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Friday, January 24, 2014

Republicans try to tamp down latest unhinged candidate outbreak

Raw Story - Booted from Illinois GOP: Susanne Atanus' anti-LGBT comments spark rage
Maybe they shouldn’t have abandoned that whole rebranding thing after all.
Raw Story: A Republican congressional candidate from Illinois refused to honor her party’s call for her to abandon the race despite her sudden infamy, the Chicago Daily Herald reported on Thursday.

“I’m not withdrawing from the race,” Susanne Atanus told the Herald. “I don’t know why they are not standing behind me. They should talk to me personally. I will not back out of the race.”

Atanus’ candidacy gained the wrong kind of national spotlight on Wednesday after she expressed her belief that God created autism and dementia and extreme weather conditions to punish the U.S. on account of legalized abortion and the increasing support nationwide for marriage equality.

“God is angry,” she told the Herald. “We are provoking him with abortions and same-sex marriage and civil unions. Same-sex activity is going to increase AIDS. If it’s in our military it will weaken our military. We need to respect God.”

Atanus is running against David Earl Williams III for the right to represent the GOP against incumbent Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL). However, Republican leaders at both the local and state level released a statement on Thursday disavowing her completely.
This is the GOP’s recurring nightmare heading toward November; that some out-there, bigoted, ignorant ‘bagger candidate will become the face of the Republican Party. Mike Huckabee (although not a candidate, definitely a Tea Party type) ran that scenario yesterday and of course there are others, like the Florida candidate who won’t step back from his fervent belief that Pres. Obama must die.

But the bigger concern isn’t exactly that people will assume that candidates like Atanus speak for the GOP, but rather that they’ll prove that many in the party believe this horsecrap. One of the more important bits of fallout from Todd Akin’s “legitimate rape” fiasco was that there was no shortage of people — either in the media or in the party itself — who thought that Akin was absolutely right. The idea that rape rarely results in pregnancy because women have some sort of auto-contraceptive system that kicks when they’re sexually assaulted is such a common lie among anti-choice zealots that nearly everyone in the GOP base actually believes it. To them, Akin was only saying what they thought was common knowledge and defended him as they would the truth.

And Atanus doesn’t sound any different from any random Tea Party activist or columnist for WorldNetDaily. People go on Fox News and say things like this without any pushback at all, because this is the sort of mumbo-jumbo that so many of them believe is absolute Gospel. So the base, like Susanne Atanus herself, has to be wondering what the big deal is. Hell, this sort of thing is just an average day on talk radio or wingnut blogs. Why’s everyone freaking out about it now?

What Republicans are afraid of isn’t what Atanus said, but that what she and other candidates and pundits like her say may become an intraparty debate. They don’t want to shut her down before liberals notice and start to attack, they want to shut her down before conservatives notice and rush to defend.

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