OPINION: Grow a Spine: Why the GOP are Wimps for Believing Akin Needs to Leave

Would it really be an election season in America without some ginned up controversy dominating the airwaves, totally and inherently smothering actual productive and rational discourse?

Of course not—this modern political climate is a joke (a joke long gone stale after overzealous usage became abusing the carcass of the proverbial dead horse, but a joke nevertheless) and shows no indication of changing.

The most recent incantation of the joke, the attacks upon Representative Todd Akin (R-MO)—who is running against Claire McCaskill (D-MO) for one of Missouri’s senate seats—for his absurdly stupid comments regarding “legitimate rape,” is just as stale as the anteceding “jokes” of the campaign, such as that faux play on “civility” and Mitt Romney’s taxes (“The word’s out, let him prove me wrong! LOL”). He—Akin—said something absurd, stupid, and factually illegitimate. But, we get it: he’s human, and he screwed up. And he’s apologized profusely. If you disagree with him in policy decisions, good for you. Voice said opposition—you’re guaranteed a voice by the first amendment. So, now that we’ve got that out of the way, we can move on to substantive policy discussion and why he justifiably is—or is not—the right man for the job of Senator.

h/t Women’s Health Foundation



Ugh. No, unfortunately not. People on all sides of the political spectrum are still harping on this issue. Left, right, wherever. To that, I must wonder aloud, why is the punditry and candidacy on the right still harping on this issue? To continue to do so is stupid, petulant, and above all, it undermines the chances the Republicans have to take back the senate in November. Defying “conventional wisdom,” I agree with the Missouri Republican Assembly:

“The Republican leadership needs to grow a spine and disallow the Democrats, who always support their candidates even when they are wrong, to dictate our stance,” the group’s statement said. “… While Todd may have been indiscreet in his word choice, he was not wrong in his facts. Todd can win despite this misstep. All Republicans will lose if they continue throwing their candidates under the bus because of a poor word choice.” —h/t CNN

Republicans desperately need to grow a spine, cut the infighting, stand up to the democrats and the (quote, unquote) liberal media, and win the damn race.

Ad hominem aside, the game being played in Missouri—actually, who am I kidding, nationwide—is akin to a game of bitty-basketball I played at the tender age of five-years-old. Needless to say, it didn’t end well for me. I ran around the court, waving my arms, and playing on defense the entire time. I still remember, fifteen years later, my mother wondering aloud, seemingly bewildered, “He played defense the whole game! Why?!” I sit here now, banging my head on the proverbial table, wondering the exact same thing about the Republican Party, both nationally and on this state level. It seems as though they—much like myself playing bitty-ball—don’t fully comprehend the situation at hand.

Here, let me give you a grown-up example:

What would happen if [insert your favorite football team here] had literally no offensive capabilities to speak of, but had a decent defense squad to at least be able to shut down the other team from time to time? If you said something along the line of your-favorite-team scoring zero points while shutting down the other team, but ultimately allowing them to score a few touchdowns, congratulations on your prescience because you read my mind.

That’s essentially what’s happening with the Republican Party in their opposition to the Democrats. Sure, they have a decent response team that does pretty well from time to time in responding to the malicious and overall ridiculous attacks they endure daily. But, literally, there is no offensive capability in their response array. The Democrats literally own every message, whether that is Mitt Romney’s taxes or Akin’s stupid comments.

I mean, just think about it: You have Senator Reid, abusing his privilege of pulpit (and rational, logical discourse), saying “Look at him, not paying his taxes for 10 whole years! He’s a felon! Let him prove me wrong!” And, in trademark styling, Romney’s camp responds, begrudgingly, “Harry’s a liar—put up or shut u—“, inevitably interrupted by incessant, inane calls such as, “WHY HASN’T MITT ROMNEY GIVEN US TAX RETURNS?”

…and that was one of his stronger responses, of which, admittedly, I was almost proud.

Basically, the Republicans need to realize that this modern political climate is nasty, and to win in a nasty climate, you can’t be clean. An ultimate form of defeat is to defeat an opponent at his own game—truly, it would be a refreshing change of pace to watch the Republicans dominate a message for once, rather than the Democrats and their trademark demagoguery. The only way to continually win is to grow a spine and to stand up for yourself. Admit it when you’ve made a mistake—as in the case of Akin—and move back to policy. When the opponent doesn’t want to, hit back hard but change it up. The simple, “Distractions” line about a lack of substance, etc simply won’t work in every case.

He knows all about the nastiness. h/t Divided States


This is the way to win Missouri’s senate seat—and subsequently unseat Claire McCaskill, a veteran member of the Democratic Party’s senate group—and it would be monumental victory. It’s something Republicans can’t take lightly if they want that coveted majority in the senate. To continue to let others dominate their message shows just how lightly they’re treading, as if they’re afraid to get a bit messy in a climate that’s a perpetual cyclone of mud, filth, and trash.

