Tuesday’s election results send a very clear signal that voters are not interested in electing extremist candidates who are hostile to women. And, as Rachel Maddow tallies it, all nine members of what she’s endearingly called the “rape caucus” lost their races.
In a year that was dominated by the politics of contraception and abortion, women sided with Democratic candidates who held that such choices should be left to a woman and her doctor. Obama won by 11 points among women while he lost by 7 among men — an 18 point gender gap that far exceeds the 12-point gender gap in his 2008 defeat of John McCain.
Outgoing Ohio GOP Congressman Steve LaTourette had this to say about his fellow republicans on CNN today:
On social issues he added that the GOP needs to “get out of peoples’ lives, get out of their bedrooms.” His wife, he said, is a Democrat who considered voting Republican this year until Senate hopefuls Richard Mourdock and Todd Akin “opened their mouth(s)” and made controversial comments about rape.
“We sent (women) running back to the Democratic Party because they think we’re nutty,” LaTourette said.
So what is the message that sitting Republicans take away from Tuesday’s election results?
Let’s do more crazy anti-abortion legislation!
No, we’re not kidding. The Cincinnati Enquirer is reporting tonight that a deal has been struck by Ohio Right to Life and another, even-crazier, Ohio anti-abortion group. As a result, Ohio Senate President Tom Niehaus intends to take action on the heartbeat bill – legislation that would ban abortion as soon as a detectable heartbeat is present, with no exception for rape, incest or a woman’s health – during the upcoming lame duck session of the Ohio legislature.
The bill, you’ll remember, already passed the Ohio House of Representatives, so Niehaus and his insistence that the two groups reach an agreement, was the only firewall preventing the bill from heading to Kasich for his signature.
We don’t know what the compromise is. It could be a rape exception, though we doubt it. The main issue with the bill was always that it was plainly unconstitutional. My guess is what will emerge will be “informed consent” legislation that — rather than banning abortion after a heartbeat is detected — forces a woman to listen to, or watch, the fetal heart beating.
Because you know what was a big winning issue in 2012? Forced vaginal ultrasounds.
Do these people ever learn?