…and why I wrote it
By Art Gallagher
As a political blogger, I expected that my story about former NFL player and convicted sex offender Christian Peter being on a Christie fund raising committee would be viewed in a political context. Both Democrats and Republicans asked me, “Why are you taking a shot at Christie?” “I’m not,” I replied, “I’m taking a shot at Peter. I am close to a few sexual assault survivors and I am related to recovering alcoholics. I don’t give sexual predators or addicts any slack.” “Yeah, right,” they said, “you’re taking a shot at Christie.” That’s they would be doing.
I confess, if I found out that Peter was on the host committee of a Menendez or Buono fundraiser, my inner partisan blogger would be inclined to make hay with that information. But I would wait until after the fundraiser. I would try to get photos taken at the fundraiser of Peter with the candidate and the other politicians present and then wait to use them to strike or counter-strike at the opportune time. That’s how the game is played, as they say. But sexual assault and the destructive wake of addiction is not a game for me.
So, my inner political blogger did my friends who will be attending the Christie fundraiser a favor. Most that of them that I talked to before I published the story had either forgotten about or never knew of Peter’s history of violence against women, even though it was written about just four months ago in the New York Times. Who would have guessed that my political friends don’t read the New York Times’ sports section? Now they know about Peter’s history. They can choose to pose for pictures with him, or have a drink with him, or not, with full knowledge of his history.
That’s part of why I wrote the story, but not the most important reason.
The story I wanted to write about Peter is a tale of how he’s turned his life around. A tale about his triumph over his demons. About how he’s made amends to the people he has hurt. I wanted to write about how he is making a difference for battered women and how he’s training young athletes not to make the mistakes he’s made.
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Posted: April 6th, 2013 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: 2013 Election, 2013 Gubernatorial Politics, Ashley Dupree, Christian Peter, Crime and Punishment, Rape | Tags: Chris Christie, Christian Peter, Christie fundraiser, Rape, Violence Against Women | 9 Comments »
Congressman Todd Akin’s asinine comments about “legitimate rape,” pregnancy and abortion have knocked medicare and the economy off center stage in the political debate, at least temporarily.
Akin has apologized. Yet his comments are unforgivable because he is clueless to the hurt and damage he has caused and continues to cause. He is clueless to how hurtful his comments are to women, particularly rape survivors. His apology is empty because he doesn’t realize what he did.
Akin is clueless to the political damage he is causing as evidenced by the fact that he refused to resign his candidacy for U.S. Senate. He thinks he can win. He says his campaign is not about him, but about his message, as if he is a messiah with a unique message that no one else can deliver. Akin is a candidate for a straight jacket and the U.S. Senate.
Republicans are losing women over the Akin gaffe because 1) they failed to get him out of the Missouri U.S. Senate race and 2) their response is too male. Empathy is missing. The Republican response, which failed, is strategic and politically expedient. The strategy is sound, but empathy is missing and women feel that.
Much of the empathy coming from the left is false. It is strategic. But at least they are trying. Thus the gender gap will expand until Republican males get empathy for women, or at least fake it as well as Democratic males do.
The sin of it all is that on a political level the abortion debate is bullshit.
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Posted: August 22nd, 2012 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: 2012 Congressional Races, 2012 Presidential Politics, 2012 U.S. Senate Race, Abortion, Rape | Tags: Abortion, Rape, Republican platform | 35 Comments »
Missouri Congressman Todd Akin, a GOP candidate for U.S. Senate, set off a national uproar and likely ended his poltical career with his comments comments about rape and abortion over the weekend when he said pregancy from “legitimate rape” was rare and that women’s body have a natural way of “shutting that whole thing down,” during an interview on a St. Louis Fox afflilate wherein he was asked about his views on abortion in the case of rape.
“From what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare,” said Akin said of pregnancy caused by rape. “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. But let’s assume maybe that didn’t work or something. I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be on the rapist.”
Akin issued an apology of sorts on facebook later in the day on Sunday and told Mike Huckabee on the radio that he should have said “forcible rape.”
President Barack Obama called Akin’s comments offensive during his press conference this afternoon.
GOP Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney distanced himself from Akin, calling the congressman’s remarks “insulting, inexcusable and frankly wrong,” according to the Washington Post.
Governor Chris Christie called Akin’s comments “asinine” and “ridiculous” during his press conference in Asbury Park this afternoon, according to Poltickernj.
In a press release, New Jersey GOP Senate nominee Joe Kyrillos took his criticism of Akin one step further than his fellow Republicans by addressing the congressman’s views on abortion :
“Like many I am outraged by Representative Todd Akin’s remarks regarding pregnancy and ‘legitimate rape’ – they have no place in our public discourse. But beyond my concern for our national public discourse, I am saddened and disappointed as a husband and a father to a 10 year old daughter. Not only are Representative Akin’s comments about a horrific act of violence wrong and inappropriate, he and I disagree on the issue of abortion, generally.”
Neither Kyrillos nor his campaign have responded to requests for a clarification on what he means by his “general” disagreement with Akin over abortion.
U.S. Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell is suggestting that Akin withdrawl his Senate candidacy by the 5pm Tuesday deadline, according to the LA Times.
Posted: August 20th, 2012 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: 2012 Presidential Politics, 2012 U.S. Senate Race, Abortion, Rape, Todd Akin | Tags: Chris Christie, Joe Kyrillos, LA Times, Mitch McConnell, Mitt Romney, Politickernj, Todd Akin, Washington Post | 31 Comments »