Paul Ryan has been in The Todd Akin Avoidance Bunker this week ever since Ryan's reliable Missouri anti-abortion clone commandeered the national conversation with a weird lecture about rape and female physiology that threw science, base-line respect for 51% of the population and the entire Romney-Ryan campaign game plan under the bus.
So Ryan, who strongly opposes abortion even in cases of incest and rape, and supports the total abortion ban implicit in the so-called Personhood legislation he and Akin have backed, eventually had to face the media traveling with him and explain the contradiction he'd come to represent without looking like a fool or a hypocrite:
Walk that far-right line to keep the Tea Party and Right-to-Life movement satisfied - - the reason he is on the ticket - - while at least appearing to defer to Papa Bear Romney, who has said he supports abortion exceptions in rape and incest cases.
So Ryan abandoned the fatally-toxic Akin, but muffed the scene because he couldn't tell the complete truth about just how Akin-like he really is.
So reporters pressed Ryan - - unlike the obsequious talk show hosts who let Ryan and his ilk prattle on without a challenge - - about the qualitative difference between Akin's signature, offensive stance on "legitimate rape" and the "forcible" rape language Ryan and Akin wanted added to federally-permitted abortion funding to narrow the exception.
The Washington Post's Dana Milbank nicely-framed Ryan's failed effort to mislead the media; the episode will be remembered when Ryan wanders off script or the Fox 'News' set where real reporters might be able to interview him:
“Look, I’m proud of my record,” he told reporters on his plane, but “Mitt Romney is going to be president, and the president sets policy. His policy is exceptions for rape, incest and life of the mother. I’m comfortable with it because it’s a good step in the right direction.”
Does he now regret his sponsorship of legislation that made a distinction between “forcible rape” and other kinds — a position eerily similar to Akin’s “legitimate rape”?
“That bill passed, I think, by 251 votes,” Ryan replied. “It was bipartisan.” He neglected to mention that it passed after removal of the “forcible” language.