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Rep. Trent Franks
American Taliban
See, the problem here is that there's a fundamental miscommunication between the media and the fundamentalists. The Crowd That Rules Our Discourse thinks of things like Trent Frank's blanket dismissal of rape and incest victims as a gaffe, an oops moment where a politician says something that sounds rude and, well, that's gonna affect his score. It's not a gaffe. He means it. And now he's fundraising off his own not-backing-down on what really ought to be considered a radical stance:
"NARAL, Planned Parenthood and the taxpayer-funded abortion lobby is attacking me for one reason -- I'm 100 percent unapologetically pro-life and I won't back down," he wrote in an email to supporters on Thursday, according to the Arizona Republic. "Will you contribute $25, $50, $100, or even $500 right now to help me fight back?"
The remarks in question are his assertions that adding an exception for rape and incest victims to his bill banning abortions after 20 weeks is irrelevant because "the incidence of rape resulting in pregnancy are very low." He later clarified so that there would be no misunderstanding him, explaining that he meant that the number of rape or incest pregnancies was low enough that he saw no reason to bother making an exception for them in his 20-week limit, as they had already been "dealt with" in "almost every case." That extenuating circumstances leading to delay might surround instances of rape or incest more often than other cases is apparently either irrelevant or something that's not ever crossed his mind, but I'm going to go with "doesn't give a damn" because his qualifier, almost, is a blunt acknowledgment that there will be victims affected by his bill.

I realize that we are generally supposed to assume that all politicians are liars and crooks, to the point where pundits seem to think that people objecting to even their most ridiculous stances and pronouncements are just being maudlin, but Franks is on the extremist scale of these things. He's proud of it. It feels rather odd that his otherwise successful effort to push extremist legislation is considered a gaffe or a political fumble only if his own explanation of his extremism, "the incidence is low," hits a sour note while he's doing all the rest of it.

If we take Franks at his actions, he's not even "100 percent apologetically pro-life" because he justifies his no-exceptions 20-week ban by asserting that "almost" all victims will have had abortions by then anyway. The 100 percent stance, however, is no abortions for any woman, ever, regardless of circumstance. That's what he and a wide swath of other conservatives have been pushing towards—based entirely, I might add, on religious grounds—but there's not been much pushback by the vast swath of people that consider themselves upstanding political judges of these things. There's only pushback when someone pulls the "gaffe" of saying exactly what they mean.

Originally posted to Hunter on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 11:51 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Well, yeah (12+ / 0-)

    Need money while Republican?  Bow to the fundies for, er, funding

    Being played for suckers by Republicans seems to be athe unwritten 11th Commandment.

    Someone once asked me why do you always insist on taking the hard road? and I replied why do you assume I see two roads?

    by funluvn1 on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 12:05:12 PM PDT

  •  Oh we can defeat Trent Franks for re-election (13+ / 0-)

    He's really just a complete dick of a man.

  •  every time i see a pic of him... (11+ / 0-)

    banjos start playing, flashbacks of ''Deliverance'' scenes start rolling.........wtf

    ''A conservative is a man with two perfectly good legs who, however, has never learned to walk forward.'' FDR

    by lostinamerica on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 01:45:00 PM PDT

  •  There's probably a planet somewhere in the (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wonderful world, Palafox

    Universe where he'd be considered incredibly smart and handsome.

    Well, maybe not "incredibly."

    •  The search for idiotic life in the Universe. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      88kathy

      starts right here.

      The furor over Friday's [10.5] job report revealed a political movement that is rooting for American failure, so obsessed with taking down Obama that good news drives its members into a blind rage. -Paul Krugman

      by Judge Moonbox on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 08:20:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  If you think Franks is creepy online or CSPAN, (10+ / 0-)

    try sitting down with him for a half hour or so. I visited his office for years, and he is one scary dude. Unfortunately the Dems in AZ have rarely run a candidate against him, or supported the ones who did give it a try.

    stay together / learn the flowers / go light - Gary Snyder

    by Mother Mags on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 07:01:13 PM PDT

  •  I offer my apology from Aredneckzonea (5+ / 0-)

    We're doing what we can.

    It has to start somewhere. It has to start sometime. What better place than here, what better time than now? - Guerilla Radio, Rage Against The Machine.

    by Fordmandalay on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 07:02:43 PM PDT

  •  cR-AZy (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wyvern, wonderful world, JeffW, Matt Z

    If I had one wish, Republican men would have uteruses.

    by Desert Rose on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 07:02:54 PM PDT

  •  Trent Franks maybe should have been aborted (3+ / 0-)

    I'm not sayin' I'm just sayin'.

