This was an interesting week to say the least in the political world. We had the continued soap opera that is Reid v. Romney, the ongoing speculation on who Mitt Romney’s running mate may or may not be and buried beneath those storylines was the Republican primary for one of Missouri’s Senate seats.
The primary itself was for the right to take on incumbent senator Claire McCaskill who might be one of the most vulnerable Democrats in the country. McCaskill was elected in the first Democratic wave in 2006 and has been one of the more unpopular sitting Senators in the country and received a great deal of negative publicity over the usage of a private jet and flights funded by taxpayer dollars. So yes, if the GOP has any illusions of taking the Senate away from the Democratic Party; they must go through Missouri to do so.
For a while, the dream of flipping McCaskill’s seat the Republican Party looked promising as they had three credible challengers in businessman John Brunner, former state treasurer Sarah Steelman & sitting Rep. Todd Akin. All were running about even with McCaskill with Brunner & Steelman looking to be the more competitive contenders.
All the candidates had high-profile endorsements as well. Brunner received the backing of US Sen. Ron Johnson & Dick Armey’s FreedomWorks PAC and dropped a mind-boggling $7 million of his own money into his campaign. Steelman received the endorsement of Sarah Palin & The Tea Party Express while Akin was endorsed by conservative folk hero, Mike Huckabee.
When election day strolled around, it was still anybody’s race as far as anyone was concerned was a three-horse race but Akin appeared to be making a late-charge a la Creigh Deeds in the 2009 Democratic gubernatorial primary in Virginia.
But when the smoke settled, Akin was victorious by trumping Brunner & Steelman respectively. If there was one candidate McCaskill would fair best against, it would be Todd Akin.
But why? Who is this man and why is it imperative that progressives try to keep this man out of office?
#1-Akin Claims Liberalism Is Anti-God
After NBC removed the words “Under God” from its televised coverage of the US Open, Akin told a conservative radio host that he wasn’t shocked by the move as he stated that:
“Well, I think NBC has a long record of being very liberal, and at the heart of liberalism really is a hatred for God and a belief that government should replace God,” Akin told radio host Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council. “This is a systematic effort to try to separate our faith and God, which is a source in our belief in individual liberties, from our country. And when you do that you tear the heart out of our country.
Ahh yes, the often-repeated quip that liberals are all a bunch of Godless, anti-religious zealots who hate Chick-Fil-A because all liberals are sinners. Right? Now, to his credit, Akin apologized the next day by stating:
Akin, a Christian, expressed that he and his family would never “question the sincerity of anyone’s personal relationship with God. My statement during my radio interview was directed at the political movement, liberalism, not at any specific individual.”
Wait…what? That’s your apology? Notice that Akin didn’t expressly apologize for comparing liberalism to “God-hating” but by merely stating he wasn’t directing the remark at any individual. Did he really think that the big controversy was that he was throwing a veiled attack at someone?
But sure, he is a proud Christian; plenty of conservative Republicans are and plenty of them have made remarks regarding the faux “war on religion”. Surely there are numerous other reasons on why this man should be vilified right?
Well, don’t listen to me; instead read what the blog ThinkProgress had to state in their primer on Todd Akin.
Now, the main highlight for most people would not only be the “liberalism” comments but his actual legislative record on gay rights, or better yet, his actual legislative record on those who bully our LGBT friends in the military.
Akin’s proposed bill in ThinkProgress’s words means that “any servicemember would have free reign to express anti-gay views, regardless of what consequences they have to unit morale”. Yes, Todd Akin believes that gay-bashing is a-ok because of…the First Amendment? Make no mistake about it, Akin is not some martyr for the US Constitution, he’s simply just bitter that Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell was repealed.
This is only a piece of the puzzle that is Todd Akin. Now I know that Claire McCaskill won’t be mistaken for Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders any time soon. But would you rather have a henchman of Mike Huckabee in that Senate seat or a Democrat that is mostly a reliable vote for the caucus?
You make the decision, but I hope that you now know more about who Todd Akin truly is.