Has the Todd Akin backlash already started? Will the hysterical efforts of Republicans leaders who want him to disappear so badly it makes their teeth hurt make him an antihero? Part of me, the bad part, wants him, not only to stay in the race but to prevail. My rationale is twisted but drawn from the logic of confronting addiction: You can't recover until you truly hit rock-bottom. Akin is rock-bottom.
For years, the Republican Party has had an unhealthy (sick) dependence on zealots like Akin. On abortion, immigration, climate, evolution, taxes and government spending, the Republicans have flirted with disaster. In other words, they've courted a disaffected but growing and extremely energetic group of voters who have been decisive in many recent elections. The majority of Republicans, who don't believe things like climate change is bogus, abortion should be illegal even if a woman is raped by her uncle and that evolution is simply a theory, have made a deal with the minority that does. And like all Faustian bargains, this one will have a reckoning.
The Republican establishment, more interested in winning than purity, knows this so it wants to show this embarrassment the door. But Mr. Akin may stay seated, and others who have been used will also not be discarded easily. Todd Akin reminds voters of the new face of the Republican Party, and he may lead them to rehab.