Alas, the gig is up, the joke’s been told. Now it’s time to see how the Republicans are going to respond. Are they going to blush and hold their head down and reply, “No, that isn’t true!” or are they going to give back just as well as they got? If they truly wish to attain that majority, they’d offer up and throw back.

I guess we’ll see, won’t we?

h/t STLToday.com for featured image

  • Red Smitty

    Akin should drop out. A mistake is calling you Todd when your name is Scott. Misspeaking is when you say 9% when you mean 6%. Akin should run on why his party has continually thwarted President Obama to put people back to work since they GOP thinks welfare is a sin. Why they repeal #ACA 33 times. Created no budget plan, jobs plan or plan to improve the crumbling infrastructure. The 2010 mid term elections were all about jobs,jobs,jobs! Well where are they? 46 bills on abortion, 113 bills on religion, 73 bills on family relationships, 36 bills on marriage, 72 bills on firearms, 604 bills on taxiation and 467 bills on government investigations. 0 bills on creating jobs!

    • No, Akin shouldn’t drop out. If you want to debate talking po–I mean, policy, that’s fine. Keep up the good work, but you and I disagree on semantics. That’s fine, too. What exactly would you define it as, if not mistake? An error? A blunder? An aberration? Or, my personal favorite, a Biden-ism?

      • Red Smitty

        Even Mitch McConnell who I disagree with on policy says he should step aside Romney says he supports abortion in cases of rape, incest and protecting the life of the mother but chooses a vp candidate who shares the same extremist views on abortion and even co-sponored an anti abortion bill using the term forcible rape! Was that another place the GOP misspoke? I was under the mistaken impression that all rape was forcible. Even Joe Scarborough says he is tired of candidates in his party saying stupid things. If Obama said what Akin did would you as forgiving or would you call for him to drop out?

        • Another post, another (set of) logical fallacy (fallacies). Lovely!

          This time, instead of a non-sequitur we have ad populum, faulty assumptions, and ad verecundiam. I couldn’t care less about these people and the positions they hold when they espouse such opinions, hence my quip about “defying conventional wisdom” and whatnot. Simply because someone–or a group of people–say something, doesn’t mean they’re correct. It’s what I lovingly call the “Echo Chamber” phenomenon.

          I would demand you answer my question before humoring you on this, but I doubt you’d do it anyway, so I’ll just dive right in.

          So, basically, it’s political insanity to choose a running mate that may not share every single belief you do. Interesting. I certainly wasn’t aware of that. Would you mind emailing Governor Romney about that, because I’m sure he’d take that into consideration before the convention actually starts.

          If Obama said something stupid and apologized for it, certainly I’d forgive him. Just as I did for Hilary Rosen about her “working mothers” comment.

          Care to actually respond to the points made this time? Oh, and don’t forget that question in my first response.

          Edit: Silly me, I forgot to list another fallacy! Paragraph’s been corrected.

  • Red Smitty

    Not until you answer my orginal comment about all the bills that the GOP Congess has put out instead of the mantra of jobs,jobs,jobs. Rob Portman or Marco Rubio would have been better choices for vice president. I myself like Ron Paul. Mitt Romney is too liberal see his time as Massachusetts Governor.

    Rep Akin made a dumb comment and no amount of apology can erase what he said. It is unforgivable. But what can you expect from the Chairman of a party who doesn’t call for members of his party to town down the retoric from Michele Bachmann calling Hilary Clinton aide a member of the muslim brotherhood to Alan West saying that Debbie Wasserman Schultz is not a lady and the most despicable member of Congress. As libertarian I will say that I haven’t heard Democratic members of Congress call republican members name or treat them with uttter disrespect. I would like to return to a time before Fox news and talk radio when ideas were discussed. Instead of the viterol from a Texas judge saying that if Obama is re-elected that an armed insurrection and civil war will breakout.

    • Interestingly enough, I replied to the parts pertaining to the topic, which sadly was only that first sentence. The rest was quite… irrelevant.

      If you seem so keen on insisting liberal policies, why exactly are you labeling yourself a libertarian? I don’t think you know what that word means, otherwise you wouldn’t be lambasting the GOP for being so inordinately obstinate in their pursuit of shutting Obama’s agenda down. There’s nothing “libertarian” about advocating welfare; there’s nothing “libertarian” about shutting down speech–no matter how vile you believe it is.

      Besides, you are factually incorrect in saying the GOP has produced no budget plan. You are absolutely false, as the House passed Paul Ryan’s plan years ago and nothing became of it in the Senate. If you wish to hurl pejoratives at someone, make it Senator Harry Reid, who absolutely refuses to bring one forth, citing its “unnecessary” nature. As for your “jobs” spiel, that tells me all I need to know about your “libertarianism,” re: it’s false. If you truly were a libertarian, you’d be applauding them for not taking the government-first approach.

      I, personally, also wonder what it would take for you to grant someone amnesty after an apology has been issued.