Tuesday, August 21, 2012

McCaskill Plays the GOP Like a Rare Stradivarius

Pa Rock
Citizen Journalist

While I am not an unabashed fan of Missouri's senior senator, Claire McCaskill, primarily because her constituent services suck, I am in awe of her political instincts and skills.  True, she jumps around on the issues and continually tries to tell people what they want to hear, and she deserts her principles and her party when she feels it is politically expedient - but through it all she has the focus of an eagle and keeps her eye on the prize.

This year the prize is, of course, re-election to the United States Senate, a task that looked impossible up until earlier this month when the Republicans selected her challenger in the state's primary.  Three people vied for the Republican nomination and they split the vote in almost equal proportions.  Polls showed that any of the three would handily defeat McCaskill, but her pick was Congressman Todd Akin. a troglodyte with the potential to self-destruct in a rough general election.

Akin was Claire's pick, but she obviously didn't get to choose her own opposition - or did she?

The cagey Ms. McCaskill spent some of her own campaign money to air commercials complaining about how Akin was way too conservative, too much of a right-winger.  Of course, upon hearing her complain about Akin's knee-jerk conservatism, every moron in the state's Republican party, of which there are many, rushed out to support him, and Aiken won the three-way.

McCaskill essentially helped to select her Republican opponent.

But she was almost too successful.  Akin chose to self-destruct exceedingly early with his repugnant and stupid remarks about "legitimate" rape and his medical opinion that the bodies of women who were legitimately raped did something internally to prevent pregnancy.  He said what many  Republicans, especially the good old white male Republicans, believed.  But when the uproar set in, the GOP decided that Akin's fit of what many considered to be absolute truth would offend too many women and ultimately cost the party that much-needed senate seat from Missouri.   Everybody from Mitt Romney all the way up to Rush Limbaugh criticized Akin and said that he must withdraw from the race.  And he had, by Missouri statute,  a deadline of 5:00 p.m. today in which to effect his withdrawal.

The deadline came and went, but Akin is hanging tough.

McCaskill again waded into Republican Party politics while Akin was trying to salvage his candidacy.  Yes, she took a couple of generic shots at him, but deep down she was desperate for him to remain in the race.  McCaskill bent the ears of a few reporters telling them essentially that it would not be right if the national party came in and denied the Republicans of Missouri the candidate that they had chosen in a free and fair election.

Akin's decision not to fold was probably fortified a little by Claire's astute observation that he had been chosen, and who were these national bozos to come in and un-choose him.

Todd Akin survives as a senate candidate.  He will still run fairly well in Missouri, but he is an absolute country bumpkin when compared to the slick and very political Claire McCaskill.  She will win that election, and her sudden showing of strength might just carry Obama through to a victory in the state also.  And the frosting on the cake is that Akin lives as a candidate and will be around three more months as a constant reminder as to how little the elders of the Republican Party value women.

Great job, Claire.  I wish you would put that much focus and effort into running your office.

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