Legal language is a funny thing. And by “funny”, we mean “funny weird”, not “funny haha”.
One of the left’s latest chanting points – abetted by Todd Akin’s groaner last week – is that a group of GOP legislators co-sponsored a bill, HR3, better known as the “No Taxpayer Funding For Abortion” bill. The title more or less explains the bill.
In the original version of the bill’s language, the term “forcible rape” was used.
Of course, in the post-Akin political news cycle du jour, there is only one type of rape; it’s eminently PC to say “all rape is rape”.
And certainly non-consensual sex is, always, rape. No argument about it.
Of course, not all “rape” is “forcible”, by definition. If a 56 old guy has consensual sex with, say hypothetically, a 16 year old guy, it’s statutory rape – meaning “no force was used, but it’s still considered rape since the 16 year old is not of the age of consent”.
We’re splitting linguistic and legal hairs, of course.
Splitting hairs is something Third District DFL candidate Brian Barnes wasn’t doing when he accused his opponent, incumbent Republican representative Erik Paulsen, of drawing a distinction between “Rape” and “Forcible Rape”. Here’s a statement from Barnes’ announcement for a press conference today:
According to Brian Barnes, “The voters of our district deserve the facts on Representative Paulsen’s positions on important issues, such as his vote to support H.R. 3.
Yep, they do. And here they are; whatever the reason for the language, it is for Paulsen’s purposes irrelevant – because Paulsen was neither an author nor co-sponsor of the bill.
The word “forcible” was removed from the bill long before Paulsen got his first chance to vote on the bill – which he did, along with a strong bipartisan majority of the House.
This is a further example of how the Barnes’ campaign,. like most Democrat campaigns this year, are trying to rope in “low-information voters” – people driven by slogans and chanting points, who don’t really think that hard about the issues.
It’s not the most egregious example from the Barnes campaign, though. More later today.