We can only hope.
While looking for more information about my local mayoral race, I came across a very encouraging editorial published today in my local paper by the ECM Editorial Board, which publishes multiple small town newspapers and free shopper newspapers in Michelle Bachman's district.
The five editors of ECM Publishers and the Sun Newspaper Group interviewed both Bachmann and her Democratic challenger, Jim Graves. Their conclusion? Jim Graves is the best choice for the region.
Having previously come to the conclusion that the entire district was permanently drunk on the Michele Bachmann kool-aid, I was pleasantly surprised, no, make that shocked, to see this endorsement. How could they come to such a shockingly reasonable conclusion? More detail below the fleur-d'orange...
The article begins by pointing out that Bachmann has lost some of her glow in the 6th district over the past year.
It’s our view Bachmann’s political posturing and failed presidential run have changed many voters’ perceptions of her. She’s also drawn sharp GOP rebukes on Capitol Hill for a distasteful witch-hunt against Muslims in the U.S. government.The article goes on to say some complimentary things about Michele's "drive and determination." (Yes, but drive to benefit whom? Aha! This is a key question, it seems.)
They also acknowledged Bachmann's work at getting funding for a new bridge project across the St. Croix river between Minnesota and Wisconsin. This bridge has been mired in controversy which touched on many issues, balancing protecting a scenic waterway and limiting overdevelopment of the area versus alleviating a traffic bottleneck and replacing a heavily-used but dangerously old bridge.
The editorial expressed some surprise that in their interview Bachmann acknowledged the work of Democratic lawmakers, Senator Amy Klobuchar, Senator Al Franken and Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton.
That her across-the aisle cooperation was highly uncharacteristic seems to be a central criticism:
However, being able to compromise at a higher level has been a problem for Bachmann throughout her third term. If re-elected, she will foster a continued period of gridlock.Still, the mask is off, and it has become clear to more and more people, that it isn't about the people of Minnesota's 6th district, no, it's all about Michele.
...we’re not convinced Rep. Bachmann has finished her quest for a higher political calling.In contrast, the article outlines Jim Graves's admirable personal story as a self-made business man with a well-run, respected business. They don't point out that he's Catholic, but in Minnesota's Catholic belt, that is a plus over Bachmann's brand of crazy fundamentalism.
Her Tea Party ties are stronger than ever, she remains a regular on the national conservative talk-show circuit and she still has a reputation for inflammatory, divisive rhetoric. Rep. Bachmann’s political passion is admirable and her ability to connect with constituents is impressive, but more often than not, she emphasizes self-propulsion in a narrow political arena rather than bipartisan solutions.
Further, Jim Graves has many characteristics to assuage the fear that he might be a frothing wild-eyed liberal:
It’s our view Graves represents a new kind of candidate who can move the Sixth District forward. He’s a bipartisan moderate who understands the economic system’s finer points and has worked those points to continued success throughout a long business career.I have hopes, from what I have read about Graves, that he is a pragmatist who is not overly invested in trying to legislate morality. He seems refreshingly sane after years of the circus that is Michele Bachmann. I have actual hope that the people of this district may have finally come to this conclusion as well.
So. Can you help out the liberals of the 6th district? Let's all throw a few anvils on Michele's sinking ship, shall we?
Donate to Jim Graves at Act Blue
Mon Oct 15, 2012 at 11:23 PM PT: Hello rec list! Thanks!
Drop a few anvils to give us in the 6th district some hope!