Like many people, I have a number of thoughts and questions related to the blowup over GOP Rep. Todd Akin’s outrageous remarks recently about rape and abortion and women. Let me first say that if I was a Missouri voter, I would likely vote for a third-party candidate or write in someone else in November.
A throng of Republican leaders have called on Akin to resign his nomination so he can be replaced. As of Tuesday evening, Akin has refused. Why should he resign? Did he do something illegal or unethical? His cardinal sin to most of the Republicans calling on him to drop his bid was that he was honest and stupid and said out loud what he believes, thus endangering the GOP’s prospects of picking up the Missouri Senate seat. So the pursuit of political power is paramount in this equation.
But where were these same Republican leaders in 2008 when Sarah Palin created the same scenario with her outrageous comments? I didn’t see any of them asking John McCain to drop her from the ticket. There were no calls for her to be replaced on the ballot.
If Republicans believe Akin is unqualified to hold the Republican nomination by virtue of his statements, then by logic, he is unqualified to be a senator. So should we expect them to endorse or work on behalf of incumbent Democrat Claire McCaskill’s campaign? Will they take the money they had committed to Akin and run ads against him to ensure he doesn’t win? Or should they take this money and give it to a rape-crisis center or a pregnancy support group to demonstrate they really care about this issue?