The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Objectively, Todd Akin Is Doomed

Posted on | August 20, 2012 | 29 Comments

Got offline for a few hours during which, among other things, I discussed the Todd Akin situation by phone with a couple of people. A point I made: This isn’t “Macaca” — it’s not as if the Left ginned up a controversy over a ridiculous bit of nothing. And another point: Compared to this, Trent Lott’s 100th birthday tribute to Strom Thurmond was a minor kerfuffle.

While you discuss that amongst yourselves — and Charles Johnson does his obligatory “Neoconfederate Racist Hate Blogger R.S. McCain Defends Strom Thurmond” post — let’s see what Allahpundit has to say at Hot Air:

[I]t’s important that people like Hannity, Coulter, and the boss emeritus are leaning on this guy too, not just Romney and Reince Priebus. Without pressure from all-stars on the right, he can dig in and turn it into a “weak-ass establishment RINOs are selling me out to the Democrats” populist attack on D.C. Republicans.

I’m not saying Todd Akin is a bad person, nor am I urging a zero-tolerance policy on gaffes for all GOP candidates. Todd Akin is, to a great degree, a victim of circumstance. In some other year, perhaps, Akin could have apologized and moved on. Not this year.

Back in March, the Democrat seized on FlukeGate as Exhibit A in their “Republican War on Women” argument, which forced the GOP to invest enormous effort in turning the conversation back to the issues — the economy, jobs, deficits, etc. — where they were prepared to fight the fall campaign.

And then, out of the clear blue sky, Todd Akin punts it.

It was like the point man in the infantry patrol who hits the trip wire that detonates the mine in the enemy ambush.  Suddenly the entire platoon finds itself pinned down under carefully aimed small-arms fire from camouflaed emplacements, while mortars and artillery come pouring in on pre-determined grid coordinates.

The Democrats and their media allies had all their arguments and talking points ready to roll, having rehearsed the whole drill five months ago during FlukeGate. Suddenly, everything Mitt Romney ever said about abortion and everything Paul Ryan ever said about abortion is legtimate, relevant and newsworthy.

Ouf of a clear blue fucking sky.

An unforced error by a candidate in a red state should have been an easy Senate pickup for the Republicans not only puts that pickup in jeopardy, but in fact forces the GOP to re-do all the work they’ve done for the past five months to try to focus the fall campaign squarely on the issues where they can and should clobber the Democrats. Spare me the complaints about the unfairness of it, and don’t try to play the True Conservative card on me.

This isn’t about ideology, it’s about basic political competence — or the lack thereof — and a candidate whose ambition led him into a high-stakes game that he clearly wasn’t prepared to play. Nobody put a gun to Todd Akin’s head and forced him to run for Senate, and surely all the uproar this past spring about an alleged Republican “War on Women” should have been ample warning to GOP candidates to be very careful around such issues.

Never mind. Hindsight remorse is as irrelevant as my opinion or your opinion, because we’re talking facts here, and the fact is there’s no way Akin survives this — no way at all. The elders and wise men of the Republican Party will have him out of there within 24 hours, and probably a lot less than that. By lunchtime Tuesday the question will be who will replace Akin on the ticket.

He is doomed beyond all hope of redemption, no matter what, and now the obligatory Sean Hannity interview:

UPDATE: Mark Levin says it would be a “mistake” for Akin to stay in. If he’s lost Mark Levin . . .

BTW, I’m rather dumbfounded by the number of people on Twitter who see this differently. I was not hasty to jump in on this. By the time I first blogged about it today, Crossroads GPS had pulled out and there were already 23 Memeorandum threads on the “legitimate rape” uproar. It is clear that this is a non-survivable situation for Akin, and if he can’t see that yet, the wise men and elders of the GOP will make sure he sees it soon enough.

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Comments

  • RichmondG30

    Can a politician with an IQ>70 possibly utter something as ridiculous? Apology or not, he is too stupid to be in the Senate, and that is a very low bar indeed. Farewell Todd.

  • Dolphieness

    Stacy – You get it. The others seem to be missing the point, however you see it. Thank you!

  • Pingback: Todd Akin Must Withdraw (Updated) « Nice Deb

  • Coulter76

    The real problem here is the position of outlawing abortion even in cases of rape.

    That’s really the Fundamentalist nonsense that needs to be run out of the Party if the pro-life coalition is going to be a real political coalition that can succeed and not just some fringe religion.

    We’re not running Akin out because he was wrongly informed about female reproduction or because he flunked human biology. That’s not what has the GOP scared and the Democrats dancing in the streets. It’s this outrageous idea that we’re going to criminalize a rape victim deciding they don’t want to give birth a baby conceived in rape. Hell, these same people also want to ban the morning after pill for rape victims.

    I will go out of my way to vote against ANY Republican with the view that abortion should be outlawed in cases of rape.

