I recently called for congressman Todd Akin to quit his Senate race in Missouri because of comments he made regarding the likelihood of conception during rape.
Commentor Ilion took me to task for my abandonment of a man of obvious integrity and a pro-life stalwart:
... when the leftists turn their well-oiled hoot-machine against a presumptive conservative, the Republicans abondom him, post haste. But, no matter what a Democrat does, so long as he is useful to the furtherance of the leftist agenda, the Democrats turn their hoot-machine against those trying to bring his misdeeds to light.
Even if what you'd seaid were actually true, don't you think it odd that you cannot see the self-defeating flaw in the pattern?...
if conservative are going to oppose Akin, it should be for solidly conservative reasons, not because the hysterics and histrionics of the leftists and their "liberal" puppets, who have no intention of allowing a rational (and charitable) examination of what he said … and meant.
It would be like me or you worrying about – and conforming ourselves to – the lies and intellectual dishonesty of that ‘anonymouse’ troll immediately above...
is the fact that a (presumptively conservative) politician did not speak with the careful precision with which some persons (me, for example) habitually write, such that the imprecise and non-felicitous thing he said is dishonestly used by the leftists, of all people, to make it sound as though he said something wicked, a solidly conservative reason for conservatives to demand he commit sepukku?
Ilion had a point. So I thought about it, a lot actually.
Then I read this fine essay by Mike Huckabee (excerpt):
Since Todd Akin made his infamous remark in what was an unfortunate and awkward attempt to explain his strong pro-life position, I have openly spoken out about what was a disproportionately harsh reaction from party officials and elected officials, all of whom didn’t merely distance themselves from Akin’s statement (understandable), but distanced themselves from him personally and politically and proceeded to publicly call for his head on a platter as surely as Herod demanded the head of John the Baptist. Both John the Baptist and Todd Akin said things that the institutional power structure didn’t like. Todd Akin admitted his error, publicly apologized for his comment, and asked for forgiveness. John the Baptist recanted nothing he said and shouldn’t have since it was the truth. I talked to Todd Akin on my daily radio show as he made his first public statements following his comments. He was contrite, he sincerely stated that he was factually incorrect in his statement, and apologized for having said it. He didn’t excuse his comments, justify, or rationalize them.
Despite that, calls were swift, public and brutal not merely suggesting, but demanding that he just up and quit. I was shocked. I’ve seen fellow Republicans get caught in scandals of adultery, drunkenness, corruption, and other forms of shocking behavior and never recall seeing such a systematic and orchestrated attempt to destroy a man’s candidacy and his life from HIS OWN PARTY! I wrote a strong rebuttal to the curious actions of party officials and suggested that someone had called a “code red” to take down Todd Akin. I was called and had numerous messages from current and former Senators and Congressmen, and from party officials and political operatives who all but begged me to “get Akin out of the race.” Some of them surprised me and disappointed me. It was as if all were reading from the same talking points as a carefully contrived script that had been handed out. I asked one of them if he had spent 2 years risking all to get a nomination for his Senate seat for which he had received ZERO party support and had a verbal gaffe and then the very people who didn’t want him in demanded that he get out, would HE do it? Silence at the other end of the phone and then the subject was changed.
There is no question that Akin is an excellent conservative and an excellent candidate. I still disagree with his comment on rape and conception-- he has repudiated it, in fact-- but I was wrong to demand that he resign. The hyaenas on the left deserve no homage. A party that idolizes woman-killer Ted Kennedy and elected serial sexual abuser Bill Clinton and nominated "silky pony" John Edwards has no business dictating rules on public discussion of rape and sexual morality.
Mr. Akin will make an outstanding Senator from Missouri. He has my support, and my apology.