In my House district (the new NY-25), the trick for a Republican is to be pro-life on the down low – keep it off the website, don’t discuss it in the campaign, but put out the word to the pro-lifers that you’re one of them. Akin is forcing Maggie Brooks, who’s a serious challenger to Louise Slaughter, out of the closet, and it’s interesting to watch. I wrote a couple of posts about it on my sadly neglected race blog (here and here) if you want more detail, but the net of it is that Slaughter is beating Brooks over the head with Ryan, Akin, and all the Republicans who signed on to the forcible rape bill and gave Brooks money.
Brooks was caught flat-footed, because pro-life lite™–a rape and incest exemption to abortion and acceptance of contraception–has worked for Republicans around here for decades. Now the tubes are spastic, and the usual “keep your mouth shut and your bowels open” strategy on abortion just ain’t gonna cut it. One of the factors in this race is that Slaughter is a hard core, true believing choice advocate who doesn’t mince words about her support of the right to an abortion. Her abortion talking points are hard-edged and well-practiced. Last she was asked, Brooks was still making up her mind on Planned Parenthood, and now she’s got to tell us what kinds of rape are really rape rape, and which ones are non-abortion slut rape.
This is even more important over in the new NY-27, where Kathy Hochul is running to keep the seat she won in a special election by running on the Ryan plan. Her opponent is the white, male asshole Chris Collins, and I’m going to love seeing him explain reproductive biology the next time he emerges from whatever bunker he’s hiding in.