The problem with an apology that’s demanded is that it’s an apology that’s insincere. If the world is coming down on top of you and people are calling for your head and insisting that you agree to an act of contrition to make amends for your sins, by its very nature that act will be theater and nothing more. This is why it’s impossible to understand why forced apologies continue to be the first rung on the redemption ladder after a public transgression. It’s unfathomable that anyone would think that a bullshit PR stunt would amount to anything other than a further affront. Need proof? Just look at Todd Akin.
You’ll remember Akin got himself in a world of shit two years back when, during his campaign for senate as a Missouri Republican, he did an interview in which he said that in the event of “legitimate rape” women’s bodies have the ways to “shut that whole thing down” and prevent pregnancy. It was not only one of the more offensive things a candidate has ever said on the campaign trail, it made Akin look the utter moron he doubtlessly is — certainly when it comes to his grasp basic human biology. (A rule of thumb these days, unfortunately: whenever a Republican begins holding court on anything at all involving “science,” it’s best to ignore that person completely since he likely has no idea what the hell he’s talking about.)
Once Todd Akin realized that his idiotic statement could potentially cost him the race to Claire McCaskill, he desperately backtracked and apologized for it. It didn’t matter, however, since it was the kind of buffoonery so profound that he could never recover from it. He couldn’t win a student council election after that. It won’t surprise you to learn, though, that thanks to the benefit of time, distance and having nothing to lose and everything to gain in the hawking of a new book, Akin is retracting his retraction, claiming now that he’s sorry he said he was sorry since he still believes in the “science” of his original statement and claims that his comments were taken out of context. (They weren’t.)
That new book of his is called, in predictably muscular fashion, Firing Back: Taking on the Party Bosses and Media Elite to Protect Our Faith and Freedom. Like the loud-mouthed bully in elementary school who finally got his ass kicked then ran to the end of the street and only then, when he was at a safe distance, turned around and started shouting back insults and threats through his tears, Akin is now standing firm and talking tough about his comments on rape.
“Taking my comments in order: When a woman claims to have been raped, the police determine if the evidence supports the legal definition of ‘rape.’ Is it a legitimate claim of rape or an excuse to avoid an unwanted pregnancy? My comment about a woman’s body shutting the pregnancy down was directed to the impact of stress on fertilization. This is something fertility doctors debate and discuss. Doubt me? Google ‘stress and infertility,’ and you will find a library of research on the subject.”
(Rule of thumb #2: If someone makes an outlandish and ridiculous argument, especially one involving science, and tells you to “Google it” for proof, ignore that person. Actually, punch that person in the face, then ignore him.)
Akin goes on to blame — wait for it — the liberal media for his downfall in the wake of his comments.
“I was the target of a media assassination… So it really didn’t matter about what I said, or logic, or truth. I had mentioned ‘abortion’ and ‘rape.’ That was enough. It was simply an assassination.”
He also says in the book that he considers abortion a far greater moral evil than slavery. So yeah, he’s still an asshole. But here’s the thing: he never stopped being one. His apology two years ago, as expected, meant nothing.
Chez Pazienza was the beating heart of The Daily Banter, sadly passing away on February 25, 2017. His voice remains ever present at the Banter, and his influence as powerful as ever.