, who has a terrific record for predicting election outcomes based on a mathematical model. He aggregates all the polls, weighs them according to the quality of methodology, and also looks at historical voting patterns. While votes are still being counted, it looks to me like he may have completely nailed this one: 538 Blog.

    The reason I kept talking about this poll and polls in general is that the electorate has demanded they become more scientifically rigorous, and that the press stop releasing exit poll results that make people feel like their state’s already foregone for so-and-so, so why get out and vote? It’s AMAZING how well statistics and probabilities work to predict actual results, in the hands of unbiased people who know what they’re doing. So now if the Republicans try to “flip” the vote on the voting computers, it should be more obvious.

    Folks, in a representative democracy, you can’t just vote. You’ve got to work to protect the sanctity of your vote, because there are ALWAYS people who think they should win no matter what we vote. These newly accurate polls and the new silence from the press on early returns could help make any tampering more obvious. We need to work on more solutions like this, and demand that our voter machinery NOT be run by companies that all have tight Republican (or any partisan) ties.

    Hillary in 2016!

  4. Amy McCabe says

    Yeah, between that and the landmark number of women elected this season I’m was telling my husband I really think this is a message to social conservatives. I admit I don’t follow all the House elections well enough to say for sure, but I think it was all the worst (or most obvious) social conservatives that got the boot when this that we more focused on a fiscal conservative message stayed. I think there’s a lot of Americans that like (real) conservative fiscal policy but have low tolerance to that misogynist bullshit.

  5. says

    SunlessNick, yay, I forgot about him. That link you provided finally gives some context to that remark; it was his father’s cautionary reminder that sometimes girls have sex consensually and then claim it was rape later. I really believe that’s where a lot of this “no exceptions for rape” is coming from – they just honestly think 99% of alleged rapes are made up stories.

    Amy McCabe, and I’m one of them. I love me some fiscal conservatism, and I hope to see some from the Republicans one of these days! Ginormous bailouts are not fiscally conservative. Paying farmers not to grow shit so you can keep corn expensive is not fiscally conservative. Lowering welfare payments or attacking medicare is also not smart money in the long run – it’ll just create more financial problems down the line. Immigration reform – we need some, but what the Republicans want will just cost us more and create additional problems for a lot of people. Lowering taxes on the very wealthy – also not fiscally conservative, but just stupid and impractical. So if you really look at the big picture, my fiscally conservative AND socially liberal ideals are best served by the Democrats for now. Not because they’re doing everything right (they’re not, IMO) but because the Republicans are doing such a lousy job of everything.

  6. Cloudtigress says

    I’m just glad that Obama won with enough of the popular vote that a repeat of the 2000 election won’t happen. The country really doesn’t need weeks/months/years of uncertainty over who’s supposed to be the legitimate president at this time.

    Something to look into while celebrating all these defeats is seeing how close some of them were. Mourdock came within a whisker of winning that seat with something like 42-45% of the vote, while his opponent Donnelly got 49% (Libertarian canidate Andy Horning got the difference between them). Don’t know how many of the other races were that close, but if a bunch of them were, then the possibility of these gains being reversed should be a concern for the next election cycle.

  7. Red says

    The fact that they suffered such MAJOR losses- and not just in regards to the presidency-reveals their BIGGEST weaknesses.

    1.) They are out of touch with the population; from Romney’s remarks on the 47% to things like claims of ‘legitimate rape’ , it displays that they don’t understand the very people that they are supposed to represent and are ignorant of the realities of things that are importance relating to things like women’s issues. And with more than half the population roughly being female, they ended up isolating a significant chunk of that population. Comment like Todd Akin’s did NOT go over well, neither did other such remarks as stated above. That ended up costing them major votes in many key states.

    2.) They catered to ONE group (white male) and ignored the rest (women, racial minorities); the demographics of the United States has rapidly changed in the last 50 years and not only in regards to gender. More than half of the population of the United States is now made up of non-Whites, with Hispanics holding the highest demographic. The GOP largely isolated them and again, lost serious votes in key swing states. Same with Blacks, which cost them more votes.

    By catering EXCLUSIVELY to that ONE demographic, that single minority which is made up of largely Caucasian men in their 40’s, 50’s and beyond, they all but locked out the rest of the population, which is far more reflective of the America we live in NOW. While those who were touting the GOP platform are grasping for the America of yesterday.

