Michele, My Belle …

NEW SLAUGHTERMichele Bachmann announcing she’s bailing on her beloved Sixth District completes a neat triptych of synchronicity. First there was old Bob Dole saying the current Republican party is such a godawfiul mess Ronald Reagan couldn’t make it out of a primary and that they ought to hang a “Closed for Repairs” on the party’s office door until they get an act together. Next came the study of the Tampa Bay Times PolitiFact archives that conservatives have a rate of flagrant lying three times higher than your average prevaricating liberal. Then … came Michele, my belle, a woman who like Richard Nixon, I’ll miss more (as a piece of street theater) than I dare say outside a confessional.

The connection is fairly obvious, especially when you consider how heavily Bachmann’s routine abuse of fact and logic skewed the PolitiFact numbers and that what Bob Dole was alluding to was the contempt for legislation and government that is the primary feature of the Congressional Bachmanns’ of the world.

Bob, who was a crusty old fart with an acidic sense humor, was not my idea of an enlightened statesman. But the guy — who actually went and fought for the country — had enough of a conscience that exploiting eight years on the taxpayers’ tab (with pension benefits to follow) while doing nothing other than self-serving entrepreneurial activity would have made him nauseous. But self-service — using political office to make money –  is now an accepted pose for modern, talk radio-inspired conservatives.

There is a consensus that Bachmann will be whisked off by Roger Aile’s jet to the FoxNews stable of deep thinkers the second she’s out of office — can’t you just imagine her on election night, squeezed in between Michelle Malkin and Charles Krauthammer? But mmmmmm, I’m not so sure. While I suspect every conservative in last year’s Republican presidential carnival-farce, other than multi-millionaires Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman, secretly entertained a hope they’d get a taste of that sweet, sweet Sarah Palin action from Fox, show biz is as cruel a lover as politics, and I don’t see Bachmann adding all that much to the FoxNews grievance choir.

Where Palin was a joke to middle and left America the minute she appeared on the scene in St. Paul in 2008, (lord that woman is dim), she didn’t do as much damage to her brand among the GOP’s base-herd as Bachmann has since cratering after that Iowa straw poll. Bachmann has the taint of a one-note loser, and is now one dogged by what may very well be serious campaign “improprieties” (i.e. playing loose with money), that Palin didn’t. Put another way, Palin was all about celebrity appeal — a major consideration at FoxNews — while Bachmann’s game was more about playing her base for pissed-off, cash-throwing chumps.

Her departure is of course very bad news for Jim Graves, even if he plays the most conservative damned free enterprise capitalist son-of-a-bitch Democrat the Sixth has ever seen. As gerrymandered (like 95% of the country’s districts), the Sixth is toxic territory for any Democrat running against any Republican … who isn’t Michele Bachmann. If I had to bet, I’d put $20 on Matt Dean and $10 on Jason Lewis to pick up the nomination, based on the simple reasoning that each already has a practiced act for telling low-information apocalyptics whatever they want to hear.

But Michele will do fine. Close friends like Tim and Beverly LaHaye, (he of the 63 million copies-selling “Left Behind” series) and Glenn Beck will see that she still has a pulpit of some kind from which to denounce Obamacare, homosexuality (coughMarcus) and the end of our “Constitutional freedoms.” A well-paid sinecure  was her objective when she left for DC and she succeeded wildly. She provided almost no constituent service to her district, but instead spent her time turning herself into a cash magnet for the aged, angry, white and disenfranchised with nonsensical jeremiads about Socialism and the death spiral of all “we” hold near and dear. Having exploited eight years in DC to her maximum advantage, she is positioned well to trade-off that stratagem for another four five years at least, on the mega-church/Tea Party Hall of Fame circuit if not in the chair opposite Sean Hannity.

Finally, while I’ll miss her … like Dick goddam Nixon, I tell ya … I won’t miss the way the Minnesota media reported on her unprecedented, open contempt for public service. The “polite media” could never bring itself to — accurately — characterize her as what she was and is. Standard newsroom protocol prohibits such impolite terminology as “reckless lying”, “nakedly self-serving” and “flagrant pandering to ugly emotions”. Consequently, Bachmann’s portrait in the local press was essentially an eccentric version of an average Republican rather than the shameless disgrace she has been to the state and the office she holds … for another 19 months.

