Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Blame Mourdock

As the US Senate race in Indiana was coming down to the wire with Republican Richard Mourdock and Democrat Joe Donnelly polling withing a point or two of each other, Mourdock generally trailing, Republicans were gearing up to blame Libertarian Andy Horning for 'stealing votes', due to his polling 7%, well over the margin of victory.

My standard post would be to point out that A) nobody owns the votes but the voters, so the 'stolen vote' line is so much BS, B) Republicans claim to believe in competition, so hey buddy, how about out-competing for the votes? C) there are people who will vote for Horning because Donnelly is too conservative a Democrat for them, especially on issues like civil liberties and foreign policy; the conventional wisdom that there are only right-libertarians is flat-out wrong.

No need for the standard post, despite the righteousness of it. No, as the country has already learned, Richard Mourdock and the Republicans need only blame Richard Mourdock. Even Fox News couldn't hide from it:
Top Republicans were slow to embrace tea party-backed Indiana Senate candidate Richard Mourdock after he ousted a longtime GOP senator from office. Though he eventually won their support -- and money -- Mourdock could see both fade after telling a live television audience that when a woman becomes pregnant during a rape, "that's something God intended." 

Mourdock, who's been locked in one of the country's most expensive and closely watched Senate races, was asked during the final minutes of a debate Tuesday night whether abortion should be allowed in cases of rape or incest.

"I struggled with it myself for a long time, but I came to realize that life is that gift from God. And, I think, even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen," Mourdock said.

Mourdock became the second GOP Senate candidate to find himself on the defensive over comments about rape and pregnancy. Missouri Senate candidate Rep. Todd Akin said in August that women's bodies have ways of preventing pregnancy in cases of what he called "legitimate rape." Since his comment, Akin has repeatedly apologized but has refused to leave his race despite calls to do so by leaders of his own party, from GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney on down. 

Mourdock is toast. Pro-Democrat PACs hopped on his words within a couple of hours, tying Mourdock to Mitt Romney.

Republicans had a chance to reclaim the Senate, but threw it away with their absurd statements on abortion. Can't blame that on anyone but themselves.

I expect the Lugar Republicans to be running for the hills. Abdul Hakim Shabazz had previously, accurately, laid out a 4-case scenario for Lugar Republicans. I would reduce it now to three options: 1. Vote for Donnelly; 2. vote for Horning; 3. don't vote in this race; because #4- hold your nose and vote for Mourdock- is probably not going to happen very much now.


Doug said...

You're right about Horning's votes not all coming from the right. Mourdock is simply not getting my vote. His Chrysler shenanigans guaranteed that. I'm a lesser of evils kind of general election voter, but Donnelly is trying desperately to lose my vote.

I don't think Andy can win. I don't think I'd honestly like the resulting government if his policy proposals were implemented. But I very much like Andy himself. And Donnelly's positions on a good number of things are really off-putting to me.

Mike Kole said...

It would be exceptionally improbably to go from 7% to victory in two weeks as a result of one gaffe, albeit a huge one. That would mean that the would-be Mourdock voters and undecideds pretty much all jumped to Horning as a result.

I would like it if Horning's policy proposals were implemented, but we both know full well one member of the Senate does not set the policy agenda. That said, if the Senate went 50-49, and Horning did manage to win, it would create an interesting dynamic. So long as he declined to caucus with either the Rs or Ds, authors of bills would have to court his vote pretty aggressively. That won't happen should Donnelly win, or Mourdock.