    In short, they choose to live in the past that THEY saw as wonderful, ‘back in my day’, etc. Problem is, that ‘wonderful past’ that they speak of was only so ‘wonderful’ for an overall select few. Of which they were a part of. The same cannot be said for women, Blacks, Hispanics, etc.

    The more they cling to that past, the further behind they will be left if they refuse to move forward.

  8. Ara says

    I had an “ow, you hurt my brain” moment from the liberal side of things: someone on campus complained that Tammy Baldwin is not *really* a win because she’s not supportive enough of transgender rights, just LGB rights. I just kind of blinked and stared, because while I get that transgender rights are important too, the alternative is Republicans who definitely aren’t going to do anything to help anybody’s civil rights.

  9. says

    JK: “I meant “grin and cheer” for those of us who dig it, but I also wish the moderate Republicans would think this over and learn from their mistakes.”

    I also wish this…but sadly, I hold little hope that it will occur. I do occasionally still tune in to talk radio, and thus far (at least as far as the radio blowhards go), the Republicans are convinced that they lost because they were TOO MODERATE. What was the definition of insanity, again?

    Now, moderate Republicans may not feel the same…but like all political machines, the Republicans have little patience with people who don’t toe the party line. So if the most vocal elements are calling for even more right-wing-nutjobbery, they may have to go along or get out.

    Related note: I was involved in a discussion over on Chris Bird’s website (mightygodking.com), regarding third-party voting. I don’t mind admitting I voted for Gary Johnson, even though I knew full well he had no real chance of winning. But one of the arguments used was that if Romney won, it would vindicate the Republicans’ theory that hardcore neanderthal conservatism was playing in America…while if they lost, they would learn a lesson and perhaps mend their ways. But I don’t believe that’s likely to happen. Win or lose, I was (and still am) convinced that the Republicans are going to double-down on the crazy in the next election cycle. Their disconnect from reality is that severe.

    (btw, I voted for Johnson, but I’m quite pleased Obama won over Romney…the fact that it was a solid shellacking was icing on the cake.)

  10. says

    Ara, er, yeah. I wish people wouldn’t phrases these things as so all-or-nothing. If she’s not pro-trans enough, that’s a pity and worth talking about, but it’s good that she’s more progressive than the alternative.

    Spartakos, if they don’t/can’t learn, that’s fine, too. Hillary Clinton in 2016! 😉

  11. ValeriusNaso says


    Akin, at least, got blown out of the water 55-39 (a blowout that I was glad to help with):


    It certainly didn’t hurt that McCaskill was the incumbent. This will be her second term, so she will probably have a decent chance to hang on to the seat, having been the in office for that long. On the other hand, Missouri is a pretty conservative state (Akin was ahead in the polls until he stuck his foot in his mouth; see http://www.electoral-vote.com/evp2012/Senate/Graphs/missouri.html) and was considered the likeliest republican pickup for the senate before the republicans decided that it was a brilliant idea to run candidates who lie to the right of Attila the Hun.

    Anyone actually from Missouri might know better than me; I moved here less than two years ago for a job.

  12. Cloudtigress says


    Indiana is fairly conservative too — Donelly was a so-called ‘Blue Dog’ Democrat when he was serving in the House (state Republicans rearranged his district a couple years ago to lean Republican for the next decade, so he decided to go for Lugar’s Senate seat instead). All three candidates at that now-infamous debate said they were pro-life; Mourdock took it a step beyond and reinforced the impression in many moderate voters’ minds that he wasn’t the right guy to send to Washington (the list of missteps include Mourdock using attack ads to defeat Lugar in the primary, stating that political compromise solely consisted of making Democrats come over to the Republican pov, and saying he liked being in office and forcing his ideas onto others. Don’t know if his lawsuit to prevent the auto bailout had any affect on his chances, since autoworkers aren’t as major a force here in Indiana as they are in Ohio and Michigan.). However, it still worries me that the vote was thatclose, and that the Republican talking heads have (evidently, from what I’ve heard through the grapevine) decided that the reason they lost is that they were “too moderate” and that the electorate really does wants them to go even further to the right before they’ll give Republicans/conservatives their votes again…. >.<

  13. says

    Cloudtigress, not everyone who voted for these guys really agrees with their positions on rape or pro-life. The good news in this regard is that they don’t mean to be voting hate; the bad news is that they’re so fucking oblivious that they vote hate without meaning to. It boils down more to the general unconsciousness of the American electorate than hate, for what that’s worth.

