The Democrats’ Todd Akin Is a Fake Candidate Who Tweets a Lot

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
July 10 2014 4:08 PM

The Democrats’ Todd Akin Is a Fake Candidate Who Tweets a Lot

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Not always a reliable little birdie doing the tweeting

Photo by Kimihiro Hoshino/AFP/Getty Images

Former congressman/longtime punchine Todd Akin has returned to the news cycles, with a book in which he reminds everyone how he offended women and blew a sure-thing Senate race for the Republicans. In a complete coincidence, there is a flurry of outrage about a man named Mike Dickinson, a self-proclaimed "left wing liberal" (redundant, but whatever) running for Congress in the district formerly known as Eric Cantor's. He's been angrily tweeting demands for "sex tapes" of Kendall Jones, a young big-game hunter whose pictures went viral this week. The reaction usually takes the form of "can you imagine if a Republican did this," because the media is famous for ignoring any story involving a legitimate candidate and crazy sex talk.

CNN's S.E. Cupp:

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The Weekly Standard's Mark Hemingway:

National Review's Jim Geraghty:

One problem: Dickinson is not a Democratic candidate for Congress. The media slowly figured this out after February, when Dickinson started tweeting insults at Fox News and was booked on the network as "Mike Dickinson (D-VA)." He had to be set up like a punching bag one more time before Mediaite noticed that was not actually going to be a Democratic candidate in the fall. Dickinson failed to make time between TV appearances to file any candidate forms. His candidacy lives online, where he takes advantage of umbrage culture by soliciting donations—grifting, basically.

But he won't appear on a ballot. This raises an interesting question: Does a political party have to answer for a candidate if he is not actually its nominee? The question elicits an easy answer: Of course not. 

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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