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Saturday, August 13, 2011

Bachmann's Straw Poll Victory

Aug 13th, 2011

This is nuts. Michele Bachmann has topped Ron Paul and achieved the electorally meaningless victory of winning the Iowa Straw Poll. There are so many levels on which this is disastrous for the broader Republican brand.

From accusing Obama of engaging in light bulb conspiracies over a policy that was actually a Bush initiative to suggesting she will all but shutter the EPA after having appealed to them for hundreds of thousands of dollars in grants to conflating being gay with being "part of Satan" while ignoring the growing and increasingly cruel conjecture regarding her own husband, Marcus, the woman simply makes Palin look electable.

For the remainder of the Summer, she will be the face of the party. She is going to be one of its defining personalities.

More important than her litany of pandering nonsense is that, of all the potential Presidential candidates, she was the loudest cheerleader for an outright default on the nation's bills.

Joe Scarborough, whose views I have found increasingly distasteful on matters of economy, nevertheless nailed it yesterday when he highlighted her response to a question on that very issue during Thursday night's debate:

"Michele Bachmann’s first answer was, I wish the federal government had defaulted. Had defaulted! A week after Americans lost, some of them perhaps lost half of their pensions. Lost half of their 401ks. When trillions of dollars went down the drain with Americans suffering, she said that and got applause. If anybody thinks that guys like my dad are going to be voting that way… they are out of their mind and they are too stupid not only to prognosticate, they are too stupid to run Slurpee machines in Des Moines… Michele Bachmann is a joke. She is a joke. Her answer is a joke. Her candidacy is a joke… 

Iowa, if you let her win, you prove your irrelevance once again."

They proved more than that. Sullivan notes:

"...she is almost perfect for the kind of Republican you find in Iowa's base: a native of the state, a hard-core anti-gay Christianist, and a big believer that the US should have defaulted on its debts, rather than raise any taxes at all (even while lowering marginal rates).

She is to the right what ... well it's hard to come up with a viable politician among the Democrats who can even begin to match her ideological extremism. Maybe if someone actually wanted fully socialized medicine on the British model, top tax rates at 98 percent, and affirmative action for gays in Hollywood."

With Texas Governor Rick Perry's official announcement today that he is throwing his hat in the ring, a more ominous period opens for the entire Republican slate. Now, there will be an increasingly contentious race to win the title of "most socially conservative." Moving herself and her party further to the right of extreme positions already so outside the mainstream will all but guarantee an Obama sweep.

It's not that these people are dangerous that bothers me; it's that they are just plain stupid. That's scarier.

Again, it's looking like the only way Obama can possibly lose is if there is outright liberal sabotage.

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