While pundits are busy critiquing Mitt Romney and Barack Obama, another fight is raging that will affect American life for years to come. That battle is taking place in the Senate, where a series of retirements and new challengers to Democratic incumbents could easily shift Congress to the right.
What are the Republicans fighting for? They’ve been threatening to dismantle Obamacare, gut environmental regulations, cut social programs, and get government into the bedroom – regardless of who wins the presidency.
Meet the angry white men that might actually tilt the power in the Senate towards the Grand Old Party.
Indiana: Richard Mourdock Really Hates Bipartisanship
Remember the good old days when Republicans and Democrats joined hands to fight our country’s most pressing problems? Remember when Congress got stuff done? It must have been awful, at least according to Senate candidate Richard Mourdock of Indiana. “I certainly think bipartisanship ought to consist of Democrats coming to the Republican point of view” Mourdock told MSNBC. Well, that’s not what it means, but Mourdock is convinced that traditional bipartisanship “has brought us to the brink of bankruptcy.”
But there are surely moments of bipartisanship Mourdock can agree on, right? Like sex offenders or nuclear weapons laying around former Soviet countries! Everybody hates those.
No but seriously, somebody needs to kill that snake.
Nope. Not Mourdock. He actually criticized his incumbent Republican primary opponent Richard Lugar for writing the legislation that dismantled more than 7,000 nuclear warheads in former Soviet countries. That would be the Nunn-Lugar legislation, and it was so successful that Barack Obama worked with Lugar to make sure terrorists couldn’t just stumble upon dangerous nuclear material. Mourdock’s response? He released an attack ad that trashed Lugar for working with Obama. Add that to his belief that Social Security and Medicare are unconstitutional and you have a candidate sure to lose.
Just kidding. Mourdock currently has a 2-point lead over Democratic opponent Joe Donnelly.
Pennsylvania: Tom Smith Is Obsessed With Wedlock and Beauty Parlors
Pennsylvania Senate candidate Tom Smith made national headlines in August when he seemed to equate the trauma of a pregnancy brought about by rape with a woman’s deciding to have a child outside marriage. Smith is pro-life, even in cases of sexual assault. When asked how he would tell a daughter or a granddaughter who was the victim of the rape to keep the baby, Smith told an AP reporter that he experienced a similar situation when a family member had a child out of wedlock. After being pressed by the reporter whether that was similar to rape, Smith backed off saying, “No, no, no, but… put yourself in a father’s situation, yes. It is similar.” In other words, no I’m not making that comparison at all, but really, they’re totally the same.
Pennsylvania’s blue skies, enjoy them while they’re not filled with black smoke.
Smith also has a penchant for making awkward comments about women that would be considered sexist if they actually made sense. Smith once approached a group of women and suggested that they must be talking about shoes. On another occasion, Smith compared the ability of President Obama to make decisions to a wife who had wrecked his car, and subsequently wanted to bring it to a beauty parlor for repairs.
Ha ha! Women can’t drive AND they’re stupid! Right?
Smith is currently challenging Pennsylvania Democratic incumbent Bob Casey, Jr. Casey is leading, thank the lord, but the race is far from over.
North Dakota: Rick Berg, Let’s Imprison People Who Have Abortions. For Life.
Republican senate candidate Rick Berg is currently vying for the seat vacated by Democrat incumbent Kent Conrad. Rick Berg really dislikes people who have abortions. In fact, Rick Berg wants to imprison people who have abortions. For life. This, by the way, also includes cases of rape.
Berg is also an ardent supporter of your constitutional right to shoot animals. According to his website, Berg supports the Second Amendment, “so that future generations of lawful sportsmen and women will be able to enjoy the same opportunities we have today.” Just to be clear, Berg does not support the Second Amendment because our Founding Fathers, as rapper Ice T correctly asserted, wanted to protect us from tyranny. No, Rick Berg believes you have a constitutional right to kill living creates for sport, just as long as they’re not fetuses.
Berg is leading by 9 points against Democratic challenger Heidi Heitkamp.
Missouri: Todd “Legitimate Rape” Akin
Even those totally uninterested in politics managed to hear of this guy. Todd Akin claimed that “legitimate” rapes do not lead to pregnancy, a statement which is doctors roundly rejected as false. Akin later apologized, noting that “legitimate” was a poor word choice. In other words, Akin did not understand why people were angry, apologizing for his word choice rather than backing down from his bogus scientific claims.
You would think being abandoned by even the most extreme members of your party would send a Senate candidate spiraling towards their political death. Wrong. Akin recently claimed his campaign is doing “incredibly well” and raised over $100,000 dollars after the backlash to his legitimate rape comments.
But knowing a thing or two about your vagina isn’t Todd Akin’s only accomplishment.
He also has famously opposed federal programs that offer food to hungry kids because seriously, fuck those kids. While we’re on the topic of young people, do you plan on going to college or sending a child to one? Well Todd Akin hates you too. When asked if the federal government should keep student loan interest rates in check, he said such legislation was the equivalent of “stage three cancer of socialism.”
So where does Todd Akin stand in the polls against Democrat Claire McCaskill? After losing ground immediately following his “legitimate rape” remarks, Akin is slowly recovering and now only trails McCaskill by 6 points. That is 4 points better than in August, after the same polling organization found Akin down 10 points.
Ohio: Josh Mandel Wants the Government Out of Cockfights and into Your Vagina
Move over Todd Akin, there’s a new crazy in town. Josh Mandel is the current Ohio State Treasurer and vying for the seat of now-incumbent Sherrod Brown. And while Todd Akin made one awful, ill-informed, comment, Josh Mandel has made a career from it.
If you were ever unsure how much of Birtherism was motivated by racism, just ask Mandel who insinuated that his black (and Christian) opponent in the race for Ohio State Treasurer was Muslim. Politifact noted that Mandel has a “casual relationship with the truth.”
Josh Mandel thinks two of these people hate America.
Mandel’s other legislative hobbies including banning all abortion, even in the case of rape. Despite finding the time to be all up in your lady business, then State Senator Mandel voted against legislation which would make cockfighting a felony. The reason? Mandel said the Ohio legislature should focus on jobs instead.
Mandel and Democratic opponent are currently locked in a dead heat in Ohio’s Senate race.