    But there are a lot of cultural narratives in play that we could tackle. Some of the pro arguments I heard about these guys:

    (1) Don’t dismiss him because he said one stupid thing. We’re not. We’re dismissing him because he said one extremely REVEALING thing that showed him to be compassionate toward females only while they’re in the womb – after that, they can go through hell as far as he’s concerned. (And most of these guys said way more than just ONE stupid thing.)

    (2) They’ll never get anywhere with taking away abortion rights. No? Romney had promised to replace the 1-2 SCOTUS justices likely to retire with justices who would overturn Roe. Congress is charged with approving those appointments. Roe is in danger, and so are other progressive social reforms; telling yourself “it’ll never happen” is a “just so” story that lets you vote for sick people and still sleep at night. It doesn’t even qualify as a rationalization.

    (3) Abortion doesn’t really affect me or anyone I know. Abortion can effect anyone. Couples abort to save the mother’s life, or because the wanted fetus is so malformed that even a good “special needs” life is beyond its reach, and it will only know horrific suffering during a life which is doomed to be brief. Anyone can be raped, and on some occasions, this leads to pregnancy. And even if it never affects you or anyone you know, what an irresponsible way to think about public policy!

    Basically, people need to take the vote seriously and not treat it the way they’ve been taught to – like a popularity contest. I gave up for a lot of years after hearing people in 2000 explain they voted for Bush because “he seemed like a guy you could go have a beer with – Gore was kind of stiff.” That is NOT criteria for voting, and Americans should take their vote seriously or go move to a country where they don’t get one and see if that helps them develop some appreciation.

  14. Ara says


    The belief that they’re too moderate confuses me, because wouldn’t anyone who actually is as crazy-right as they’re claiming still vote for them over Obama who is much farther to the left than anyone in the Republican party?

  15. says

    Ara, yes, it’s pure bullshit. If they were too moderate, then all the “rape guys” should have won. Instead, it was they who lost, and the Republicans who won were… well, definitely not as far out as that.

  16. says


    The belief that they’re too moderate confuses me, because wouldn’t anyone who actually is as crazy-right as they’re claiming still vote for them over Obama who is much farther to the left than anyone in the Republican party?

    Hey, I never said it made sense.

    A guy seriously claimed that the people who thought Romney was too moderate simply “didn’t vote”. Then he tried to claim that Libertarians would be in favor of putting up a giant anti-immigrant fence on the Mexican border.

    This is the level of intellectual discourse we are seriously dealing with.

  17. says


    They just don’t accept any facts that would force them to reconsider their narrative. That’s a pretty common human behavior, but to see it applied on this scale to something as important as government is really frightening. (However, seeing the American people reject it to the degree they did was heartening – I honestly believed at least some of “the rape guys” would win. And I never anticipated so many women winning seats, or a gay senator, etc.)

    I’m tempted to write an article called “Why Republicans can’t have nice things”, explaining how they want women to bear and raise unwanted children, but they are the first on scene to treat any single mom like she’s some irresponsible oversexed inferior. They want the female vote, but don’t have an explanation for their full abortion-ban platform that sounds better than “Well, we just hate the bitchez having any kind of freedom of choice, you know? Makes our skin crawl!” They want the Latino vote, but only from behind some big giant fence that will keep them out. There seems to be some mob psychology mass delusion going on. They’ve talked themselves into a fiction. They spent all the money big business and big church* had to throw at them, and not only did they lose, but women won, legal marijuana won, legal gay marriage won, and in California we passed a big tax hike on people earning more than $250k to pay for schools and stuff. They have been handed a crystal clear mandate by the people. It screams that the US as a whole is left of center, not seeking a party that will take us back to the dark ages while Europe and even many third world countries continue to advance and prosper.

  18. Amy McCabe says

    strong>Red: 2.) They catered to ONE group (white male) and ignored the rest (women, racial minorities); the demographics of the United States has rapidly changed in the last 50 years and not only in regards to gender. More than half of the population of the United States is now made up of non-Whites, with Hispanics holding the highest demographic. The GOP largely isolated them and again, lost serious votes in key swing states. Same with Blacks, which cost them more votes.

    In a facebook debate about how the GOP needs to change, someone claimed the GOP doesn’t need to change, the problem was that more women and minorities voted this time. They later argued that we need “less rights” like the time of our Founding Fathers.

    Head, meet sand.

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