Off Beat: Vann not moving
When the exotic fringe of the Republican Party proudly announced its view of "legitimate rape" last Sunday, many politicians were appalled.
Kim Vann, your Republican Party nominee in the 3rd Congressional District, wasn't among them. She was missing in action.
You know the story by now.
Rep. Todd Akin, a candidate for the US Senate in Missouri, appeared on a chat show in his home state when one of those social issue questions came up — whether his general opposition to abortion extended to women who have been raped.
"It seems to me, first of all, from what I understand from doctors, that's really rare. If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down," Akin explained in a response that came from a very weird place.
He may have been basing his response on a scientific paper from 40 years ago. It was one of those obscure papers that few sane people can relate to, but a certain wing of the GOP adopts kook science as gospel.
So there was much huff-huffing and tut-tutting and calls for Akin to abandon his race because his comments were appalling and awfully embarrassing to the GOP.
The secret was out: Most voters are unaware that a certain significant segment of the Republican base actually believes this and other pseudo-scientific junk.
So if you're Kim Vann and you're running for Congress, are you out in front on this, or are you nowhere to be found?
In Vann's case, she took the latter strategy. Nowhere.
No statements on her website. No comments to the local press. Nothing. To be fair, maybe nobody in the press in this district bothered to ask her.
But you're a Republican and a woman. What conclusion is a voter to draw?
Does Kim Vann agree with this fellow Republican from Missouri? Does Kim Vann disagree with this fellow Republican from Missouri?
Social issues, while not really as important as the economy or war and peace, can nonetheless give some insight into where a candidate stands.
In this case, Vann was standing where nobody could find her.
Her website, and it's a fine one, offers three "news" items in August: her statement on the economy, her visit to a citizenship class and her endorsement by the US Chamber of Commerce.
And don't forget, she was at the Fairfield Tomato Festival.