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Saturday, August 25, 2012

Akin and Assad: separated at birth?

Representative Todd Akin, the Republican U.S. Senate candidate for Missouri, and Hafez al-Assad, the late dictator of Syria, have a lot in common, not least of which is an obsession with rape. Akin has gained worldwide fame for his recent remarks that rape cannot lead to pregnancy, the underlying belief being that some pregnant women falsely claim to have been raped in order to get around restrictions on abortion. (On a related note, here is video of Republican vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan claiming that a health-of-the-mother exception to abortion bans would be 'a loophole wide enough to drive a Mack truck through it'. Perhaps 'legitimate' health crises don't happen to pregnant women.) Hafez al-Assad, on the other hand, ruled Syria for thirty years under a state of emergency rampant with rape, torture, and murder by the government.

But famously obsessing over rape isn't all that Akin and Assad have in common. Look at this side-by-side comparison of their Wikipedia headshots: big foreheads, prominent combovers. Could they have been separated at birth? Legitimate photographic comparisons suggest an intriguing possibility.

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