Akin Turns the Tables

I have no idea what Missouri Republican Senate nominee Todd Akin is going to do today, when he really needs to withdraw his name from the ballot or stay in the race for the duration. I’m expecting a dispatch shortly from our own, and Missouri’s own, Blue Girl about how it’s all going over in the Show-Me state. But one thing’s for sure: Akin has turned the tables on his intra-party tormenters. Yesterday afternoon they hit him with a barrage that would have driven most anyone weeping to their knees: the money people bailed on him, the national party bailed on him, the party’s presidential nominee treated him like a leper, and worst of all, he went on Hannity’s radio show and Sean Hannity told him to get out of the race.

So what did Akin do? He launched a new ad in Missouri apologizing for his bizarre and offensive remarks on rape and pregnancy, but not for anything else, and acting as though he has no plans to quit. And now, having pretty much depleted their arsenal, anxious Republicans are waiting on him, powerless in the end to dispose of him instantly as they want to do. The timing is terrible, since this rare peek into the churning minds of antichoicers coincides with the Republican Convention Platform Committee’s quadrennial rubber-stamping of a position on abortion identical to Akin’s.

It’ll be an interesting day. But at the moment, it’s Todd Akin who’s in the driver’s seat.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.