UPDATE: 3:45 P.M.
(LINK) See allegation by Congressman Jim Renacci against Betty Sutton that she and her Democratic Party have taken $741 billion to pay for Affordable Care Act.
Judged as "mostly false" by Cleveland Plain Dealer/Ohio PolitiFact.
During this 2012 presidential campaign there have been a number of "political" wars break out.
There has been charges of Republican versus Democrats that the latter are engaging in "class warfare." And there has ben the allegations by Democrats that Republicans have embarked on a "war against women."
With the recent comment of Congressman Todd Akin (Republican - suburban St. Louis, Missouri), who is running for a U.S. Senate seat currently held by Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill, to wit:
It seems to me, from what I understand from doctors, that pregnancy [as a result of rape] is really rare. If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. But let's assume that maybe that didn't work or something; I think there should be some punishment but the punishment ought to be of the rapist, and not attacking the child.a nuance of the alleged "war against women" is seemingly being refined in to a "war of the sexes."
The focus these days is mostly upon Republican men who are introducing, sponsoring and co-sponsoring federal legislation designed to determine for women control over their own bodies.
Akin's comment is causing media types to look at each and every congressperson (mostly men - 217 men to 24 women are Republican members of Congress) to determine whether or not they co-sponsored anti-abortion rights legislation which, of course, define the rights of women to control their bodies.
The focus is on H.R. 3 (United States House of Representatives) which was introduced in January, 2011 just days after 16th District Congressman Jim Renacci (R - Wadsworth) and 18th District Congressman Bob Gibbs (R - Lakeville; now running in the 7th which includes most of Stark County) had taken office for the very first time.
The Republicans in the House have a 241 to 198 advantage. There are six vacancies.
On May 4, 2011 the bill passed the House and both Gibbs and Renacci voted for it (as did their 239 Republican colleagues) whereas Congresswoman Betty Sutton (Renacci's Democratic opponent in November's election) voted against it. Only 16 Democrats voted for H.R. 3.
While (according to an article by Robert Wang of The Repository yesterday: Local congressional candidates respond to Akin flap) all four congressional candidate condemned Akin's "If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down," it appears to the SCPR that the fact that Gibbs both co-sponsored with Akins H.R. 3 (a la "guilt by association") and voted for the final bill and Renacci voted for the final version (which had the expresson "forcible rape" excised) might well be icing on the cake as to why both might be looking at becoming one term congressmen come November 6, 2012.
Both are in the process of weathering the storm of having voted in favor of vice presidential candidate and Congressman Paul Ryan's deficit cutting budget plan which most non-partisan commenters see as having the likelihood of putting Medicare recipients in the position of having to pay to $6,400 annually (according to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office [CBO]) whereas President Obama's cuts (of the same amount - $716 billion) are to be exacted of medical providers (doctors, hospitals, et cetera).
It seems to the SCPR that if Healy-Abrams and Sutton can put together a focused traditional Labor Day forward to November 6th campaign on Medicare and the Akin no exception to abortion issues tying Gibbs and Renacci heart and soul to unpopular right-wing stances on both, then they might looking at November victories.
Potentially winning issues have presented themselves to Healy-Abrams and Sutton. The only question is whether or not their campaigns are up to the challenge of fully exploiting them.
There is no doubt that voters in both the 7th and 16th districts have clear choices in the stark differences that present themselves in these respective contests:
- women lined up against men; the women being left of the political center and the men well to the right of center,
- women lined up against men; Democrats (the Party of Healy-Abrams and Sutton) have double the number of women in Congress than the Republicans do (46 [including three delegates] to 24)
- women lined up against men, the women thinking differently as to whom should bear cuts of $716 billion in Medicare funding cuts on the path to a 10 year program to cut federal budget deficits,
- women lined up against men, the women thinking differently as to the extent to which government dictates to women the rights they have to control their own bodies.
The political stars are aligning for Healy-Abrams and Sutton.
Can they make "thinking differently" pay off?
Can they successfully frame the Republican candidates Gibbs and Renacci as waging war on middle income Medicare recipients and on the female sex as in a "war on women?"