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

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

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

110014362-twitter-logo-is-displayed-at-the-entrance-of-twitter
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:

Advertisement

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 reporter for Bloomberg Politics

TODAY IN SLATE

Technocracy

Forget Oculus Rift

This $25 cardboard box turns your phone into an incredibly fun virtual reality experience.

Republicans Want the Government to Listen to the American Public on Ebola. That’s a Horrible Idea.

The 2014 Kansas City Royals Show the Value of Building a Mediocre Baseball Team

The GOP Won’t Win Any Black Votes With Its New “Willie Horton” Ad

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?

Politics

Smash and Grab

Will competitive Senate contests in Kansas and South Dakota lead to more late-breaking races in future elections?

I Am 25. I Don’t Work at Facebook. My Doctors Want Me to Freeze My Eggs.

These Companies in Japan Are More Than 1,000 Years Old

  News & Politics
The World
Oct. 21 2014 11:40 AM The U.S. Has Spent $7 Billion Fighting the War on Drugs in Afghanistan. It Hasn’t Worked. 
  Business
Business Insider
Oct. 21 2014 11:27 AM There Is Now a Real-life Hoverboard You Can Preorder for $10,000
  Life
Atlas Obscura
Oct. 21 2014 12:40 PM Asamkirche: The Rococo Church Where Death Hides in Plain Sight
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM I Am 25. I Don’t Work at Facebook. My Doctors Want Me to Freeze My Eggs.
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 20 2014 7:15 AM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 9 A spoiler-filled discussion of "Flatline."
  Arts
Behold
Oct. 21 2014 12:05 PM Same-Sex Couples at Home With Themselves in 1980s America
  Technology
Technology
Oct. 21 2014 10:43 AM Social Networking Didn’t Start at Harvard It really began at a girls’ reform school.
  Health & Science
Climate Desk
Oct. 21 2014 11:53 AM Taking Research for Granted Texas Republican Lamar Smith continues his crusade against independence in science.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.