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.