darkiedarkness seized control of real America, a new heroinheroine leapt forth from the shadows of Congress to restore vigilante hope to the citizens of GOPham, to save them from the evil secret muslim schemes of a socialist psychopath known as The Jokerbama.
Summoned by a special signal when GOPham and its media-machine find themselves in desperate need of something and someone to distract them from awful reality, Bachmann leaps into action from her secret asylum to battle against the arch-foes of the Right, to fight for the victims of victimization and the victiminated victims of gotcha journalism.
Bachmann Begins is the latest in the stable of DC Comical superficial-heroes to be transferred from the web-pages of cult fans to the small screen, aiming to build on the Koch Brothers Studios box-office successes of Flight-Lieutenant America (played by George W. Bush) and Flight-Lieutenant America II: This Time Its More of The Same, Only Worse, and The Adventures of Wonder If She’ll-Run/When She’ll Quit-Woman (played by Sarah Palin who, incidentally, has yet to break character despite the short movie of her political performance having failed to win any political Oscars in 2008).
Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone would not approve of the above pastiche. Taibbi, who has personal experience of the relationship of organized evangelism and politics warned last week that in the political context, Bachmann is no joke and publicly mocking her will not thwart her public progress—indeed Taibbi argues that mockery will only provide sympathetic momentum from right-wing voters.
After all Sarah Palin’s survival in the political scene is due in no small part to her acting the victim with which the right-wing public identifies and to which they sympathetically respond. Although the estimation of Palin’s political viability and her personal popularity amongst Republican voters has fallen steadily and significantly, her demise isn’t the result of a left-wing campaign of mockery but is instead the natural consequence of overplaying victimhood, exposing her own inadequacies in her many media appearances without any assistance from left-wing critics and her persistent rallying of her troops for some grandiose action only to disappear at the critical moment of leadership to attend to some personal business instead.
NOTE: As of January 2011 Palin scored just 38% favorable to 53% unfavorable in a Gallup poll, and her popularity in her own state, which stood at 82% in September 2008 had fallen to 47% by January 2010— after which it appears that polling companies have either stopped measuring Palin’s home state popularity or no one can be bothered to report on it anymore.
Nonetheless much of the MSM has studiously ignored her two years of declining popularity to continually pitch her as a ‘serious’ presidential candidate (here’s an unabashed example of clueless and desperate Palin–boosting from CBS’ political correspondent Jan Crawford; “New Sarah Palin movie hints at presidential run”).
As Bachmann is a described as a “serious” GOP nomination contender it then follows that she is a serious contender for the White House too; here’s an excellent example of the reptilian-brained and ADD-addled mindset of a typical ‘Beltway-Boy’ Ed Kilgore of The New Republic in his convoluted yet facile ‘pre-game’ analysis of “Why She’s a Serious Contender for 2012” in which Kilgore acknowledges “it’s hard to imagine someone as radical as her [Bachmann] actually winning the nomination “ yet still writes admiringly and at length about her qualifications, and ridiculously concludes”
“Bachmann need look no further than Palin’s example to see that making a big splash in a national election can secure success more quickly than crawling up the career ladder in Washington. (NOTE: Palin’s big splash on the national stage was entirely due to a desperate decision by the McCain campaign, her success was secured by FOX News and an idiotic political infotainment industry, Palin’s “career ladder” has actually been a no-effort-involved private elevator and of course she never got to Washington except as a tourist). “And also like her doppelganger, Bachmann has never been shy about her ambitions—or the conviction that her career is being guided by none other than the Lord himself. Why wouldn’t she take a leap of faith?” (That’s it?! Bachmann is a serious contender because…why the hell not? What the fuck kind of analysis is that?!)
An actual reason why Bachmann might be considered a serious contender is that in very recent CBS News poll of Republican voters Bachmann tied with CNN’s pre-selected GOP ‘debate’ winner Mitt Romney with regard to voter enthusiasm.
However, direct examination of the poll reveals a much bleaker picture than the above artful parsing suggests:
Question: Are You Satisfied With The Choices For Republican Candidate Or Do You Want More Choices?
Satisfied with the Choices: 23%
Want More Choice: 71%
Question: Which Candidate Do You Feel Enthusiastic About?
No one 67%
Mitt Romney 7%
Michele Bachmann 7%
Herman Cain 2%
So Bachmann and Romney individually are presently as popular amongst Republican voters as Fred Thompson was, or combined, about as popular as America’s Adulterous Cross-dressing Mayor of Gay Armageddon-Town, Rudy Verbnoun911 was, in 2008. (Fred Thompson, you will recall, just wandered-off in a fog one day, whilst Rudy couldn’t even get his own kids to vote for him); in other words Bachmann’s and Romney’s present scores in the CBS poll are actually those of losers in comparison to previous GOP races at the same stage in the game which is particularly interesting, given their high media profiles.