    "Sanity and happiness are an impossible combination." - Mark Twain :*Which is odd, because I've never seen I Republican and thought, gee that person looks happy" -me

    by You know me man on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 07:03:00 PM PDT

  •  Wrong... (5+ / 0-)
    "NARAL, Planned Parenthood and the taxpayer-funded abortion lobby is attacking me for one reason -- I'm 100 percent unapologetically pro-life and I won't back down,"
    NARAL, Planned Parenthood and the "taxpayer-funded abortion lobby"  are attacking you because your insanity proves a danger this country.

    Speaking of insanity:  How many nuts are actually going to send your goofball ass money?

    Answer:  Not as many as you think.

    To any Republican reading this, I request you write a diary about why Republicans are such assholes. I promise to tip & recommend such a diary.

    by wyvern on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 07:11:16 PM PDT

  •  The Pro-life lobby... (7+ / 0-)

    can never accept a rape exception. It's completely impractical. Do you require that evidence be presented to verify a rape accusation? Does there need to be a conviction? Due process takes time, and no one on either side of the abortion debate wants to see late-term abortions because of back logged dockets. And if you require women seeking abortions to claim they were raped and name their attackers, then you give millions of desperate women a strong incentive to make false accusations.

    The other option is to require none of this, which means women can say they were raped, present no evidence and get an abortion no questions asked. They can't accept a rape exception, it will do little to advance their agenda. It's their Achilles Heel, the public will never accept a law without it and they can't really achieve their goals with it. So they make up shit about magic rape babies.

    You can do whatever you want to us, but we're not going to sit here and listen to you badmouth the United States of America.

    by Eric Stratton on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 07:17:37 PM PDT

    •  Maybe you would just need to file (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eric Stratton

      a police report. Then a copy of the report would be all you would need for proof. I don't think anybody is requiring that an assailant is convicted before the rape exception can be granted. OTOH, you are right that they couldn't just take a woman's word for it, lest everyone could take advantage of the loophole. Seems to me this is one of those impractical ideas. The incest loophole has the same problem, maybe worse, as generally there is no police report to file if it is consensual incest. Not sure how the GOP plans to validate that one.

      •  Honestly I don't understand what exactly (0+ / 0-)

        the issue is here. They are pushing the limit for elective abortion down to 20 weeks? What is it now? Isn't that decided by individual States?

        I have never heard of anyone making a rape exception for a 3rd trimester pregnancy. By then, only medical abortions are guaranteed by the Roe vs. Wade decision. I can never follow these guys because they're all pushing a bunch of pie in the sky crap trying to make a complicated issue simple.

        You can do whatever you want to us, but we're not going to sit here and listen to you badmouth the United States of America.

        by Eric Stratton on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 07:45:53 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  A rape exception cannot survive. (3+ / 0-)

      Picture this: a woman who's desperate for grandchildren learns that her daughter has been raped and as a result, got pregnant. What's to stop her from getting an injunction saying that her grandfetus is being denied equal protection under the law.

      Antiabortionists have harped on the "abortion on demand" as a way of glossing over the fact that supporters of a rape exception are uncomfortable about demanding that rape survivors carry their assailant's child. People like Franks take that one step farther--asserting that there are virtually no rape-induced pregnancies in hopes of getting the rape exceptionists to abandon their vantage point. (Todd Akin goes beyond even that, saying with his talk of "legitimate" rapes that if a rape survivor gets pregnant, she must have been asking for it.)

      The furor over Friday's [10.5] job report revealed a political movement that is rooting for American failure, so obsessed with taking down Obama that good news drives its members into a blind rage. -Paul Krugman

      by Judge Moonbox on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 07:36:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  As soon as the government is involved (0+ / 0-)

      in the decision - there is no decision.

      The "Anti Women's Choice and Privacy" lobby has always known this.

      "Exceptions" are and always have been a right wing strategy to avoid this debate head on, these are the religious right's talking points, designed just to suck the air out of the room.

      Pro Choice and Women's Rights advocates need to stop playing their game.

      “Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.” ... Voltaire

      by RUNDOWN on Sat Jun 15, 2013 at 06:50:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Let me be clear... (0+ / 0-)

        I don't support rape exceptions, on moral grounds above everything else. However awful rape is, that doesn't give the victim the right to kill a viable fetus.

        I do support medical exceptions, you can't require someone to take an unreasonable risk to their health for the benefit of another. Also part of this equation is the fact that sometimes a fetus will develop fatal defects that they are not going to survive. In those cases, even if the life of the mother is not in serious peril, it should her decision to terminate the pregnancy. It is essentially the same principle that allows people to take terminally ill family members off of life support.

