Posts Tagged ‘Senate Races’

Now That Every One Else Has Had Their Say on Akin…

Thursday, August 23rd, 2012

Dumb? Maybe. Evil?

I realize I am among the very last people on the planet to comment on the Todd Akin kerfuffle, but there’s a very good reason I’ve remained silent, watching all of this unfold with nary a word.  I’ve watched as the endless Republican pile-on brigades have pummeled this man relentlessly, and from this, I’ve drawn more conclusions about the critics than I have about Congressman Akin.  To say that I have been disappointed in a vast array of Republicans and conservatives is to understate severely my initial estimation, because while the man in question has apologized for his words, and while he’s run around bowing and capitulating in all ways but one, the vast body of the Republican party has been willing to flog him endlessly.  Obama and his team are eating this up, and if they could keep the Akin story going from now until Election Day, they surely would, but there are people who have added their own fuel to this fire, and whatever else I detest about politics, hypocrisy is chief among those things I find most foul.  To see Republicans behaving little different from Democrats makes me ill, and it’s about time, finally, as some of the din begins to die down, that we assess the real damage, and the performances of so many.

Akin himself should be ashamed, not so much for the controversial remark, but for his intractable responses in its wake.  His unwillingness to listen in the face of crippling attacks should give every person pause about his motives for seeking the Senate seat.  The irony in such a situation is that a man worthy of the seat would have stepped aside, while a candidate of questionable worthiness would almost certainly persist.  The only thing mitigating in his favor is that his opponent is Claire McCaskill, whose record is infinitely worse.  Despite his gaffe, he remains the better candidate of the two competing for the seat.  Still, Akin has been less awful than a number of his Republican critics, never mind the Democrats, and I think we owe ourselves a bit of honest discussion about that while we’re roasting Akin over an open fire.

Mitt Romney urged Akin to quit the race.  Here is a candidate who has over time accumulated his share of gaffes and verbal missteps, and yet he has the unmitigated gall to call on Akin to quit?  I call on Mitt Romney to quit, not that he will, again referencing my postulate above once more.  Mitt Romney should have quit when he said “I like being able to fire people,” or when he described himself as a “severe conservative,” or when he said he wanted to “maintain the progressivity of the tax code,” or any of a dozen things he ought not to have said, or ought to have said differently.  To me, the question of “legitimate rape” is no more preposterous than “severe conservatism,” and it should have offended no more of us.

Rush Limbaugh has called on Akin to quit.  I have two words for Limbaugh, and for those who agree with Limbaugh in this case, and yes, they are blunt:  “Sandra Fluke.”   Rush didn’t misspeak, and he didn’t state anything he hadn’t been trying to state, and yet while what he said in many ways was far worse, and far more damaging to conservatism,  it seems we’ve all forgotten that episode.  Well, most of us have.  On this basis, I suppose I ought to join the legion of leftists who have been agitating for Limbaugh’s banishment from the airwaves, but unlike Rush, whose apology I saw as sincere and heartfelt, I suppose he only sees one side of that coin.  Given how his audience supported him, and given also the way in which the fan base abandoned those sponsors who dumped him in the aftermath, one would think he could understand why it’s not a good idea to pull the rug from under an ally’s feet after one ill-considered sentence.  In the same way that his fans forgave him despite the media uproar created and rallied against him, most Republicans and conservatives in Missouri(and elsewhere) are willing to forgive Akin and carry him to victory against McCaskill if he’s their only choice.  Unless he quits, he is their only alternative to six more years of McCaskill.

Speaking of an “only choice,” let me get on to the Republican establishment, particularly the party apparatchiks who proclaim in bellicose words their intention to deny Akin any party funding in this cycle.  These are the same people who tell us now, and have told us for months, that Mitt Romney is our only choice, and we simply must defeat Barack Obama.  True enough, we must defeat Obama, and many conservatives have given grudging support to Romney over the last few months as they have seen Romney as the only remaining vehicle by which to remove  Barack Obama from the Oval Office.  While it’s a view I haven’t warmed to, I nevertheless understand it, and I fully sympathize with the implied threat of not voting for Romney.  What I don’t understand, and frankly cannot accept  is how this same party now tells Akin he must exit for the sake of the party, and for the sake of the country.  Shouldn’t they have exercised this same speech to Mitt Romney after the “I like to be able to fire people” remark?  No, instead they’ve told us how we must support Mitt, come what may, but that view doesn’t extend to Mr.Akin’s situation?  One could argue that Akin’s remarks were less severe in their damaging potential than some of Romney’s, and yet I hear no cries from RNC headquarters that it is time to “get over with this primary business” and “move on to the general election without further debate.”  Odd, isn’t it?  If it is so important to support Romney for the sake of ridding ourselves of Obama, isn’t it almost equally important to remove McCaskill who has been a water-carrier for Obama since day one?