Of this pair, Romney presumably has the greater recognition, having been a respectable competitor in the 2008 GOP Primaries and for having served as a Governor which is statistically a very reliable waypoint for a White House wannabe, but at the same time Romney’s record is well documented and many Republicans clearly don’t like what they have seen so far. Romney’s biggest problems are his Mormon faith which he can’t leverage, his tolerance of abortion which is a major liability, and his “socialist” ‘RomneyCare’ health system which has proven particularly difficult for him to lie about effectively.
Bachmann’s cupboard of record appears at first to be bereft of political skeletons though not because she’s never done anything ‘wrong’ but because in her six years as a Congresswoman she’s never done anything at all-–she hasn’t even co-sponsored a successful bill.
What she has done is waste her colleagues’ time with a couple of pointless proposals whilst benefiting from the “big-government” socialist welfare policies of farm subsidies and worker-training subsidies that she publicly criticizes. (NOTE: Arguably Bachmann’s best known legislative effort has been her March 2011 “Light Bulb Freedom of Choice Act” which forced the GAO to work unnecessarily on a report that of course destroyed her idiotic rationale).
With a dutiful but invisible back-bench voting record and absolutely no practical legislative record of her own, Bachmann’s words are the most obvious means by which the media can describe her and explain her to the larger public. The surprise ‘last-minute’ choice of Palin and the careful management of her public exposure, combined with the political bias of the corporate owned MSM largely prevented significant public examination of McCain’s VP candidate, but in Bachmann’s case there’s years of easily accessed material, most of it provided by Bachmann herself, and 12 months until the election for thorough discovery of who she is what she’s done and what she’s about.
However try as it might the MSM is struggling to discover anything she’s ever said that isn’t profoundly ignorant, stupid, a lie, paranoid and/or insane, such as:
Disney’s the Lion King could be used as ‘gay propaganda’: “A very effective way to do this with a bunch of second- graders, is take a picture of ‘The Lion King’ for instance, and a teacher might say, ‘Do you know that the music for this movie was written by a gay man?’ The message is: I’m better at what I do, because I’m gay.”
Eliminating the Minimum Wage would Solve Unemployment: “Literally, if we took away the minimum wage — if conceivably it was gone — we could potentially virtually wipe out unemployment completely because we would be able to offer jobs at whatever level.”
Intelligent Design is widely supported by Nobel prize-winning scientists: “There are hundreds and hundreds of scientists, many of them holding Nobel Prizes, who believe in intelligent design.”
Baghdad in 2007 was just like America’s largest shopping mall: “[T]here’s a commonality with the Mall of America, in that it’s on that proportion. There’s marble everywhere. The other thing I remarked about was there is water everywhere.”
Carbon Dioxide is harmless because it’s natural and on-one has proven it to be anything but benign: “Carbon dioxide is portrayed as harmful. But there isn’t even one study that can be produced that shows that carbon dioxide is a harmful gas.”
Completing the Census Form is Unconstitutional, therefore the law requiring completion doesn’t apply: “I know for my family, the only question we will be answering is how many people are in our home. “We won’t be answering any information beyond that, because the Constitution doesn’t require any information beyond that.”
NOTE: Thanks to Think Progress for most of the above, and there’s tons more at Buzzfeed’s Ultimate Collection od Stupid Bachmann Quotes
The comparison between Bachmann and Palin is mostly apt and accurate; Bachmann, like Palin, is a self-serving serial liar and a hypocrite. She is ignorant and uncomprehending of the essential principles of American civics, government and law (Bachmann’s ‘law degree’ is a joke). She is utterly irrational, and her success, such as it is, is entirely dependent on the fortunate condition of representing a district with a voting majority as consistently deranged as she is—and yet despite all the above, already, she’s still being touted by many in the corporate MSM as a ‘serious’ player in national politics, who deserves serious attention.
The only arguments for Bachmann being taken seriously are that she is committed to the GOP nomination contest (unlike Palin, or Gingrich, or Trump) and that being an ignorant, stupid, paranoid delusional liar is clearly no liability for a certain degree of electoral success—after all, Bachmann has now spent three consecutive terms in Congress and the teabagger contingent of the Republican Party had a remarkably successful year in 2010.
The actual seriousness of Bachmann is she is being treated seriously when she’s actually unqualified, irresponsible utterly deranged and a danger to democracy, just as her teabagger compatriots who gained power at the national and state levels in 2010 are predictably proving to be.
