Though it’s likely you’re already suffering from Republican rape outrage fatigue, there’s one extremely late entry into this election’s collection of misogynistic quips. At a fund-raiser on Sunday, a liberal activist asked Washington Congressional candidate John Koster if there’s any case in which he’d support abortion. In an audio recording posted online, Koster says, “When a mother’s life is in danger, I’m not going to make that decision,” — though there are other instances in which he is comfortable making that call. “Incest is so rare, I mean, it’s so rare,” says Koster, saying that as for the “rape thing,” he knows one rape survivor who had her child, put it up for adoption, and is now pro-life. He adds, “But on the rape thing, it’s like, how does putting more violence onto a woman’s body and taking the life of an innocent child that’s the consequence of this crime, how does that make it better? You know what I mean?”
A spokesperson for Democrat Suzan DelBene, who’s in a close race with Koster, told Talking Points Memo, “Dismissing it as a ‘thing’ is an awfully casual way for him to talk about it, and I think it highlights how little he understands the ramifications and the seriousness of the issue. So that’s very problematic.” Koster’s campaign said the clip was selectively edited, but he stands by what he said.
Fortunately for Koster, his comments aren’t likely to cause as big a controversy as other Republicans candidates’ remarks on the subject. “Rape thing,” may be flippant, but it pales in comparison to Todd Akin’s “legitimate rape,” Richard Mourdock’s belief that pregnancy from rape, “is something that God intended to happen,” or Tom Smith’s contention that the situation is similar to “Having a baby out of wedlock.” Plus, with only five days to campaign before the election (not to mention Sandy’s aftermath), politicians on the national stage don’t have time to weigh in. Anyone looking for a response from President Obama should find a friend who doesn’t clear their DVR regularly and replay what he told Jay Leno last week about “a bunch of politicians, mostly male, making decisions about women’s health care decisions.”