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View Diary: Accountability for BP - And for Michele Bachmann (225 comments)

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  •  Nicely written, but off the mark. (15+ / 0-)

    It's refreshing to see/have an authentic exchange on something other than how badly one has/hasn't been slighted by the President, so thank you in advance. Genuine thank you.

    That said, I'm on the ground here. And honestly, there isn't a tremendous strain from job loss in MN-06. There also isn't a widespread feeling of not having a say in government, either -- frankly, a significant chunk of voters here are well off and not likely to be lingering anywhere near a political website by and large (of course, these are broad generalizations).

    Michelle Bachmann was brought into power on the heels of her tie ins with the religious right in Minnesota, relying on financial and primary support from a group of white, well to do, Catholics with an agenda to build power through a right to life, anti-St. Paul platform. Bachmann has never been truly "embraced" by MN-06 at any point, as evidenced by the suddenly tense polling weeks before the '08 election from vanilla El Tinklenburg (sp?), a candidate so non-"made for TV" that he was quickly ushered aside by the state party early in the primary process this time around. And I can assure you, I see PLENTY of eye rolls from the residents here when Bachmann's name is mentioned, even from those who have voted for her up until now.

    Your points are more than valid and should not be forgotten. But rest assured, if Tarryl Clark presents herself as a legitimate and poised candidate, Bachmann's horrendously classless demeanor here to now will be anything but embraced come November.

    •  Pocketbook Issues Key to 2010 (3+ / 0-)

      The 'social conservative' issues may have ushered Bachmann in, but pocketbook issues may be the key to revealing whose side she is really on.

      I agree that her ground troops will likely continue to be the religious right and teabaggers.  But her more general audience (especially in the right-leaning persuadables) may be listening with different ears than they used in 2008.

      If you look at Bachmann's rhetoric, it is targetted at making her appear to be the champion of the disaffected and 'silenced' majority, a defender of liberty and a courageous voice of the people crying out in the wilderness and standing against a tyrannical government.  Underestimating the power of that appeal (or the real legitamacy of some of those concerns  - as we often rant about here) would be a mistake not just in this race, but in any other this year.  What the pundits call 'anti-incumbent' tide could more appropriately be characterized as 'anti-status quo of a dysfunctional democracy' tide.  As an example, Bachmann publically opposed the financial bailout bills and she'll use that as a badge of her committment to the 'small people'.  

      But her rigid and extreme ideology also led her to oppose many of the other measures designed to help the people of her own district.

      I had understood the 6th was high (at least in MN terms) as far as unemployment.  Perhaps I was mistaken.  I do know that the 6th ranks high in forclosures and that Bachmann fought tooth and nail to prevent any government assistance programs for folks trying to keep their homes from being taken by the banks.  Often (not always) forclosure rates are tied to a certain extent to rates of job loss for obvious reasons.  I don't know the statistics on that for the 6th, but it's hard to believe it didn't have some serious effect.

      Just to the north of the Twin Cities, the 6th district, represented by Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann, had the most foreclosures of any of Minnesota’s eight congressional districts, with an estimated 5,227 in 2008. Her district also had the highest rate of foreclosures as a percentage of households, at 1.80 percent, nearly that of the city of Minneapolis at 1.85 percent.

      The situation was similar in 2007, when, according to a Housing Link study, Bachmann’s district had a higher foreclosure rate than the rest of Minnesota and the rest of the country.


      When Congress was debating strategies to assist families facing foreclosure, Bachmann called those homeowners "irresponsible."

      "Now, we can debate whether this is the right thing to do as it may seem that you’re rewarding the irresponsible while punishing those who have been playing by the rules," she said in Febraury. "When President Obama released his plan ... to prevent home foreclosures, the point he wanted to get across to everyone watching was that money from folks who have been making their payments on time will not just be handed over to those folks who got in over their heads and bought a house they knew they couldn’t afford."

      Those homes that residents of the 6th district couldn’t afford had a median value of $239,000, according to the 2007 American Community Survey, just above the national median of $229,000. Prices have likely declined considerably since the 2007 survey....

      Those that voted for Bachmann because of her religious, home-school over public eduction, anti-abortion, anti-government positions will be unlikely to abandon her now.

      Those that voted for her (or skipped that race on the 2008 ballot as many did) for other reasons, will be looking for more 'centrist - populist' positions on the issues that are central to their everday lives like jobs, taxes, health care.  But what may persuade them to switch is a change in perception of who Bachmann really is, a champion of the little guy or someone more interested in her own political celebrity.  

      It will be an interesting one to watch.

      If you say "Let them eat cake", don't accuse the offended peasants of feeling "entitled". It makes them nostalgic for their knitting.

      by Into The Woods on Fri Jun 18, 2010 at 02:04:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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