It’s getting really ugly for Missouri Rep. Todd Akin — and we’re not talking about his comb-over. The congressman is still smarting over Republican Party echelons calling for him to step aside and allow a (hopefully) less gaffe-prone candidate to take on U.S. Senate Democratic challenger Claire McCaskill. Republican Party Chairman Reince Priebus, during an appearance on CNN’s ‘Out Front,’ urged the congressman to “step aside and let someone else run for that office.” The GOP Chairman added that he “prefer that Todd Akin do the right thing for our party and our candidates” and “not come” to the RNC Convention in Tampa the end of August. Akin responded that he will agree to not attending the convention, but as for dropping out of the senate race…hell no!
Akin is befuddled over the controversy, telling Mike Huckabee on Tuesday, “I misspoke one word in one sentence on one day, and all of a sudden, overnight, everybody decides, ‘Well, Akin can’t possibly win.’ Well, I don’t agree with that.” Well, technically it was two words: legitimate rape; individually, not so troubling, but when combined…nuclear. You know, if ole Todd had said afterward, “Gee, what a stupid way to phrase my thoughts…I think I had a little bit of sunstroke that day. Or maybe someone gave me a glass of Jim Beam instead of Lipton iced tea before I made that statement. I don’t know.I keeeed, I keeeed. Seriously.” Nope, just the ubiquitous, ambiguous “I misspoke” excuse…which covers EVERYTHING, right?
So, since Akin isn’t dropping out of the senate race anytime soon and thus will not have dibs on that sweet $5 million advertising war chest, the beleaguered congressman is turning to his hardcore base for donations: Christian evangelicals, anti-choice activists, and anti-establishment Republicans (aka Tea Party Republicans). Akin has been soliciting money via his proofreading-challenged website (“you’re” is misspelled several times) and Twitter account, complaining that it’s not ranking Republicans trying to bully him out of the senate race, but the “liberal elite.” Because, you know, Republicans get pushed around all the time by those scary, powerful “liberal elites.” These “liberal elites” must be Avengers-style ninja types who lurk in the shadows scaring the crap out of GOP upper echelons. I guess the whole arugula-eating thing is just a cover for the real red-meat gnawing “liberal elites”…the ones that extreme right-wing mothers warn their children about before they say their prayers at night. “If you should watch even one episode of Game of Thrones, the Liberal Elite will fly down from their shadowy eyrie in the dark, evil land of Socialism and will come in the night and steal your teeth…and your soul…and distribute them to other children.” Yeah, those “liberal elites.” Be afraid, very afraid.
Now Akin has admitted that his anti-abortion legislation co-sponsor buddy, Rep. Paul Ryan (and annointed Mitt Romney running mate), has “advised me that it would be good for me to step down.” Even Ryan himself is running away from the ‘forcible rape’ definition and embracing Romney’s slightly less draconian approach to the abortion issue. Here’s a bit of a silver lining for the Mitt Romney campaign over this abortion fracas: at least there’s been fewer bleats regarding the whereabouts of his errant tax returns and how long his tenure at Bain Capital actually lasted.