Inside the GOP wheelhouse, it’s harder than you might think to say something that’s so wrong even your own party turns against you. Look at all the Republicans who tried and failed. But somehow Todd Akin has managed it. I’ll skip the recap of all that. He admits now that he was wrong. Anybody can be wrong. But it’s how he was wrong that bothers me.
Akin’s comments were based, he said, on “what I understand from doctors”. He didn’t say what doctors he spoke to, and I doubt he could even identify them today. We do know that those comments must have sounded just as stupid coming out of a doctor’s mouth as they did coming out of Akin’s. He now admits they were incorrect, but it evidently never crossed his mind to question them at the time. Why would he question them if they were what he preferred to believe anyway? He might if he actually cared about whether they were true. But as long as they suited his purposes, he didn’t care.
That makes Todd Akin the sleaziest, laziest kind of liar: a common bullshit artist. He’s not the guy who holds back information he knows is true. Not the guy who makes a statement he knows isn’t true and hopes you accept it. He wants you to accept his statement even though he doesn’t really know or care whether it’s true. He’s a bullshitter. He’ll say what he needs to say to win the point, win the argument, win the election. Concern for the truth is strictly a last resort, something to try when nothing else works.