        However the extreme language often associated with abortion activists on both sides is completely divorced from reality and the law. "My body, my choice" is as empty a slogan as "Abortion stops a beating heart". It's hyperbole, ask Kermit Gosnell.

        Now, I agree that pro-life hardliners exploit this aspect of abortion law, by making it so difficult for women to obtain a abortion that the pregnancy passes the viability threshold before one can happen. This is frustrating. However, I respectfully disagree with the notion that the law should view the issue as black and white. It certainly is not.  

        You can do whatever you want to us, but we're not going to sit here and listen to you badmouth the United States of America.

        by Eric Stratton on Sat Jun 15, 2013 at 01:45:44 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I imagine (0+ / 0-)

          If it was you who (figuratively, as in close family) had to birth that child - and as well cater to the rapists parental rights claims - it would be a little more "Black and White" to you to.

          “Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.” ... Voltaire

          by RUNDOWN on Sat Jun 15, 2013 at 02:39:39 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You couldn't be more wrong. (0+ / 0-)

            I did two tours in Iraq. After the 1st, I wanted no part of the 2nd. But it didn't matter. It was my body, but not my choice.

            Women get a break on this before the 3rd trimester, under Roe vs. Wade. After line is crossed, you're committed. You cannot terminate a healthy pregnancy in the 3rd trimester. Dr. Tiller was a staunch supporter of reproductive rights, he was killed for it. However, in spite of may efforts by pro-life state officials to prove otherwise, there was no evidence presented that he ever performed an elective abortion of a viable fetus.

            And anyway, you're launching an ad hominem attack. Even if were a coward and a hypocrite, my point is still valid. And you have in no way responded to it. What is the justification for killing someone who poses no real threat to you? I used to be in a line of work that involved killing people, and the answer is there is no justification for doing it, unless that individual is a direct threat to your life, or the life of others. Period, end of discussion.

            And that IS black and white.

            You can do whatever you want to us, but we're not going to sit here and listen to you badmouth the United States of America.

            by Eric Stratton on Sat Jun 15, 2013 at 03:56:33 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Are you friggn' serous? (0+ / 0-)

              Did you not sign up for the military in the first place??

              Give me a break.

              The discussion will "end" when you yourself have to carry and give birth to a child - or are forced to.

              “Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.” ... Voltaire

              by RUNDOWN on Sat Jun 15, 2013 at 05:51:15 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Look man... (0+ / 0-)

                I really don't need the hostility. I'm just a dude with strong opinions ans a keyboard. I like a good debate now an then, but I'm also under alot of stress right now and I don't need someone throwing scare quotes and italicized font at me.

                No one said you have to agree with me, but how about you stop "yelling at me. Cool?

                You can do whatever you want to us, but we're not going to sit here and listen to you badmouth the United States of America.

                by Eric Stratton on Sun Jun 16, 2013 at 04:12:11 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  But I will respond to your question. (0+ / 0-)

                Yes I am absolutely serious.

                Did you not sign up for the military in the first place??

                Give me a break.

                The discussion will "end" when you yourself have to carry and give birth to a child - or are forced to.

                A woman makes a choice by allowing a pregnancy to move beyond the point of viability. Roe states very clearly that women have a right to elective abortion in the first trimester in all cases, and in the second trimester in some cases, but not in the third trimester.

                That is what we are discussing, the legality of elective abortion in the third trimester, basically. You understand that, right?

                Eight way, I'm done with this discussion if you're just going  to keep yelling at me. I don't need that right now. I really, really don't. Today is not the day.

                Best wishes.

                You can do whatever you want to us, but we're not going to sit here and listen to you badmouth the United States of America.

                by Eric Stratton on Sun Jun 16, 2013 at 04:23:03 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

  •  He's a louse on the body politic (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, howabout, Matt Z, Palafox, Judge Moonbox

    The old insults are the best.

    A weapon that is also a treasure is certain to be used. Hero for Hire.

    by wonderful world on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 07:17:41 PM PDT

  •  He's just pissed about his hair lip (0+ / 0-)

    An AR-15 should come with a state mandated vaginal probe.

  •  100% pro life? Yeah, right! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Matt Z

    Does Franks oppose the Death Penalty? Even if he can reconcile his stance with the stated  purpose of the Iraq War; in the 44 months between the "Mission Accomplished" speech and the start of the Surge, did he tell Bush to get off his fat ass and start fighting to win even if he had to raise taxes?

    I hope I live to the day when I can hear politicians and activists say "life," and I can assume they mean life and not antiabortionism.

