The Corner

Fairness and Akin

Via Commentary’s blog, I see defenses of Akin — of his continuing his campaign, that is — from Tony Perkins and Kirk Cameron. Both of them say that people are being unfair to Akin: in Cameron’s case because most people are judging him on the basis of one remark rather than his whole career, in Perkins’s case because Republicans are being tougher on him for making a gaffe than they have been on other candidates.

These defenses are quite beside the point. Like anyone else, Akin of course deserves to be treated justly. People should not criticize him more than he merits, or criticize him more than they would criticize other people who said similar things, or distort what he has said. It may well be, as Perkins has also said, that Akin is a thoroughly decent man in person. (That has been my own experience of him.) None of that means that he deserves to continue as the Republican nominee from Missouri. Those of us who take the view — the view shared by Akin, Cameron, and Perkins — that the law should protect the right to life of unborn children have an obligation to them, if we think that Akin’s staying in the race sets back that cause, to urge him to leave. And there can have been no serious doubt from Sunday onward that some other pro-lifer would have had a better shot of winning the seat.

It would be bad enough if socially conservative media figures and organization heads were unable to grasp this point. It is worse if they are not even thinking in these terms to start with.

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

Most Popular

Elections

The Post-Election Madness Gets Worse

On the menu today: Two lawyers who aren’t formally on the president’s legal team but who keep filing lawsuits on his behalf tell Georgia Republicans to not vote in the Senate runoffs; Michael Flynn endorses a call for “limited martial law” and a “re-vote” of the presidential election; and the ... Read More
Elections

The Post-Election Madness Gets Worse

On the menu today: Two lawyers who aren’t formally on the president’s legal team but who keep filing lawsuits on his behalf tell Georgia Republicans to not vote in the Senate runoffs; Michael Flynn endorses a call for “limited martial law” and a “re-vote” of the presidential election; and the ... Read More
World

Trump Pulls American Troops Out of Somalia

President Trump on Friday ordered almost all American troops to be withdrawn from Somalia, following similar reductions in U.S. military presence in Afghanistan and Iraq. The Pentagon announced that the majority of the approximately 700 troops in Somalia will leave the area by January 15. Many are expected to ... Read More
World

Trump Pulls American Troops Out of Somalia

President Trump on Friday ordered almost all American troops to be withdrawn from Somalia, following similar reductions in U.S. military presence in Afghanistan and Iraq. The Pentagon announced that the majority of the approximately 700 troops in Somalia will leave the area by January 15. Many are expected to ... Read More
White House

Trump’s Disgraceful Endgame

President Trump said the other day that he’d leave office if he loses the vote of the Electoral College on December 14. This is not the kind of assurance presidents of the United States typically need to make, but it was noteworthy given Trump’s disgraceful conduct since losing his bid for reelection to ... Read More
White House

Trump’s Disgraceful Endgame

President Trump said the other day that he’d leave office if he loses the vote of the Electoral College on December 14. This is not the kind of assurance presidents of the United States typically need to make, but it was noteworthy given Trump’s disgraceful conduct since losing his bid for reelection to ... Read More

America Waits Out the Biden Era

Now that the post-electoral haze is clearing a little, and we see that the Democrats so skillfully arranged for massive ballot-harvesting electoral fraud in several swing states that their likely theft of the election may, in yet another demonstration of the atrophied condition of the American legal system, be ... Read More

America Waits Out the Biden Era

Now that the post-electoral haze is clearing a little, and we see that the Democrats so skillfully arranged for massive ballot-harvesting electoral fraud in several swing states that their likely theft of the election may, in yet another demonstration of the atrophied condition of the American legal system, be ... Read More
The Economy

Genuine Generosity

Because it tends to exaggerate our already excessive national sentimentality, the Christmas season is a time of sloppy thinking about several separate kinds of endeavor that are all lumped into the category of “generosity.” This year, the usual charitable impulses of the season inevitably will tend to bleed ... Read More
The Economy

Genuine Generosity

Because it tends to exaggerate our already excessive national sentimentality, the Christmas season is a time of sloppy thinking about several separate kinds of endeavor that are all lumped into the category of “generosity.” This year, the usual charitable impulses of the season inevitably will tend to bleed ... Read More