Todd Akin’s Real Opponent

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis and more, subscribe to Mother Jones' newsletters.


The whole Todd Akin fiasco is kind of fascinating, isn’t it? It’s hard to remember the last time the Republican establishment has turned against one of their own quite so fast or quite so furiously. Normally they’d circle the wagons and invent some bizarrely creative reason why Akin had done nothing wrong, and even if he had, Democrats have done far worse.

But not this time. This time the lynch mob is out. Why? I think it’s because they learned a lesson from 2010: the tea party yahoos can seriously hurt them. Candidates like Sharron Angle, Ken Buck, and Christine O’Donnell cost them Senate seats that they could have won, and with control of the Senate genuinely within reach in 2012 they’re just not willing to take any risks this time around. Claire McCaskill is a sure goner running against any halfway normal Republican opponent, and no one wants to let Todd Akin get in the way of that. Ideological purity may be important, but winning elections is even more important. Right now, Akin isn’t running against McCaskill, he’s running against the ghosts of Angle, Buck, and O’Donnell.

Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.