Missouri Republican U.S. Senate candidate Todd Akin’s comments about “legitimate rape” are callous and wrong. There is only one right decision he can make at this point, and that is to drop out of the Senate race and let the Missouri state GOP name a replacement.
One of the best arguments I have read on this comes from U.S. News and World Report columnist, Peter Roff. His column is spot on. Here are a couple excerpts:
By Monday afternoon just about the only people left in Missouri who wanted Akin to stay in the race were the incumbent—Democrat Claire McCaskill—and her strongest supporters. Akin himself seems to be of two minds. According to some, Akin’s still “in it to win it.” According to others, he’s set to announce he’s dropping out at 5 pm Tuesday.
Hopefully, it’s the latter leak that’s correct.
It’s not just that Akin staying in the race means the GOP will likely lose a seat they have long been projected to win, McCaskill being one of the two incumbent Democrats in the Senate considered most in danger or losing their 2012 re-election bids. It’s that Akin’s remarks represent a kind of thuggish, patriarchal thinking that is insulting to both men and women and damaging to the prolife cause.
Elections are won and movements are built according to mathematical principles. You succeed through addition and multiplication. You lose because all you have to offer are subtraction and division. If the challenge is to persuade people who may not agree with you or who are genuinely on the fence about a particular issue the last thing you want to do is be dismissive of their concerns. You don’t have to agree with them. You do have to show respect for their views.
So, out of respect for women and out of respect for the prolife cause he clearly embraces, Akin should drop out of the race now—and leave the job of finding a replacement candidate to others. In the short term, the less America hears from him, the better it will be for the causes he supports.