Archive for the ‘Akin’ Category

The Libertarian felon is no alternative to Todd Akin

The Unablogger

As I wrote in an earlier post, partisan control of the U.S. Senate probably turns on the Missouri contest between unpopular Democrat incumbent Sen. Claire McCaskill and unpopular Republican Rep. Todd Akin. Voters get it that McCaskill looks after whatever is best for the Obama Administration instead of her own constituents, but many remain alienated by Akin’s support for abortion restrictions for a pregnancy that resulted from a rape.

The final poll on the contest by Public Policy Polling shows that Akin has pulled within four points of McCaskill, 48%-44%, leaving McCaskill short of a majority. The only other senate candidate on the ballot, Libertarian Jonathan Dine, drew 6%, with 2% still undecided. Notably, most of those not opting for either McCaskill or Akin appear to be conservative oriented, favoring Romney, 72%-20%. PPP observed, “clearly [Dine]’s pulling from folks who otherwise would have voted Republican. The Dine voters hate Akin- only 12% see him favorably to 67% with a negative opinion. But they hate McCaskill too- only 8% approve of the job she’s doing to 67% who disapprove. If they stay with Dine, McCaskill wins. If they decide the desire for a Republican Senate outweighs their disgust for Akin, then Akin has a chance.”

So, who is Jonathan Dine? For starters, he’s a convicted felon whom Missouri law would bar from the ballot in any state or local contest. (State law may not add additional qualifications (like not being a felon) for candidates for federal office over and above the bare requirements provided in the U.S. Constitution.) In addition to convictions for possession of marijuana (kind of a badge of honor for a Libertarian) and driving while intoxicated, Dine also has a 2005 conviction for identity theft. He favors gay marriage and drug decriminalization, while opposing U.S. “interventionist” foreign policy.

So, let’s get this straight. A set of mostly conservative voters who overwhelmingly and equally (67%) disapprove of both McCaskill and Akin are resolving their conflict by voting for a convicted identity thief who favors gay marriage, drug legalization and a foreign policy the Green Party could endorse?

I am guessing that most Dine backers don’t know about his criminal past or his controversial issue positions (except for pro-pot). The Voters Guide of the St. Louis Post Dispatch makes no mention of Dine’s convictions. Voters just know what Dine isn’t: he isn’t McCaskill, and he isn’t Akin.

Conservatives who are prone to settle on Dine need to consider the broader picture. Their not voting for Akin means victory for McCaskill. And victory for McCaskill most certainly means that Democrats and Harry Reid will keep control of the U.S. Senate, which would allow them to defeat the repeal of Obamacare, let the Bush tax cuts expire (thereby raising taxes across the board), block the entire Romney/Ryan agenda, and prevent Romney from appointing any conservative to the Supreme Court. That’s got to be worse than Akin’s perceived insensitivity towards rape victims.

PPP’s ultimate conclusion bears repeating, “If they stay with Dine, McCaskill wins. If they decide the desire for a Republican Senate outweighs their disgust for Akin, then Akin has a chance.”

If elected, Akin will support the Romney/Ryan reforms that McCaskill would fight tooth and nail. We absolutely need a Republican Senate. We need Todd Akin to be there.

Get over it! You need Todd Akin in the Senate

The Unablogger

The choice for Missouri voters for U.S. Senate this year should be a no-brainer. Incumbent Democrat Sen. Claire McCaskill’s six-year voting record is a major cause of the nation’s economic doldrums. After having won her seat by complaining that Republican Sen. Jim Talent’s voting with President Bush 90% of the time made him a Bush “rubber stamp,” she turned around and voted 98% of the time in lock-step with President Obama, including for his failed pork-laden stimulus bill and Obamacare, the single biggest threat to future economic development. The senator is also plagued by scandals, including her failure to pay property taxes on an airplane for which she had billed the government for her travel, her family profiting from the stimulus and other federal programs, and questionable business dealings by her husband conducted in the senate dining room. A majority of Missouri voters (51% according to Public Policy Polling, a leading Democrat pollster) disapprove of her performance (compared to just 44% approving). And yet, that poll shows those same respondents favoring McCaskill’s reelection over Republican Rep. Todd Akin by 46%-40%. The latest Rasmussen poll is even worse, showing McCaskill ahead, 51%-43%. (The Mason-Dixon poll conducted for the Post Dispatch, Kansas City Star and KMOV shows a 2-point race with 8% undecided, but its internal demographics look a little too conservative to me.)

The reason for the disconnect between McCaskill’s unpopularity and possible reelection, of course, is reaction to Akin’s insensitive comments about abortions of pregnancies resulting from rape (euphemistically called “emergency contraception” by McCaskill’s sleezy ads). In reality, Akin’s views (which McCaskill chastises as “out of the mainstream”) are shared by 25% of the national population, including radicals like the Roman Catholic Church. Akin is a principled conservative who speaks for many Missouri voters on a host of important issues. But as a practical matter, the thought of being obligated to carry a rapist’s child to term is repugnant to many women voters. Akin promptly and repeatedly apologized, but many voters remain unwilling to grant him Christian forgiveness. PPP notes that its respondents who are undecided in the senate race favor Romney over Obama, 81%-13%.

