Since President Obama was to be in St. Louis
today on Wednesday pushing for health care reform, Rep. Todd Akin (R – 2nd) thought he would jump the gun and rally the president’s right-wing foes via a video town hall in St. Charles. Attended by about 2,200 people, the event consisted of presentations of the same ol’ same ol’ talking points by Akin and a handful of other retrograde Missouri politicians, including Lt. Governor Peter Kinder, and, via video, Akin’s congressional fellow travelers, John Shimkus, (R-IL) and John Shadegg, (R-AZ).
According to KSDK TV, Akin was in his usual obstructionist form:
I want to say and I want to be completely clear, … That the bill that we’re talking about today is the worst bill that I’ve seen in all my time in Congress. In fact, it is so bad, it is at least two times worse than the next bad bill, which was the cap and tax bill to supposeably fix global warming.
Not exactly the most profound or relevant analysis – but then this was Todd Akin speaking and we all know that unsubstantiated invective and slogans like “cap and tax bill” seems to work very well with his support base. Other speakers hit the grace notes; State Senator Jane Cunningham, for instance, pushed her tenther legislation “which could potentially stop socialized medicine mandate at the state level.” The real knee-slapper, though, came when Akin:
… credited divine intervention with the January election of Scott Brown, R-Mass., which deprived Senate Democrats of the 60-seat majority needed to block filibusters. Akin said he hoped God would intervene again to prevent a health care bill from getting through Congress.
Amazing how small and parochial the God of some of these so-called Christians seems to be.
It is instructive – and sad – to compare this event to the President’s appearance, and to think that there are people who are happy to be led down the garden path by fools like Akin and pals. Sadder still to think about what we all stand to lose because we live in a place where this type of idiocy is taken seriously by anyone.
UPDATE: Today (Mar. 12) on the Dianne Rehm show, a caller from St. Charles reported that Akin went even further out onto the thin ice of tasteless absurdity by comparing the passage of health care to that good old Republican fall-back, 9/11. The response, from even the conservative commentator, was to condemn Akin’s excess as insane, childish and, at the least, manipulative. Rehm seemed to have trouble believing that there were people present at that rally that cheered Akin – I have trouble believing that there people in my district that voted for him.