Reminiscent of Japanese fleeing Godzilla, Republicans are scrambling from Missouri U.S. Senate nominee Rep. Todd Akin (R)’s comments on Sunday stating that women had natural defenses against getting pregnant from a rape. Before lunch on Monday, G.O.P. Senators, including Scott Brown (R-Mass.) and John Cornyn (R-Tex.) put the proverbial loaded pistol (Mitt Romney checked the bullets) on Akin’s desk urging him to quit the race for the good of the Republican party. After conferring with former Arkansas Gov. and fellow divinity school grad Mike Huckabee, Akin stressed he was not leaving the race, even as the National Republican Senatorial Committee and Karl Rove’s Crossroads mega-PAC pulled their financial support. If this was 1929, key Akin backers would be doing the swan dive from Wall Street upper floor windows.
Incumbent Sen Claire McCaskill (D) decried potential national G.O.P. efforts to replace their flopped candidate, even as runner-up businessman John Brunner reportedly has started his buzzard circle over Akin’s twitching carcass. After all, Democratic ad money helped Republicans pick Akin in the G.O.P. primary, leaving Sarah Palin-endorsed Sarah Steelman a third-place loser.
There are too many similarities for the McCaskill vs. Akin race and the 2010 comical battle between Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D) and Tea Party candidate Sharron “Second Amendment remedies” Angle (R) matchup in Nevada. In that race, record home foreclosures and one of the nation’s highest unemployment rates made Reid about as popular as the Ebola virus. Democrats could have lost their majority in the Senate. In the school of “Pick your enemies carefully,” Democrats won the jackpot with casino exec and Joisey beauty queen Sue “Chickens for Checkups” Lowden losing in the primary to Tea Party senior league darling Angle of Reno. Reid would rise from near political death to send Angle to her post-election career hawking a fundamentalist flick where cavemen had pet dinosaurs. (Hey, it worked on The Flintstones!)
Veteran Las Vegas Sun political reporter and columnist Jon Ralston pronounced Sharron Angle politically “dead” well before the elections commission could dispatch the Washoe County coroner’s “meat wagon” to the polling station. I imagine Angle’s frazzled national G.O.P. strategists have made it out of the Betty Ford Clinic by now.
Akin countered by saying he “misspoke”, politicianspeak for being caught at a big lie or making the over-the-edge statement he actually made. The problem is that Akin was reading verbatim from the radical anti-choice playbook many conservative Republicans such as Huckabee, Santorum, Paul Ryan, and others read from. Similar pseudoscience is their mainstay bill of fare. Conservatives would even embrace global warming and buy Chevy Volts if Operation Rescue had linked climate change to abortion. Bottom line: Abortion rights are “settled law”, and the difficult choice is rightly left to the woman who is actually pregnant and her physician.
Is the Missouri Senate Race over less than three months before Election Day? Republicans sure have seemed to put the harikari knife in Todd Akin’s hand.