31 Responses

  1. It wouldn’t surprise me in the least to see Ms. Bachmann pull a Palin and resign her seat. Nineteen months is an awful long time to suffer in a media desert and that’s where she’s headed now that she’s a lame duck.

    Whether she resigns or not, though, her career arc from here on out is a shorter, less lucrative version of Sarah Palin’s; Bachmann probably won’t get the Fox contributor gig but if she does it will be a one-year thing and she will then rapidly vanish into the foam of right-wing obscurity to make a couple hundred grand a year giving speeches at $15,000 a pop to the faithful around the country and showing up each year at the CPAC conference with a new ghosted book to flog. For the rest of the world, however, she will be effectively invisible and inconsequential.

    In the old days, a retiring member of Congress could pocket any unused campaign funds; I think that’s been changed but I also seem to remember sitting members of Congress were grandfathered in. I wonder which side of that line she and her $1.8 million cash-on-hand are on.

    Not that it poses any particular obstacle; like many such laws that try to legislate an ethical standard, there’s no doubt a way to funnel the money in a way that follows the technical letter of the law but still allows a member of Congress to personally benefit from the transfer.

    - Austin

  2. I think that they can donate it to a charity–maybe she creates a 501(c)4, and then hires herself to do the “educating” as required by the IRS (and when she gets audited, she can claim to be persecuted by the libtards….).

  3. Brian: not a mention of our old gov, Jesse? Isn’t Michele sort of following in his footsteps?

    • Well, Jesse set some kind of record for naked self-service, but I can argue that he was not contemptuous of government. He assembled a pretty solid team of commissioners who, for the most part, did good work. More importantly, his shtick wasn’t built on appealing to the dim and angry.

  4. I believe The Dim and Angry opened for The Lumpen Majority last weekend….

  5. What about Tpaw? It seems that Michele could be looking to cash in just the way he did.

    • I still suspect Romney bought T-Paw off and positioned him with his new Wall St. gig. Michele’s problem will be that everyone knows she doesn’t actually do any work … .

    • it is a different form of cashing in. He is working for an association, putting the contacts and skills that he developed over the years to work for private industry. Michelle is simply going to become a silly entertainer on Fox news, or maybe the Glenn Beck network.

      There is a world of difference…or maybe not? Come to think of it, the only skills she ever demonstrated really were in the form of entertainment.

  6. What is about good looking women with conservative values, morals and strong faith that scares you so?

    Discuss.

  7. I’m an outsider here, but I’m going to butt in with a conservative tack that may offend left and right alike. “Conservative values”? Bachmann has worked hard on her image as a devoted Christian mom, but I don’t see it. She worked until the birth of her 4th child, but she claims to have home-schooled them. That’s hard to picture; maybe the homeschooling started after she quit work, and the story has been massaged. They also took in 23 foster kids, whom she’s described as unwed mothers; the agency that assigned them to the Bachmanns said they had eating disorders. Maybe it doesn’t matter and they were genuinely concerned about all those kids, but they made extra money as a “treatment home” (because Marcus was a psychologist), and she used them to polish that saintly persona. She claims they “raised and launched” the kids, but that is seriously stretching the truth.

    Why am I nitpicking about a bright working woman? Because she has spent years chasing the spotlight while claiming to be that moral, upstanding Christian mom who just wanted a big happy family. (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/22/us/politics/22bachmann.html?pagewanted=1&_r=0 ) I’m not implying anything negative about working mothers; my own worked at a pink-collar job 12 hours a day. But she was home every night, giving us her full attention. Michele Bachmann chose to run for national office, deliberately seeking a job that kept her away from home for huge chunks of time. Even if she came home every week-end, she was gone at least 4 days a week -when her daughters were teenagers! What upstanding mother with solid values does that? There was no economic necessity. She just craved attention. Even before Washington, she was making a spectacle of herself with that unhealthy obsession over homosexuality. Except for all the damage she’s done, I find her pitiable.

  8. Hey, Bertie:

    what do you think of Erik Erikson’s little rant about female breadwinners?

    http://www.theatlanticwire.com/politics/2013/05/erick-erickson-fox-business-women/65733/

    http://livewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/entry/erickson-fires-back-at-emo-lefties?ref=fpb

    Who do you think is making the bread in the Bachmann family–Michelle or Marcus?

