Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Now That Todd Akin Is Doing The Martyr Thing, What Can The Missouri GOP Really Do?

This Todd Akin dude is really unfreakingbelivable.
I mean, does he not get it?
Dude, is is not a change of word here or that you did not mean to diminish rape or anything like that.

“Well, you know, uh, people always want to try to make that as one of those things, ‘Well, how do you – how do you slice this particularly tough sort of ethical question. It seems to me, first of all, 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. But let’s assume that maybe that didn’t work or something. You know, I think there should be some punishment but the punishment ought to be on the rapist and not attacking the child.”

I went through a much as I could to try to explain how douchbrained this whole thing is.
Because as I noted, he could have just answered the question, this one from Charles Jaco:

“Okay, so if an abortion can be considered in the case of, say, tubal pregnancy or something like that, what about in the case of rape? Should it be legal or not?”

Simple answer, no. And he did not need to give his "scientific" reasoning behind it. Of course I did offer what every Republican candidate should say when getting bogged down in these social issue questions. But, Sweet Todd Akin, the man who could single-handily cost the Republican party the senate, no he said the above ridiculous quote.
But enough of that.
Now that Sweet Todd Akin is doing the martyr thing, what can Missouri Republicans do?
First, I am not so certain that Mr. Akin may nor end up leaving the race.
After all, he did make an apology. He even made a commercial. Hell, even his wife is apologizing for him.
Now Mr. Akin may want to see if all of that ends up shoring support or bleeding it.
Consider that the National Republican Senatorial Committee is not going to spend a red-hot cent on this dude. Karl Rove and his Crossroads group, not one centavo or peso on him. Everyone of consequence on the conservative side is telling him, uh dude, please leave. And that includes the Tea Party. The only viable financial support Mr. Akin will be able to muster at this point is fellow So Cons. And maybe they will not want to touch this guy more radioactive politically than the Fukushima nuke plant in Japan.
I would have to say that at this point, the bleeding is pretty bad.
My hunch is that Mr. Akin wants to do two things for a while.
One, see if he is still really competitive against the Democrat incumbent Dear Leader, President Obama, sycophant Clarie McCaskill. Polling has to be done from the point the interview became public. According to the Real Clear Politics polling average, Mr. Akin is actually ahead of Sen. McCaskill by about five percent. The only good news is that Sen. McCaskill has not polled anywhere near 50% and certainly not anywhere north of that magic number. But if Sen. McCaskill makes any substantive gains and or Mr. Akin's numbers free-fall, it does make it harder to justify himself as the choice of the Missouri Republican voters.
Which BTW, in a crowded primary of eight candidates, Mr. Akin won the most with 36%. John Brunner was second with 30% and Tea Party favorite Sarah Steelman finished third with 29%. While Mr. Akin did win, it was not exactly a swarm of Republican voters. The argument can be made that 64% of Missouri GOP voters went with someone else. It is kind of weak, but it can be made that someone else may be able to do better at this point.
And Mr. Akin needs to show that he can somehow raise the big bucks. Somehow, I do not see him raising that kind of money since most of the big sources have all but dried up. There are only so many small donors in Missouri and even the United States that will pony up at this point.
If I were those angry with Mr. Akin, and I am one of them, I think that pressure should be kept on him to realize that he needs to leave. But we also should wait and see if this really hurt him with Missouri voters over all. It should not take more than about two weeks to see if that is the case.
But lets say that Mr. Akin decides against it all to damn the torpedoes and go down gracelessly.
This is a big question that needs to be asked.
Can the Missouri GOP coalesce around an acceptable-to-all-sides candidate and officially endorse him or her? In other words, can the state party suggest that Mr. Akin may have won the primary but that he can not be endorsed by the party at all levels? That this, fill-in-the-blank, literally, is the official party candidate?
And think it is not without precedent?
As Sen. Joe Miller from Alaska.
Oops! My bad!
Mr. Miller was the winner of the Alaska Republican primary in 2010. But incumbent Sen. Lisa Murkowski did not want to go out quietly. No, she mounted a write-in campaign and she ended up winning reelection.
I did not like that Sen. Murkowski did what she did. After all, Mr. Miller won the primary fair and square. He did not make any outrageous and frankly dangerous comments that Mr. Akin made. he was leading very well in polls. But she did set a road map for a situation like this. And I think that the Missouri Republican party may want to take a good look at this. One thing that will be to their advantage is that the party could help the write-in candidate. That did not happen for Sen. Murkowski, and maybe this was easier to do in Alaska, but it maybe the only option left to save the election.
Todd Akin could have done the right thing today and withdraw from the Missouri senate race. He still might, but it will be complicated. If not, Republicans in Missouri may need to have a back up plan. Because a martyr can not be a drag on the whole when it is not necessary except for pride and vainglory.

1 comment:

Will S. said...

I understand Todd Akin wasn't even the desired candidate; that GOP rank and file in that riding, who were mostly Tea Party types, had someone else in mind, but as usual, the RNC overrode their choice, and installed him.

That'll learn 'em.

Wait; no it won't...