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Roskam perhaps wonders aloud too much***UPDATED X1***

Monday, Oct 27, 2008

* If this Peter Roskam quote gets picked up, it might do some damage in the closing days

[Roskam] asked in the Pioneer Press interview why women can have abortions if rapists cannot be executed.

Here’s the response from Roskam’s Democratic opponent…

Lumping women who have abortions in with rapists and the death penalty? It’s offensive, demeaning to women and just downright creepy. It tells you all you need to know about Peter Roskam and what he thinks about women, even if he really doesn’t want you to know it.

*** UPDATE 1 *** [Posted by Kevin Fanning] Adding a quote forwarded to us from the Pioneer Press:

Roskam: “You know, my position is the same as Henry Hyde’s. And Henry Hyde put it best when he said, when somebody is the victim of a crime, the law currently says that a rapist can’t be put to death. That’s the law. A rapist under the court doctrines can’t be put to death. He said, why is it that the baby who is the result of that criminal behavior can be put to death? He said, isn’t that a sad, sad thing. So my feeling is, look, in the case of that, that’s the hard case, right? That’s the ultimate painful and difficult case. And what we need to do is love that person and encourage them and support them. But once people are categorized by how they were conceived and the circumstances of their conception, you end up going down a route that ultimately I don’t think we want to be.”

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- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - wordslinger - Monday, Oct 27, 08 @ 11:49 am:

    Roskam must have forgot where he was for a moment. That’s a line for when you’re singing to the choir at a private event. Whoops.

  2. - VanillaMan - Monday, Oct 27, 08 @ 11:52 am:

    ==[Roskam] asked in the Pioneer Press interview why women can have abortions if rapists cannot be executed.==

    First verify this. It is such a stupid thing to say, that we first should ensure that the quote is not taken out of context. Then ask for him to respond. It is such a stupid thing to say, we should ensure that he explains himself first.

    If the quote is correct, the context is correct, and he verifies it and doesn’t clarify it.

    Then he should lose this election for his poor judgement and lack of empathy.

  3. - Skeeter - Monday, Oct 27, 08 @ 12:07 pm:

    Wow.Roskam’s gone off the deep end. First the magazines in the PX thing. Now this.
    He makes Henry Hyde look like Ted Kennedy.

  4. - Skeeter - Monday, Oct 27, 08 @ 12:14 pm:

    I read the Roskam thing again. When I first read it, it just seemed creepy. Upon further review, it appears that he is saying that women who have abortions are the moral equalivalent of rapists.

    The implication of course is that Roskam must believe that the death penalty would be appropriate for abortion (or at least the same punishment as a rapist would receive).

    That’s about as extreme a policy as I can imagine.

  5. - shore - Monday, Oct 27, 08 @ 12:39 pm:

    The problem I have with Roskam and Schock if you look at what Roskam said in his Tribune endorsement meeting and that article aboutSchock and Iran, is that there is a lack of any serious thinking. Schock seems to think for some reason national security issues are the same today that they were 20 years ago and Roskam seems to think people still care about the culture wars and it’s a bit annoying to read as a GOP.

  6. - Carl Nyberg - Monday, Oct 27, 08 @ 12:43 pm:

    Wow! Peter Roskam should note how much trouble Michele Bachmann made for herself in Minnesota saying stupid stuff to the media.

    If the national blogs and women’s organizations get this story, Morgenthaler is going to have an extra $500,000 by this weekend.

  7. - Anon - Monday, Oct 27, 08 @ 1:31 pm:

    Actually, it makes some sense in the right context. Many people who oppose abortion on demand still concede that it’s acceptable in the case of rape. A valid question to THOSE people would be, “If it’s ok to kill a baby because it was conceived as a result of rape, why isn’t it ok to kill the rapist?”

    That said, however, the very best you can say about it is that it is incredibly insensitive and I can’t imagine anyone with half a brain asking that question outside a discussion among pro-lifers trying to clarify their own thinking.