    And thank goodness Santorum didn’t get the nomination because “abortion rape” (and birth control) would dominate the discussion until Election Day.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/EU5DQWQTTHTPO4A4ZYSL3AAV2U Adjoran

    Not while Amy Klobuchar is there can anyone be said “too stupid to serve in the Senate.”

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/EU5DQWQTTHTPO4A4ZYSL3AAV2U Adjoran

    It’s NOT about the merits of any abortion policy. It’s about being so clueless as to take an easy seat and not only put the campaign for it in jeopardy, but do it so unthinking a fashion as to have repercussions even nationally – since the media has been desperate to make the race about anything except the Obama record and the state of the economy and the deficit crisis.

    Man, that is one world-class screwing of the pooch.

  • JPS

    Coulter76:

    an embryo/fetus being a life is the basic argument against abortion. these questions are naturally going to come up. how is it being “fundamentalist” and not consistent to say that the circumstances do not affect the morality of the issue, even if it is an extreme situation where a woman’s desire to abort is very understandable?

    now i am not defending the first half of Akin’s remarks nor am i arguing that “NO RAPE OR INCEST” exceptions are some kinda hill to die on, because obviously dramatically reducing abortion rates is better than pushing for an absolutist policy that does not have popular support and as a result gets you nothing. however this typical question, while he botched it horribly, is something of a lose-lose situation, because if you say one thing, you’re a consistent (but a lunatic extremist,) and if you say the other you’re inconsistent and you must not really take the whole “life” thing seriously. people like to dismiss it as a red herring but in reality it’s a rhetorical trap.

  • http://evilbloggerlady.blogspot.com/ Evi L. Bloggerlady
  • http://twitter.com/LNSmithee L.N. Smithee

    I was delighted to be followed on Twitter by Chris Loesch of St. Louis — he being multimedia superstar Dana’s loving hubby — on Sunday afternoon. It was literally minutes later that I read about Akin’s remarks, & went to Mediaite to check if this was another out-of-context molehill. Sadly, no. This was a gift to the DNC so grand, the only thing missing was an oversized check and a convoy of vans full of balloons and confetti.

    To my horror, Dana & Chris — authentic, rock solid conservatives — were taking Akin’s side, suggesting that forcing him out was a sign of weakness, wilting at the first cries of outrage from the left. But it wasn’t just the left. It was from me, too. Mere hours after thanking Chris for following me, I had to (rhetorically) get in his cyberface and scream that he couldn’t be more wrong.

    Thankfully, most other conservative commentators get it; Akin’s words weren’t out-of-context, and it wasn’t a bad choice of words. His was a multi-layered declaration that could fairly be considered indicative of genuine and profound ignorance of basic female biology. Not what you want when the people furiously selling the so-called “War On Women” use as a talking point that the current GOP culture is made of old white men who aim to re-establish 1950′s mores.

    One person tweeted that Akin was being nailed to the cross unjustly when Dem pols were guilty of all sorts of similar gaffes. My response: “P[eople] griping that Akin’s being ‘crucified’ should read the book of Jonah. Dude’s gonna sink the ship. He should volunteer to jump overboard.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/nrmccoy Ryan

    This isn’t about what Todd Akin said anymore… This is about getting rid of Obama, getting a Republican majority in the Senate, and repealing Obamacare. That’s the hill to die upon. Which principle is more important, saving the United States or saving the character of single Republican politician? (His political viability is past saving.) If you are Akin or one of his political advisers reading this, get out ASAP… and DON’T endorse who ever replaces you.

  • http://evilbloggerlady.blogspot.com/ Evi L. Bloggerlady

    I will defend Akin. I think he misspoke. He can survive this…in time. But he has to go now. Sorry. We have bigger issues to deal with and he has become a tubal pregnancy to the GOP.

  • jwallin

    And to carry your analogy further; now’s not the time nor will it do any good to throw the point man to the ambushers and beg for a do over.

    Have him go on all the Sunday shows to say what he should have said. (whether that’s what he meant or not) That is that the number of abortions by rapees is not that large a number and should not be a determinant of abortion policy.

    Renege on the “all or nothing” line in the sand of abortion foes whereby a rapee can’t have an abortion.

    Write a bill and present it in Congress. Then go out there and harp on what a lousy Senator Macaskill is.

    Either that or tell us NOW before Akins gets the boot, WHO WILL BE HIS REPLACEMENT?

  • Pingback: Akin’s Problem Was His Blunder Speaking About Abortion, Not His Belief - Caffeinated Thoughts

  • MrPaulRevere

    A lot of folks who do not live in MO and have agendas other than replacing Claire McCaskill are chiming in about this which is to be expected, and I welcome the commentary. However, I am focused like a laser beam on the task at hand, and unfortunately that requires a neccessary custodial function that all political movements and parties have to make on occaison. Its very unpleasant, thats a given. This was one of your best posts ever Stacy, if one is not an anti-incompetent buffoon you have no business in the conservative movement.

