Todd Akin and the curious case of ‘foot-in-mouth’ disease

August 21, 2012 

By now, all our loyal readers have heard about Congressman Todd Akins’ comments concerning “legitimate rape.”

However, just in case you haven’t, here’s a quick primer.

As always, we here at PP&B like to look at all things political though a cynical and power-hungry lens. Under that particular microscope, the question is not whether Akin should resign because of his inappropriate comment but if he can still win his race.

Is what Akin said offensive? Yes. There’s no question about that. It was stupid and ignorant. It was the kind of statement that reveals the most putrid, dark portions of a person’s beliefs. It was wretched.

Should Akin drop his election bid? Now there’s a more difficult question. What kind of politician would drop his bid just because he said something horribly wrong and offensive? The kind who realizes that he no longer has a chance of winning.

Because let’s get serious: do you think someone running for federal office would really drop his or her bid if the chance of winning still existed? Not a chance. Apologies would be made, tears cried and poll numbers closely watched.

History has taught us that people will never give up power or the chance of power. And certainly not because of an offensive statement was made. Just look at Akin: he’s already stated that what he meant to say was “forcible rape.” That’s another way of saying “damage control.”

Akin’s problem, however, is that the typical political fix won’t work in this example. We expect he’ll drop out of the race shortly.

But don’t look at his apologies for the reason he bowed out. Look at the polls.

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