John Bailey

The decline of party power

The decline of party power

No recent development has underlined the decline of political party clout more than beleaguered Senate Republican nominee Todd Akin's refusal to accede to GOP leadership demands that he withdraw from his race against Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri.

In spite of his asinine declaration that the female reproductive mechanism can somehow neutralize the pregnancy-creating sperm of a "legitimate" rapist, Mr. Akin has vowed to press on. He is bolstered by equally fervent anti-abortion organizations determined to show the Show Me State they are not to be denied.

His and their defiance of the abuse heaped on Mr. Akin, for bringing ridicule to a debate they...