Doug Mataconis reminds us of something important in the Todd Akin Oh Please For the Love of God Won’t You Shut Up scandal. The Democrats heavily supported Akin in the Republican primary, even going so far as to donate $1.5 million to get him the nomination. As Sean Sullivan presciently noted:
There’s a reason why Democrats spent over $1.5 million trying to help Akin win his three-way primary. He was the most conservative candidate in the field — and the most unpredictable one. He shook up his campaign staff late last year. He recently released a head-scratching and jumbled campaign ad. And Democrats have already launched a microsite highlighting his controversial statements that won’t play well with moderates. (“America has got the equivalent of the stage III cancer of socialism because the federal government is tampering in all kinds of stuff it has no business tampering in,” Akin once said.)
Akin’s uncompromising brand of social conservatism, for example, might lead him to say something that may give political moderates — the same moderates who don’t like the economic policies advanced by Obama and Senate Democrats — pause in the Senate race.
You remember back in the 2008 election when a bunch of Republicans said we should support Hillary in the election so she’d lose the general? At the time, I said it was really stupid because it could end up with Hillary being President (that looks less ominous after four years of Obama; but I still don’t think I’d want her to be President). Well, the Democrats ran the playbook in Missouri, running ads that branded Akin as “too conservative” knowing perfectly well the effect this would have on Missouri republicans. Well, they’ve got him now, drooling scientific illiteracy included. And if he’s elected — still a possibility given how unpopular McCaskill has made herself — they can take plenty of the blame on themselves. Can you imagine if they’d gotten their wish in the Presidential race and Santorum or Bachmann were the nominee?
This is why you don’t hope that the opposition nominates a dunderhead. Because dunderheads can still win elections.