Dear Todd Akin
The last few weeks for you have undoubtedly been, let’s say, rather difficult since you said,
If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. But let’s assume that maybe that didn’t work or something. I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be on the rapist and not attacking the child.
That lone comment took you from well ahead of Claire McCaskill to behind her, it damaged you in Missouri, and shut off the cash flow you’ll need to win down the stretch. This probably seems unfair. After all, Democrats say equally obnoxious things all the time and seem to survive it without a scratch. Moreover, you’re not a bad guy and it’s not as if you smeared rape victims. You were just trying to make the point that children of rape aren’t responsible for how they’re conceived. That’s a valid point and in an ideal world, children of rape wouldn’t be aborted.
Additionally, you’ve had a long proud career that has taken you from the Navy, to the Missouri State House, to Congress. Should that long, respectable career end under a cloud because you made one dumb remark? How can that be fair, especially when almost every Republican who has criticized you would admit, if push came to shove, that they’d prefer to have you in the Senate rather than Claire McCaskill?
So, why should you quit before that last deadline, when the Republican Party may be able to replace you with another candidate?
There are two reasons you should quit.
The first is that fair or unfair, right or wrong, politics is a big popularity contest and your remark probably made you too unpopular to win. Oh, I know. Just like you, I’ve seen the polls that have you knotted up with McCaskill. You’ll also probably get a boost because Romney is going to beat Obama in the state. Still, McCaskill has an advantage that you don’t have; she’s going to spend you into the ground down the stretch and you won’t have the capability to respond. She’s going to beat you on TV, she’s going to beat you on radio, she’s going to beat you in the ground game. Before your remark, even that probably wouldn’t have been enough. Now, your approval rating is even lower that McCaskill’s and her war chest should allow her to run right over you. Yes, you might actually surprise everyone and pull it off, but let’s not kid ourselves — the odds against that happening are long.
That brings us to the second reason: Your legacy. Since you’re highly likely to lose, going to DC probably isn’t in the cards. So, do you want to be the Republican who made a gaffe and ultimately did the honorable thing for the good of the conservative movement and the country or do you want to be the selfish jerk who threw away a gimmie seat even though “everyone knew” he was a dead dog loser after his “legitimate rape” comments? You can be the good guy who had a tough break or a bad guy who was a bad break for conservatives. Five years from now, do you want conservatives who you respect saying, “Poor Todd Akin,” or “Poor us for getting stuck with a candidate like Todd Akin?”
The clock is ticking and there’s still time to do the right thing…