What was/is Todd Akin thinking?
Really. What was Todd Akin thinking when he uttered the phrase “legitimate rape”? What was throbbing through his gray matter that made him state that women who are in the process of being raped can somehow internally prevent fertilization?
I listened to Todd Akin mount an incoherent apology/defense on Sean Hannity’s radio show today and heard the nonsensical ramblings of a politician who clearly isn’t aware that his career is taking on the appearance of the Hindenburg.
First, I cannot think of any circumstance when it would be helpful to have your name associated with the phrase “legitimate rape.” I believe his tortured point was that a woman who is actually, conclusively, legitimately being raped can fire down her ovaries like the thrusters on a space shuttle. As opposed to what? An illegitimate rape? It makes no sense on an intellectual or biological level. It’s breathtaking mix of stupidity and offensiveness. Yet, somehow that was his answer in defending his position that abortion is inexcusable even in the case of rape.
Akin was roundly and justifiably criticized. Akin apologized, and I believe his apology is sincere, and on a personal level, I forgive him. But on a political level this cannot be forgiven. Which leads me to ask, What is Todd Akin thinking right now as the 5 p.m. Tuesday deadline nears to cleanly withdraw his candidacy so he can be smoothly replaced on the ballot?
Here’s what we know (rather than me linking, just Google it if you don’t believe me):
1. Several senators (Scott Brown, Ron Johnson) have either called for him to exit the race, or distanced themselves from him.
2. Sen. John Cornyn, who leads the Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee, flatly told Akin he will not get the $5 million in funds earmarked for his campaign should he stay in the race.
3. One of the GOP Super Pacs similarly said it was pulling its rescources from Akin if he doesn’t pull out.
4. Even the head of one of the national Tea Party groups called on Akin to quit, as did the National Review, Washington Examiner, and other conservative groups.
5. RNC Chairmain Reince Priebus has called on Akin to not only withdraw, but not even to step foot near the Republican National Convention next week.
6. His opponent, the land-slideably beatable Claire McCaskill, wants him to remain in the race.
So what is Akin thinking right now? Apparently, “I can still win this!” I wouldn’t be surprised if he actually believes this because it defies all logic and common sense, two characteristics he demonstrated he clearly doesn’t have.
It all boils down to pride. And as Marsellus Wallace explained to Butch the boxer in Pulp Fiction, Akin’s probably feeling a “slight sting. That’s pride f**king with you. F**k pride. Pride only hurts. It never helps. You fight through that sh*t.”
As I write this, Akin has less than 20 hours to realize the following:
1. He has zero financial support. He’s the Facebook of Senate candidates right now. Why would you invest your money in something that’s so clearly failed and not living up to expectations?
2. He has zero political support. Do you think Mitt Romney would step foot on the same stage with Todd Akin during a campaign stop in Missouri? If Todd Akin approaches another Republican, even if it’s to ask for a stick of gum, you will see that Republican flee for the hills.
3. Missourians may be displeased with incumbent Sen. Claire McCaskill’s six years in office, but she’s not breathtakingly stupid and ignorant, and voters will reward her with another term rather than be represented by someone who should be frolicking in the Forbidden Land of the Sophists with Joe Biden.
4. Akin’s continued presence in the race will harm Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan and other Republicans who will be continually tied to Akin as long as he’s pleading for votes.
I can see this. Everyone in the United States who has an inkling about how politics works, and who realizes perception plays a far more important role than substance (i.e., the 44th President of the United States) can see this clearly playing out.
One man’s pride prohibits him from seeing all of this. Todd Akin. Which leads me to my opening thought. What is Todd Akin thinking?