The Republican Rape Comment That Just Won't Die

Once is a slip, an uniformed comment. Twice is a troubling pattern, but perhaps just two outliers. A third crazy rape statement  makes it pretty hard to explain away. The last thing Republicans needed as March rolled around was more fuel for the rape comment fire.

Now, Celeste Greig is hardly a powerhouse. She was president of the California Republican Assembly (CRA), once a powerful group that has been slowly slipping into obscurity in step with the fate of the California GOP in general. She commanded no votes. Her power was simply that of a "grasstops" conservative activist. Not typically the kind of people that journalists are targeting for the juicy quotes. But, Ms. Greig found time to give the Mercury News just that back at the winter California Republican convention:

Before arriving at the state GOP's spring convention here, Celeste Greig told this newspaper that pregnancies by rape are rare "because it's an act of violence, because the body is traumatized." (Steve Harmon / Bay Area News Group)

Along with that, she said that Akin's comments were insensitive, and that they should never have been said. But by the time the reader gets to them, the factually incorrect "scientific" part of the quote has already grabbed the attention. You kind of have to feel bad for her, she isn't really a politician, but she went ahead and talked to journalists without really knowing what she was talking about. And that is always a bad situation.

The reaction went rampant across the web as the story came out. The CRA got more attention in those few days than they had for years. But ridicule is hardly the way to bring about a renaissance, and the members of the CRA were growing restless as their election came up this week.

By an 84-78 vote, CRA members at a convention over the weekend selected John W. Briscoe, of Fountain Valley, to be president, said Aaron Park, the conservative blogger and CRA official who ran Briscoe's campaign.

Park faulted Greig for "embarrassing headlines" and shrinking membership in the decades-old CRA, and he said the group "took decisive action to change course."(SacBee CapAlert)

At this point, the CRA is unlikely to ever recover what they once were in the 60s and 70s, but I think many activists in the organization would settle for a quiet anonymity for the time being. Many right-wing conservatives seem to actually believe these outlandish and scientifically unsupported statements. But they just don't want people telling reporters about them. You know, keep your dirty laundry inside and all that.

The new leader apparently shares the name John Briscoe with an Ocean View School Trustee who was creating a bit of controversy trying to display the words "In God We Trust" on schools. However, John W. Briscoe is a long time conservative activist from the OC, and apparently a well-liked member of the conservative community in Southern California.

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