Cancer tempers even the boldest of political sayings.
By MARY SANCHEZ
The Kansas City Star
Signs proclaiming the down there monologues and vigilant vaginas were plentiful Wednesday at Newt Gingrichs rally for U.S. Senate candidate Todd Akin.
Not held up by Akins supporters, of course, but by his detractors, supporters of Sen. Claire McCaskill who take offense at Akins well-publicized thoughts on rape.
Among them was former Missouri Rep. Vicki Walker with a sign alluding to her magical lady parts.
Walker doesnt have some of her internal lady parts. She had a hysterectomy, the surgery just one step in fighting a form of cancer related to ovarian.
The Democrat from south Kansas City says post chemotherapy, shes no longer the firebrand she once was in Jefferson City.
I dont do conflict anymore, she said.
She didnt participate in the booing. (There was some of that Wednesday by McCaskills supporters.) And she said she doesnt like name-calling.
The rally found her regretting the lack of openings for civil and engaged dialogue in politics today.
Walker served the Missouri from 2002-2004.
An Akin supporter walked by her, looked at the sign and asked, Are you sorry you were born? Its murder. Its murder.
Walker said she tried to engage the woman, but didnt get very far.
Thats hardly surprising.
It should take a lengthy conversation to know someones political views; deep, fact-based conversations. Not so much anymore.
Granted, it was a rally. But the commentary from the stage was largely framed in simplistic references to being God-fearing and pro-America, saving religious freedom and predictions of victory for every Republican running.
A lady selling Akin t-shirts said shed supported Akin since meeting him earlier in the year, impressed that his politics are guided by a staunch Christian faith. She thought Akins comments on rape had been miscast and misunderstood.
She declined to give her name. Thats not unusual for a reporter to encounter. But her reason isnt commonly heard, not in 2012.
She said her husband would object. It wasnt that he wouldnt support her work for Akin. Their whole family is involved in his campaign. But it seemed to be more an issue of her having a voice in such a public way.
Its doubtful any of the female McCaskill supporters worried about checking in with their husbands before stating an opinion.
Those sorts of philosophical divides were dramatically on display at Union Station. Problem is, some issues like wombs that hold babies require both sides to be very informed, able and willing to have civil discussion.
Not on Wednesday. Probably not next Tuesday, either.
To reach Mary Sanchez, call 816-234-4752 or send email to email@example.com.