  9. Bachmann’s ideas were both scary and crazy, but she is stone-cold calculating. I’m sure she had figured out that she was worth a lot more – in any endeavor – choosing not to run versus being defeated. I would guess that her own polling numbers, which she can easily afford to get regularly, showed her losing ground constantly since starting her run for president. She is one of the greatest Republican fundraisers and I expect her to spend a few years running around the country repeating her crazy assertions to people who think just like her and are willing to shell out $1,000 a pop to reinforce their own narrow view of “morality.” And, that, too, will keep her in the spotlight for at least the foreseeable future. I’m sure a stint on Fox would be hers for the taking if for no other reason than she would make Hannity and company look normal and mainstream by comparison.

  10. Jeremy: “Bachmann’s ideas were both scary and crazy”.

    Huh.

    That would be her “ideas” that marriage is a one man / one woman bond, adoption is a good thing, having and using a moral compass, and that there are evil people in the workld who want to kill us, right?

    • Please, please bertie, my man. Give us a taste on your deepest thoughts regarding the sanctity of the eternal marriage bond. You know, all that “for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, till death do us part … “

    • Bertie:
      That vaccinations causes mental retardation.
      That the light-bulb is the newest form of socialism.
      That an earthquake and a hurricane were God’s way of telling us our deficit is too big.
      That Obama was anti-American.
      Eliminating the minimum wage would wipe out unemployment. (As would slavery.)
      That Obama is turning the country into slaves.
      That marriage equality would equate to a judge telling children they should try homosexuality.
      God is going to free us from the “yoke of Obamacare.”
      Obama’s trip to India was going to cost $200 million a day.
      AmeriCorps will become mandatory.
      Don’t give the Census any information.
      The energy tax was a reason for armed rebellion.
      That the US was going to give up the dollar and accept an as-of-yet undefined global currency.
      That Pelosi’s efforts on global warming was her effort to replace Christ.
      Her career in tax law was heavenly ordained.
      Called Planned Parenthood the LensCrafters of big abortion.
      Hundreds of scientists, including Nobel winners, believe in intelligent design.
      Obamacare includes death panels.

      These and many more, invented in the most warped political mind in my lifetime, can be found all over the web for anyone who wants to put forth more effort than watching the utter morons on Fox.

  11. And now Jim Graves is a failure too, knowing he would lose in a landslide to Congressman Jason Lewis.

    • Well, you can imagine the call Graves got from the DCCC minutes after Bachmann bailed. Something like, “Based on this turn of events we strongly encourage you to self-fund in 2014. If successful we will support you in every way imaginable should you run for reelection.” Being good with books, I doubt he saw any reason to flush another ton of cash down the same drain. But … the Republicans have a way of putting up the biggest, loudest whack job in the bunch.

      • “…biggest, loudest whack job in the bunch.” Well, that would certainly describe Jason Lewis. His last attempt to hit the big time seemingly failed, so maybe he thinks the key to success as a successful right wing entertainer/shyster is to follow Michelle’s path.

        • Lewis will have to calculate the upside to giving up his radio gig for what a seat in Congress might be worth … if played right.

          • Interesting how the limits (or ends, if you prefer) to political success on the right tend to be measured in $$, rather than political influence/power/status.

    • Note the false flag PM above, with the different logo. Jim Graves is clearly a successful hotel developer, unlike Michelle Bachmann, who has only proven herself to be successful at separating gullible conservatives from their social Security checks.

  12. So let Bertram be sure he has this straight… Obummer is naming the lying prevaricator Susan Rice to be “national security advisor”?

    The same Susan Rice who lied on FIVE Sunday morning news show audiences about Benghazi??

    I suppose you “communicators” are all “just fine” with this, right?

    • Consider dragging out a Hitler reference next time. Whenever you use that, it ALWAYS persuades me. “Prevaricator” isn’t hyperbolic enough.

  13. Another hypocrite / “communicator” offended….and still not one response here, in this liberal dungeon of deceit and distortions, to Rice’s outright lies being rewarded by putting her in a post she is unqualified for, in a manner which bypasses Congressional oversight.

  14. “The greatness comes not when things go always good for you. But the greatness comes when you’re really tested, when you take some knocks, some disappointments, when sadness comes. Because only if you’ve been in the deepest valley can you ever know how magnificent it is to be on the highest mountain.”
    ― Richard M. Nixon

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