“Gaffe” A word heard quite often, especially during a Presidential campaign. Sometimes, after long days and weeks on the road, candidates say something silly. Other times, their true colors are revealed, and then sometimes, they speak, and say something that manages to make people angry, and make headlines.
Example: Todd Akin.
Todd Akin was asked, during an interview with KTVI-TV, asked Mr. Akin about “abortion in the case of rape or incest” and he said:
“It seems to me, from what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare,” Mr. Akin said of pregnancies from rape. “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. But let’s assume that maybe that didn’t work or something: I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be of the rapist, and not attacking the child.”
“legitimate rape” are the two words that will go down as the words that potentially doomed, but definitely derailed, a campaign. I have no idea where he got the whole “has a way to shut that down” idiocy from. I can understand a gaffe, but, this wasn’t a gaffe. Akin’s remarks smack as uninformed, and uneducated. Precisely how the left views most pro-life conservatives, and his remark played right into their hands. This was stupidity on display. There are no two ways about it.
Now, we are dealing with a totally derailed GOP message. We have gone from “Jobs, Economy, Energy” to “Abortion and rape”. This fits in the Left’s “War on Women” meme (I hate that word) that they have been pushing for the last few months. Even Sandra Fluke is getting mileage out of this, and is coordinating with Barack Obama on a campaign email that will continue to lump all of us Conservatives, and Republicans into the same box, under the “War on Women” meme (I really hate that word).
Right now, we have lost the message. The Romney campaign dodged this whole mess by condemning Akin’s remarks. If they hadn’t, or had remained silent for more than 10 minutes on it, the media would be spinning Romney into this. Not that they haven’t tried, but, had Romney’s campaign remained silent, the media spin would have been more damaging. By condemning the remarks, Romney did put some distance between his campaign and Todd Akin’s stupidity.
However, that isn’t going to last very long. The longer Akin is in the race, the more likely it is that it will do damage (how much, remains to be seen) to the Romney campaign. Right now, the focus is off of the real issues, and on to this stupid sideshow. It’s where the Obama campaign wants the focus, and actually needs the focus to be. They need it off of Medicare, Obamacare, jobs, unemployment, gas prices, energy in general, national security, and any other actual issue that he has a poor record on. Right now, Romney and Ryan are still out there spreading their message, in an effort to keep the focus where it needs to be. That can’t last if this Akin business persists. Eventually they are going to have to answer to it as well, even though their condemnation of his remarks have pretty much made it clear. The Left is trying to tie this into Paul Ryan as well.
The other part of this is the usual “If a Democrat had said this he would have gotten a pass”. Yes, a Democrat would have. Get over it. We need to stop complaining about the “unfairness” in media reporting. it’s deliberate. We know that. Now stop. We are never, ever, ever, ever, ever going to get a fair shot from the media. Ever. Stop complaining. Right now, we have a problem. We have a candidate who failed us. Something needs to be done. Right now, this idiot, and his remarks are taking up news cycle after news cycle, and drowning out the real message that Romney/Ryan are trying to get out there.
I am not saying that our chances of winning in November are ruined. What I am saying, is the longer this plays, the more the focus is taken off of the real issues. We can’t have that. This country cannot afford it. We can not have the terms “legitimate rape” be the defining terms of this presidential election, not when so much is at stake. We need to define the terms of this election, we cannot let the Left define them for us. However, when a remark such as Akin’s is made, we have lost the battle for definition, and are on the defensive….Again.
Todd Akin has to go.
From everything I have read, he doesn’t want to. A PPP Poll released yesterday shows him up over Claire McCaskill by 1 point. It was a poll that had a Republican sample that was 9% larger, and thereby seems to have skewed the results, in an effort, it would seem, to convince Akin he still has a chance. He ruined his chances with a remark that was woefully uninformed and, ignorant.
Todd Akin needs to be convinced that the best thing for him to do is to get out of the race. However, the public spectacle that would ensue if he doesn’t get out, and the GOP, or someone, sues to have him removed, would also serve to damage our efforts. Trying to run a 3rd candidate would only guarantee McCaskill gets another term. It’s not a good situation, and the best thing for him to do, is to elect to get out, and let the damage get repaired. His selfish intransigence will only serve to make matters worse.
Cross-Posted to: Chairman of the Awkward Squad