August 30, 2012
Akin Breakin' Heart
It's not exactly the kind of blowback one would get from dissing the Twilight books, but I get the feeling that I might have poked the hornet's nest just a bit with my Claude Akins -- er, Todd Akin -- post. Truth be told, it's heartening to see the subject stir so much passion. Conservatives get tired of seeing one of their own pilloried by the Republican Party, and you can certainly count me among that bunch. In the case of Akin, though, I maintain that the GOP really didn't have much choice but to offer him up as a ritual sacrifice. Here's why.
First off, we live in a media-saturated culture. Unfortunately, that media largely tilts left -- which means that anything and everything that conservatives do will be analyzed, parsed, distorted and Martinized to the point where even the most innocuous remark (anybody remember Trent Lott saying nice things about Old Man Thurmond on his 100th birthday?) will be portrayed as racist, sexist, mean-spirited and just flat out un-American. In other words, you don't hand them a sword with which to slay you -- which is exactly what Akin did.
Second, this had nothing to do with the party trying to overturn the primary system. The GOP has no power to make Akin drop out of the race, which is plainly in evidence because the man is still running for the Senate. The party is not, however, under any obligation to fund his race if it decides that it no longer wishes to be associated with his campaign. If I'm taking money from someone, it only stands to reason that I need to stay in my benefactor's good graces. Just because you win the nomination, that doesn't mean you're entitled to a spigot of cash no questions asked.
Third -- and this is the most important -- conservatives are better than that. Democrats always circle the wagons no matter how outrageous or illegal the behavior of their pols (how else do you explain the long careers of the likes of Teddy Kennedy, Bill Clinton, Robert Byrd, Chris Dodd, Charlie Rangel -- the list goes on and on). Republicans don't. The media don't let us get away with anything, to be sure -- but more than that, we don't let our own slide because we realize the importance of standards in our elected officials. It's a tough standard to live up to, but the country is better off for it.
Ultimately, the voters in Missouri will decide whether or not Akin has the right stuff to represent their state in the Senate. But I do think that his refusal to set aside his own ambitions for a higher cause says a lot about his character.
Hatched by Korso on this day, August 30, 2012, at the time of 3:26 PM
The following hissed in response by: Chris Balsz
I think you have some more thinking to do on this. Your post is full of contradictions.
You regret Akin didn't drop out, but say that wasn't what the GOP was after? They called for it, specifically, by a deadline. They most certainly did think they had the power to run him out, and they tried it. If they hadn't, his refusal to comply wouldn't be noticed. He sure didn't bring up the idea.
If you think Akin is objectively a sleaze, why complain of press bias? An honest press would call an objective sleazeball, a sleazeball. Such hostility only explains a subjective outrage.
And confronted with subjective criticism of Republicans...heck yeah we should "circle the wagons". People whose subjective bias leads them to condemn a rightwinger can resolve their outrage by thinking differently, and they should be encouraged to.
It looks like Akin has every chance to pull this off, and I hope the GOP figures out whether it can join Akin in regretting the offense of his remarks, without jumping the rails and creating a very foul precedent.
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