If only Akin was Torricelli …
Why am I, a New Jersey resident, furious with Todd Akin?
The Missouri Republican Senate candidate’s breathtaking ignorance and stupidity regarding rape and conception not only immediately imperiled GOP chances to pick up a winnable seat held by the unpopular Claire McCaskill, but gave Democrats ammunition to lob at Republicans up and down ballots nationwide, including Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan.
Everyone on the planet knows this. Everyone except the delusional Todd Akin, currently a congressman. He let pass a 5 p.m. Tuesday deadline that would’ve allowed him clean exit from the race, keeping this entirely unnecessary distraction front and center ahead of next week’s GOP convention.
Akin can still withdraw from the ballot, but would need a court order. So it’s still possible to salvage this potential pickup, but Akin’s obliviousness to the continued damage he’s doing gives me no hope. Here are some nuggets from radio interviews Akin did Tuesday explaining why he’s staying in the race (hat-tip to Sean Hannity for grilling Akin):
1. “My interest in this race has nothing to do with me. It has to do with who we are as a nation.”
Whenever anyone says that something of dire importance “has nothing to do with me” it usually means it has “everything to do with me.” Akin doesn’t realize that if this race truly had nothing to do with him, then there’s no reason for him to stay on the ballot. The same issues he champions can still have a voice in the Senate — an articulate voice connected to a sharp mind.
2. “I think it will help Romney and I think it’s going to help the Republican party.”
I audibly groaned upon hearing this and remember thinking “he has no clue.” Hannity asked Akin that if his continued presence indeed would help the GOP, wouldn’t the Republicans and Romney be asking him to stay on the ballot? Akin of course had no logical answer. Hannity asked Akin how many Senate Republicans asked him to stay in the race. Akin: “None, but …”
3. “Don’t you think he may have bid this thing up and made a bigger deal about it than he needed to?” Akin asked Hannity of Romney. “Why couldn’t he run his race, and I’ll run mine?”
With that final question, Akin cemented the notion behind the popular Tuesday Twitter tweet: “There is no reasoning with an idiot.” I don’t fault Hannity for not telling Akin the following because Akin clearly can’t comprehend it: “Because all of these races are interconnected. Democrats will continually link your ignorance and stupidity to Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, who will not be able to effectively campaign in Missouri as long as you are there trying to salvage your political career. Romney and Ryan cannot campaign alongside you. Romney and Ryan cannot even be seen with you.” This gets back to Akin’s inability to grasp that he is making this race all about him. He believes Missouri exists in a bubble and that nothing he says or does will have any bearing outside of it. Savvier politicians, however, would.
So, why am I, a New Jersey resident, furious with Todd Akin? I live in a state that hasn’t elected a Republican to the U.S. Senate since the 1970s. Robert Menendez is up for re-election and likely will beat his challenger. Why? Because it’s New Jersey. We like high taxes, overspending, and ignoring the natural resources off of our shorelines. We reward our politicians who vote for huge stimulus packages and Obamacare. We believe in state Supreme Court-mandated financial redistribution to continually failing school districts. I’m mad because I wish we had a chance to pick up a senate seat in my state, but we don’t. Missouri was one of the best opportunities and unfortunately the choice is now between the unpopular incumbent and someone whose skull is an impregnable fortress protecting nothing.
One of our former corrupt senators, Robert Torricelli, was losing badly in his quest for reelection to the Senate in 2002. The Democrats forced him off the ticket with around a month to go before the election. (There was a court battle because a late deadline passed, but the state Supreme Court decided New Jersey deserved a choice.) The Democrats trotted out former U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg, who easily beat the GOP opponent who would’ve crushed Torricelli. I remember Torricelli’s tearful remarks upon ducking out of the race. His political career was over. But he understood what was best for his party and not him. It’s abundantly clear the Republicans in Missouri are not as fortunate.