Akin and the God Factor

Todd Akin spent a good part of his afternoon submitting to questioning by Sean Hannity, but insisting that he is staying in his Senate race. I caught the tail end of the interview—enough to hear Akin say “God gives us the light to see the truth” and explain how he wanted to stay in government to make sure it is “the servant, not the master.” (For the uninitiated, that means that the government should be subordinate to God. But we knew Akin thinks that.)

At Salon, Missouri political expert Jeffrey Smith gives 11 reasons why Akin is sticking it out—and one of them is “God told him to run and it may take God to tell him to quit.” Smith adds:

Missouri politicians who have in the past tried to negotiate with Akin describe it as sort of like trying to negotiate with Ahmadinejad. He is a zealot, in every sense of the word. As one top Republican said this morning, “It’s hard to reason with an idiot.” Or maybe, it’s just hard to use worldly logic on someone who is divinely inspired.

But Ed Kilgore really gets inside Akin’s thinking:

Very few if any of the people calling for him to step down supported his very recent primary candidacy; most either backed someone else or hoped he’d lose as the weakest of the potential Republican candidates. He represents a very self-conscious hard-core Christian Right segment of the GOP “base” in his state that undoubtedly feels underrepresented, undervalued, and perhaps even dissed. His candidacy is now indelibly connected with a debate over an issue—legalized abortion, and more generally, the need to rebuild America as a “Christian Nation”—about which he feels very passionately; it may very well be what made him run for office in the first place.

And thanks to the scorn and mockery he has now attracted, this relatively obscure congressman whom I’d bet half the pundits discussing his fate today had barely heard of before his primary win, is a National Superstar, the very embodiment of the Christian Right’s all-too-often abandoned determination to stand up to GOP pols who forever pay them lip service but rarely deliver the goods. […]

And if he does win, he will enter the Senate next year not as some random wingnut dude from Missouri who was swept into office on a conservative wave in Missouri, but as Todd Akin, celebrity and Avenging Hero, who owes nothing to anyone other than his God, his family, and his loyal base.


(UPDATE: In case you had any doubts, check out this lengthy list of pastor and Christian activist endorsements on his site.)


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