Political Animal


August 21, 2012 9:52 AM Akin Turns the Tables

By Ed Kilgore

I have no idea what Missouri Republican Senate nominee Todd Akin is going to do today, when he really needs to withdraw his name from the ballot or stay in the race for the duration. I’m expecting a dispatch shortly from our own, and Missouri’s own, Blue Girl about how it’s all going over in the Show-Me state. But one thing’s for sure: Akin has turned the tables on his intra-party tormenters. Yesterday afternoon they hit him with a barrage that would have driven most anyone weeping to their knees: the money people bailed on him, the national party bailed on him, the party’s presidential nominee treated him like a leper, and worst of all, he went on Hannity’s radio show and Sean Hannity told him to get out of the race.

So what did Akin do? He launched a new ad in Missouri apologizing for his bizarre and offensive remarks on rape and pregnancy, but not for anything else, and acting as though he has no plans to quit. And now, having pretty much depleted their arsenal, anxious Republicans are waiting on him, powerless in the end to dispose of him instantly as they want to do. The timing is terrible, since this rare peek into the churning minds of antichoicers coincides with the Republican Convention Platform Committee’s quadrennial rubber-stamping of a position on abortion identical to Akin’s.

It’ll be an interesting day. But at the moment, it’s Todd Akin who’s in the driver’s seat.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.


  • Ron Byers on August 21, 2012 9:59 AM:

    Unlike Romney, Ryan, and Rove, I think Akin really believes what he says and that means the big money boys might find out they have less power than they think.

  • Peter C on August 21, 2012 10:01 AM:

    It looks like Akin is caught between two conflicting Republican impulses: 'never admit you were wrong' and 'play the victim'.

  • Anonymous on August 21, 2012 10:03 AM:

    Claire is still going to need all our help. If Akin goes the Crossroads gang will fully fund his replacement. If Akin stays you can bet that the Koch brothers and Rove will quietly start supporting him in a few weeks. I think Claire McCaskill's seat could turn into the pointy end of this election's spear.

  • Mudge on August 21, 2012 10:08 AM:

    Tea Party types are ideologues, I've seen no indication that they are rational at all. He worked hard to get the nomination and will probably, self-righteously, stay in the race. Sharron Angle and Christine O'Donnell went down in flames, to no small extent by speaking their minds (trade you a chicken for that prostate exam, Doc; I am not a witch). Akin has a little over 2 months to further cement his credentials on all matters Tea Party.

  • c u n d gulag on August 21, 2012 10:20 AM:

    It's been kind of, for lack of a better word, funny, to watch the Republicans try to get Akin to "pull out" of the race.

    And it's been interesting to watch them all stand around and try to deny that most, if not all, of their politicians are just as stupid, ignorant, and unempathetic as this evil assclown, when it comes to women's rights or anyone else's, for that matter, except white Conservatice males.

    The only one who I didn't see sweat, was Mitt Romney.
    And why should he?
    He looked perfectly comfortable, because whatever stance his party wanted to take on abortion in this case, he's already had that opinion several times.

    Hell, no matter what the subject, Mitt has taken every stance possible. When running in MA, he was a flaming Liberal. Now that the needs the Republican base, he's 'a TRUE Conservative."

    I think I finally understand how p*rn star Jenna Jameson could support someone like Mitt Romney:
    I think she admires a man who's taken more positions than she has.

  • boatboy_srq on August 21, 2012 10:22 AM:

    This is the natural GOTea progression, following the "Lunatics -> Asylum -> Takeover" model. Chances are the party funds won't matter overmuch in this race, since the FRC, NOM and other similar groups are likely to make up at least the bulk of the funds the GOTea itself will refuse to provide.

    I'd been wondering how long Big GOTea Money would go along with supporting the raving culture warrior wingnuts in order to gain control. Perhaps this is the beginning of that schism.

  • JM917 on August 21, 2012 10:29 AM:

    Hang in there, Akin! You know that what you're claiming about loose, immoral women bringing rape and pregnancy on themselves is what your Teapublican base thinks all along, and those scaredicat bigwigs like Romney and even Hannity just want you out because you make it harder for the national GOP to win. But you've got every red-blooded GOOPer out there in Mizzura on your side, and God too. So hang tough and stay in that race.

    You know, with God on your side, you're gonna win this thing--even if Angle and O'Donnell couldn't.

    (Us Dems are prayin' for you too, by the way.)

  • Hedda Peraz on August 21, 2012 10:33 AM:

    This new Reality Show- "Achin' for Akin"- is a hoot. Much better than any of the "housewives" shows.
    I especially like when explains to us in scientific terms, how those Ladyparts actually work.

