Everyone is closing ranks on Todd Akin at this point-except for Kirk Cameron of all people (!) But Sean Hannity was doing everything but literally shoving him out of the race yesterday. Today Rush Limbaugh-of all people-was calling his comments "stupid and untrue."
That's highly significant for a whole host of reasons. Not only is Rush the one guy more than anyone else in the country who can by himself plausibly speak for American conservatives but he's also literally a Mt. Rushmore figure in his own home state of Missouri.
And Rush never criticizes Republicans. No one takes Ronald Reagan's 11th Commandment more seriously-Thous doest not criticize a fellow Republican-more canonically than Rush does.
. He did not go as far as so many other Republicans and tell him to quit. But he did urge him to think about the country and the needs of the party.
"Rush Limbaugh noted that he was hesitant to “join the mob” calling for Rep. Todd Akin to drop out of the Missouri U.S. Senate race after making controversial comments about “legitimate rape.”
“Democrats circle the wagons,” Limbaugh said. “We circle the firing squad.”
"Limbaugh agreed that Akin’s comments were “stupid” and “untrue.”
“There’s no evidence for this, this is absurd.” Limbaugh said, about Akin’s claim that a woman’s body “shuts down” preventing her from being impregnated by rape.
“What I think Mr. Akin should try to realize here as he makes his decision is that all of these things that he truly cares about will be much easier to make happen if we win the Senate and the White House and hold the House this November,” Limbaugh added. “He must put the nation and its future ahead of everything else that he’s considering. And I hope he comes to the right conclusion."
Rush, of course, did get in one jab at the Democrats by claiming that it's a double standard. While Akin is being criticized for his comments on rape, the Democrats have an "accused rapist" giving the opening speech at their convention-Bill Clinton.
True he was though, what he didn't say is that those charges were not in the least bit credible-he's referring to Juanita Broadrick.
However, if Rush isn't quite telling him to quit-though possibly suggesting that he does-the Republican establishment has been closing ranks on him. All the heavy hitters in Missouri-John Aschcroft-a possible replacement for Akin if he does step down, etc.
Until now, Akin has resisted. He thinks he has enough support. It doesn't hurt that a Democratic poll by PPP shows him with a 1 point lead even now.
Limbaugh, interestingly, suggested that this poll was a fake, that it was weighted towards Republicans to make it look as if he's still OK, to encourage him to stay in; ie, the Democrats are deliberately trying to give the impression that he remains strong.
All I can say it more power to them if this is true. Akin was on Huckabee again today and insists he's not leaving. While he has lost millions of dollars in cash-the RSCC has pulled support as has Karl Rove's CrossRoads, he still wants to believe and dioes have some supporters still. Patt Robertson said what he said was wrong but that Republicans must not do a "circular firing squad."
Kirk Cameron-Mr. Mike Seaver, Mr. Growing Pains-is defending him. Has Kirk Cameron done anything since Growing Pains? Has he been in any decent movies? I ask this sincerely, I don;'t know. If so I'm unaware.
However, the bottom line is that I for one hopes he does stay in. Yes, it helps Claire McCaskill and it helps the Democrats nationally.
Even more importantly though, Akin staying in the race is sort of like Romney choosing Ryan for Veep: it's honest.
In truth the Republicans are fine with what he said. They wish he hadn't put in so "inelegantly"-as if saying that you think rape victims should be forced to have a rape baby to term can be put in an elegant way-but in truth they agree with him.
Even Romney's sudden declaration that he and Ryan-who co-sponsored the Personhood Amednment with this very same Todd Akin-is just more smoke and mirrors.
The fact is that the GOP doesn't believe abortion is every acceptable, they don't really believe in any exceptions. And even if they did, it'd be meaningless. If abortion is illegal in all other cases it won't be available at any decent health care facility any way. The claim that that Romney has an exception for rape is about as plausible as the idea that Ryan's budget only voucherizes Medicare beneficiaries under 55.
It may sound logically plausible, if you have no idea how the law of supply and demand works. In truth if the young are voucherized there will be no money for the old anyway. If abortion is illegal in every other instance it won't be available for these extenuating circumstances.
However, most of all, the GOP in its heart of hearts doesn't believe in exceptions. Today, they decided not to add in a rape exception to opposition to abortion. Not only this but the vote was not close-no one voted to put it in. What's more, there's not even any exception for the life of the mother-how meaningful then is Romney-Ryan's exception for the life of the mother?
"Even as Mitt Romney sought to quash the furor surrounding Todd Akin’s “legitimate” rape comments, the Republican platform committee here approved an abortion plank that includes no exemptions for rape, incest or even to save the life of the mother."
"The platform committee instead approved draft language Tuesday, calling for a “Human Life Amendment” that gives legal protection to the unborn. Democrats quickly labeled the GOP language the “Akin Plank,” referring to the Missouri Senate candidate’s statements that victims of “legitimate rape” rarely get pregnant."
"On Tuesday, not one of the 100-plus members on the GOP platform committee introduced amendments. They kept the identical language from 2004 and 2008."
Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0812/79945.html#ixzz24CtZHCO8
Reince Priebus, RNC Chairman, defended the plank this way:
"Earlier Tuesday, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus defended the platform’s language.
“This is the platform of the Republican party,” he said. “It is not the platform of Mitt Romney.”
Is Romney not a Republican? Has Priebus himself and every other major Republican not criticized Akn's comments? Is Romney out of step with the Republican party as he does claim to support exceptions for rape and the life of the mother? How is this a defense then? The Republican party opposes abortion. Period. Full Stop.