Not an original idea—but there’s a reason people like Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock are saying the things they are saying. It’s because they believe them. It’s as if you said, “I love my mother,” and the whole country exploded in outrage. You’d be rightfully puzzled. You’d think, “why, obviously I love my mother, why the freakout?” at the same time people were demanding that you apologize. Why would you apologize for loving your mother?
And that’s where the modern GOP finds itself—completely out of the American mainstream on issue after issue. Yet they live in their safe little bubbles with Fox News and wingnut radio and internet telling them the things they want to hear without the messiness of reality getting in the way.
So then they say crazy things about rape, or claim that President Barack Obama never called the Benghazi attacks an act of terror, or that it’s the Democrats who are trying to suppress the vote, or that only sluts want birth control, they are genuinely shocked when reality smacks them hard upside the head.
This is the same crowd that spent the entire primary season arguing that Republicans needed to move right in order to defeat Obama, forcing Mitt Romney into his “severe conservative” caricature. Yet in the general, it wasn’t until Romney moved far to his left that he regained some modicum of competitiveness. The “severe conservative” version of Romney was going nowhere fast. Some conservative country, huh?
Support for marriage equality is increasing fast, and three states are poised to legalize it at the ballot box. People still want access to their birth control. Young voters are the most tolerant ever of ethnic, racial, geographic and sexual orientation differences. With their strongest supporters aging and dying off, the culture wars aren’t going well for the Right.
But no one told them. In fact, their media bubble shields them from the bad news. So they persist as if all goes well, and we get the Akins and Mourdocks and Donald Trumps of the GOP. And the Romneys as well, because no conservative is immune.