  • Diane Rodriguez on August 21, 2012 10:39 AM:

    Marry Atkin and Ryan til death do them part. Show Atkin's disgusting and delusional quote next to a copy of the Atkin and Ryan jointly sponsored "forcible" rape bill.

  • Kathryn on August 21, 2012 10:39 AM:

    Sure looks like he's going to stay in, after all he truly represents the base of the GOP and the majority of their voters. Interesting comment by Gulag regarding Romney's appearance of comfort, as Jon Huntsman's commercial said, he is a perfectly lubricated weathervane. Let's face it, the guy could still win, can't wait to read Blue Girl's assessment.

    It has been farcical seeing the reaction of the GOP elected and pundit class ripping this guy for saying what most all believe, voted for and will put in their platform. The majority crazy wing has hit the wall of the pretend cynical crazy wing of Romney, Ryan, McConnell and even Hannity. Agree with Anonymous, Claire has a real fight on her hands and Rove will fund Akin again unless polls really desert him, which I doubt, this is Missouri we're talking about.

  • POed Lib on August 21, 2012 10:47 AM:

    If they don't beat this piece of shit, this idea will become legit. He's thrown down the marker - if he wins, the idea is legit.

  • maggie on August 21, 2012 10:47 AM:

    Actually, I believe the R Platform is even more restrictive... basically a "personhood" declaration that would ban ALL abortions even if the woman's life was in danger.

  • TK421 on August 21, 2012 10:54 AM:

    I wish Democrats were half as disturbed about President Obama's assassination of American citizens as they are about Todd Akin's statements.

  • biggerbox on August 21, 2012 11:00 AM:

    I haven't seen any evidence that Akin said anything that the people who voted for him disagree with. Sure, the people who care about the national success for the GOP don't want a loony running around actually saying what they believe out loud. But it's not like he suddenly surprised those who voted for him with a new position - he's the same old Akin they voted for, and, sadly, their votes count and he should be allowed to stay in the race to represent their views. Disgusting as they are.

  • Bruce K on August 21, 2012 11:06 AM:

    The old guard made a devil's bargain: if they courted the reactionaries, the hatemongers, and the barbarians, they would have enough influence to stave off the progressives and hold on to power for a time. Except they forgot that Mr. Applegate eventually does come calling, and in some form or other, will get his due.

    They courted the reactionaries, the hatemongers, and the barbarians, and now that they've seen the drawbacks, seen those same reactionaries, hatemongers, and barbarians demand not just their place at the table, but a place at the head of the table, the old guard want to disavow them. Deny them. Pretend that the reactionaries, the hatemongers, and the barbarians are nothing but a lunatic fringe, when they've become the old guard's only hope of retaining power.

    The old guard made the bargain. And in the person of Sarah Palin, Michele Bachman, Rush Limbaugh, and Todd Akin, Mr. Applegate is claiming his due.

  • ChristianPointOfView on August 21, 2012 11:07 AM:

    REAL Christians should be supporting Congressman Akin.

    Every REAL Christian KNOWS that:
    - Human Life BEGINS at conception
    - Abortion is a murderous EVIL

    All of this discussion of rape is bullsh*t. Abortion is still murder and still evil regardless of the circumstances by which a woman becomes WITH LIFE.

    We have known for ages that the democrat party is full of Godless evil persons. It is hypocritical for republican politicians to call for Congressman Akin to withdraw from the Missouri senate race or even to criticize him. CONGRESSMAN AKIN IS RIGHT!

  • ET on August 21, 2012 11:10 AM:

    I hope I am wrong but I bet he stays in.

    He may be scientifically stupid, a huge misogynist, and morally deficient, but I bet he knows there are enough voters who are so desperate to keep a Dem (i.e. supporter of the Brown Many that is squatting at the White House) out of the Senate that they will gladly vote for him.

    I am also betting there are many stupid conservative and/or religious voter who
    1. believe there is some sort of magic juju to keep a rape victim pregnant and

    2. that the only "real" rapes that occur are strangers. I mean husbands don't rape their wives, they just exercising their conjugal rights and those "girls" (meaning whores) deserve what they get so that ain't rape - any anyway boys will be boys.

  • dalloway on August 21, 2012 11:12 AM:

    He'll stay in because he has nothing to lose. And the above commenter is right -- in a few weeks, very quietly, Rove and Co. will start funneling him money again. And because it's Missouri, he'll probably win. And does anyone believe Mittsy's equivocations any more? If he and fundamentalist Ryan are elected, ladies, you can kiss abortion, many forms of birth control and IVF goodbye because there will be a national personhood law passed in the first hundred days. This is who they are and what they believe.

