After Mitt Romney’s 47 Percent video went viral in the fall, pundits thought politicians might dial back their comments in group settings where they might be recorded.
Rep Phil Gingrey (R-11th District) didn’t get that memo (or doesn’t care), and last week in front of a Cobb County Chamber of Commerce group in Smyrna, Gingrey defended former Missouri Rep Todd Akin’s statements about “legitimate” rape. Gingrey also added that as an ob/gyn (trained at the Medical College of Georgia) he tells women trying to conceive, “Just relax. Drink a glass of wine. And don’t be so tense and uptight, because all that adrenaline can cause you not to ovulate.’”
The hailstorm of criticism which exploded after the Marietta Daily Journal‘s coverage ranges from a petition by a Gingrey constituent calling for his resignation to #philgringrey trending on Twitter. Then all those sciencey people, including women, started telling Gingrey he was just plain wrong.
A post on the Scientific American web site titled Gingrey is a bad doctor, says science, written by Cell and Molecular Biology PhD candidate Christie Wilcox, includes, “Gingrey is just wrong on all accounts, and so is Akin. There is no evidence to support the role of adrenaline-mediated prevention of ovulation due to rape. There is no science to support their insinuations that, somehow, rape victims are less likely to get pregnant. Their statements directly contradict reproductive science, and serve only to demean women who have already undergone a terrible atrocity. There is simply no excuse for such blatant ignorance and thinly-veiled misogyny, especially coming from the mouth of someone claiming to ‘know about these things.’ ”
Wilcox continues, “Here’s a tip for the GOP and republicans (sic) in general: stop citing biology to defend your misogynistic positions. At least stop claiming things to be true without a cursory look at the literature. It’s not hard to look these things up, boys, and you have a team of assistants to do such things for you. When you flap your lips without even the slightest clue as to what the science actually is on the subject, you look stupid at best. I’d say stop talking in general, but I think it’s good that the general public sees your positions for what they really are. On second thought, ignore my advice: keep on trucking. The baseless, unscientific lies that you tell will only serve to strengthen the people who run against you.”
That’s enough pressure to make a poor member of Congress forget his own medical advice. Instead of having a glass of wine and letting his own adrenaline levels subside, Gingrey took his Twitter account down:
We’ve got less than two years to find good candidates to run against the waahoos Georgians are sending to Congress. It will take a lot of money to run against Republicans with big war chests. Based on the first few days of this Congress, I hope some smart people in both parties are thinking about testing the water.
I would say we couldn’t do any worse than who we have now, but I’m afraid, based our recent voting trends, that we could.