In the days since Republican candidate for Missouri Senate Todd Akin (the current Congressman from the second congressional district), made his "legitimate rape" comments there has been much (well-deserved) outrage. I will not defend those statements as I personally believe them to be not only insensitive but also ill-informed (in regards to the tendency of the female body to miscarriage after a rape). What I won't defend is those critics of the Congressman who have taken this to the level now being seen. The Congressman's staff released the following statement today:
I can verify that the Capitol police are working with an outside law enforcement agency regarding threatening contact with our official office. The office of Congressman Akin has received threats of rape of his official staff, family and the Congressman himself along with suggestions that individuals should die.
Politics can be a very rough business from time to time and no one should enter the fray expecting to come out completely unscathed, but this level of vitriol is absurd.
There is a great deal of legitimate criticism to be leveled at the Congressman, but death threats and threats of rape are too far. Unfortunately, we on the right have come to expect this type of reaction from many groups on the left. Will the left condemn these acts in the way that many on the right have condemned the Congressman for his insensitive and ill-informed comments?
I wouldn't hold my breath if I was you.