READ –> New York Times: GOP Trying to Oust Akin from Race for Rape Remarks
Fearing that a seat crucial to winning a Senate majority could slip away, the national Republican establishment on Monday unleashed a furious campaign to drive Representative Todd Akin, the party’s newly selected nominee, out of the race against Missouri’s Democratic senator.
Amid an uproar over provocative comments on rape and abortion that Mr. Akin made in an interview broadcast on Sunday, the National Republican Senatorial Committee declared that it would withdraw financial and organizational support for Mr. Akin, including $5 million in advertising already reserved for the fall. In the interview, Mr. Akin said victims of “legitimate rape” rarely got pregnant.
Crossroads GPS, a Republican advocacy group that had already spent more than $5 million to weaken Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri, considered the Senate’s most endangered incumbent, announced that it was withdrawing from the state.
At the same time, Republican candidates like Mitt Romney and Senator Scott P. Brown of Massachusetts either called for Mr. Akin to step aside or strongly indicated that he should. In a radio interview, the conservative host Sean Hannity pleaded with Mr. Akin to drop out. “Sometimes an election is bigger than one person,” he said.
But Mr. Akin said on Monday that he would not drop out. “I’m not a quitter,” he said on Mike Huckabee’s radio program. “My belief is we’re going to take this thing forward, and by the grace of God, we’re going to win this race.”
From an earlier piece in the Times, here are the remarks in question:
“It seems to me, from what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare,” Mr. Akin said of pregnancies from rape. “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: I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be of the rapist, and not attacking the child.”
The previous headline on the first Times piece was “Republicans Decry Todd Akin’s Rape Remarks.” Even though I do not consider myself a Republican, per se, as a libertarian-conservative often forced to vote for Republicans, I was among those publicly decrying Akin’s remarks.
I cannot decide whether Akin’s statements were more offensive than they were stupid, or more stupid than offensive. This is faaaaar more ridiculous even than Whoopi Goldberg’s infamous “it wasn’t rape-rape” comments about Roman Polanski. Remember those?
Still, even in pointing out the Left’s selective outrage, I don’t want to even come close to defending Akin.
Frankly, this sort of thing is primarily why I consider myself a libertarian first, a conservative second, and a Republican 29th. Take this election, for example — this is a time when we should look at what happens with excess government regulation and punitive tax policy, this is an election that should be about jobs, about the Laffer Curve, about the free market, about trade deficits, about how good energy policy can be a panacea, and about facts. Instead, however, we have dopes like Akin and Santorum and the like who want to force religious beliefs upon people while simultaneously casting themselves as laissez faire.
I am a Roman Catholic. And I believe that this country was founded with the hand of Providence. However, at a time when liberty itself is at stake, and at a time when the best possible argument to fight the forces of statism revolves around exceedingly evident facts and figures and failures, it erodes the credibility of the conservative message when we get mired down in this stuff.
Todd Akin is no rookie. He should know that the mainstream press is looking for any way possible to keep this year’s election–at all levels–off-message as best possible. It makes me ill not only that he would allow himself to be trapped into saying something so ill-informed and ill-conceived, but that he would say those things at all.
Go away, Todd Akin. Go far away.
Jeff Schreiber, the founder and managing editor of America’s Right, is a family law attorney in the outskirts of Charleston, South Carolina. He is the owner of Lowcountry Divorce & Family Law, LLC, a solo law practice established in July 2012