  • http://twitter.com/RangerSG Shawn Gillogly

    Bull. It’s easy to knock down abortion in the case of rape: “Two wrongs don’t make a right.” Then you say, “And when did abortion mills care about the health and well-being of women? Next question.”

    This was a non-issue. There was NO reason to make a mountain out of this. The abortion issue is a 50-50 one that most on the center and right accept people can be on either side of. Akin is an idiot who makes these kinds of comments with alarming frequency. And I’m always amused when it’s the so-called “moderates” who make the absolutist litmus test remarks.

    Unfortunately for MO, he wriggled in with Roy Blunt and his cronies, so he got lifted out of his safe district and foisted on the rest of us. But I’ll agree this far, I don’t want an imbecile representing my state, just like I voted 3rd party to show my disdain for the resident GOP Kleptocrat last election.

  • http://www.facebook.com/trevor.howell.583 Trevor Howell

    You lost me at “multimedia superstar.” Mr. Dana Loesch is a dunce.

  • Pingback: Todd Akin is Doomed — The Good Men Project

  • Jaynie59

    This was bound to happen with Romney as the nominee because Mitt Romney is not pro-life. Anyone who makes an exception for rape or incest is pro-choice and it’s the best political stand for conservatives to take because most liberals are too stupid to understand the distinction. Since all conservative Republicans are Evil with a capital E, taking the stance that you will allow abortion in the case of rape and incest is one small bone you can throw to the stupid to allow them to maybe, maybe vote for you.
    Akin’s problem is that he’s even dumber than your average liberal. Of all the answers he could have given to the question he scraped the bottom of the stupid barrel to come up with the answer he gave. All he had to say was that a life is a life, it’s not the baby’s fault it was conceived in rape, and by the way, Norma McCorvey, who was the Roe in Roe v Wade, initially lied and said she was raped as the basis for her lawsuit. Or he could have just changed the subject to Obamacare and the economy.
    Dumb. He’s gotta go.

  • datechguy

    Independent of the wisdom of staying it’s a very bad precedent to overturn a legit primary election over a gaffe, and make not mistake this precedent will be used by both sides if a race becomes to far out of range.

  • jlwellfonder

    Agree with you Stacy…also dumbfounded…especially by the Loesch’s :(

  • Tennwriter

    Adjoran, y’know you just made the perfect anti-Romney comment which we’ve been making all along. But since you and the other Romneyites chose not to be sensible and reasonable, why should we? We’re just following your example.

  • http://www.leftbankofthecharles.com/ Charles

    Akin didn’t hit the enemy trip wire, he pulled the pin on his own grenade. Doomed is an interesting way to put it. It’s his choice whether to drop out. If he does not, he is doomed to run without any Republican Party money. He is doomed to eat considerably more crow. He is doomed to have to suffer the indignity of it being said that he was the Democrats Trojan horse pick in the open primary. He may be doomed to face a write-in candidate. But is he doomed to lose?

    To get back in the race, he’ll have to find a way to make this right with Missouri voters. Maybe he has some really horrible, trying story from his own life that he can tell. Maybe he can get his wife and daughters out to humanize his image. Maybe he can report for service at the nearest rape crisis center. Maybe if enough outsiders pile on he’ll get the show me sympathy vote.

    But the Republican Party must make every effort to get Akin to step aside and treat him as a pariah for his offensive remarks if he doesn’t. Because to not do so would be pulling the pin on even more grenades.

  • Roxeanne de Luca

    This isn’t about ideology, it’s about basic political
    competence — or the lack thereof — and a candidate whose ambition led
    him into a high-stakes game that he clearly wasn’t prepared to play.

    Akin’s statement can be defended (ovulation suppression happens, peeps, even with such “traumatic” events as intercontinental travel), but his utter incompetence cannot be.

  • http://twitter.com/LNSmithee L.N. Smithee

    She’s editor of Breitbart’s Big Journalism.com. She’s a syndicated radio host. She’s a commentator on CNN and GBTV. She’s won awards from media watch organizations. She’s constantly targeted by Media Matters and other organizations funded by rich leftists like George Soros.

    And you are…?

    Words mean things, Trevor. Multimedia = more than one medium. Loesch is a star in print, radio, and television.

  • http://twitter.com/sdo1 Steve in TN

    Doing that focuses the campaign on ABORTION, when it MUST be on JOBS, the ECONOMY, and OBAMA’s INCOMPETENCE.

    No, Akin must go, and must NOT be anywhere near interviews, much less the Sunday variety.

    As to the replacement, there are several that have been proven to be almost sure fire winners besides Akin. Getting that done would be the easy part. Cleaning up after Akin is the hard task Akin left.

  • Pingback: Top Missouri Republicans Call for Akin to Quit Senate Race; He Says He’s Staying In : The Other McCain

  • SDN

    Biden was there for years. If your IQ is bigger than your shoe size you can be a Senator.

  • 2016TheMovie

    Almost EVERYONE makes an exception for rape or incest. I know i do.

  • Jaynie59

    Fine. You’re pro-choice.