The Other McCain

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Report: Republican Todd Akin Will Withdraw From Missouri Senate Race

Posted on | August 20, 2012 | 104 Comments

Ace of Spades reports that both Erick Erickson and Richard Grinnell are saying on Twitter that Akin will exit the campaign.

The furor over Akin’s remarks about “legitimate rape” — as Michelle Malkin calls it, “The Todd Akin Mess” — currently accounts for the top 23 threads on Memeorandum.

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.

UPDATE V: Ace updates with the Hannity interview and also Ann Coulter calling for Akin to quit. It is what it is: Beyond recovery.


104 Responses to “Report: Republican Todd Akin Will Withdraw From Missouri Senate Race”

  1. Red
    August 20th, 2012 @ 3:50 pm

    More GOP morons in action. SIGH.

  2. The Political Hat
    August 20th, 2012 @ 3:51 pm

    Todd Akin’s source for his claim of women’s magic uteri must have been Theodoric of York, Medieval Barber…

  3. MrPaulRevere
    August 20th, 2012 @ 3:58 pm

    Actually the candidate I voted for, outsider businessman John Brunner recieved more votes than Sarah Steelman:

  4. crosspatch
    August 20th, 2012 @ 3:58 pm

    the only consolation is knowing he other side has a far greater number of morons.

  5. crosspatch
    August 20th, 2012 @ 3:59 pm

    And therein lies the problem. If Akin steps aside, what is the process?

  6. crosspatch
    August 20th, 2012 @ 4:00 pm


    “Missouri state law allows a nominated candidate to withdraw his or her bid for office by 5 p.m. on the 11th Tuesday before the election which, as it turns out, is tomorrow. If Akin does drop his bid before tomorrow’s deadline, the state’s GOP central committee would pick his replacement.”

  7. Becca Lower
    August 20th, 2012 @ 4:05 pm

    Thanks for this, Stacy! According to people on Twitter, Akin just stood his ground on Sean Hannity’s radio show. What’s really happening? (confused)

  8. Becca Lower
    August 20th, 2012 @ 4:10 pm


    @EWErickson Initially heard consultants saying he’s out, NRCC said out, now they’re saying they were wrong-

  9. ConantheContrarian
    August 20th, 2012 @ 4:11 pm

    I have to disagree. Akin isn’t the “safe” candidate. He has been in the public eye for twelve years as a very reliable conservative Congressman. He isn’t stupid. However, in one moment, he blew the whole thing. It was a moment of incompetence, true, but only that moment. Otherwise, he has been a good candidate for office and a good politician in office. I shall miss him, for if he won’t step aside, he will probably lose. Damn!

  10. Adjoran
    August 20th, 2012 @ 4:22 pm

    Well, anything you hear from Erickson is, well, from Erickson. He’s an idiot. If you can’t do the math yourself, call Paul Ryan.

    Akin is just as stupid, of course, for answering any question, on any subject, with anything except “Claire McCaskill is Obama’s bitch.”

    In the South, we have run-off elections when a primary candidate doesn’t win a majority. If not for run-offs, we wouldn’t have Jim DeMint in the Senate today. Just sayin’.

  11. CryingWolfeBlog
    August 20th, 2012 @ 4:22 pm

    Said on Hannity that he’s staying in.

  12. Adjoran
    August 20th, 2012 @ 4:32 pm

    Stacy has never worried so much about accuracy when blaming “the GOP Establishment” for anything.

  13. Mike G.
    August 20th, 2012 @ 4:50 pm

    The GOP…so damn good at snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

  14. Becca Lower
    August 20th, 2012 @ 4:52 pm

    That’s saying a lot, Adjoran. And yeah, that’s as simple as 2 + 2.

  15. Garym
    August 20th, 2012 @ 4:53 pm

    Once again, when “our” side makes a stupid statement or mis-speaks or spells a word wrong : ), our side and their side demagogue the stupid statement until “our” side caves. Dems almost never have to live up to our standards.

  16. Becca Lower
    August 20th, 2012 @ 4:55 pm

    This has been updated.

  17. smitty
    August 20th, 2012 @ 4:57 pm

    On the other hand, if the GOP folds and tacitly supports Claire’s re-election, which seems likely. . .
    I ultimately agree with Akin, but I’ll have to confess that the pragmatic thing to do here is fold and defer the preservation of life until later.
    But what a lousy thing to have to say.

  18. smitty
    August 20th, 2012 @ 4:59 pm

    Floggings. Floggings all around. Let’s ensure we’re thoroughly exhausted in time for November. #Derp

  19. crosspatch
    August 20th, 2012 @ 5:05 pm

    The primary problem is that this happened on a weekend in the age of social media. Had this happened before “the internet”, we wouldn’t be having this discussion. The comment would have been “managed” from the start on Monday morning when word would have started filtering out. In this case it was allowed to fester on Facebook and Twitter before the grownups got on the story on Monday morning and by then the damage was already done.

