Left to his own devices, Congressman Todd Akin (R., Mo.) will become the Typhoid Mary of modern American politics.
After shocking the nation with his bizarre and appalling theory that each female victim of “legitimate rape” magically turns this horrifying experience into an opportunity for self-contraception, Akin should have done the right thing and excused himself from the campaign to replace U.S. senator Claire McCaskill, the Show-Me State’s Democratic incumbent.
This will be an utter catastrophe for the GOP — from St. Louis to San Diego to Seattle to Sarasota to Seabrook.
Any American who does not know Akin’s name already is about to hear it non-stop, thanks to Democrats who cannot believe the beautifully wrapped gift that Akin just handed them. Rather than engage the buoyant Paul Ryan and the re-energized Mitt Romney or explain to seniors why President Obama swiped $716 billion from Medicare to finance Obamacare, Democrats will have a much more startling theme to pound home until November: Republicans are soft on rape.
By November 6, the only woman who will vote for Mitt Romney will be Ann Romney — maybe.
With women (and many men) terrified by the Party of Rape, Republican candidates and causes will fall like autumn leaves, after which some will blow away, and others will gather in piles and fester.
Ever-increasing pressure should fall on Akin’s shoulders over the next few days.
Does Akin want to be the man whom history will recall as guaranteeing McCaskill’s reelection, possibly keeping the U.S. Senate in the hands of hardened liberal Democrat, Harry Reid?
Does Akin hope to be known in perpetuity as the cause of Barack Obama’s reelection, notwithstanding the multifarious merits of the Romney-Ryan ticket?
Does Akin want to lie on his deathbed and exhale his last breath while trying vainly to forget that he made it impossible to repeal Obamacare, reverse the rampant damage of the Obama years, and turn America from the path to decline?
If such thoughts do not penetrate Akin’s thick skull by next Monday evening, the Grand Old Party should take dramatic, collective action against him.
On its opening evening in Tampa, the Republican National Convention should vote on prime-time television to denounce Akin, reject his wretched comments, disassociate the party from him, and pledge that no GOP resources will be deployed to support his campaign. Each delegation should express itself on this matter through a roll call of the states. The decision should be overwhelming, if not unanimous, against Akin.
Such concrete action might put some safe distance between Akin and the rest of the party and thereby isolate this contagion.
If not, McCaskill will spend another six years in the Senate as Harry Reid leads that body. Nancy Pelosi may get the House’s gavel back in her hands. And Barack Obama and Joe Biden will continue their tragicomic reign of error for four more years.
The stakes are that serious, and Republicans cannot deal with Congressman Todd Akin swiftly or severely enough.