But here’s another crazy thing about this seriously crazy woman and her serious candidacy that the majority of the political punditocracy is currently choosing to ignore, and that is that Bachmann is vying for the national leadership of a political party that traditionally and presently, largely fears and despises women—and not just in attitude but in action.
Bachmann’s own radical religious constituency likes what she says, but their brand of religion insists that women are subservient to men, that an independent powerful woman is an abomination. The only reason Bachmann is being tolerated at all by the Republican ranks is because she’s easy to look at (like Palin) and faithfully and passionately delivers the rhetorical read meat to the GOP masses (like Palin) and because the corporate MSM is treating her ‘seriously’.
Palin was picked for the VP slot as a publicity stunt and had McCain won, her VP role would have been exactly the same. —she’d have been Dan Quayle, only with sass and tits. Bachmann is being allowed to run just to motivate the troops and to keep the gormless press occupied and the more feeble-minded political left, distracted; but with up to a year of scrutiny and exposure ahead the corporate MSM simply won’t be able to fully maintain the pretense of her supposed viability.
That Bachmann has any credibility at all in Republican ranks is entirely due to her having become the foster-mother of the disturbed children of the Washington freshmen teabag caucus and their bully-buddies currently occupying a variety of governorships and state legislatures. Enabled by the desperate expedient adoption of Palin in 2008 the establishment GOP is now obliged to indulge the Teabagger tykes every tantrum for fear of losing their most activist base, only to risk losing their less nutty national constituency.
Look at that poll CBS poll again: The press is describing Bachmann and Romney as co-equal front-runners, but they are also equally disliked by 2/3rds to 3/4ths of Republican voters!!
The Republican’s familiarity with Romney since 2004 has unsurprisingly resulted in dispassionate contempt, but if Bachmann is supposed to be the rising star of the GOP, why are her figures equally as crappy? It’s surely not for a present lack of familiarity—the less voters really know about a candidate, especially one so adept with the dog-whistles and codes of Republican rhetoric, the more enthusiastic they are at first encounter, as Palin’s initial political trajectory so obviously demonstrated.
I’d argue that the broader Republican constituency (which includes the critical self-described “Independents” who regularly still vote Republican), as bad at history and self examination as they are, appear to have seen and heard it all before in the useless form of Sarah Palin, who is now quite clearly the disdainfully remembered ex-girlfriend of the generic Republican majority. Bachmann’s present pole-position (add your own stripper jokes if you like) is entirely a fantasy of the political MSM and has nothing to do with the realities of the national political present or a reasonably projected national political future (again, where the hell is Palin and what has she actually done since to 2008 except plummet in popularity and thus political potential?)
Furthermore look at the basis of Bachmann’s supposed political power across the nation—the implied caucus of Teabaggers at the state level that might provide her with the machinery and momentum she will need to make a serious impact on the national level:
Scott Walker, the Teabagger Governor of Wisconsin saw his overall approval rating drop from 52% to 43% by March 2011—two months after taking office, thanks to his union-busting efforts from which he has yet to back down
Teabagger Governor of Florida, Rick Scott, scored a 29% approval rating in a Quinnipiac poll in May 2011 after five months on the job.
Ohio Teabagging Governor John Kasich scored a 30% approval in March 2011 after releasing his budget which 56% of Ohioans described as “unfair”.
Governor Paul LePage, Maine’s main Teabagger has also observed his approval ratings succumbing to the gravitational forces of his own douche-baggery, dropping from 43% in March 2011 to 31% in May.
South Carolina’s Nikki Haley is one of the better-performing Teabag governors, but her approval ratings still dropped 11 points to 42% in June.
Those who voted for Teabagger politicians at the state level and have now begun to experience their extreme policies are clearly regretting their reactionary choice, whilst in Washington, various establishment Republicans have expressed some resentment and frustration with their unruly neophyte Teabagger colleagues, presumably because the Teabaggers are just too damn obvious about their desire to apply a wrecking ball to the entire government structure whereas the old-boys want to gut some of the insides and rearrange a few interior walls (and clear out some basement space as a rental-unit for the Democrats) but are desperately keen to maintain the façade and decorative trim so they can use its value to keep acquiring home-equity loans, so to speak.
The teabagging proles who shouted in delusion at Obama, “hands-off my Medicaid!”, are shouting the exact same thing now, only at the Teabag politicians who really are bent on dismantling Medicaid that these teabagging idiots voted into power a few months ago! These are the morons that Michelle Bachmann expects to support her, and no doubt they will, but contrary to the impression that the corporate MSM and Tea Party Patriots/Express have been so busy promoting, the Teabaggers are NOT a majority of the national Republican constituency, they are just the noisiest.
