[I]t’s clear that I misspoke in this interview and it does not reflect the deep empathy I hold for the thousands of women who are raped and abused every year.
Akin did not “misspeak.” If you mention the “57 states,” “misunderestimate,” or “the Google,” maybe you misspoke. The problem wasn’t Akin’s phrasing or pronunciation. The problem was that he said exactly what he meant to say. The problem is that Akin either a) believes or b) is willing to casually make up some truly, truly awful things about human physiology. And Akin is willing to push his dead-wrong beliefs into law.
I actually think it does reflect the level of empathy he holds for the thousands1 of women who are raped and abused every year. Akin’s casual use of the adjective “legitimate” makes it clear that he feels rape victims should face a serious dose of skepticism before he takes them seriously. His dwindling reserves of “deep empathy” are buried beneath roughly 7,000 feet of out-of-touch asshole.
I suppose “thousands” technically includes the more precise “hundreds of thousands.” Under the circumstances, maybe asking some staffer to Google the actual statistic would require Akin to care a bit more about something he clearly has no patience for. ↩