Karl Rove went too far yesterday. Cutting off national funds from Republican Senate candidate Todd Akin (R-MO) wasn’t enough. He then had to joke about murdering the man to get him out of the way. That has roused conservative activists everywhere to shout with one voice: Karl Rove must go. He is no longer worthy, if he ever was, to plan for getting Republicans elected. The reason: Karl Rove does not want to get conservatives elected, but only Republicans. Those two terms should be indistinguishable. Karl Rove distinguishes them. To his shame.
What did Todd Akin say that was so horrible?
Todd Akin, and his campaign against Senator Claire McCaskell (D-MO), provoked the latest outbursts and outrages from Karl Rove. Less than two weeks ago, a TV host asked him about where he stands on forbidding abortion. Specifically the host asked:
- Whether Todd Akin would let a victim of rape or incest get an abortion, and
- Why or why not.
Todd Akin answered: no, he would not, and for two reasons. First, he suggested that the violent attack that rape is, would so stress the woman that her womb would not “take” a fertilized egg. When he said that, he used a bad choice of phrase. He spoke of “legitimate rape.” By that he meant what everyone usually means by the word rape: when a man forces himself on a woman. But of course his enemies raced to accuse him of applying the old boys-will-be-boys canard against women who complain of rape: that she somehow asked for it. He realized how that sounded, and apologized for his words.
That didn’t seem to be enough for the people of Missouri. Within a day or two, he fell behind McCaskell by ten points. But yesterday, he had closed to within a point. The poll came from Public Policy Polling, which leans left, not right. “Toss-up,” PPP admitted. Worse: McCaskell has only 45 percent of the vote. According to the Dick Morris Theory of Electoral Indecision, undecided voters always break for the challenger.
But Karl Rove all but ordered Todd Akin to get out of the race. Akin refused. So Karl Rove cut off all national funds. He even said that he would not restore the funds even if Akin and McCaskell were tied. Which, by any standard of statistics, they are.
Furthermore, a competent medical witness stepped forward five days ago to support Akin. Jane M. Orient, MD, is a consulting general internist. As part of her service, she often reviews medical papers. She reviewed the literature on Todd Akin’s claim. Her diagnosis: he is not so far from the mark as Karl Rove, Claire McCaskell, and other detractors scream that he is.
The process of fertilization, implantation and maintenance of pregnancy is an intricate one, highly dependent on hormonal signals. Stress is conceded to make miscarriage more likely by disrupting the hormonal milieu. What could be more stressful than a forcible rape?
What, indeed. Any obstetrician would, furthermore, insist that stress is the last thing a woman needs while even trying to get pregnant, much less carrying a baby to term.
Oh, yes. Todd Akin did say a second thing, didn’t he? He said that one does not summarily execute a child for a wicked thing that an adult did. One expects a Claire McCaskell to lose that in the shuffle. One expects better of a Karl Rove.
Karl Rove seeks revenge
Karl Rove, as White House Deputy Chief of Staff. Photo: The White House.
Except that Karl Rove has never been a friend to conservatives. He showed that when he cut off the money. Akin still refuses to quit the race, though. That has the Associated Press saying that Akin and GOP leaders are playing chicken.
Karl Rove made clear that he would keep driving to run into Akin, if Akin did not veer off. In this, Karl Rove does not have the support of the Republican rank-and-file. They made that clear at the convention. They adopted the same uncompromising plank on abortion that Todd Akin stands on. No exceptions.
And so, on August 30, the day Mitt Romney accepted his place on the GOP ballot, Karl Rove made the earth shake. Over lunch with the Tampa Bay Republican Club, he said:
We should sink Todd Akin. If he’s found mysteriously murdered, don’t look for my whereabouts!
Karl Rove also boasted that he had five candidates ready to replace Todd Akin in that Senate race. No one seems to know who they are.
Sleeping giants arise
The sleeping giants of conservative politics rose up at once. Karl Rove might have apologized (by telephone, not in public!). But this is only the latest outrage.
From Phyllis Schlafly:
Karl Rove has made himself toxic to Republicans by his incredibly offensive and dangerous statement suggesting the murder of Congressman Todd Akin of Missouri. Any candidate or network who hires Rove will now be tarnished with this most malicious remark ever made in Republican politics.
She called on Fox News Channel to fire him as a contributor. She asked Sean Hannity not to promote Karl Rove, and Mitt Romney to dismiss him from his campaign.
WND listed other conservative leaders who loudly disavowed, denounced, and condemned Karl Rove.
Nick Purpura, a Tea Party activist from Wall Township, NJ, called Karl Rove a “has-been.”
Karl Rove should have gone home a long time ago. He needed to go home after the second Bush campaign, and become a ranch hand. Karl Rove should be counting cows—or bulls, not to mention the stuff that comes out of them.
Purpura confirmed: Karl Rove has never been a friend of conservatives. He is part of the Old Guard. Which, says Purpura, is terrified almost to distraction of the Tea Party movement and of “movement” conservatives.
Purpura also dismissed the rules changes that John Boehner and others forced through the Rules Committee and the floor. CNAV asked Purpura whether those rules changes will save them. Said he:
Absolutely not! We see the Republican Party imploding from the inside. Now’s our chance to take it over and make it ours!