Thursday, January 5, 2012

Michele Bachmann does the right thing

Ihave waited a day before writing about Tuesday’s Iowa caucuses. I wanted to see the winnowing brought about by this, the first of the “real” electoral events in the 2012 presidential election process. The Iowa caucuses may not be the most reliable predictor of the eventual GOP nomination winner, but they do separate the political chaff from the grain.

Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney who won, former senator Rick Santor­um (Pa.) who lost by just eight votes and third-place Rep. Ron Paul (Tex.) all emerged as the “grain”. They will go on to further tests in New Hampshire and/or South Carolina later this month. Texas Gov. Rick Perry, with a mediocre 10 per cent of the vote, and Rep. Michele Bachmann (Minn.), who put in a particularly dismal showing with only five per cent, must surely be considered the “chaff”. I’m not sure whether to classify Newt Gingrich, with 13 per cent, as chaff or grain. Apparently, he does plan to continue—if only to give Romney payback for the rough going-over Gingrich received in the run-up to Tuesday’s vote.

Of the two big losers, Bachmann is the only one to step aside; Perry has decided to stay in the race to, at least, contest the South Carolina Primary.

I, like many Republicans, had high hopes for Rep. Michele Bachmann. She had, we hoped, the makings of an American Margaret Thatcher. Clearly, we were wrong. Being female and tough and anti-Gay are not enough to be legitimately compared to the Iron Lady of Britain. One also needs to be knowledgeable, worldly and statesmanlike. Clearly Bachmann is none of these. She’s an improvement over Sarah Palin, but falls short of being presidential material, at least, at this stage of her life.

Her apparent willingness to use nuclear weapons on Iran as a first strike is appalling. And her grasp on geography, international affairs, American history and popular culture is deeply troubling:

  • Bachmann seemed not to know that Libya was in Africa and that the American Embassy in Tehran had been closed for thirty years.
  • She famously said: “But we also know that the very founders [of the U.S. republic] that wrote those documents worked tirelessly until slavery was no more in the United States. … I think it is high time that we recognize the contribution of our forbearers who worked tirelessly—men like John Quincy Adams, who would not rest until slavery was extinguished in the country.” Really? On what planet did the Founding Fathers work to end slavery? And John Quincy Adams was not one of the Founding Fathers—he was 11 or 12 years of age at the time.
  • While campaigning in Iowa, she told an interviewer that they were near the birthplace of John Wayne. It was not, as apparently she believed, the cowboy star, but the serial killer, John Wayne Gacy who had lived nearby at Waterloo, Iowa.
  • She once invited a crowd in South Carolina to honour Elvis Presley’s birthday on what was actually the anniversary of his death.
  • Her child-like solution to unemployment is to abolish the minimum wage. Do that, she says, and everyone would have a job.

This is not a candidate with any chance whatsoever of taking the White House from President Barack Obama. So, bye, bye, Michele.

Copyright © 2012 Russell G. Campbell. All Rights Reserved.


  1. Still I found it obscene how swiftly the national media dumped her in favour of Rick Perry. It seemed very chauvinistic. She certainly has a great CV as a tax lawyer and put her money where her mouth is by taking in foster children and helping foster children in general.

    Love to see Gingrich tackle Obama, but as Dennis Miller says, angry doesn't go over well on tv.

  2. She was a "tax lawyer" for about 9 months, working for a tax department of the government. Not sure what her actual bureaucratic role was, but touting that so much was emblematic of much that was wrong with her campaign and her.

    But she is extremely dangerous on the social conservative side and, as some of those quoted comments indicate, she comes from the very frightening "Dominionist" strain of Christianity, who don't believe in separation of church and state and are funding billions of private dollars into re-writing history, putting creation back into schools, etc.

    Good riddance.

    But we may not have seen the last of her yet. Notice how she hasn't been at all critical of the front runner and furthest from her politically in any of the debates since she imploded? I keep reading how she's been pushing for a possible VP ticket position.

    Sarah Palin's problem was that she wasn't ready for prime time and was an airhead. Bachmann's got that PLUS she's crazy.

  3. I agree for the most part, Ted. Calling her "crazy", though, may be too extreme. I believe she's quite sane, though misguided. I'm also not too comfortable with her sort of religiosity and how it might play into the way she would make laws.