Posted by Christopher Johnson | Monday, August 20th, 2012 | Uncategorized | 52 Comments
Once again, my home state finds itself the epicenter of American politics as Republican Senate candidate Todd Akin not only stuck his foot in his mouth, he swallowed his entire leg clear up to the hip. John Podhoretz:
On Sunday, a six-term Congressman from Missouri running as the Republican candidate for U.S. Senate went on a newsmaker program and, in defense of his pro-life views, reported that doctors say the body of a woman who has suffered a “legitimate rape” will somehow contrive to prevent a pregnancy: “It seems to me, from what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.” The moral, intellectual, and spiritual ignoramus who spoke those words is Todd Akin. He won the Missouri primary two weeks ago in a three-way race against two other conservatives, taking 36 percent of the vote—his two major rivals together won about 60 percent.
Podhoretz really hopes Akin withdraws.
Akin won’t quit, though. He issued a statement yesterday saying he “misspoke,” which means he doesn’t actually think he did anything wrong. Perhaps he will be comforted by that insane knowledge when he is sitting home, unemployed and disgraced, in 2013, with control of the Senate in Democratic hands because of him.
So does National Review.
Some voters may nevertheless find a candidate’s theoretical view so abhorrent that they cannot support him, and it is a perfectly legitimate issue for opponents to raise. Most Republicans who hold the view that unborn children have a right to life regardless of the circumstances of their conception will have the wit to explain themselves in a way that prevents most voters who disagree from vetoing them for that reason.
While Akin is a stalwart conservative and an honorable man, we regret to say that he inspires no such confidence. That is one reason why Senator Claire McCaskill, the sitting Democratic senator, boosted him during the Republican primaries with ads calling him a “true conservative.” She knew that she is the weakest Senate incumbent on the ballot this year and that her only hope was to draw a weak opponent. Akin won a three-way primary with a plurality of the vote; there was no run-off. McCaskill’s strategy is now paying off.
Akin has backed off from his remarks, albeit with the politician’s excuse of “misspeaking.” People who make such remarks on television are typically capable of making more like them, or rather incapable of exercising the judgment to refrain. We suspect that this same lack of judgment will cause Akin to blow past tomorrow evening’s deadline for him to leave the race and allow the Republicans to select a better nominee. We hope the congressman, who surely wants to see a Senate with as much conservative strength as possible next year, will prove us wrong.
The Republicans immediately indicated that if Akin stays in the race, he’s on his own.
American Crossroads, Karl Rove’s group that had pledged millions of dollars on behalf of Akin’s campaign in Missouri, announced they would be pulling out of Missouri if Akin does not quit the race.
The National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) said they would not be spending the $5 million they had intended to spend in Missouri if Akin did not quit the race.
A prospect that infuriates young conservatives like Dana Loesch.
Akin is a pro-life candidate thus leans towards life when discussion abortion. It’s not shocking knowledge to Missourians who selected him as the GOP nominee for senate and lean towards him in the latest polling. Democrats want to make social issues the focus on the campaign as opposed to the economy, where they’re losing, and Akin’s interview gave them them the momentary opportunity they needed to shift attention away from the lagging economy.
Was Akin’s “misspeech” ridiculous? Of course. Is it worse than the misdeeds of his opponent, Claire McCaskill, who rubber-stamps Obama’s war on Missouri coal jobs and tripled our deficit? Not by conservative standards, or any real standard of measurement.
Dana’s even angrier on her Twitter page.
A few random observations. It does no good to point out all the equally-idiotic or even evil things Democrats have said or done over the years[coughCHAPPAQUIDDICKcough] and how they’ve gotten a pass from the media for all of them.
That is, of course, massively hypocritical but that is simply the way American politics works and we on the conservative side should have learned that a long time ago. And spare me the complaints about how the Republicans are once again letting the media and the Democrats pick Republican candidates.
Akin’s wound was entirely self-inflicted and has has no one to blame for this situation but himself. As Podhoretz points out, Akin won with less than a plurality because two other strong conservatives, Sarah Steelman and John Brunner, were in the race. Had either one stayed out, we wouldn’t be having this conversation because Akin probably wouldn’t have won at all.
And this is not a case of a politician who says nice things about John C. Calhoun, whose family home once flew a Confederate flag or who once expressed support for Rhodesia when he was younger. That sort of gaffe make headlines for a week or two and quickly becomes “a distraction from the real issues.”
We’re talking about rape.
Stupid comments on just about any other subject can be forgiven. Stupid comments about that one can’t. And it’s not that Akin is indifferent to the evil nature of that act(no one believes that) as much as he is bone-crushingly ignorant about it. And that, as National Review suggests, speaks to Akin’s judgment.
If Todd Akin was this stupid before, chance are that he’ll be this stupid again.
How serious is this affair? Pretty serious. Earlier this afternoon, a female coworker of mine, who never ever talks politics, was furious about Akin’s remarks. If Akin stays in a lot of women who might not have voted for Claire McCaskill will either vote for her or tap the touch screen for a third-party candidate, effectively insuring Claire’s reelection.
Can Akin still win? Theoretically, sure. Many people will hold their noses and vote for the guy. But this race is now a LOT close than it should be and a Senate seat the Republicans have to have and should pick up easily is now back in play.
Or maybe lost.
Cards on the table: I voted for Sarah Steelman in the primary but would have been quite happy if John Brunner had won. I was not particularly happy when Todd Akin won and now I know why.
Todd Akin needs to withdraw.
UPDATE: Great. JUST great.
Embattled Rep. Todd Akin, Missouri Republican, sent out the following e-mail to his supporters at 7:49PM EST tonight:
This weekend I made a mistake. I used the wrong words in the wrong way. What I said was ill-conceived and it was wrong and for that I apologize.
The people from Missouri who elected me know I’m not perfect. They don’t make perfect people. We all make mistakes. When you make a mistake you to tell people you’re sorry, you don’t try and hide it. I made a mistake and I’m sorry.
I have just begun to fight and I’m in this race to the end! We must work together to replace Claire McCaskill in the Senate.
UPDATE: It just gets better and better. Akin was supposed to be on Piers Morgan tonight but bailed.