Todd Akin for Senate
A candidate for the United States Senate is much like a major league pitcher. One pitch can be the difference between the exhilaration of victory or the agony of defeat .You can be pitching a masterful game, with command of all your pitches. Then one pitch is your doom. You didn’t get on top of your curve ball and it becomes a fat pitch. When hear the crack of the bat and watch your outfielder take one step and look at your hanging curve ball soar over his head, you know it is gone. All you can do is keeping pitching. Todd Akin wasn’t pitching a perfect game or even a no hitter, but he was pitching the major league pitcher’s coveted five hit shutout. The five hit shutout is the mark of a true professional that has earned the distinction, “He knows how to pitch.”
Twelve Million Dollar Pitcher
While the St. Louis Cardinals fight for the National League Championship, the stalwart anchor of their pitching staff is National League All Star, Adam Wainwright, who currently leads their pitching staff with 19 wins. Adam’s salary is $12,000,000 per year. Although he has thrown some bad pitches while losing 9 games as well, he still is the ace of the staff. Todd Akin made “one bad pitch” and he was “sent to the showers” by the Republican National Senatorial Committee (RNSC).
Baseball is Not Politics
But alas, baseball is not politics. Politics is its own industry. Todd Akin has paid his dues. Prior to serving six terms in the United States House of Representatives from 2001-2013, Congressman Akin earned his conservative credentials in the Missouri House of Representatives as a long time pro-life activist, an advocate of home schooling and gun rights, as well as being a staunch opponent of tax increases. As Congressman in Missouri’s Second Congressional District, he earned high ratings from both the National Right to Life and the National Rifle Association. On the core issues such as Obama Care, Medicare cuts, Social Security cuts and the “ Wall Street “ bailout, his unwavering conservative positions were a resounding “No”.
History Repeats Itself
To better understand the results of Todd Akin’s fat pitch, we only need to dust off an epic copy of Phyllis Schlafly’s 1964 best seller – A Choice Not an Echo. She exposed the secret kingmakers, powerful opinion makers, those who dictated the Republican presidential nominees, from 1936-1960. They are still with us, taking on different functions. While the Democrat Party circles the wagon when one of their candidates makes a mistake, the elites of the Republican Party call in the firing squad. They did everything they could to give Todd Akin his unconditional release by cutting off all campaign funds and ostracizing him. The test of his metal was how he stood strong with integrity during this onslaught. As all great leaders do, he took responsibility for his actions. He neither criticized nor complained. He admitted he was wrong, he apologized and asked for forgiveness. Although this was not good enough for the “kingmakers”, they underestimated one thing: Missouri True Grit.
Show Me State True Grit
While the RNSC basically disowned Todd Akin’s campaign, it was principled true conservative groups that stood in the gap. The focal point of Todd’s campaign was the 6 day, 23 city, “Repeal and Replace McCaskill Bus Tour”, sponsored by Family Research Council Action. Prominent speakers on the tour included Connie Mackey, chairman of the Family Research Council Action; Colleen Holcomb, executive director of the Eagle Forum PAC; and Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America. Our own Denton County Republican Chairman, Dianne Edmondson, who was also executive director of the Republican National Coalition for Life, lauded Todd as well on the tour. Phyllis Schlafly spoke on the first stop of the tour. Star Parker from the Center for Urban Renewal and Education (CURE), Former Congresswoman Marilyn Musgrave from the Susan B. Anthony List, and representatives from various gun rights organizations rounded out the impressive entourage. The Missouri State Republican Party funded over $387,000 in ads but more importantly did not back down from the elites. It was the grassroots of the party, in the face of adversity, that refused to leave one of their injured warriors on the field of competition.
One Pitch – One Word
Just as one pitch can change a game, a season, or even a career, one single misspoken word proved to be Todd Akin’s undoing.
I first met Todd Akin at an Akin for Senate rally in St. Louis. My first impression of Congressman Aiken, oversimplified as it may sound, was that I was witnessing a kind and decent man standing courageously in the face of unrelenting attacks not only from the government press and opposition, but his own party as well. The support of his family was nothing short of inspiring. Their photo on the back of his push card could have been a Norman Rockwell painting worthy of the cover of an old “Look Magazine”. Lulli, his devoted wife of 37 years and a veteran of many campaigns in her own right, secured the fortress that was his refuge. Most important was his unfailing faith in God. Some candidates say they are running for office to represent us, they then come back and represent Washington against us. Congressman Akin has shown the courage of his convictions, and has succinctly and consistently followed through on his commitments to his constituency.
Overcoming the Odds
It would have been very easy for him to compromise his values and succumb to the kingmakers. Quit the race and the kingmakers will grant you an ambassadorship, or some other lure. Although he fought valiantly, as did his loyal, dedicated supporters, ultimately he lost.
Nothing happens without the Lord’s knowledge and consent. Matthew 10:29 says “Are not two sparrows sold for one penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. “
Perhaps it was just not in the Lord’s timing that Todd was to be Missouri’s U.S. Senator. Exodus 9:5 “And the Lord appointed a set time, saying the Lord shall do this thing in the land. “
And though tough times don’t last tough people do.
Entering the arena of politics is much like becoming a modern day gladiator. If Todd Akin decides to return to Washington, he will have to strap on the whole armor of God again because he will be returning to rejoin the battle.