To whatever degree the Akin debacle redounds to President Obama's advantage and accrues to Mitt Romney's demise, I will still have one major regret: the anticipated debate--the "What kind of nation do we want?" debate, which I very much believe Obama would win decisively--will once again not be had.
It is, of course, not just Todd Akin. After this clown, there will be another, and that clown's similarly stupid comment will again focus the nation on what has become the GOP's chronic clownishness. The only deficit we're not running in this nation is that of GOP pols' ineffable penchant for saying incredibly stupid things.
"[T]he brouhaha shifts the national discussion to divisive social issues that could repel swing voters rather than economic issues that could attract them in a climate of high unemployment and stumbling recovery," GOP officials told CNN "on condition of not being identified." That's great, as far as I'm concerned. Except that it's not.
Should Akin-like absurdities continue to derail this presidential campaign, and Obama advances to that aforementioned decisive victory, you know what to expect. On Wednesday morning, November 7th, the pseudoconservative fiscal flakes and supply-siding troglodytes will start haunting the airwaves with their fantasies and fairy tales of a Ryanesque-Randian utopia denied. Because, they'll say, they were denied a proper hearing; the social-issue troglodytes got theirs instead.
And off we'll go, another four years of that crap.
Obama-Biden could put them away and shut this nonsense down. We could have it out, now, and for the next two-and-a-half months. Do we want a brutalizing nation in which well-fed dogs eat the hungry dogs? Or do we prefer a civilized society of individual aspirations nurtured in community care?
I'm confident of the collective verdict. Regrettably, it likely won't go to trial. Not this year.