08/22/2012 01:19 pm ET Updated Oct 22, 2012

An Open Letter to Paul Ryan: Step Down

Dear Mr. Ryan:

A belated congratulations on being selected as a candidate for vice president. However. One of your colleagues, Representative Todd Akin, is justly reaping his rewards for positing something idiotic and insulting about rape. Your party is justly asking him to step aside. Now, to be not only just and consistent, it's your turn to step down.

Unfair? No. Let me explain -- but I'll keep this brief, as I know you are busy.

You've co-sponsored legislation to make the same sort of absurd distinctions as Akin. Instead of "justifiable rape," you've called it "forcible" and implied that victims of other types of sexual violence, whatever those might be, would not qualify for abortion rights. Your party's platform would not allow for abortion after rapes. You're identified as a strong "pro-lifer" supporting all manner of non-scientific restrictions and bans on abortions; you've co-sponsored legislation that would ban some birth control. You think a fertilized egg deserves the same rights as a human. And so forth.

Perhaps this is why you've been a bit quieter than some of your Republican colleagues on this latest Freudian slip by one of your fellow anti-choice legislators -- just as you have when rabid politico-entertainers such as Rush Limbaugh call birth-control users "sluts" or when Mike Huckabee says rape can create "extraordinary people." Not even The Onion could make that sort of thing up. But you and your running mate also pledge to "get rid of" Planned Parenthood, which prevents more abortions than the entire "right to life" movement ever has or will. This all makes no sense, and we need leaders who make sense more than ever, not only to reduce unwanted pregnancies and abortions but to fix a lot of other messes as well.

Even conservative pundit Sean Hannity has joined the call for Akin to step aside, observing that "Sometimes an election is bigger than one person."

Indeed it is. So: Please search your soul, and admit that you too believe what Akin let slip in his moronic remarks. And then, to be consistent, step aside. Many voters, of all political stripes, would think highly of you for that act of candor and courage. You can go back to your old work and enjoy your inherited wealth and privileged Ayn Randian fantasies and keep proposing economic policies which you don't seem to quite grasp yourself -- which is understandable, as those too make little sense.

Thank you for your consideration.


PS: Please pass this letter on to Governor Romney.