So what is new in Todd Akin’s campaign for the Missouri Senate? Lots of sheepish Republican movers and shakers, that’s what. An enthusiastic Newt Gingrich led the way, Jim DeMint followed, flourishing a check-book, and now Roy Blunt, rather obviously holding his nose, is back on board with Brother Todd:
Congressman Akin and I don’t agree on everything, but he and I agree the Senate majority must change. From Gov. Romney to the county courthouse, I’ll be working for the Republican ticket in Missouri, and that includes Todd Akin … .
The Tea Party express is sending signals that they’re reconsidering their earlier harsh judgment of Akin, while the NRSC is also indicating that, after traversing the five stages of grieving, rage, denial, etc., they’re also willing to accept reality and make do with Akin.
It wasn’t always this way as Talking Points Memo‘s video reel of prominent Republicans “dumping” on Akin demonstrates. Of course, everybody always knew that both sides were bluffing and that it was Akin who held all the cards. Seriously, did anyone really expect that the BMOCs in the GOP would concede the Senate to the Democrats without a fight? These guys and their corporate backers have been working too long and too hard to establish Carl Rove’s “permanent Republican majority” to give up just because of a dim-witted backbencher’s faux pas.
Now why would Senate Republicans flip-flop? Why would establishment Republicans display such moral bankruptcy as to ask their female donors to support a man who won’t let them contemplate abortion even if raped? Because of reason number three: the United States Supreme Court.
It’s all about the Justices. Supreme Court nominations are blocked or approved by United States Senators, and Republicans want Todd Akin making those decisions for Justices who would reaffirm Citizens United and overturn Roe v. Wade; who would expand freedom to carry guns but restrict freedom to marry LGBT partners. This is not just another vote up or down on the issues — this is a critical vote to choose between a Sonia Sotomayor or an Antonin Scalia; an Elena Kagan or a Clarence Thomas. We know how Todd Akin would vote and we know how Senator Claire McCaskill has voted. The choice for women’s choices could not be clearer.
Pelosi is inarguably right about the GOP imperative to get their ducks, including ugly duckling Akin, into a row so that they can also, eventually, recapture the judiciary. But the motivation goes much deeper than a desire to eviscerate women’s rights and revive nineteenth-century social mores. The real big deal for the GOP is the not-so-secret GOP drive to decimate New Deal precedents, Social Security, Medicare, pro-labor legislation, while establishing a happy, unregulated haven for those corporations who are people, my friend, and whose greenback-backed free speech rights they value so highly. I suspect that Todd Akin, who sees socialism behind every corner, will do just as well as the next pea-brained zealot when it comes to helping shore up a Supreme Court that will bring happy-ever-after to the corporatocracy.