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The Cracked Genius of Michele Bachmann

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Salon’s Alex Pareene, in response to Rep. Michele Bachmann’s latest fundraising appeal to her supporters, declares bewilderingly, “I am just looking for some sort of silver lining to the continued, demoralizing political prominence of a person who is very obviously deranged.”

Of course, taking into consideration the congresswoman’s wildly misinformed statements and crass invective against “big government,” there’s no mistaking her political profile for the silhouette of a figure tilting against windmills.

No matter, that filament of a silver lining Pareene pleads for is two-fold. First, her appeal is to the small-donor demographic which wields the most votes (57% of the contributors who gave to Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign spent $1000 or less; another 33% spent less than $200). The broad participation of voters from middle- and working class instilled a sense of having influenced the election of a junior U.S. senator who was once thought of as an unelectable candidate with a foreign sounding name.

The other reason to be optimistic involves the electoral paradigm: who gets to decide who runs for president? Beyond the scope of presidential exploratory committees and metric-intense focus groups, how does your average voter get a word in about who should run?

At the same instant we risk enabling a character like Rep. Bachmann to work her Tea Party “magic” on a national scale, perhaps one may consider there is an electoral awakening underway, particularly of the great many voters who thought the electoral process throughout our nation’s history had been decided by a one-person one-vote ratio. Not so, and it is increasingly difficult to conceal how elite moneyed interests (gratuitous name check: the Koch Brothers) wield the kind of influence that snuffs out what any small  “d” democrat considers as “the consent of the governed.” (The consensus support for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan comes to mind.)

Given that Minnesota’s 6th District has seen (or seemed un-) fit to send Rep. Bachmann back to Capitol Hill twice since first being elected in 2006, who could hope that those mesmerized by her stone-cold blue stare would rouse to a greater awareness of what is at stake for a war-weary nation hobbling from financial wreckage?

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About judefolly

  • Glenn Contrarian

    zing –

    To adults it wouldn’t be much of a contest – Bachmann wouldn’t stand a chance…except to those who blindly follow her.

  • Bachmann is not exempted from personal attacks as she is a public figure and not a participant in the discussion.


  • zingzing

    who could have guessed that was coming? there’s always “that guy.”

    anyway, bachmann has been challenged to a debate by a 10th grader. i, for one, hope she accepts that challenge.

  • Jim Long

    I find it humorous that there is a notice above the “Comment:” block advising that “Personal attacks are NOT allowed.”, when the entire article is a personal attack on Representative Bachmann!

  • Baronius

    Bernard, I don’t like the term either. During the debate, I used the term “health care reform” which was politically neutral. But as the years go by, and different health care reform legislation comes up, we’re going to need a specific term to refer back to the 2009-10 legislation, and like it or not, “Obamacare” is the term that people are using. The funny thing is, most of it was a compromise between Senate Dems and House Dems, so naming it after the President is inaccurate.

    I noticed that Bachmann put the term in quotes, which is fine by me.

  • Bernard Webb

    I am so sick of hearing the republican term “Obamacare”. The health-care law was passed by the Congress, but for some reason it is never “Congresscare”. That reason: right-wingers’ searing white-hot hatred for Obama has overwhelmed any lingering sense of decency they may have once had.

    As for Bachmann, she is simply not worth my time to comment on.

  • I’m really not sure I get your complaint here. I read the link to her fundraising letter. The only thing she raised in it is her opposition to Obamacare which is a legitimate issue which obviously appeals to her target audience as well as to a majority of the general voting population. That seems like an obvious and completely sensible tactic.