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Let's not go overboard on the Todd Akin controversy

By Scott Tibbs, August 31, 2012

I have said previously that I think Todd Akin should step down and allow another candidate to take his place in the effort to unseat Claire McCaskill. And while I think the Republican Party would be better off with a different candidate, some of the hysterical freaking out about Akin's comments (for which he apologized, by the way) has gotten silly.

Right now, Akin is the Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in Missouri. If he does not drop out by the deadline in September, he will be the Republican candidate in November, and Republicans should support him. Republican groups and the party establishment yanked support from Akin in an effort to convince him to drop out, but if he does not drop out some of that support should be restored.

Obviously, depending on how the race looks in late September, the level of support should be reasonable and money should be allocated in the way it can make the most impact. What Akin said was stupid and counterfactual, but right now he is our candidate and if he does not drop out he will continue to be our candidate.

What is most infuriating is this nonsense about a third party run, floated by Sarah Palin last week. That is completely irresponsible and would hand the election to the Democrats. This is something no Republican - moderate or conservative - wants to see happen. We cannot win a three way contest between an "independent" Republican, the official GOP nominee and McCaskill. The best we could hope for is having McCaskill win with a plurality.

Palin's irresponsible suggestion of a third party run by her chosen candidate is 100% pure ego. If she supports a third party candidate, she will prove that her personal ego is more important to her than her principles.

This is not to say that third party challenges are never appropriate. If a Republican is opposed to conservative principles, a third party challenge may be necessary to give conservative voters a true choice. If a Republican candidate is corrupt, it is necessary to challenge him as well.

Neither of those is true with Todd Akin, who will be a reliable conservative voice and vote should he be elected to the U.S. Senate. While he made a boneheaded and counterfactual statement that demonstrates he is not an effective advocate for the pro-life position, there is no indication of scandal in his life.

What I find amazing is the hypocrisy of the Democratic Party on this issue, regarding the Democrats' support of Planned Parenthood. After all, PP has been caught on tape on numerous occasions trying to cover up cases of statutory rape. City and county government in Bloomington, Indiana even gave a grant to Planned Parenthood to give birth control to girls as young as thirteen years old, despite the fact that any and all sexual contact with anyone thirteen or younger is a felony under Indiana law.

Shelli Yoder, Democratic candidate for Congress, said in an e-mail to supporters that "rape - by any definition - is forcible." Actually, that's not true. Statutory rape is not necessarily forcible rape and the victim may even "consent" to the sexual contact, but statutory rape is punished by law anyway (as it should be) because we as a society have determined that those under a certain age are not capable of granting informed consent.

This leads to an important question. Is Shelli Yoder saying that statutory rape is not rape? Voters of the Ninth District deserve an answer, especially given her party's support for Planned Parenthood.

When will Democrats answer for their support of Planned Parenthood and PP's efforts to cover up of the sexual abuse of young girls? Will the mainstream media actually cover this issue, and will media in the Ninth District challenge Yoder's bizarre statement? Somehow I doubt that will ever happen.

Again, Todd Akin should drop out of the race so a stronger replacement can be chosen, but as long as he is the Republican candidate he should be supported by Republicans. The people freaking out need to cool off, take a deep breath and recognize this "third party" fantasy for the foolishness it is and the guaranteed defeat it will bring - and Sarah Palin needs to let some air out of her overinflated ego.