Akin = Ryan = Palin = Cantor = McConnell = poison tea

As I suggested in my column this week, Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) is now Exhibit A for the fact that the Republican Party has been taken over by radicals, extremists, ignoramuses and nuts. Not every Republican is as tactless as Akin, who publicly says what many Republicans privately believe and who publicly votes almost exactly the way Paul Ryan votes and the way a large majority of House Republicans vote. I dare any Republican to list the issues where Paul Ryan and Todd Akin disagree. All of Romney's money, Rove's machinations, the Koches’ cash and Adelson's dough cannot hide the fact that on matters of major policy, Paul Ryan and Todd Akin are in nearly 100 percent agreement. Along with a majority of House and Senate Republicans.

The resonating power of the Akin fiasco is that it strips the Republicans of any remaining mask of moderation and dramatizes the fact of Republican extremism. Take away the word "legitimate" from Akin's discussion of rape, and he is revealed as an identical twin of Paul Ryan and a large majority of House Republicans.

Those Republicans who express irritation that I and others use the phrase "war on women” should join me and others in supporting equal pay for women, supporting a woman's right to choose, supporting Medicare against those who would destroy it and turn it into windfall profits for insurers, and supporting Social Security against those who attack it and would turn the program into more profits for banks through privatization.

I call on Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan, John Boehner, Eric Cantor and Mitch McConnell to join me and endorse Claire McCaskill for reelection to the United States Senate against Todd Akin. They should put up or shut up, and if they shut up I will accept their plea of being guilty of either cowardice against extremism, support for extremism or both.

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