  20. Shawn Gillogly
    August 20th, 2012 @ 5:06 pm

    Sorry, Akin is stupid. He held a safe seat in the House, where his half-cocked ideas came off homespun. But he couldn’t run a tight ship for 2 weeks in a Senate campaign.

    I voted for Steelman because I knew if Akin won, there would be three of these kind of “folksie” comments during the campaign. And I’m not against folksie when it appeals to populism. But a guy doesn’t step into woman’s issues half-baked. He painted himself as a male chauvinist with those comments. And the only two reasons a guy does that in a Senate campaign is stupidity or he really IS a chauvinist. Deal with it.

  21. Dolphieness
    August 20th, 2012 @ 5:17 pm

    Main focus needs to be on ousting McCaskill with a focus on her damages to MO & USA and a focus on the economy/jobs.
    This IS beyond damage control. Even his non-apology apology was offensive. Todd Akin can no longer win this.
    McCaskill will continue focusing this on rape, insensitive/ignorant conservative males. This stink will rub off on ALL conservatives running for office – no matter their true beliefs.
    The focus on the poor decisions McCaskill has made will fade into the background as will the topic of jobs/economy.
    I am a staunch, solid conservative female. I am so offended by his comments and his nonapology apology that steam was rolling out my ears.
    He quoted science without fully comprehending the article, he does not understand history (conquerors would rape women to plant their seed in order to gain loyalty from the women as the women would be torn between their children’s bloodlines and the women’s own people), he does not understand that not all women are the same (some handle duress better than others), he also does not understand true reproduction: fertility, fertilization and the implantation process.
    Nor does he understand the agony a female goes through post rape pertaining to the rape, the “what if” process she goes through, the self hate, the poor self image AND the knowledge they are carrying the offspring of a monster within themselves. It is a hurtful decision making process that is up to the WOMAN to make – not some man who cannot EVER comprehend.
    Then there is the additional item she must factor in: IF she does carry full term and places the baby for adoption and the child finds out they are the offspring of a monster – what will that do to the child?
    There is so VERY much to deal with and a woman does not need some jerk to tell her what she can and cannot do with her body.
    NOW……….. using abortion as birth control is a different story. If you are going to have sex – you stand the chance of getting pregnant. If you can’t handle the stakes – don’t play the game.

  22. Dolphieness
    August 20th, 2012 @ 5:18 pm

    No, the main thing is that man ignorantly opened his mouth and inserted his foot.

  23. Dolphieness
    August 20th, 2012 @ 5:19 pm

    BTW Stacy – good article. Thank you.

  24. Dolphieness
    August 20th, 2012 @ 5:21 pm

    Not according to the people I have on twitter. They are all saying he needs to step aside and let Steelman take over (conservative and almost won).

  25. Dolphieness
    August 20th, 2012 @ 5:23 pm

    I understand, Garym. Unfortunately, Dems own the dishonest, biased media. Akin will be slaughtered over this and the stink will attach to other conservatives. The focus will be removed from jobs/economy to other small stuff.

  26. jwallin
    August 20th, 2012 @ 5:25 pm

    Someone please explain to me how dumping the guy who won the primary for someone else (who and are they allowed to change and will their name be on the ballot?) helps win Missouri?

    I understand he said something stupid and maybe he can rephrase it and he may lose because of it but how is dumping him going to help?

    Plus why do we do this? The Democrats say the most ungodly horrendous stuff and no one quits. Hell they get applauded.

    Why do we feel compelled to play by some set of rules of fairness while the other party doesn’t? How does that help?

    We have to win this election and the Senate to save the country. Frankly if helping get this moron elected does that, then I’m all for it and we’ll sort the sh!t out later.

    Go to gangbangers territory and tell them you’re going to kick their asses and Oh by the way; fight fair cause I’m gonna. See how that works for you. That’s if we can put all the pieces back together.

  27. Adjoran
    August 20th, 2012 @ 5:29 pm

    What he “needs” to do and what he will do may be entirely different things, you know.

    And didn’t Steelman finish third? There is no way she should get the bid for finishing last, even if Akin drops out. She would have been out if there was a run-off.

  28. Adjoran
    August 20th, 2012 @ 5:32 pm

    Because he gives the dang Democrats a chance to change the subject, which is the ONLY way they can win.

  29. Adjoran
    August 20th, 2012 @ 5:35 pm

    In checking the results, I had to go through a lot of news stories on the primary that didn’t include vote totals.

    EVERY SINGLE ONE of those reports referred to Akin as the “Tea Party candidate” or “Tea Party-backed” or “Tea Party favorite” candidate. ALL of them. But he’s the “GOP Establishment’s mistake” now?

    How very convenient. Change the label before dumping on the guy.

  30. Adjoran
    August 20th, 2012 @ 5:36 pm

    The state party committee names a replacement. It can be anyone who is eligible.