Again, look at the poll and look at the popularity scores of teabagging governors. Look at the issues that have everyone riled-up–the national majority, regardless of party affiliation, wants to keep Medicare and Medicaid. The average Republican voter doesn’t want teachers and police and firefighters laid off. They don’t want their governors rejecting federal stimulus funds that would help improve the job situation; they want and need the goddamned jobs that stimulus money would fund and ‘socialism’ be-damned.
No one takes Bachmann’s predecessor Palin seriously any more (a considerable majority of Republicans rate her unfit for the White House) , and though it’s hard to overestimate the delusion and idiocy of many Republican voters it is clear that a sizeable number are regretting the Teabagger option they took in 2010, and a huge number aren’t the least bit enthusiastic about their non-Teabagger options for the 2012 presidential election either.
Given the present approval rating trends of Teabagger incumbents and the disinterest in the entire Republican presidential field which Romney and Bachmann presently lead with numbers that would have placed them barely above dead-last in 2008, Bachmann is simply not a viable national candidate by any extant measure and the corporate MSM is going to have a very hard time boosting her numbers because as lazy and self-serving as they are, they just can’t avoid revealing what a useless nutcase Bachmann really is for the simple fact that they will have to report all the insane things and lies she has said and will say—which is all there is by which she can be judged.
I’m trying to avoid wishful thinking here, hence the length and sourcing of this post. I don’t want to underestimate the fickleness, spitefulness, delusion and self destructive stupidity of Republican voters either—after all we had George Bush and the ‘Tea Party’ has gone from an incoherent rabble in a public park to an incoherent rabble holding actual seats of real power—at the moment.
It would also be unwise to discount the determination of the corporate MSM to influence the electorate in favor of Bachmann if she’s the one who attracts the eyeballs the most and generates the most web hits, and most ominously it should not be forgotten that the voting system itself is still being manipulated with various disfranchising voter ID and registration initiatives, and that easily manipulated electronic voting machines are still in service in many states.
But even with successful strategic voter suppression efforts, the Republicans still need the Christian conservative base as delivered in the past by the likes of Ralph Reed and they need to appeal to the more pragmatic right-leaning ‘Independents’ who in particular are well aware of their usually pivotal role in tight national races. The major issues of 2012 are clearly going to be about the preservation of those social services that the general population needs more desperately than ever, the housing market and above all JOBS. These are all being experienced as local issues.
The blinkered dogmatic Teabaggers now in power at the state level are on a dogmatic rampage from no deviation is can even be considered. At the national level in Washington the Teabagger faction driving the obstruction on raising the National Debt Ceiling, as of June a Washington Post-Abs news Poll found that 71% overall believed that not raising the limit would hurt the economy. 37% of the Republican respondents are adamantly opposed to raising the limit, but only 30% of Independents are in firm opposition. Of course there’s a swath of respondents from all voting blocs who want a debt limit raise and spending cuts BUT the majority don’t want cuts to Medicare.
Quite apart from the stupidity of this manufactured ‘issue’ of the debt limit, it is an issue that will disappear in the next month and over the next year all the local spending cuts that are already going into effect and the federal cuts that will soon likely go into effect will have a made a significant mark on the general population, so the protection of Medicare and JOBS are going to be the big election issues—for which neither the Teabaggers nor the Republicans have any compelling ‘solutions’ except to protect the tax breaks for corporations and the rich at a time when even more Americans will have been consigned to lower economic strata than is already the case.
Interestingly the WashPo Poll took the temperature of Tea Party support and added “Strong” and “Some Support” for the Tea Party faction to produce an overall Support figure of 46 to the Oppose sum of 44, presenting a near equal division that slightly favors the Tea Party ; however that slight edge is heavily dependent on “Some Support”, whilst the “Strong Oppose” figure is almost twice that of the “Strong Support”. What exactly elicits the support or opposition of the respondents is unresolved but what is clear is that “Support” for the Tea Party faction is much weaker than the sum suggests.
As it stands at the moment the enthusiasm about Bachmann’s chances (and by inference the Tea Party) appears to me to be far more like wishful thinking by the corporate MSM and the echo chamber that occupies the space between Bachmann’s ears due to Teabaggers attention-getting noise and bluster. Those Teabaggers that have scored electoral successes are now staring at re-election failure as they press on with their agendas without regard for the Some Support/Some Oppose/Strong Oppose Republican constituents, which does not bode well for the Teabaggers or the GOP in a nationwide election, and thus does not bode well for Bachmann.
