A few weeks ago, I blogged about loyalty to people and loyalty to principles. Both are important. Loyalty to people is an honorable principle.
Sometimes, the ideal is paramount. In 2012, we simply must take the US Senate. We must put Claire McCaskill out of office. And we must send a strong conservative to the US House of Representatives from Missouri’s 2nd Congressional district.
Missouri’s 2nd Congressional District has been well served by Todd Akin. Representative Akin is one of the most decent men I’ve ever met, in or out of politics. He was greeting voters at my polling place on primary day two weeks ago. I shook his hand and told him I was here to vote for him.
Last week, I saw Todd, again, at the Victory Field House, where all of Missouri’s Republican statewide candidates spoke. I caught Todd’s attention and told him we should meet again on November 7, because our election day meetings might be good luck. That meeting seems so long ago, now.
Like many conservatives, I cringed when I read his comments about rape on the Jaco Report. I knew he couldn’t possibly have meant what it sounded like he said. And while I say that, I still have no idea what he meant to say that might conform to known reproductive science.
Looking ahead and reasoning backwards, I tried to anticipate the possible outcomes. Congressman Akin can stay in the race and fight. Or he can step aside.
If he stays in the race and loses to Claire McCaskill, many other Republicans on the Missouri ballot will lose, too. Ed Martin, Dave Spence, Cole McNary, Shane Schoeller are all in danger. The state with some of the most effective and vibrant tea parties could see the Democrats sweep.
That cannot happen.
How in God’s name could we lose our state to the party that has as its convention’s keynote speaker an accused rapist, a disbarred lawyer, a serial groper who may well have committed the very crime of which Todd Akin misspoke?
Todd Akin is the victim of a sickening and repulsive double-standard that exonerates Democrats who sexually assault women, who drown women at Chappaquiddick, who avoid impeachment by quibbling over the definition of “is.”
The Tea Party movement has many noble and lofty goals. We exist to restore the balance of power between the government and the individual described in the Declaration and codified in the Constitution. We are adamant about devotion to those principles. We have lost friends over the qualifications and convictions of candidates who, to the uninitiated masses, look pretty much the same. We nit-pick over tiny policy differences because we know those tiny differences blow up into horrible, liberty-destroying legislation and Supreme Court rulings.
But the Tea Party is wise enough to understand America’s peril.
We stand at a crossroads of history in 2012. One path leads to difficult times and sacrifice for a greater future. The other leads to serfdom for generations. Our decision is now, and we must choose the path of sacrifice for a brighter future.
I cannot speak for the Tea Party on this matter; I can speak only for myself.
If Representative Akin steps aside, here’s the best possible outcome I can envision:
- The Missouri Republican central committee asks Ambassador Ann Wagner to step into the vacated US Senate candidacy. I believe Ann is Missouri’s best chance—America’s best chance—of regaining the Senate. If Ann chooses to make the jump, she will leave a race in which she is all but certain to win, to take on the biggest challenge of her life. She will need all of our support, and she will have all of mine.
- Missouri’s Republican 2nd District Committee asks State Senator Jim Lembke to fill the vacancy Ann would leave in Missouri’s 2nd Congressional race. Jim Lembke risked his political life by speaking at the very first St. Louis Tea Party on the steps of the Arch, February 27, 2009. Jim Lembke has been THE go-to Senator for grassroots conservatives in Missouri for years. He would honorably and faithfully fill the seat so well served by Todd Akin and Jim Talent. More importantly, anyone with less conservative street cred than Jim Lembke might drive Tea Partiers to the sidelines in November.
Friends may feel differently about how this plays out, as Reboot Congress does. But this isn't about rewards for Ann Wagner or JimLembke; it's about giving America its best chance of survival in a Senate race that's suddenly up in the air.
I know that many Tea Partiers find this hard to swallow. Our nature is to fight, fight, FIGHT for every inch. But this year, this race, requires a strategy to stanch liberty’s hemorrhage. If Todd Akin exits this race and we don't rally around his relief, we will take it to our graves.
I have no idea how the next 77 days will play out, but I hope we all choose the struggle of liberty over the comfort of serfdom. History is watching.