    The furor over Friday's [10.5] job report revealed a political movement that is rooting for American failure, so obsessed with taking down Obama that good news drives its members into a blind rage. -Paul Krugman

    by Judge Moonbox on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 07:22:37 PM PDT

  •  Why do men think they are experts... (4+ / 0-)

    when it comes to a women's body???? Guys, stick to choking your own chicken, and leave the more difficult tasks to the real experts.

    Glottal fricative and breathy-voiced mid-low central unrounded vowel, repeated, diphthong ending with a high front vowel.

    by glb3 on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 07:24:13 PM PDT

  •  another republican man demanding the right of (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Matt Z, historys mysteries

    the state to force a woman to bear a child. what a bunch of fascists.

  •  Do you ever wonder just how far these idiots (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Judge Moonbox

    will go to sell their soul to the devil just to get elected?  It boggles the mind.  

    I would venture to say that there are very few of them out there doing it because they truly believe, most are faking it to get elected.

    The ones who truly believe are the ones who are really scary.  

    In the time it took Adam Lanza to reload, eleven children escaped. What if...

    by Sixty Something on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 07:35:20 PM PDT

  •   Women pregnant from the rape of my face is low (0+ / 0-)
  •  Our side begs down (0+ / 0-)
    Please send $3 to.........
    Their side Begs Up
    $25, $50, $100, or even $500
    wtf?

    I want 1 less Tiny Coffin, Why Don't You? Support The President's Gun Violence Plan.

    by JML9999 on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 07:41:32 PM PDT

  •  It's hard to justify on "religious grounds" (2+ / 0-)

    But that's a whole 'nother topic.

    What he's bringing to mind is:

    1. Say something stupid about rape.
    2. Fundraise about it.
    3. Profit!

    Freedom isn't free. Patriots pay taxes.

    by Dogs are fuzzy on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 07:42:45 PM PDT

  •  I hope voters in his district will connect (0+ / 0-)

    the mental image of his face to the image of a vaginal ultrasound probe. If that won't leave a lasting impression, nothing will.

    "Life is short, but long enough to get what's coming to you." --John Alton

    by Palafox on Fri Jun 14, 2013 at 07:47:51 PM PDT

  •  I found my next "Inmates of the Asylum" subject (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jdld, historys mysteries

    Not that Franks is unknown (far from it), but I think we all need to be reminded of just how awful he is. He's got a long list of offense to basic human decency.

  •  I have this theory about life, (0+ / 0-)

    all I need is your uterus. There that's not so bad.

  •  You can bet your boots... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BeninSC

    ..that many conservatives with money and a family friend physician would seek an abortion for wife or daughter within the 20 week limit.  

    But that's part of their crazy logic.  Believe it or not, they see themselves, who do not believe in it, yet use it only when absolutely necessary, as being different from those who want to "open it up" to everyone.  

    Their approach to sex is similar.  For them their extra curricular sexual activity is a weakness, not like those wicked liberals who are ruining the country.

    •  my typo... (0+ / 0-)

      I meant to say BEYOND the 20 week limit.  Sometimes my typing outruns my thinking; or my thinking outruns my typing.  I'm not sure which.  

    •  I agree with you about how they seek abortions. (0+ / 0-)

      This hypocrisy exists in significant measure.

      I am not as sure that all regard their sexual activity as weakness. That doesn't seem right for many. I do agree that some very religious conservatives consider it for reproduction only. I have no sense that it is even a majority, however.

      That said, welcome to Daily Kos!

      Welcome from the DK Partners & Mentors Team. If you have any questions about how to participate here, you can learn more at the Knowledge Base or from the New Diarists Resources Diaries. (Click on orange text to go to linked content.) Diaries labeled "Open Thread" are also great places to ask. We look forward to your contributions.

      "The opposite of war isn't peace, it's CREATION." _ Jonathan Larson, RENT -9.62, -9.13

      by BeninSC on Sat Jun 15, 2013 at 09:44:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I can see your point.. (0+ / 0-)

        ..but I was speaking mainly of the Christian Right. Whenever any of them are caught in a "sexual situation", the kind they have judged and condemned others for, the first thing out of their mouths in one form or another is, "I know that its wrong, but for me its a weakness that's forgiven by grace; I'm not like those who believe that its NOT wrong".  

        I have relatives who are ministers and of the Christian Right.  A couple of them, though married, have had a girlfriend, sometimes, girlfriends, in every church they have served, and that has been their song each time they got caught. They forget that grace means we receive mercy and understanding to give them.

         And, by the way, they like to compare themselves to King David who also had a thing for the ladies.  Quite convenient, wouldn't you say?    

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