Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski Joins Republican Witch-Hunt Against Rep. Todd Akin, Calls For Him To Quit The Missouri U.S. Senate Race Against Claire McCaskill

Et tu, Lisa? That's the question some Alaskans are asking after Senator Lisa Murkowski decided to join the national Republican wolfpack attack against six-term Missouri Rep. Todd Akin, calling for him to exit the U.S. Senate race against Democratic incumbent Claire McCaskill as the backlash against Akin's remark about rape and pregnancy continues to build.

Akin's "unforgivable" sin? During an interview with KTVI in St. Louis on August 19th, when Akin was asked about his opposition to abortion even if a woman becomes pregnant after being raped, Akin responded “It seems to me, from what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. But let’s assume that maybe that didn’t work or something: I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be of the rapist, and not attacking the child.”

After the usual suspects erupted, Akin spent two days apologizing to nearly everyone in the known universe, even launching a new ad campaign where he said "Rape is an evil act. I used the wrong words in the wrong way, and for that I apologize. The fact is, rape can lead to pregnancy. The truth is, rape has many victims. The mistake I made was in the words I said, not in the heart I hold. I ask for your forgiveness".

Initially, Murkowski Tweeted "I join many Alaskans in finding Rep. Todd Akin's comments incredibly offensive and I strongly encourage him to step aside", but then followed up by saying that Akin's remarks were beyond inappropriate, noting that she was stunned that an individual who is running for public office or already in office would make that statement. Murkowski insists that the furor over Akin’s remarks isn’t a manufactured controversy, and says she looked clearly at the statement to make sure it wasn’t taken out of context. She also states that the controversy over Akin’s remarks detracts from the debate about the nation’s economy.

Sen. Murkowski joins a growing list of Republican notables calling for Akin to bail out. They include all four of Missouri's living former Republican senators – John Ashcroft, Kit Bond, Jim Talent and John Danforth -- along with current Senator Roy Blount. They also include Mitt Romney, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), and Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee. Cornyn matched his bark with some bite by reaffirming plans to withdraw $5 million in advertising planned for the Missouri race. Even Sarah Palin jumped into the fray, suggesting that Akin consider bowing out, and reiterating her support for Sarah Steelman. However, Akin missed the August 21st deadline when he could have bowed out without a court order; he now has until September 25th to petition the courts to remove his name from the ballot and replace it with that of another Republican, who would be selected by party leaders. The Family Research Council, Eagle Forum, and the Susan B. Anthony List continue to support Akin's candidacy.

But here's the irony about Sen. Murkowski joining in the attack. Claire McCaskill has been leading the charge against no-bid contracts for Alaska Native corporations for two years; in 2010, she introduced legislation to severely curtail this practice. In contrast, Sen. Murkowski has continued to defend no-bid contracts, unsurprising since Native corporations contributed so much cash to her 2010 re-election campaign. So Lisa Murkowski now finds herself on the same side as a senator who wants to take a benefit away from Alaska. Interesting.

Although Todd Akin is putting on a stiff upper lip, I wouldn't be surprised if he eventually does bow out of the race. He just has no intent of doing it now while he's still under attack. He might wait until the pressure subsides, then exit under his own terms. Rank-and-file supporters in his St.Louis-area district are not abandoning him, so His ultimate decision could hinge on poll results between now and September 25th; a new PPP poll shows him still clinging to a one-point lead over McCaskill.


  1. That's all he said? Difficult to believe the reaction he's getting. Seems to me he used 'legitimate' to stand for 'real'. Big deal. However, if wants to be a politico he should know better than to answer flaky questions.

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  3. Thanks for sticking up for Alaska Lisa.

    You showed us what a SHAME really was when the facts came out about Joe Miller, The Tea Party agenda and lack of ethics. All outside megaBucks from The Koch Brothers trying to buy Alaska.