As Grandmere Mimi and other bloggers so ably point out, Congressman Akin is not quite so exceptional in his views on women's issues. The little darlins need a man to make these important decisions for them, bless their delicate little hearts. We certainly can't leave it to the wimmins by themselves to make important decisions about having babies.
And in a masterstroke of bad timing, the Republican platform committee in Tampa takes exceptions for rape and incest out of the anti-abortion plank. That's right girls, the Republicans say you have to carry your rapist's baby or your daddy's baby.
I doubt the Todd Akin gaffe will make much of a difference to Missouri voters. Those few offended by his remarks will probably stay home rather than vote for Claire McCaskill. Before the gaffe, Akin was leading McCaskill in the Senate race. He's still leading but by a much diminished margin. Akin could turn this to his advantage. Politics these days is about tribal warfare more than anything. Policy differences and competing interests have little to do with politics anymore, and reason and decency got left behind a long time ago. He could take the spectacle of the Dems on the warpath, and the Republican Establishment demanding he quit and say to his constituents, "Look at these coastal elite snobs demanding my scalp! The same people who look down their noses at you and despise you are now after me!" This appeal may well work with people frightened by demographic and cultural change, who feel increasingly shut out and resentful. Stroking people's resentments can be a winning ticket to political success. Just ask Richard Nixon.
The Akin gaffe could well be a great "pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!" moment that lifts the lid off the obsessive misogyny that drives so much right wing politics these days. That desire to write misogyny into law goes hand in hand with the increasingly extreme antifeminism of religious fundamentalists and right wingers of all types.
Probably those most likely to be motivated and get out and vote will be not only women, but even more so, parents with daughters. They want full citizenship, full freedom and dignity for their daughters with no exceptions. They do not want to see their children's futures compromised to accommodate the backwards views of powerful men who still regard women as chattel and holy men who still think of women as whores.