When a terrorist attack is successfully carried out against American targets, belief that it could have been prevented provides its own odd sort of closure. If its success was owed to the lack of certain security measures, those tactics can presumably–at least in many cases, and within the bounds of law–be enacted. And if negligence is to blame, that makes prevention seem even simpler: pay better attention next time, and know what to look for.
But the desire to place blame for a security lapse can also lead political leaders astray, especially those who want to be seen by their constituents at home to be part of the solution. And that is the most generous explanation for the behavior of Republican Congressmen Steve King and Dana Rohrabacher in Russia this week to investigate the North Caucasus connection to the Boston Marathon bombing. But that explanation is incomplete, for King and Rohrabacher haven’t earned such generosity but instead indicated they possess a cynicism and gullibility unbecoming of their status as representatives of their fellow citizens in Washington and of the American Congress abroad.
Republicans understandably want to move past the Todd Akin debacle as quickly as possible, but it’s not going to be easy. The Obama campaign is going to try to keep this issue alive as long as possible, if only to avoid a substantive debate on the economy and the deficit, and many in the media seem happy to help.
That means that any comment from social conservatives that relates to abortion is going to be scrutinized under a magnifying glass. Mike Huckabee, Tony Perkins, Kirk Cameron and Rep. Steve King from Iowa have all unfortunately added fuel to the controversy:
Rep. Steve King, one of the most staunchly conservative members of the House, was one of the few Republicans who did not strongly condemn Rep. Todd Akin Monday for his remarks regarding pregnancy and rape. King also signaled why — he might agree with parts of Akin’s assertion.
King told an Iowa reporter he’s never heard of a child getting pregnant from statutory rape or incest.
“Well I just haven’t heard of that being a circumstance that’s been brought to me in any personal way,” King told KMEG-TV Monday, “and I’d be open to discussion about that subject matter.”