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McFeely: With Kevin Cramer, North Dakota has its own Todd Akin

Todd Akin / Wikimedia Commons1 / 2
Mike McFeely, Oct. 17, 2015 Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor2 / 2

It took six years, but North Dakota finally has its own Todd Akin. Um ... congratulations?

Akin was a Missouri Republican who ran for the U.S. Senate in 2012 and had a good chance to win. That is, until he tried to mansplain his views on why he opposed abortion even in the case of rape. He said doctors told him women rarely get pregnant when they're raped and anyway, "If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down."

Aside from the biological holes in that misplaced theory, Akin coined an unfortunate phrase: "Legitimate rape." As if there are degrees of seriousness put on rape.

Legitimate rape. Illegitimate rape. Sort-of rape. No-doubt-about-it rape. Thirty-seven percent rape. Full-blown rape. So-so rape.

Akin was skewered. Republicans were embarrassed. He lost.

The voters spoke: Rape is rape.

Todd, meet Kevin.

That would be Kevin Cramer, Republican U.S. Senate candidate from North Dakota. Cramer is locked in a tight race against incumbent Heidi Heitkamp, and he believes undying support for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh will win him votes.

Kevin has spent the past several days saying that even if Kavanaugh did sexually assault the woman who made the first accusation against him, meh, what's the big deal?

"Does it disqualify him from the Supreme Court?" Cramer asked Chris Berg on the local "6:30 Point of View" TV show.

And, in a coup de grace to his empathy to women, Cramer implied that a good girl wouldn't have been at the party where she says Kavanaugh assaulted her.

"Well, she admits she's a 15-year-old that had been drinking at a party ... Thirty-six years ago it wasn't that common for 15-year-olds to be at booze parties," Cramer said.

Victim-blame, much?

Cramer's first Akin-like moment came on a radio show last week when he called the accusation "absurd" because, "These are teenagers who evidently were drunk, according to her own statement. Again, it was supposedly an attempt or something that never went anywhere."

Kavanaugh's accuser said that as a 17-year-old he pushed her into a room, pinned her on a bed, groped her, tried to take off her clothes and put his hand over her mouth when she tried to scream. Kavanaugh denies the allegations.

Most fathers of 15-year-old girls would find such a story disturbing. But Cramer, like Akin, wants to assign degrees of seriousness to the alleged assault.

They were teenagers, so ...

They were drinking, so ...

She shouldn't have been at the party, so ...

Kavanaugh didn't actually get her clothes off and rape her, so ...

Echoes of "legitimate rape," no?

Don't laugh. On Berg's show, Cramer dismissed the accusation because "there was no type of intercourse or anything like that." Naive man, Kevin. He's blissfully unaware of attempted rape or other types of sexual assault.

Sexual assault in Cramer's world, apparently, must be done by a sober adult male who penetrates a sober adult female with his penis. If those involved are teenagers or drinking or the assault doesn't include intercourse, that doesn't count.

Kevin, meet Todd.

Mike McFeely
Mike McFeely is a WDAY (970 AM) radio host and a columnist for The Forum. You can respond to Mike's columns by listening to AM-970 from 8:30-11 a.m. weekdays.
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