Another 6% (down from an earlier 9%) of voters in the PPP poll are resolving their distaste for both candidates by supporting Libertarian nominee Jonathan Dine, a convicted identity thief, the only other candidate on the ballot. Most voters would regard identity theft as worse than misspeaking about abortion, if they knew about it. (The Voters Guide of the St. Louis Post Dispatch makes no mention of Dine’s criminal past.) What those voters should understand, though, is that throwing away their votes to Dine would effectively reelect McCaskill.

There are more important issues on which to base one’s vote this year, notably the economy and the need to repeal Obamacare. The way senate contests in other states are shaping up, the Romney Administration will be unable to repeal Obamacare, reform the tax code or pass any significant legislation without Todd Akin in the Senate. Republican control of the senate, which Missouri voters desire by a 7-point plurality in the PPP poll, will likely be thwarted by a McCaskill win.

Even with Paul Ryan as vice-president to break senate ties, Republicans need to overcome the current Democrat 3-seat lead and the likely loss of the Maine seat held by retiring Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe. The GOP is on target to take the seats of retiring Democrat senators in deep-red Nebraska and North Dakota and in unseating the Democrat incumbent in Montana. A Republican takeover of the open Democrat-held seat in Wisconsin would be the fourth, and former Gov. Tommy Thompson’s chances of taking that seat for the GOP are currently rated a tossup. Once promising opportunities for Republicans to take over  Democrat seats in Florida, Virginia, Connecticut, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, New Mexico and Hawaii have faded.

What makes the Missouri contest so pivotal is the senate contest in Massachusetts, a mirror image of Missouri. Incumbent Republican Sen. Scott Brown is seeking reelection in a Democrat state. Unlike McCaskill, he actually remains popular with his state’s voters, who approve of his job performance by a 49%-42% margin. according to PPP. Brown’s Democratic challenger, Elizabeth Warren, represents the far left fringe of the Democratic party. She has been caught fraudulently gaining employment and promotions with phony claims of Native American ancestry (giving rise to her derisive nickname, Fauxcahontas),  and practiced law illegally without a license for some 15 years. Voters give her a lower net approval rating (49%-45%) than Brown. However, Massachusetts voters also want Democrat control of the senate by a 52%-35% margin, and they now favor Fauxcahontas over Brown, 50%-44% (52%-47% according to Rasmussen, with undecideds trending Democrat).

Massachusetts voters like Brown and don’t care much for Warren, but they are voting Warren in order to maintain Democrat control of the senate. They have their eyes on the prize, and are voting accordingly.

A Brown loss would require Republicans to take a fifth seat in order to seize senate control. Realistically that fifth seat is Missouri.

Missouri voters need to learn from Massachusetts’ example. If Bay State voters can set aside Professor Warren’s fraudulent abuse of minority quotas, her breach of trust in practicing law without a license and her “out of the mainstream” (even for Massachusetts) liberalism in order to effect their desired partisan control of the U.S. Senate, certainly Missouri voters can and should set aside Akin’s poorly communicated views on abortion to accomplish the desired senate control.

Get real, Missouri. You can’t realistically free the nation from Obamacare or unshackle our job creators without Todd Akin in the senate. Keep your eyes on the prize.

The real scoop on gender pay equity

The Unablogger

In last night’s Missouri senatorial debate in St. Louis (seen by almost no one in St. Louis due to conflict with the Cardinals’ game in the National League Championship Series), incumbent Democrat Sen. Claire McCaskill charged that women on the staff of her Republican challanger, Rep. Todd Akin, were paid less than the men on his staff by a significant double digit margin.

Not mentioned was the fact that women on the staff of McCaskill’s running mate, President Barack Obama, also are paid less than the men on his staff by a similar and significant double digit margin.

Is this a bipartisan war against women? Of course not. The simple, accurate defense of both Akin and Obama is that women on both staffs tended to perform duties whose reasonable compensation was lower. For example, receptionists perform important, demanding tasks that are nevertheless less important and less demanding than the tasks performed by other staffers. Women tend to be hired as receptionists because they are perceived to be better than men at that particular job. And the women hired for that job applied for it and are happy to have it.

Ironically, both Obama and Akin could easily improve their pay  equity numbers by firing their women receptionists and other women holding lower paying jobs and replacing them with men earning the same pay as the women they replace. But that would be worse than the present situations for both officeholders and, in an absolute sense, wrong.

A better idea: end the demagoguery over inconsequential discrepancies in pay equity.