Illinois Congressman Wonders Aloud Why Everyone’s Piling on Todd Akin

Illustration for article titled Illinois Congressman Wonders Aloud Why Everyone’s Piling on Todd Akin

Even though the intransigent splinter of a politician now known to the general public as Todd Akin has earned the ire of many of his GOP colleagues for suddenly jeopardizing a Missouri Senate race that he seemed poised to win, some brave/foolish Republicans have ventured into the bombed-out mediascape to defend Todd Akin, or at least wonder out loud why more Republicans have abandoned poor Todd as a sacrifice in the bear trap of modern politics (thirty-seven points to the glue-handed catcher of this Disney movie reference).

Speaking at a conference of young Republicans Tuesday, Illinois Rep. Joe Walsh said that although he found Todd Akin's digression about "legitimate" rape "repugnant," he's still scratching his head about why so many Republicans called for Akin to exit the Missouri Senate race. Apparently unaware of the spacious political grave he might have been digging for himself, Walsh explained that he was "bothered by this rush to pile on" Akin, and also "bothered by the silence" of fellow Grand Old Partiers on this issue.


The idea of defending a politician as hapless and insensible as Akin must seem batshit-crazy to Republicans who believe that they have a chance to take the Senate this election cycle, but only if they win in states such as Missouri, where Akin was enjoying a slight 49 to 44 percent early polling advantage over incumbent Senator Claire McCaskill. Akin has become a huge, festering pile of political detritus vomited out of a busted garbage disposal, and every Republican who moves away from or denounces Akin provides yet further proof that, on the whole, politicians care only about one thing: burrowing into positions of power and staying in them for as long as possible.

Walsh's comment, however, reveals something truly frightening about that huge faction of social crazies within the GOP: many of them aren't just pandering to a shrinking Evangelical base. They really believe this shit, which is why someone like Walsh can stand in front of a group of people, rhetorically put his hands on his hips and wonder aloud, "Golly shucks, maybe what this Akin feller said was awful, but why shouldn't he still get to seek public office?" Strangely, if we have to live in a country where the GOP exists, a cynical GOP seems to offer more hope that things won't go off the rails than an earnest GOP.

Illinois Republicans Discuss Akin, Party Response [ElmhurstPatch]

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I strongly disagree with you portrayal of Akin as an "intransigent splinter of a politician." His antiquated and misogynistic views have been more or less mainstream Republican views for years. Before the Tea Party invaded, however, the GOP was more skilled in preventing verbal diarrhea and revealing what they really believed. Consider how Republicans across the country have spent the past two years almost solely devoted to anti-reproductive rights issues.

Painting Akin as some kind of lunatic fringe politician lets the entire party off the hook for their actions.