We wait this morning for news from Todd Akin's Senate Campaign. We wait to see if he will stay in the race, despite the funds that people have been falling all over themselves to withdraw. And while we wait, we should consider this: If Todd Akin bows out of this race, it won't be because an unfriendly media sandbagged him. It won't be because liberals conspired to get rid of the conservative threat. It won't even be because of the words Todd Akin said, even though unfortunate soundbite is what kick-started this whole affair. It will be because we were complicit. It will be because we allowed the national GOP (many of whom reside and work outside of Missouri to tell Missouri that a candidate who legitimately won a primary was unacceptable, and we helped them to throw him under the bus.
I'm not saying that, because of the comments he chose to make, Todd Akin didn't walk out in front of the bus the first time. But he got up, brushed himself off, and tried to keep walking forward. It wasn't the left that kept grabbing him and shoving him back under that bus. It was us. It was fellow conservatives who either misunderstood his comments and then held Congressman Akin responsible for their misunderstanding, or who got caught up in the media frenzy and simply refused to accept his apology.
The GOP has done a spectacular job of sabotaging Congressman Akin. Nothing he actually said was untrue. Nothing he actually said was out of line with what we all already knew he believed. And yet the GOP allowed the media narrative that twisted his words beyond recognition. Not only that, but some conservatives quickly jumped in and furthered that same narrative. While folks like Todd Starnes and John Nolte tirelessly redirected people toward objectivity, Ann Coulter and Michelle Malkin ran instead with the popular narrative and effectively joined the Akin lynch mob.
As grass roots, it is our duty to do everything in our power to fight the machine, especially when it works within our own party. Allowing a man like Congressman Akin to tank after a comment (albeit unfortunate) that didn't actually change anything, we set a dangerous precedent. We set the precedent that our own party can use any gaffe they like, however contrived, to destroy a candidate they do not want in the race. (And make no mistake, the GOP did not want Todd Akin in this race. That's why GOP insiders helped to organize the campaign for John Brunner.) If we allow Todd Akin to be taken down by this, the people fall prey to the very thing we claim to be fighting against - the establishment ruling by fiat. To back down from the fight now is to wave the white flag and prove to the GOP that we are, in fact, their bitches, and that even though they are wrong, we will cowtow to their pressure.
If Akin stays in this race, it is possible that he has been damaged enough that we could lose this seat. And that is a scary thought, especially for Missourians, who would be saddled with another six years of Claire McCaskill. But how does that compare to grassroots losing *all* seats that boast candidates who have angered the GOP? Think of Todd Akin as the canary in the coal mine - if he falls to this strategy, who is next? Every election from here on out, we will not only have to fight the left and the media, but also the pseudo-right.
If we continue to support Todd Akin, we have the ability to hit the national establishment where it hurts. Sadly, many who claim to be fighters have already fallen prey to the narrative. There may not be enough of us left to cripple the establishment this time around, and every time we fail they get stronger.
So wait for Todd Akin's response. And if he intends to fight, I say we fight with him.