As to the media at large, their response was predictable.  The famed coven of journ-o-listers and all their friends couldn’t wait to flog conservatives with Akin’s poorly chosen sentence.  What makes these things successful is when Republicans join in the game, adding fuel to the fire, and helping in all ways to further make a mountain of a mole-hill.  If Akin had simply said “I misspoke,” and thereafter refused to answer further questions about it, and had Republicans at large joined in so doing, this entire thing would have been quashed simply by disinterest.  It’s what the GOP establishment did over Boehner’s “knuckle-dragger” remarks, and that’s the tip-off.  It’s not that Republicans don’t know how to play this game, but that the GOP establishment is every bit as opportunist as the left.  Within hours of the comment, I was listening to a list of possible replacement candidates the GOP in Missouri might field in place of Akin if he would quit, and most of them hadn’t even been on the ballot in this year’s primary.  The establishment scrambled to try to seize the opportunity to get one of their own in, and when Akin refused to quit, they went ballistic.

This entire episode has been an eye-opener for me in many respects.  I’ve seen the media at its worst, and I’ve seen some in conservative media rush to imitate the left’s tactics.  From my point of view, while I supported another candidate in the Missouri Republican Senate primary and run-off, I was willing to fight for whomever the Republicans in Missouri nominated because all of them would be preferable to Claire McCaskill.  That’s still true.  What I’ve learned most from this Akin kerfuffle is that the GOP establishment can be far more scathing against fellow Republicans than even against Obama, and if that’s so, I must question their motives anew.  Whatever you think of Akin’s remarks, am I now to believe that the GOP establishment is interested in party unity for the sake of saving the country?  Beginning the day after this November’s elections, the Republican establishment will become my sole focus because I simply cannot tolerate their duplicity and hypocrisy any longer.  Akin’s sentence may have been ill-constructed, ill-considered, and malformed, but the GOP establishment is worse.  Take it from a “knuckle-dragger.”

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Ted Cruz Wins Texas Run-Off!

Wednesday, August 1st, 2012

On to the General Election!

Ted Cruz won Tuesday’s Senate run-off against Lt.Governor David Dewhurst in convincing fashion, defeating the Austin moderate by a margin of nearly ten points.  That’s a stunning win given how his campaign was outspent by Dewhurst, and it speaks to the commitment of activists all across the state, and a few notable conservatives who showed up to campaign for Cruz, including Sarah Palin, and Jim DeMint, but also that big voice on the evening airwaves, Mark Levin.  Tea Party Express worked tirelessly to get out the vote, and Amy Kremer must be ecstatic and exhausted.  Nevertheless, Cruz must still win the general election in November, but it’s a refreshing change to see that Austin insider David Dewhurst didn’t walk away with the nomination.  Texas conservatives and Tea Party patriots won a huge victory Tuesday over the Austin establishment!

Twitter was awash in comments all evening, and when various media outlets began to call the race, it was quickly a party of sorts as faithful re-Tweeters spread the word and celebrated.

Meanwhile, at 9pm central, Governor Palin took to the airwaves on Greta Van Susteren’s “On the Record” on FoxNews, and just before going on, she posted a note of congratulation to Ted Cruz on her Facebook page:

“Congratulations to Ted Cruz! This is a victory both for Ted and for the grassroots Tea Party movement. This primary race has always been about the kind of leadership we need in D.C. Our goal is not just about changing the majority in the Senate. It is about the kind of leadership we want. Ted Cruz represents the kind of strong conservative leadership we want in D.C. Go-along to get-along career politicians who hew the path of least resistance are no longer acceptable at a time when our country is drowning in debt and our children’s futures are at stake. The message of this race couldn’t be clearer for the political establishment: the Tea Party is alive and well and we will not settle for business as usual. Now, it’s on to November!”

For his part, Ted Cruz thanked Governor Palin, Senator DeMint, and all of his supporters and endorsers via Twitter immediately after the race was called, and Texas conservatives were able to bask for the remainder of the evening in the warm glow of victory!  Saturday, in attendance at a small, hastily assembled Cruz campaign stop in Waco, he noticed my Texas4Palin t-shirt, plastered with Cruz buttons, and he said: “Governor Palin really energizes a crowd, doesn’t she? She’s really terrific!” It was easy to see that he was thankful for her support, and appreciative of all the Texans who turned out for him at his stops around the state.

For my part, thanks to all of those who have re-tweeted my messages on Twitter in support of Ted Cruz, and thanks on behalf of a grateful state to Governor Palin, Senator DeMint, Mark Levin, Amy Kremer, and all of the others who so tirelessly labored to get our candidate the win.  It’s grass-roots activism at its finest, and I have had the great privilege of helping in a cause in which we dared not fail.  Thanks to the candidate himself, who ran a clean campaign in the face of withering, fraudulent attacks and dirty tricks from his opponent.  Congratulations to all!

Way to go Texas!  Now let’s help conservatives in other states as well!