Most Americans dislike, even fear, Islamic fundamentalism. They fear it because it is irrational and encourages crazy behavior on the part of its adherents.
So why do many Americans relish Christian fundamentalism, even desire to eliminate the separation between Church and State, so that evangelical Christianity can flourish across the Republic? Why do so many Tea Party members support the outrageous ranting of Representative Todd Akin, about ‘legitimate’ rape and the ability of women to shut down their bodies against intruding sperm?
Surely what is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander, to mix a metaphor. Do Americans not understand that if Todd Akin had the power once wielded by Osama bin Laden, he would be out on a similar warpath against liberated woman?
Akin’s rant, and subsequent intransigence against stepping aside from the upcoming Missouri Senate race, offers Governor Mitt Romney a unique opportunity to focus the presidential race where it surely must be: on the economy.
Romney, if he is in any sense a statesman, should grasp the nettle that threatens to tear the GOP apart. He should clearly and unequivocally distance his campaign from the social positions held by the right-wing of his party including, to some extent, by his running-mate. He should emphasize that a Romney presidency will not pursue any active role on such issues as gay marriage and abortion. He should stress that his exclusive focus, following an election victory, will be on the economy and foreign affairs.
Of course, such a stance would provoke unrest from the extreme right. But where else will they go? Turn out and vote for Romney and conservative economics; or stay at home and endure another four years of Barack Obama! For sure, most of them will turn out. And the independents – including independent women – will then flock to Romney’s court.