  8. - Carl Nyberg - Monday, Oct 27, 08 @ 1:54 pm:

    What does the abortion have to do with the prosecution of the rapist?

    I get the question, if you believe “life begins at conception” then how do you justify making exceptions to abortion restrictions for rape?

    But I don’t see the issue of how to appropriately prosecute rapists as having anything to do with whether or not a woman has the option to seek an abortion.

    Is Peter Roskam willing to look in the camera and say, “I support making it illegal for women who are raped to get abortions”? Is he willing to do that? Because there are Democratic interest groups that would help Roskam get this message to his constituents.

  9. - Six Degrees of Separation - Monday, Oct 27, 08 @ 3:00 pm:


    Roskam is the same guy he was a week ago. Why would a sentence that took 10 seconds to utter get another $500k in donations? Are political donators that trigger-happy? Reminds me of the irrational exuberance and fear of some stock market investors. BTW, if I could shake the money tree with my lips, I’d be a non-stop talker.

    BTW, dumb comment on Roskam’s part in any case.

  10. - Bill S. Preston, Esq. - Monday, Oct 27, 08 @ 5:22 pm:

    What an idiot. Unfortunately, his opponent isn’t really much of one, so it’s unlikely that she’s going to get any traction off this.

  11. - GOP'er - Monday, Oct 27, 08 @ 6:25 pm:

    It’s only surprising to see Roskam taking time away from viciously smearing a second woman who has proudly worn the uniform of our U.S. Military, in as many elections.

    Roskam’s another me, me, me Republican who deserves to be swept out in the coming Obama tsunami in Illinois. We can run a non-trial lawyer in two years who doesn’t have to win by attacking our veterans.

    What does Roskam have against our military anyway? First he tries to take their Playboy magazines and R-rated movies away. Then if you survive your service and run against him, he smears you.

    The guy should quit congress and go over to Iraq to drive a truck or something.

  12. Pingback PoliTrix » Blog Archive » GOP Rep. Roskam: Why Can Women Have Abortions If Rapists Can’t Be Executed? - Monday, Oct 27, 08 @ 6:31 pm:

    […] Republican Congressman Peter Roskam appeared to equate abortion with the execution of rapists during an interview with the suburban Pioneer Press editorial board, a statement that Springfield chronicler Rich Miller believes “might do some damage” to the Wheaton incumbent in the final days of his close race against Democratic opponent Jill Morgenthaler. […]

  13. - wordslinger - Monday, Oct 27, 08 @ 7:14 pm:

    GOP’er, good on you.

  14. - Anonymous - Monday, Oct 27, 08 @ 8:00 pm:

    I’ve read it over and over again and still can’t figure out what it means or was intended to mean.

    I’m going to guess “no traction” because the majority of those who’d be upset by it probably weren’t voting for him anyway.

  15. - mixed meter - Tuesday, Oct 28, 08 @ 1:51 am:

    I read the Roskam thing again. When I first read it, it just seemed creepy. Upon further review, it appears that he is saying that women who have abortions are the moral equalivalent of rapists.

    That’s not how I read it. From what I can tell, his comparison is between the state and the woman, not the woman and the rapist. The state can’t kill a rapist. A woman can kill a fetus. He’s trying to say that if we insist that the state protect the life of the most vile, then why do we allow women to take the life of the innocent? He’s making a sanctity of life argument.

    It’s not my view — I’m pretty staunchly pro-choice. And it’s an odd position for him, since he supports the death penalty. He seems to be using a position he disagrees with to support one that he does agree with. But I imagine if he defines the debate on these terms — having defined an embryo as a life throughout every stage of its development and removing any considerations for the health of the mother — he would pivot by adding, “But we really should execute the bad people, regardless.”

    Abortion and the death penalty are two incredibly emotionally-charged issues. I think conflating these issues dangerously increases rancor in the discourse about them, so much so that it really should only be done by someone who is honestly and completely committed to the sanctity of ALL life argument. (Which I suppose would limit it to pro-life, anti-death penalty pacifists.)

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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