But apart from the tea-leaf reading that all the above mentioned polling data permits, there is one other factor that will affect Bachmann’s chances that the punditocracy will not admit: she’s not a MAN, baby!
Republicans as whole obviously aren’t complete misogynists but the fundamentally religious Republicans are and judging from the crowds at Teabagging events and comments and articles on blogs and websites a significant proportion of Teabaggers are patriarchal ‘fundies’. For all their enthusiasm for Palin, she was being guided into the traditionally weak-authority VP position, whereas Bachmann is aiming for complete executive power.
Granted the Teabaggers and Fundies could certainly put aside their considerable sexism if it meant they’d have a dedicated bible-thumper running the nation, but the Teabaggers still aren’t the majority of Republican voters, even in the most Teabaggy of states and of course it is the state Electoral Colleges that vote directly for the President and the members of the RNC that calculates who the Republican candidate should be whether their preference is supported by the Primary voting or not and especially when the competition is close.
Referring again to the CBS poll, Bachmann is no more popular amongst Republicans at present than the lower tier of 2008’s also-rans and the Teabaggers’ potential influence is actually quite weak whilst the Teabaggers presently in power are alienating even those who voted for them.
Of course many Republicans will rally behind the eventual GOP candidate out of Party loyalty and political necessity, just as many Democrats will feel the need to support Obama despite their dissatisfaction with his performance, but if Bachmann does become the GOP choice, there’s also going to be those Republicans who simply won’t abide such a colossal idiot leading their Party and the nation and others who won’t abide a woman in the White House no matter how appealing her rhetoric may be.
A lot can happen between now and the GOP Primaries, and afterwards to the actual election but what can Bachmann do to build broader support when she has no policy accomplishments that she can point-to? To win over moderate Republicans and Independents she’s going to have to change her extremist inchoate rhetoric which may not fool enough of them, whilst risking disappointing or even angering her Teabagger base (they anger easily, in case you hadn’t noticed).
The McCain/Palin ticket of 2008 offered moderate Republicans, right leaning Independents and the nascent Teabaggers a share of the political pie and thus presented as united a front as could be put together against Obama. At present the most likely 2012 version, going by the numbers would appear to be a Romney/Bachmann, or Bachmann/Romney ticket, but their numbers even at this early stage are truly pathetic. Though one might point to Palin and Bachmann as examples of how rational calculation no longer applies to the Republican dynamic, Palin’s rise was sudden and short, her inadequacies spared the longer scrutiny that Bachmann will have to undergo.
Of course my current estimation that Bachmann won’t win the GOP nomination conveniently dovetails with my personal desire for such a result, but the factors that support my arguments aren’t derived from my own partisan prejudices but those of Republicans as represented in the above mentioned polls.
At present Bachmann is the most exciting Republican character the punditocracy can find, so that’s why they are taking her ‘seriously’. Matt Taibbi warns that Democrats should take Bachmann seriously because the media that shapes the national political dynamic is taking her seriously and Obama is showing no signs yet of taking Democratic voters seriously—he’s not even pandering to them (us), but thus far according to the polling data, most Republicans aren’t taking Bachmann particularly seriously either, and altogether there are plenty of factors to suggest quite strongly that Bachmann isn’t going to get significantly any more ‘serious’ than she is now—though between the shambles that the GOP is currently in and Obama’s present political cluelessness, it is not beyond the realm of possibility that apathy and anger on both sides could still deliver Bachmann to the White House, in which it will be “welcome to Arkham Asylum”. Seriously.
ADDENDUM: Unless the teabaggers, and evangelical Republicans know that Bachmann’s husband or some other male is going to instruct her in the duites of the Presdiency, they aren’t going to pick her as a nominee, obviously.
From Think Progress:
As the Washington Post’s profile of Bachmann’s husband today notes, Dr. Bachmann — not his wife — is the decision-maker of the household, and that “is an article of faith within the family.” An article that, in 2006, Rep. Bachmann preached to a congregation. Noting that she only pursued a law degree because her husband “told her to,” Bachmann told women in the audience “The Lord says: Be submissive, wives“:
“He is her godly husband,” said Peter Bachmann, Dr. Bachmann’s oldest brother, who lives on the family dairy farm across the eastern border in Wisconsin. “The husband is to be the head of the wife, according to God.” It is a philosophy that Michele Bachmann echoed to congregants of the the Living Word Christian Center in 2006, when she stated that she pursued her degree in tax law only because her husband had told her to. “The Lord says: Be submissive, wives. You are to be submissive to your husbands,” she said.