Todd Akin remains on the ballot in Missouri, despite the fumings of the entire GOP punditocracy. He picked up a reaffirmed endorsement from Mike Huckabee on Thursday, which bears quoting at length:
The Party’s leaders have for reasons that aren’t rational, left [Akin] behind on the political battlefield, wounded and bleeding, a casualty of his self-inflicted, but not intentional wound. In a Party that supposedly stands for life, it was tragic to see the carefully orchestrated and systematic attack on a fellow Republican. Not for a moral failure or corruption or a criminal act, but for a misstatement which he contritely and utterly repudiated. I was shocked by GOP leaders and elected officials who rushed so quickly to end the political life of a candidate over a mistaken comment in an interview. This was a serious mistake, but it was blown out of proportion not by the left, but by Akin’s own Republican Party. Is this what the party really thinks of principled pro-life advocates? Do we forgive and forget the verbal gaffes of Republicans who are “conveniently pro-life” for political advantage, but crucify one who truly believes that every life is sacred?
Who ordered this “Code Red” on Akin? There were talking point memos sent from the National Republican Senatorial Committee suggesting language to urge Akin to drop out. Political consultants were ordered to stay away from Akin or lose future business with GOP committees. Operatives were recruited to set up a network of pastors to call Akin to urge him to get out. Money has changed hands to push him off the plank. It is disgraceful. From the spotlights of political offices and media perches, it may appear that the demand for Akin’s head is universal in the party. I assure you it is not. There is a vast, but mostly quiet army of people who have an innate sense of fairness and don’t like to see a fellow political pilgrim bullied. If Todd Akin loses the Senate seat, I will not blame Todd Akin. He made his mistake, but was man enough to admit it and apologize. I’m waiting for the apology from whoever the genius was on the high pedestals of our party who thought it wise to not only shoot our wounded, but run over him with tanks and trucks and then feed his body to the liberal wolves. It wasn’t just Todd Akin that was treated with contempt by the thinly veiled attack on Todd Akin. It was all the people who have faithfully knocked doors, made calls, and made sacrificial contributions to elect Republicans because we thought we were welcome in the party. Todd Akin owned his mistake. Who will step up and admit the effort being made to discredit Akin and apologize for the sleazy way it’s been handled?
I’ve always believed and still do, that if you don’t honor your friendships, you don’t honor yourself. And I consider Todd a friend. So I will join Todd as often as I can, in his fight for our Party’s pro-life policies, traditional marriage and our efforts to rein in the massive expansion of government under President Obama. Todd is being systematically scourged for one thing he said. Is that more important than what Claire McCaskill has DONE over her 6 years in the Senate? If you’d like to join the fight, and help defeat a Democrat Senator standing in the way of a conservative majority, I encourage you to join me. The party has decided it won’t help. In fact, it has decided that it will try to cut off the supply lines to Akin to pressure him to exit and let the party bosses overturn the voters of Missouri and pick their own candidate. If this can happen to Todd Akin, who is next?
I’ve heard the talk of new deadlines and the nonsense about the Republican Party running a 3rd party candidate, but I am no longer listening to that noise. The idea that our Party would continue to play games behind the scenes and feed the Democrats make-believe narrative of the GOP’s fictional war on women is equally ridiculous. Now is the time to focus on electing a conservative Senate Majority. And if the NRSC and RNC and the money-rich PACS won’t help Todd Akin get us to the majority, then we’ll do it without them. And his seat will not have been sold to the highest bidder, but obtained by the highest principles.
I’ve said my piece about Akin, but it cheers me no end to see someone of Huckabee’s stature in the GOP — far higher than Akin’s or indeed, many of Akin’s detractors — stand so forthrightly behind him. Huckabee used to have quite a few admirers in TAC circles; he is smart, has unusual people skills, is a good and moral person. For a while in 2008, some foreign policy experts who also write for TAC were giving him advice — as I recall, it was something along the lines of “do unto others as you would have others do unto you.” I don’t want to go overboard here; Huck recently said some Christian Zionist stuff that I found pretty crazy. But unlike the man at the top of the ticket, he doesn’t set one’s phoniness detectors shooting over their redlines.
Huckabee’s intervention exposes and widens the fissure I alluded to between social conservative Republicans and the party establishment, which is now an unholy alliance between the rich who care about cutting taxes, and the neocons who care about starting a war with Iran (not that there aren’t rich neocons, but foreign policy rules if you are a neocon). The folks who want to stop abortion are expected to tag along for the ride. Maybe a President Romney will offer up a nice phone call that can be broadcast by loudspeaker on March for Life Day. But if you think the Koch brothers, or Sheldon Adelson, or any of the big bucks people who are spending frantically to elect Republicans this cycle have the slightest concern for the unborn, you are mistaken. The Huckabee-Akin breakout unpacks that a little bit. GOP politics might get a bit interesting.