Posted on | August 20, 2012 | 104 Comments
UPDATE: This horrible botch can be blamed squarely on the Missouri GOP Establishment, which lined up behind Akin against Tea Party-backed — and Sarah Palin-endorsed — candidate Sarah Steelman in the primary two weeks ago.
Mike Rathbone at Hot Air: “Hey, I Voted for Steelman.” More than 60 percent of Missouri GOP primary voters voted for either Steelman or businessman John Brunner.
UPDATE II: National Review is calling for Akin to “step aside” and the terrible thing, from a Republican standpoint, is how unnecessary this disaster was. It was an unforced error in an easily winnable race against an unpopular Democrat incumbent, and it was caused by the predictably timid Republican impulse to back the “safe” candidate who, as in so many previous instances, proved to be not really safe after all.
I can tolerate a lot of things in politics, but I despise incompetence.
UPDATE III: Aside from biological nonsense — claiming women can’t get pregnant as a result of rape — Akin’s fundamental problem is that he was arguing the wrong point.
Whenever supporters of abortion start throwing up arguments based on exceptions, the proper response is to point out that well over 90 percent of abortions have nothing whatsoever to do with such exceptions, but are strictly a matter of choice: post-conception birth control. And the pre-Roe history demonstrated that permitting abortion under specific exceptions resulted in those exceptions being abused. The rape exception resulted in false accusations of rape, and the “health” exception resulted in doctors fictionalizing health risks, including false determinations of mental health risks.
If we can ever come to a consensus as a society that abortion is a homicidal act that ought to be against the law, then we might start having a productive conversation about ending it. However, so long as we have “respectable” people who advocate abortion as a good thing — indeed, as a pseudo-sacred constitutional “right” — no meaningful discussion is possible.
The “respectable” people who advocate abortion are paid for their advocacy, and have an articulate elite to echo their viewpoint, while those who speak on behalf of the sanctity of life — well, we’ve got dumbass Republicans like Todd Akin, you see.
UPDATE IV: Some blowback in the comments, and understandable confusion: OK, Akin is one of the “good guys,” granted — but this isn’t about moral virtue or ideological purity, it’s about winning a Senate election in Missouri.
Nor is this a matter of what my opinion is about what should happen. I’m trying to discern what will happen. Having covered a few elections (and a few gaffes) in my time, I’m telling you (a) Akin’s error is likely beyond recovery at this point, and (b) the same GOP impulse toward “safety” that helped Akin win the primary will likely now result in his being forced out of the race.
Crossroads GPS just pulled its ads out of the Missouri Senate race. Wake up and smell the Karl Rove.