  • ottercliff on August 21, 2012 11:16 AM:

    I think I just saw Karl Rove drive up to Akin's house and leave a package shaped like a dead fish on his doorstep.

  • arkie on August 21, 2012 11:32 AM:

    If I were Akin, I would not open the door today to any well groomed young men wearing white shirts and ties. They might be bearing something other than the Book of Mormon.

  • Ron Byers on August 21, 2012 11:38 AM:


    You have just explained why we have to do everything we can to make sure the President wins, the Senate remains Democratic and the Tea Party freshmen are all kicked the hell out of DC. The consequences of inaction are too horrible to contemplate. Don't write Claire off just yet.

  • Sgt. Gym Bunny on August 21, 2012 11:48 AM:

    Well, considering that this is his baby now, I would consider it a damnable sin if he didn't carry it term and coddle it for the remainder of its political life, even if it kills your sorry political career. Be good Christina, Akin, and take responsibility for yourself!

  • jsjiowa on August 21, 2012 11:52 AM:

    Did you watch his ad, asking for forgiveness? Because he used "the wrong words". Disgusting, and meant to appeal to the extreme right-wing Christians that voted for him, and believe in forgiveness. But what is so appalling about his position (and that of the Republican party platform that supports life at conception, with no exceptions) is that the woman who is raped or is the victim of incest doesn't enter into the equation at all. It doesn't matter if bearing her attacker's baby would serve to victimize her further. She simply doesn't matter. In fact, in Akin's view, it's men who are the real victims -- because they are so often falsely accused of rape. To him, no doesn't really mean no. So date rape, statutory rape, etc. aren't "legitimate rape". The lack of respect for women in this position is almost beyond comprehension.

  • Sgt. Gym Bunny on August 21, 2012 11:52 AM:

    be "a good Christian"


  • hells littlest angel on August 21, 2012 12:01 PM:

    Which would be more helpful to the cause of keeping the Senate Democratic, a contribution to McCaskill or a contribution to Akin?

  • dalloway on August 21, 2012 12:28 PM:

    Point taken, Ron Byers. I didn't mean to give the impression I've written Claire off -- I gave her a donation yesterday and I recommend everyone reading this do the same. I guess I was channeling the late, great H.L. Menken re the voters of Missouri: nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the voting public.

  • neil b on August 21, 2012 12:44 PM:

    HLA, a contribution to McCaskill helps her win - once Akin stays in the race. And I hope he does hang in there, as an albatross around the neck of R-Money and R-Ayn. Already on FB I see playing up the connections between R-Ayn the magic fake Christian and Akin about abortion bills etc.

  • RT on August 21, 2012 2:34 PM:


    "I'd been wondering how long Big GOTea Money would go along with supporting the raving culture warrior wingnuts in order to gain control. Perhaps this is the beginning of that schism."

    I figured the money guys would re-evaluate their devil's bargain with the loons after they started to be Bad for Business. The Tea Party caucus in the House was directly responsible for the debt ceiling debacle last year, so I would say they are Bad for Business already. I suspect the money guys feel trapped and they don't know how to get out of their predicament. The money guys could -- call me crazy! -- throw their full support to the Democrats. It's not like the Democrats have treated them all that badly. But I guess it's not in their nature.

  • Freder on August 21, 2012 3:13 PM:

    what Carlos implied I'm blown away that anyone able to make $7976 in 4 weeks on the computer. did you look at this webpage (Click on menu Home more information) http://goo.gl/MNmC3

  • boatboy_srq on August 21, 2012 3:39 PM:


    I suspect the money guys feel trapped and they don't know how to get out of their predicament.

    That would certainly explain the recent fight over the soul - er, board - of the Cato Institute.

    I'm more interested in where the FRC, AFA, NOM et al will find the dollars to make up the difference. There's enough tie-ins between NOM and the Vatican that a little investigative journalism could expose quite a bit there, but the rest are a bit more - um, circumspect - about their finances.

  • boatboy_srq on August 21, 2012 4:22 PM:

    I am also betting there are many stupid conservative and/or religious voter who... believe there is some sort of magic juju to keep a rape victim pregnant...

    I had friends who were involved in various ways with aid programs in Africa. Among the stories they told included having to change the way they taught birth control practices: originally they used a rhyme to help the local women remember how to use condoms and when and how to take the pill, but found that at least some women were chanting the rhyme as an incantation against pregnancy (and all the stuff the rhyme told them to do just got lost in the rhythm).

    So yes I'd bet there are quite a few Xtians in the US who would even believe (as Vortigern's priests did) Niniane's explanation of her conception of Myrddin as fruit of some demon of the shadows (H/T Mary Stewart), just as any woman in modern times who becomes pregnant following a rape can't possibly have been "raped" because she "wanted" it.