YESTERDAY evening, before Teabagger and Future U.S. Senator Richard Mourdock volunteered to do what local media has refused to get him to do, open his mouth and let the crazy pour out like nougat, the big local political news was that the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals had blocked the state from defunding Planned Parenthood.
Okay, that's a bit of an overstatement, since "7th Circuit Court of Appeals" is too wonky or elitist-sounding for local media types. So the Dean (Broder) of Indiana political correspondents, Channel 8's Jim Shella, simply referred to "the federal courts", in that convenient shorthand which has allowed his favored party* to run against them for forty years without confronting anything resembling the principles of law. Shella dealt with the tricky question of the state attempting to eliminate access to Constitutionally-protected reproductive rights (like it's ever referred to that way) with the sort of misdirection play which used to wow 'em back when Red Grange was running through defenses: he introduced a clip of then-Governor Mitch Daniels "explaining why he signed the bill into law". The ensuing clip was of Daniels insisting that no one would lose access to health care as a result (“The charges that anybody would lose access to health care are not true. I know folks are concerned they might be, but they’re not.” End of clip). My New Shorter OED has two entries for reason as a noun, and thirteen entries under the common one, none of which remotely turns that into "a reason".
These are the same lexical shenanigans which turn Daniels contention that something wasn't going to happen when it assuredly, absolutely would happen, and as a direct result of his signing the bill, into an "answer".
I'm not saying this is Shella's contention; it's how abortion politics have been played so long as he's been around, which is too long. The (understood) reason for the bill was the punishment of Planned Parenthood as an abortion provider, or facilitator. The (understood) reason for Daniels to sign it, aside from his own caged position, is that no Republican is free to do otherwise, and, since he was a) no longer going to be on a state ticket; and b) no longer planning to run for President, and thus could no longer corral the whack job "wing" of his party, the thing had landed on his desk. Daniels' reason faked addressing concerns about the defunding's effect on women's health. A lack of concern with access to healthcare is entirely within Daniels' rights, and consistent with his public philosophy; it's just something he doesn't wanna be called on. Restricting access to Constitutionally-guaranteed freedoms is not his right. So that, once again, the way we remain "balanced" in reporting somehow requires us to stand everything on its goddam head.
Which brings us to Richard Mourdock, Dick Lugar Killer and Teabagging Senatorial hopeful, a couple hours after that broadcast, in the final Senatorial Debate of the season. (And, by the way, Lugar at this point would be twenty points up. In two weeks Mourdock is gonna be wearing his hat as a codpiece.)
Richard Mourdock is a lunatic. If he's not completely unhinged it's only because he didn't come with hinges in the first place. This is not even open to debate. The only question which is open is how he (that is, the vast ocean of non-Hoosier lunatic money he compiled) got Indiana Republicans to join in in the primary, and what this says about the folly of democratic elections.
The three candidates (Mourdock, the Republican-Democrat, and the Libertarian) are asked about abortion, because of course they are. (No one is ever asked to describe the landscape of the surrounding fantasy world where a Senator's opinion about abortion means squat, to the law, to the ethical questions involved, or to the sorts of political gyrations and elimination of half the country's population which would be required to change the status quo.) All are agin' it, because of course they are, including the Libertarian. This will not be a story, because a) the Libertarian is just there so that people will figure the two actual parties are better than staring into the blackness of the Abyss, and b) because it would be wonky and boring to point out that the Libertarian party is as statist as everyone it complains about. And Mourdock says that, even in the case of rape, pregnancy is still a gift from God. Because of course he did. Seriously. Of course he did. This is actually how these maniacs refined Todd Akin's message over the past two months.
Mourdock was forced to come out afterwards to assure the voting public that he thinks rape is bad. This is the sort of non-apology apology which used to be considered de rigueur, and simply rote, but which recent events have turned into a needed clarification.
Now, if you're like me, you watch Indiana politics, if at all, as a sort of spring training for dealing with your crazy relatives at Thanksgiving. If you want the political side of this, other than the increasingly moldy news that everyone in the Republican party is clinically insane, it's that Mourdock is the one Republican Senatorial candidate Willard Mitt Romney has seen fit to make a campaign commercial for, which he did a couple weeks ago. But, then, you already knew about Romney's decision-making skills, didn't you? One-third of the Senate is up for reelection, and Romney chooses to help a guy who not only was dancing around in a tinfoil fool's cap all season, but one you'd take one look at and remove your children from the playground he was sitting near. Not to mention that the Teabagging Mourdock campaign has become desperate enough to play ball with Mitt Fucking Romney.
My own concern, though, is with God. What's up with Him, now? Fer chrissakes, the man had 66 books, at least three versions of the Ten Commandments, not counting the twenty or so that follow those and are generally ignored even more fully. He's got Seven Deadly Sins, an equal number of Virtues, thousands of historical exemplars, untold thousands more ahistorical exemplars, and the world's biggest sales force; He Himself gets to choose who becomes a writer, a painter, a composer, a scientist, a dialectician, plus he's fucking tax exempt. He Personally chose Al Gore to invent the internet, yet the internet is just a global porn factory. So I'm told.
Yet He never just came out and said "No abortions, ever. My will. Oh, except to save the life of the mother, once I allow the general acceptance of antiseptics, sometime in the 19th century. Got it?" For the sacred life of me, I can't understand why the central tenet of Christianity remained impenetrable for 19th centuries, especially with all those hair-splitters, pinhead-dancers, and secret coders poring over every Word. I mean, the Man's a fucking loon.
Or His spokesmen are.
* Look, I got no idea how Jim "Dean" Shella votes. But I've heard him say "kerfuffle" on the air, which is as big a tell as saying something about States' Rights has been for a couple centuries now. Let's say this: it might as well be a one-party state, and which side do you imagine puts on the best press buffet? Jim Shella is not going to lead the charge to eliminate faux balance. In Indiana, that's being objectively pro-gun-totin' religious maniac.