Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Jumping the GOP Off the Bridge?

I looked at my blog with a bit of surprise today, seeing that I haven't put anything new up since last week. Aside from being busy and a bit under the weather, I have to admit being a bit uninspired of late, especially watching the 2012 election season unfold before me.

No doubt many of you have been watching the whole kerfuffle over Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO), and his um, rather unfortunate comments about rape. I'm disturbed about this on several different levels, but I'll only talk about two briefly. I think that's all I can handle tonight.

It bugs me—a lot—that a whole lot of media attention is being spent on this when there are a whole host of more serious, life-changing issues at stake in this election. By saying that, I don't mean to diminish anything about the subject of rape, abortion, or anything related. I am pro-life on the subject of abortion and that is well known. They used to punish rape with the death penalty, and while in recent years I have typically advocated that only for first-degree murder or treason, I am reconsidering this view due to the heinousness of rape—regardless of the victim's gender.

Having said all this, I think this story is being cynically hyped and manufactured by the left and a subservient media to help distract from national security, the abysmal economy, the looming fiscal cliff ahead of our careening national train, and a host of other things. When everything else blows up, how a Missouri Congressman and Senate candidate put his foot in his mouth is going to seem pretty minor.

Secondly, I can't help but wonder at the stubborn behavior of Congressman Akin himself. He is now on a national stage, like it or not, and he's damaged goods. His stubborn refusal to stand down given the high stakes of this election and the potential cost to the GOP ticket as a whole is beyond perplexing. It's no wonder that the Democrats—especially Akin's opponent, Sen. Claire McCaskill, want him to remain in the race.

Normally (or traditionally), I would cite the late Tip O'Neill's maxim that all politics is local. But I can't say that any longer. These days, especially when national issues and the very soul of the country are at stake, what would normally be a local gaffe becomes national news. And the Republicans' opponents don't need to run campaign commercials. The media do the dirty work for them. In this election, Republican candidates need to be at the top of their game, street-smart and media savvy. And they need to know how to hit back hard. Everything but the kitchen sink will be thrown at them in this election. Saul Alinsky and Chicago politics on steroids. We needed this ginned-up distraction like a hole in the head.

There is one other thing that I should say, because it bugs me too. I don't like the way that some of my pro-life colleagues are turning on fellow conservatives who have been urging Rep. Akin to stand down. I take a back seat to no one in my pro-life viewpoint, and have editorialized strongly on it for years when still on the air. But if we end up being so "purist" in this particular election cycle and hand re-election back to Barack Obama, I question if the nation will ever recover from the damage that will be done. When Obama said he meant to fundamentally transform America, he meant it. You won't recognize the country any longer.

Not only the GOP is being pushed off the bridge. So is our nation. Think about it a while.

Side Note: Later this week if time permits, I hope to have something to say about hypocrisy from the left on this issue. It's beyond interesting that a Democratic Congressman from Duluth, MN, is being accused of hanky-panky at a rest area with a 17-year-old boy, and not a peep do we hear from the media or the Democrats.

No comments: