The situation for Missouri Republicans over replacing Todd Akin as their candidate for U.S. Senate results from a confluence of factors. The first factor is the 17th Amendment, but there's not much we can do about that before November.
The next factor is Missouri law, which may prevent the Missouri Republican Party from replacing Akin. Think Progress has already chimed in, citing chapter and verse from Missouri statutes: "Even if the Missouri Republican Party decided that Akin is too much of a liability to remain on the ballot, however, they are likely stuck with him." We'll see.
Perhaps the most important factor is Missouri's ridiculous open primary system. How can we know that it wasn't Democrats who elected Akin? We can't. Democrats may have conducted their own Operation Chaos, asked for a Republican ballot in the August 7 primary and voted for the weakest of the three major candidates. This is no way to select a U.S. Senate candidate.
If all else fails, the Missouri GOP must mount a write-in candidacy, just as Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) did in 2010. Murkowski went on to win. And just as in Alaska, Missouri Republicans could back a woman: Sarah Steelman. "It takes a woman to beat a woman."
Jon N. Hall is a programmer/analyst from Kansas City.