  31. rrpjr
    August 20th, 2012 @ 5:44 pm

    If he drops out, why wouldn’t this go to Brunner? He came in second, right? Why is there talk of outside names like Bond or Talent?

  32. Todd Akin: Beyond Recovery | Roderic Deane
    August 20th, 2012 @ 5:49 pm

    […] You can read Stacy’s entire piece HERE. […]

  33. James Knauer
    August 20th, 2012 @ 5:50 pm

    Too late. Akin = Ryan in terms of both voting record and agenda, and that connection is already being drawn. Akin leaving won’t change that. If one objects to Akin who spoke his heart then one must also object to Ryan.

  34. Adjoran
    August 20th, 2012 @ 5:55 pm

    No, the law says if a candidate withdraws by the deadline, the state party may name a replacement. How they do it is up to them. Brunner would seem the logical choice, but this is the state that gave us McCaskill and Jean Carnahan as well as Dana Loesch. Anything is possible.

  35. James Knauer
    August 20th, 2012 @ 5:56 pm

    Process be damned so long as there is a win. Votes don’t matter. Primaries don’t matter. A man speaks what he feels, and who cares about the people?

    Nominations, like elections, have consequences. As there is zero daylight between Akin and Ryan, better to stand up with the same pride Akin himself feels. That the GOP establishment abandoned their own is reason enough to support him. That leadership failed long ago.

    Right? Or are we going to tear into Ryan next, so long as he doesn’t, you know, say what he actually thinks and feels? Howdya get a majority of votes in swing states doing that, exactly, when everyone knows it? Not the age of newspapers anymore. Regrettably, most pols in office don’t get that. To them buh-bye.

  36. Steve in TN
    August 20th, 2012 @ 5:58 pm


  37. James Knauer
    August 20th, 2012 @ 5:59 pm

    Welcome to 2012. You aren’t an “adult” if you cannot adapt to the current media because “weekends” are meaningless constructs.

    So is the GOP. Too bad it does not yet realize it.

  38. James Knauer
    August 20th, 2012 @ 6:00 pm

    Akin did not “mis-speak.” He said what he felt.

  39. Evi L. Bloggerlady
    August 20th, 2012 @ 6:13 pm

    If Akin withdraws it will be for the best. He is a distraction now. The race is more important than he is and while I hate to encourage lefties and Democrats on this sort of personal attack, we have bigger fish to fry right now. Akin should do the right thing.

  40. sheryl
    August 20th, 2012 @ 6:20 pm

    I guess I just don’t understand all the hoopla about it. Who are they going to pick?

  41. Uh, He Said What? « Obi's Sister
    August 20th, 2012 @ 6:28 pm

    […] in the race evaporate. In fact, she watched her opposition evaporate as Akin has said he’s leaving the race. How […]

  42. Evi L. Bloggerlady
    August 20th, 2012 @ 6:44 pm
  43. Zilla of the Resistance
    August 20th, 2012 @ 6:48 pm

    That’s why it’s called The STUPID Party!
    So is this Akin guy retarded or what? WTH is wrong with him that he would say something so damned dumb?
    Also, Stacy is right.

  44. crosspatch
    August 20th, 2012 @ 7:28 pm

    Oh, he didn’t just insert it. He kept chewing until he gnawed his foot off at the ankle and then swallowed it, shoe and all.

  45. Republicans and their Akin-Breakin’ Hearts « The Daley Gator
    August 20th, 2012 @ 7:40 pm

    […] McCain weighs in and places much of the blame for this mess on the GOP establishment This horrible botch can be blamed squarely on the Missouri GOP Establishment, which lined up behind […]

  46. Charles
    August 20th, 2012 @ 7:51 pm

    If Akin won’t drop out, the only recourse may be to run a write-in candidate. Steelman and Brunner are barred from running under Missouri law, as they ran in the primary.

    But the honor of the Republican Party is satisfied by asking him to drop out. If he stays in the race, that’s his choice.

  47. gjoubert
    August 20th, 2012 @ 8:00 pm

    Akin won the primary, and he’s the candidate. Dump him in favor of a loser? Yeah, that’s the winning strategy. Instead, why isn’t the RNC pumping talent and $$$ into Missouri to rehabilitate his campaign and to do a rapid response thing to redirect the narrative back onto McCaskill and her ineptitude?

  48. Bob Belvedere
    August 20th, 2012 @ 8:01 pm

    Todd Akin REP 217,410 36.0%
    Jerry Beck REP 9,789 1.6%
    Sarah Steelman REP 176,129 29.2%
    John G. Brunner REP 180,788 30.0%
    Mark Memoly REP 3,199 0.5%
    Mark Patrick Lodes REP 2,280 0.4%
    Robert (Bob) Poole REP 6,096 1.0%
    Hector Maldonado REP 7,409 1.2%


  49. Bob Belvedere
    August 20th, 2012 @ 8:07 pm

    Don’t you be talkin’ down Dana Loesch.

  50. Garym
    August 20th, 2012 @ 8:08 pm

    Blow me lefty.