The Corner

Huckabee Channels Akin’s Delusion

Mike Huckabee came to Todd Akin’s defense yesterday, sending four paragraphs of support to Huckabee’s e-mail list and doubling down on the candidate’s mistakes. As with Akin’s own explanation of his decision to stay in the race, Huckabee’s defense made little sense. He wrote:

The Party’s leaders have for reasons that aren’t rational, left [Akin] behind on the political battlefield, wounded and bleeding, a casualty of his self-inflicted, but not intentional wound. In a Party that supposedly stands for life, it was tragic to see the carefully orchestrated and systematic attack on a fellow Republican. 

Not rational? By dint of his stupidity, Todd Akin has turned a ten-point advantage in Missouri into a ten-point deficit, and in a year in which Republicans have a real shot at taking back the Senate and, inter alia, undoing Obamacare. Moreover, with his bizarre comment and his subsequently erratic behavior, Akin has neatly demonstrated why his opponent was so keen to run against him — and still is. I’d say the response has been wholly rational, which goes some way to explaining why Todd Akin has managed to unite the GOP for the first time in years.

Is this what the party really thinks of principled pro-life advocates?

No, it’s what the party — and evidently, the entire conservative movement, ranging from the “establishment” to Sarah Palin, the Tea Party Express, and Ann Coulter — thinks of people whose ignorance and lack of judgement extends to their musing about women having magic uteri on television while running for the U.S. Senate. That Akin is a “principled pro-life advocate” is besides the point. There are a host of “principled pro-life advocates,” and the vast majority of them do not spout offensive pseudo-science. It is not impossible to find a pro-life advocate who will not embarrass the movement; this seems to be lost on both Akin and Huckabee.

Who ordered this “Code Red” on Akin? There were talking point memos sent from the National Republican Senatorial Committee suggesting language to urge Akin to drop out. Political consultants were ordered to stay away from Akin or lose future business with GOP committees.

This might well be a good argument in the parallel universe in which Akin is only being pressured by the party and by “establishment” conservatives, but the scale of the call for his withdrawal renders it moot.

Todd is being systematically scourged for one thing he said. Is that more important than what Claire McCaskill has DONE over her 6 years in the Senate?

Sometimes it only takes “one thing.” Besides, this line of reasoning really only makes sense if Todd Akin were the only person who could run against Claire McCaskill. He’s not. In fact, he’s one of the worst. However he sees himself, Akin is now one of the worst people to represent the pro-life cause, too. He has allowed the Left to conflate his peculiar views on rape and medicine with the cause of human life — an unforgivable mistake. Contra Akin’s nonsense, the Left didn’t invent this from whole cloth. Now, all they have to do to make their — albeit, unfair — case is to quote Todd Akin and then to stretch a bit. Akin has allowed the likes of Maureen Dowd and the entire pro-choice establishment to pretend that the pro-life argument and Todd Akin’s weird views are one and the same. They are not. That “one thing he said” is toxic.

It has decided that it will try to cut off the supply lines to Akin to pressure him to exit and let the party bosses overturn the voters of Missouri and pick their own candidate. If this can happen to Todd Akin, who is next?

Who’s next? Presumably the next person who does what Todd Akin did. Sure, it’ll almost certainly only happen to Republicans, because Democrats get carte blanche on these things. But that’s the world we live in, and it’s unlikely to change before November. There is no virtue in using Todd Akin to fight against that imbalance. Politicians are tools of the people, and not vice-versa. Todd Akin has outlived his usefulness to conservatives, pro-lifers, and the Republican party. As such, to quote Leo Amery quoting Oliver Cromwell, “You have sat too long for any good you have been doing lately. . . . Depart, I say; and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go!”

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