Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Claire McCaskill, Super Genius

Claire McCaskill is a Senator from the State of Missouri, and she faces re-election this November.  Missouri leans right this election season, and she was targeted from the start by Republicans as a likely place where they could pick up a seat in the Senate.  Facing no primary challenger, McCaskill's campaign allocated some of their resources (some $1.5M by one estimate) into the Republican Primary, in an ad campaign designed to elevate the Republican they felt was most beatable--Todd Akin.  Akin--favored by the Tea Party--won a closely contested primary--and vaulted into an immediate lead over McCaskill in recent polling.  It began to look like a huge failure on the part of the McCaskill campaign.

But then Todd Akin stepped in it and on it.  His ridiculous remarks on rape fuel the continuing perception among some that the Republican Party is anti-woman.  It doesn't matter that Akin's remarks have been repudiated by virtually every Republican of note; it doesn't matter that Akin's comments represent the ramblings of a mind stuck in the 19th Century; it doesn't matter that both Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan have called for him, to leave the race.  What matters now is that the very LEAST damage to be done by this man is that the Missouri Senate Seat will remain in the D-Column, and an undistinguished woman will remain in office, there to continue Harry Reid's majority leadership in the Senate.  Claire McCaskill--it seems--is a strategic genius.

I find myself struggling to imagine the logic behind those close to Akin advising him to stay in the race.  I return to the only parsimonious answer, and that is that the decision is his, solely his, and that he is resisting the calls of not only Party leaders, but those around him who (for crying out loud) MUST be telling him to get out. 

I generally support our system of modern politics.  I recognize that politics is a contact sport and that it is not for the faint of heart.  I realize that politics is the Olympic Games of Narcissism.  But I shake my head in disgust to think of how demeaned and debased that system is with Akin continuing to run.  I am proud of the reaction of the Republican Party thus far, and I hope they stick to it. 


Sally said...

I believe Steelman was actually the Tea Party-endorsed candidate in that race. But to your comment about his advisors, I agree that this is an independent exercise and he's listening to no one but the voices in his head. There's something truly unbalanced about this guy. He's somehow under the illusion that he's under attack for being pro-life, and is utterly clueless to the damage being done to his party.

"The Hammer" said...

The stupidity of people just amazes the hell out of me.

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