Karl Rove should resign, say critics

Karl Rove
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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:

  1. Whether Todd Akin would let a victim of rape or incest get an abortion, and
  2. 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

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!

Editor-in-chief at | + posts

Terry A. Hurlbut has been a student of politics, philosophy, and science for more than 35 years. He is a graduate of Yale College and has served as a physician-level laboratory administrator in a 250-bed community hospital. He also is a serious student of the Bible, is conversant in its two primary original languages, and has followed the creation-science movement closely since 1993.

8 Responses to Karl Rove should resign, say critics

  1. Terry – Nice commentary!

    I never from the git-go understood what Akin stated. Maybe, part of that was, that I was a former volunteer chairman of a pro-life pregnancy care center. But, be that as it may, Akin did not express himself as well as he could have. Which politician (including Biden and Obama with their umpteen blunders) does?

    As I witnessed the whole story unfold, it was becoming very clear that Republicans, led by the likes of the Karl Roves and Ann Coulters of the political party were falling head over heals to the political correctness card played by the libs and their Obama adoring media.

    So, disgusted and frustrated, I ripped off the following moralmatters.org commentary and posted it wherever I could:

    Ruthless Republicans shoot their wounded

    http://moralmatters.org/2012/08/26/ruthless-republicans-shoot-their-wounded/

    I them followed up with the following commentary from my moralmatters.org blog:

    Ann Coulter: The Republican Debbie Wasserman Schultz?

    http://moralmatters.org/2012/08/31/ann-coulter-the-republican-debbie-wasserman-schultz/

    Yes! Rove should take his own advice and step down – or, be man enough to apologize to Akin and to turn from his cowardice and get behind Akin’s candidacy.

    If Akin loses this race, the gutless Republicans (and Conservative talk show hosts) who called upon him to get out, will be the cause of losing a US senatorial seat! Shame on them all!

    How brash stupid can these Republicans be to pull the rug out from one of their own party members? He apologized. That should be enough! Move on!

    Pastor emeritus Nathan Bickel

    http://www.thechristianmessage.org
    http://www.moralmatters.org

    • Fergus Mason says:

      “Akin did not express himself as well as he could have.”

      It would be more accurate to say that Akin talked offensive nonsense. Firstly by talking about “legitimate” rapes he implied that there are others, creating a suspicion that he might subscribe to ideas such as that a wife has no right to refuse her husband. Secondly he was just wrong. He seems to believe that there is some mechanism by which a woman can stop a rapist’s sperm fertilising an egg; this is not actually the case.

      My main concern is that if he a) believes his statement is true and b) couldn’t realise how many people would be angered by it, then he is unelectable; not for moral reasons but on the grounds of stupidity. I very much doubt that the good people of Missouri want to be represented by an imbecile.

      • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

        Then you have a problem. You have to explain why Claire McCaskell is back “below fifty” in the polling, and does not have her re-election sewn up by now.

        Even Mr. Akin did not say that those mechanisms he so inartfully spoke of, were foolproof. But I repeat: any obstetrician-gynecologist will tell you that when a couple are trying to start a family, they should remove as much stress as possible, both from their lives and from the whole question of “why can’t we get anything started.”

        You also have another, much plainer problem: how do you justify summarily executing a child for something an adult did?

        • Fergus Mason says:

          “You have to explain why Claire McCaskell is back “below fifty” in the polling, and does not have her re-election sewn up by now.”

          Why?

          “any obstetrician-gynecologist will tell you that when a couple are trying to start a family, they should remove as much stress as possible, both from their lives and from the whole question of “why can’t we get anything started.””

          Yes, but they will also tell you that an estimated 25,000-32,000 pregnancies occur every year in the USA as a result of rape. That sounds about as far from foolproof as you can get.

          “how do you justify summarily executing a child for something an adult did?”

          I have no issue with aborting a pregnancy that occurred as a result of rape. Frankly it baffles me why anybody would want to force some poor woman to carry a rapist’s baby when she’s had enough trauma already.

          • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

            That Claire McCaskell does not already have her re-election in the bag, directly contradicts your narrative.

            And summary execution is summary execution.

            Abortion.

            Is.

            Murder.

          • Fergus Mason says:

            “That Claire McCaskell does not already have her re-election in the bag, directly contradicts your narrative.”

            Not at all. My narrative is that Akin is unelectable because he’s a fool; that doesn’t mean he won’t get elected, sadly; after all Clinton was unelectable because he was a dishonest buffoon who couldn’t keep his zip up for a whole hour at a time and he won two terms. As HL Mencken said, nobody ever went broke underestimating the taste and intelligence of the American public.

            “And summary execution is summary execution.”

            Summary execution is not necessarily murder. In any case it refers to the quasi-judicial killing of those accused (but not properly convicted) of a crime, so it’s not relevant here.

            “Abortion.

            Is.

            Murder.”

            Partial birth abortion is murder. First trimester abortion is no more killing a human being than swatting a fly is. You have to draw a line somewhere, and for a variety of reasons the moment of conception just doesn’t cut it. Down that road lies the Monty Python team singing “Every sperm is sacred.” No thanks.

  2. Gee – I wish this facility had an edit option!

    Correction of my aforementioned comment:

    I intended my first sentence to be:

    “I never from the git-go misunderstood what Akin stated.” [“misunderstood” is what I did not say in the original comment]

    Also, I intended further on to say:

    “I then followed up…..” – rather than “them.”

  3. Terry – Re: Your reply comment to Fergus – September 2, 2012 at 3:18 pm:

    I suspect that Fergus is just attempting to be argumentative.

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