A few weeks ago, Republican Todd Akin stunned just about everyone with his remarks concerning "legitimate rape" and how a woman's body "automatically shuts down", according to Akin when being raped, which, according to him, naturally prevents pregnancy as a result of rape. He was, needless to say, trying to defend the Republican position on outlawing abortion even in the case of rape.
The remarks were so outrageous and ignorant, that the biggest outcry came from Republicans themselves all but begging Akin to drop out of the race. the Republican senate re-election committee said they would no longer contribute money to Akin's campaign and urged him to drop out.
What was the Democratic response? Pathetic. Again. Seemingly without candidates nor strategists who have a clue on how to wage a fight politically, form a powerful message and get it across, and seemingly without the backbone to do it even if they could, Democratic response across the board was tepid, weak and ineffective which has become more the norm.
Not only was Obama's response weak ( which was criticized here) as well as other Democrats, but the response by McCaskill herself and her political advisors was equally tepid as she seemed reluctant to go after Akin hammer and tong and hang him out to dry for his comments.
If this was a calculated political decision, hoping to let the Republicans do the dirty work for them, or because they wanted to keep Akin in the race as an easy target, the Democratic calculation has blown up in their face.
In recent days and weeks Republicans have gleefully not only seen that McCaskill has not used Akin's remarks as a weapon against him, they have seen the lunatic far right, the hypocrites who want to keep government out of people's lives but firmly entrenched in women's vaginas, rally to Akin's cause. Republicans who called for Akin to withdraw are now having second thoughts.
Where the Republicans senate committee had said they were withdrawing monetary support for Akin's campaign a few weeks ago, they are now reconsidering, revitalized by McCaskill's political weakness and the ineptitude of her advisors.
A race that should have been firmly in the pockets of the Democrats when Akin first made his remarks, is now up for grabs and Democrats are sending out urgent emails begging for money for McCaskill's campaign because a recent poll now shows Akin with a 1 point lead, 48-47.
That Akin, who was left for dead by his own party now has a 1 point lead in the polls shows that what McCaskill needs is not money but some lessons on how to spend what she has, and someone to give her campaign a backbone and to go on the attack and use Akin's words against him pointing out that his obvious ignorance, stupidity and insensitivity when it comes to women and biology would be no different when it came to the economy.
Is that so hard?
The emails from Democratic candidates and interest groups like MoveOn asking for money is becoming a deluge. Aside from the ones coming in for McCaskill, there was one for Sherrod Brown in Ohio. Now, I like Sherrod Brown but his sales pitch for needing more money is that he is being outspent in Ohio by Republican SuperPacs. This is not the problem. People are not that stupid. Just because you run a failed message over and over doesn't mean people are going to buy it.
The problem isn't that Democrats don't have enough money, the problem is Democrats don't know what to do with the money they have. They have no one who knows how to craft an effective strategy. No one who knows how to formulate that strategy into an effective message and communicate it. No one who knows how to do an effective TV commercial that presents a memorable message in a memorable way and gives voters a reason to vote for them or against the Republican.
Its not more money that the Democrats need, its more and better political thinking and knowing how to communicate.
Luckily for them people aren't that stupid and the Republicans have nothing of real value to sell no matter how many commercials they buy. But candidates like McCaskill and her advisors and Sherrod Brown make it harder than it has to be by not knowing what to do with what they have.