Tony Perkins and Todd Akin: Loyalty and the case for stickin’

Matt K. Lewis Senior Contributor
Font Size:

Rep. Todd Akin has apologized repeatedly for his inaccurate and offensive comments about abortion and rape. But forgiveness remains is elusive. Republicans, sensing he was toxic and an obvious political liability, have thrown him under the bus. As James Carville wrote in, Stickin’: The Case for Loyalty, “Nowhere in the entire world is disloyalty more rewarded and rewarded well than in Washington … Heck, if Brutus lived today there would be a monument to him on the mall.”

But at least one conservative leader is standing by his man. Appearing on MSNBC’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports” this afternoon, The Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins continued to back the battered congressman, calling his comments a “Biden-ism.”

Some people see this as insane.

I see it as honorable.

Politicians don’t deserve blind loyalty, though they might want it. (When an aide told Earl Long, “I’m with you when you’re right, Governor, but not when you’re wrong,” he famously responded: “You stupid [beep] I don’t need you when I’m right.)

And it would be wrong to pretend Akin’s initial comments were correct — or to defend him if he were sticking by them.

But he’s not. He has apologized countless times for his stupid remarks. And I think it’s a bit cowardly the way so many of his former friends are treating him as a pariah.

Say what you will about Tony Perkins, but he’s not a coward.

During an episode of The Simpsons, Homer wants to get rid of family dog “Santa’s Little Helper,” but daughter Lisa objects.”Are you trying to teach us that the way to solve a problem with something we love is to throw it away?,” she asks. Homer [weeping] replies: Oh, Lisa.  If they’re ever going to pull the plug on me, I want you in my corner, honey.

As someone who says a lot of potentially controversial things, all I can say is this: When they come after me, I want Perkins in my corner.