NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- All eyes were glued yesterday on Missouri, where Todd Akin faced a five o'clock deadline that would determine if he had even a shred of integrity.
My feeling is this: If a man running for office believes that women who are "legitimately raped" can somehow avoid getting pregnant, he should stick by his guns. The people of Missouri have a right to know that he feels that way. He certainly should not drop out of the race for U.S. Senate, even if (or, perhaps I should say, "especially if") Democratic control of the Senate may be at stake. That just makes it all the more imperative for Todd Akin to stand up and not be moved from his bone-headed belief systems.
Akin decided to stay in the race, bless his heart. But given a choice of being a complete fool or a flip-flopping charlatan on the "legitimate rape" remark, he chose to be both. Rather than stay true to his beliefs, thereby giving the people of the Missouri the ability to make an informed decision on his candidacy, he provided a patently insincere apology. He clearly still believes all that "legitimate rape" guff but hasn't got the guts to admit it, hence his "wrong words in the wrong way" televised apology.
I ask you, folks, whatever became of integrity? Don't our politicians have a right to be racists, charlatans, political extremists or, as is the case with Akin, just plain morons? Ask yourself this question: If our elected representatives are blithering idiots, do we really want them to hide that from us?Where is this generation's John E. Rankin, the Mississippi Democratic congressman who called columnist Walter Winchell a "little kike"? Rankin didn't apologize for that 1944 remark, no sir. He was a bigot and proud of it. The racist, no-blacks-allowed electorate of the state of Mississippi elected a racist to Congress knowing that he was a racist. And, mind you, he made this remark at a time when Jews were burning in the Nazi gas chambers, in opposition to a bill aimed at promoting the right to vote for our men in uniform, regardless of race, color or creed.