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Oh My Akin Back

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of
It's time for House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) and Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) to get their arms around the Republican Members of the House and give - at least some of them - a Leroy Jethro Gibbs slap to the back of the head.

Yesterday was a day that should have featured the Obamas answering questions about the charges of crankiness, stubbornness, and general dysfunction among the White House and Chicago campaign staffs.

We'll come back to that later.

Instead it was all about Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO) who was asked during a TV interview whether he thought abortion was justified in cases of rape.

Akin responded thus:

"It seems to be, first of all, from what I understand from doctors, it's really rare. If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut the whole thing down."

That statement is so wrong on so many levels that you have to wonder whether (a) Akin slept through junior high health class, and (b) what the hell's an illegitimate rape?"

Akin is running for U.S. Senate against the weakest Democrat incumbent in the land, Missouri's U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill.

In just 18 words, Todd "The Geneticist" Akin took a race in which he was favored and, maybe, handed control of the Senate back to the Democrats next January.

It didn't take long for everyone from Mitt Romney, who said Akin's comments were "insulting, inexcusable and, frankly, wrong;" to the Chairman of the GOP Senate campaign Committee, John Cornyn (R-Tx) who said Akin's words were "wrong, offensive, and indefensible;" and called on Akin to "rethink his candidacy."

That would have been more than enough to wreck the day, but noooooo. had reported Sunday night that Rep. Kevin Yoder (R-KS) had gone skinny dipping in the Sea of Galilee last summer while he and as many as 29 of his colleagues were on a fact-finding tour of Israel.

According to the report the CODEL (Congressional Delegation) was on a trip sponsored by a group affiliated with the American Israel Political Action Committee (AIPAC) to visit holy sites in Israel "while their Israeli government hosts drive home the huge importance of U.S. support of Israel.

I am a fan of Israel and of AIPAC. I am not a fan of a bunch of Members of Congress, their spouses, their children, and senior staffers acting like a bunch of fraternity boys and sorority girls having a kegger during rush week while on a trip overseas.

In one of the least surprising sentences of this, or any other election year, Politico reporters Jake Sherman and John Bresnahan wrote that "several" of those present

"privately admitted that alcohol may have played a role in why some of those present decided to jump in."

What was that line by Claude Raines in "Casablanca" again?

And they wonder why Americans have such an abysmally low opinion of Congress.

What yesterday's Twitter-fest should have been about was a new e-book by Politico's Glenn Thrush named "Obama's Last Stand."

In a summary of his book, Thrush writes:

"President Barack Obama's campaign team, celebrated four years ago for its exceptional cohesion and eyes-on-the-prize strategic focus, has been shadowed this time by a succession of political disagreements and personal rivalries that haunted the effort at the outset."

This campaign, according to Thrush, is about "Obama's own burning competitiveness" coupled with his "remorseless focus on beating Mitt Romney - an opponent he genuinely views with contempt …"

That prompted me to Tweet (@richgalen)

Reading "Obamas Last Stand" reminded of the line "Four years ago Obama was on a crusade. Now he's in a campaign. And he's not that good at it"

Rather than beating up Obama quoting Thrush's book yesterday, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan had to spend their day condemning Todd Akin and tsk-tsking over the actions of the Republican CODEL in Israel.

Not the best day of the campaign and none of it was Romney's fault.

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