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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Bachmann's Career Dies as it Lived -- Running Scared from Any Hint of Accountability

'African Elephant Running,' a sculpture by Antoine-Louis Barye
During her presidential run, soon-to-be former Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann developed a reputation for having a rocky relationship with the press. It wasn't so much the media's fault, as it was Shelly's.

Dylan Stableford, Yahoo! News (Aug., 2011): CNN weekend anchor Don Lemon says that Marcus Bachmann, the husband of Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann, and two members of her campaign staff pushed him into a golf cart during a campaign stop at the Iowa state fair in Des Moines before Bachmann's victory in Saturday's straw poll.

"She came out, after speaking for just a couple minutes," Lemon said on CNN. "There were other reporters and cameras there. And I asked her very respectful questions: 'How do you think you did in the debate last night?' and 'How do you think you're going to end up in the Ames Straw Poll?' And her two campaign aides started elbowing me."

Lemon continued: "I told them, asked them not to elbow me. And then her husband Marcus started doing the same thing. And then he elbowed me into the cart. And I said, 'You just pushed me into the cart.' And he goes, 'No, you did it yourself.'"
The entire incident struck Lemon as odd, since he was just doing general reporting. "We weren't asking any 'gotcha' questions," he said. The same story covers a similar incident with ABC's Brian Ross, who was "manhandled" by Bachmann security after asking a question about Bachmann's tendency toward migraine headaches.

"I was never closer than 10 or 12 feet to her," Ross said later. "The people around her recognized me and came up and identified themselves as with the staff said they knew who I was. And the blocking was all about me. Other cameraman, other reporters were allowed to get close." See, Ross is scary because he's ABC's investigative reporter


More recently, Bachmann was almost literally chased around the capitol by CNN's Dana Bash. Bash wasn't trying to get a comment on the FEC probe into Bachmann's presidential finances, but was simply trying to get her to clarify a false statement about Pres. Obama blowing taxpayer money on a lavish lifestyle.

In case you haven't gotten the point yet, Michele Bachmann is not a courageous individual. When the going gets tough, Bachmann gets going -- and by "gets going," I mean "takes off running."

So it's less than surprising that Shelly would dodge her electorate as well. Facing a strong headwind in her reelection bid and a challenger who nearly beat her the last time around, Bachmann did what she always does when faced with a tough fight -- laced up her running shoes.

"This serves to show that even Rep. Bachmann is hearing that Minnesota's 6th is ready for a new, business-oriented approach," her 2012 and 2014 opponent Jim Graves said  "As recent polling indicates, our message is resonating with the people of the 6th District and she recognized that. She must also have recognized that it would be an uphill battle for her going forward. People are eager to be represented by a common-sense business person who understands the economy from the inside out."

It wouldn't surprise me if we later found out that Bachmann quit under pressure from her own party. Romney won her district with 56% in the same cycle that she nearly lost. That district is changing, but it's still pretty red. And a different Republican might be able to win and hold onto it for another one or two terms, maybe -- before the gerrymandering is undone. If there was pressure, it wouldn't be a surprise that she gave in. Demagogues are people who pretend to have courage, not people with actual spines.

Late night talk show hosts will probably throw a wake for Shelly the Walking Punchline and a few teabagger chumps will mourn, but not many others will. If she's remembered at all in history other than as a footnote, it will be as a prime example of a hamhanded demagogue who lied far too easily and who went to great lengths to avoid responsibility for those lies.


[photo via Wikimedia Commons]

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