The wait begins. For what it’s worth, I’m betting Akin stays in the Senate race. Why do I believe this? I don’t know how to say this delicately, so here goes: Akin’s dumb as a post and so embued with a self-righteous sense of God-directed mission that what passes for common-sense in the everyday world of politics can easily roll off his back. It’s hard to imagine that, after winning the primary, he’ll go back on what he seems to think is God’s plan to bring the true believers to the Senate where they can turn back the tide of unsanctified – at least not without a big fight. I’m betting that for Akin it’s God and self-delusion that will come before the good of the his party. But you never know …
Nevertheless, what is true is that the ball’s in Akin’s court. His first step was to make a little propitiatory video to tell his supporters what a good guy he is and how sorry he is about generating a negative PR firestorm. It’s fair to say that this tactic may be generating just as much negative response as positive – Akin’s folks were forced to shut down the comments on YouTube. A typical comment:
When it’s a illegitimate apology, my brain finds ways to shut the whole thing out.
But it’s still a waiting game. Ed Kilgore strikes the dominant tone in the left blogsphere:
… And now, having pretty much depleted their arsenal, anxious Republicans are waiting on him, powerless in the end to dispose of him instantly as they want to do. The timing is terrible, since this rare peek into the churning minds of antichoicers coincides with the Republican Convention Platform Committee’s quadrennial rubber-stamping of a position on abortion identical to Akin’s.
It’ll be an interesting day. But at the moment, it’s Todd Akin who’s in the driver’s seat.
TPM’s Pema Levy weighs in:
Since Missouri is a red-leaning state where Akin previously held an edge over Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill in the polls, it’s not inconceivable that Akin could recover and go on to win the seat. … .
What will prove more difficult is winning back the support of the GOP establishment. If Akin stays in the race, it will be with the support of the Christian right, who stood by during the fallout Monday, but likely without his party’s infrastructure behind him.
TPM’s Josh Marshall suggests that the situation is more complex than it might seem:
For Akin, there’s a different problem. Yes, a lot of Missouri Republicans don’t think he said anything wrong. And most of those who do still don’t want to vote for Claire McCaskill. But consider that Republicans across the country have gone on record saying that Akin is an offensive idiot who isn’t worthy of being a senator. Over time that’s going to be a hard burden to carry through 10 weeks, especially if you start out at a tie.
Jonathan Bernstein offers an analysis of the pluses and minuses of the money situation that Akin faces:
… if the Republican Party network is united against Akin, then there are not going to be any positive cues, and there are not going to be any ungodly sums of money. On the other hand, if some party groups, including a significant subset of the GOP-aligned partisan press, stick with Akin, then he very well could benefit. …
The problem with all this insightful political analysis, though, is that it doesn’t take account of just how delusional right-wing cranks like Akin really are. It’s possible, that the Party aparatus may make him see reason. Heck, it’s even possible, given the vein of irrationality in current Missouri politics, a strain that produced Akin in the first place, that he could stay in and – horrors – win. Right now I betting that the pull of the miraculous will be stronger for Brother Todd than the voice of reason. Akin has always demonstrated the super hubris only ever manifested by humble servants of the fundamentalist Christian God.