Monday, August 20, 2012

Quick Hits: Volume LVIII

- I admit that this particular story sneaked up on me, especially given the high-profile rabble rousing over the issue within the past decade.

The home of the Masters now has green jackets for women.

In a historic change at one of the world's most exclusive golf clubs, Augusta National invited former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and South Carolina financier Darla Moore to become the first female members since the club was founded in 1932.

"This is a joyous occasion," chairman Billy Payne said Monday.

For some, it was a long time coming.

Martha Burk and her women's advocacy group first challenged the club 10 years ago over its all-male membership. The debate returned this year when IBM, one of the top corporate sponsors of the Masters, appointed Virginia Rometty as its chief executive. The previous four CEOs of Big Blue had all been Augusta National members.

The battle ended in typical style for Augusta National, with an understated announcement that left even Burk stunned.

"Oh my God. We won," she blurted out when contacted by The Associated Press.
Personally, I am glad Augusta National is finally allowing female members. Not that I had an issue with an all male club (I didn't). But golf is one activity that is not dominated by one gender or the other, so Augusta's long time policy of "men only" seemed rather antiquated. Not to mention that said policy was loser from a business standpoint, whether it was corporate sponsors withdrawing advertising during The Masters or the loss of potential revenue which would have been garnered through female memberships.

Now the question I have is how are the lefty women's groups reacting to Augusta's inaugural female members, which consist of a "one percenter" and a Republican? Will there now be protests to call for more class and/or ideological diversity?

- Since Sarah Palin decided not to run for President, it was pretty well assumed she would play "King Maker" in many of the key GOP primary races for US Senate. Sure enough, those candidates who received Palin's endorsement in Utah, Nebraska, Indiana and Texas (Orrin Hatch, Deb Fischer, Richard Mourdock and Ted Cruz respectively) all emerged victorious in their given races.

Then on August 7th, the Missouri Senate primary saw Palin-endorsed candidate Sarah Steelman finish 3rd (29% of the vote) behind winner Todd Akin (36%) and runner up John Brunner (30%). As a result, Palin's usual lefty detractors emerged like poo-flinging monkeys with such reaction as "HAHA!!! Palin is teh stoopid for backing such a looser. Redeculous."

As it turns out, Palin's preferred Missouri candidate may well be back in play.

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and the entire GOP national political apparatus launched a swift and relentless crusade against one of their own Monday, seeking to drive Rep. Todd Akin out of the U.S. Senate race in Missouri after his controversial comments on rape and pregnancy threatened the party with widespread political harm.

“Congressman Akin’s comments on rape are insulting, inexcusable and, frankly, wrong,” Romney told the National Review early Monday. His remarks were soon followed by calls from two GOP senators to withdraw and statements later from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.), the chief Senate campaign strategist, meant to push Akin aside.

The Senate race in Missouri has been regarded as one of the most competitive in the country, and one of the best opportunities for the GOP to grab a seat from the embattled incumbent Democrat, Sen. Claire McCaskill.

Look, I'm inclined to go along with the sentiment that McCaskill's votes in lockstep with President Obama provide much more harm to this country than Akin's poorly chosen words. But that having been said, I just don't see any way Akin survives this. The political left will rely upon (and quite possibly sway) a good portion of the low information voters to accept the premise that Akin's sentiments are reflective of the GOP as a whole. It's an unnecessary (but, at this point in the game, a very avoidable) distraction.

As I write this on Monday night, there are rumors surfacing that Akin is likely to withdraw by Tuesday evening. If that's the case, the timing couldn't be more perfect.

Missouri state law allows a nominated candidate to withdraw his or her bid for office by 5 p.m. on the 11th Tuesday before the election which, as it turns out, is tomorrow. If Akin does drop his bid before tomorrow’s deadline, the state’s GOP central committee would pick his replacement.
No word on whom the committee would prefer, but that issue is secondary to the greater goal: putting forth a merely competent candidate to oppose a very vulnerable incumbent Democrat Senator.


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