"In nine days Democrats could have total control of Washington." -- Michele Bachmann, October 28, 2012I don't even know any people here who are that upbeat about the election!
That quote is the first sentence of a fundraising letter Bachmann sent out just this morning. As I've noted here before, Bachmann is still telling her national and local base that she continues to need their small donations--despite the fact that she's already got $4.5 million for this congressional campaign. She's still scaring them so she can keep on milking them, to wring every last penny she doesn't need out of them.
Why? Well, her fundraising prowess must be a point of pride with her--it shows national support for the crazy shit she says. (Yes, she is nuts. And you, reading this, are sane. But can you raise $4.5 million dollars to win a single congressional race? You can make fun of her, you can point out (correctly) that she's a nut and bigot--but you sane people don't have the political chops that she does and that must make her feel better about herself.)
The other reason she keeps trying to wring the max money out of the suckers is to prove the value of her mailing list. You know how much campaigns are willing to pay for these. The profitability of her mailing list represents national power. To conservative candidates and politicians in office, Bachmann's mailing list represent "political and actual gold," real live power in action. For example, she's using it to support another tea party clown in Minnesota, Congressman Chip Craavack of MN-08. And it's not just the mailing list--it's Bachmann's smile. Her endorsement, a mere word of support from her, turns into real live money and votes for conservative politicians and candidates all over the country.
But there's good news this weekend, too. The leading paper in Minnesota has endorsed her opponent this year, Jim Graves.
Yes, on October 26 the Minneapolis Star Tribune endorsed Bachmann's opponent. They always do. This time they even identify Bachmann as an extremist, in the body of the endorsement and the subtitle preceding the editorial:
U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann's extremism is roadblock to balancing the budget.Their reasons for endorsing Graves are specific and well-founded. They note that Graves--a Sixth District native and entrepreneur who's spent his entire career in the private sector--is a proven job creator. The Strib editors support his plan to use his position in Congress to bring more jobs and business into the district. Especially, since:
...(Michele) Bachmann has little to show for her six years in Congress besides empty rhetoric in self-promoting TV appearances and a presidential bid that quickly ran out of steam when her extreme positions became too much for her own party to stomach.The Strib described Bachmann's characterization of Graves as a "big spending liberal" as false and "cartoonish." (It is false and cartoonish, but try getting Minnesota media fact checkers to check out those Bachmann claims. Bachmann ads with those claims are running unimpeded by fact-checkers.)
And even though the Strib editors are endorsing Democrat Graves, they spent more ink in this piece on why Minnesotans shouldn't vote for Bachmann.
The Strib references her "nut" stuff, the lie and smear career strategy that has made Bachmann so popular with voters on the extreme right for so many years. The editors limited themselves to just two specific examples, both fairly recent:
1) Bachmann falsely claimed that a cancer prevention vaccine caused mental retardation (That attempt at starting a panic led to an anti-Bachmann editorial in the conservative Wall Street Journal.)
2) Bachmann falsely accused the US State Department of allowing itself to be infiltrated by agents of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Just two examples; space limitations prevent more. We know there are countless other examples of Bachmann spreading unfounded lies, smears and conspiracy throughout the course of her career. (Well--this Strib editorial does allude to those other "extreme positions.")
Oddly, the Strib's main problem with "Bachmann's nuthouse charges" is that these undercut her effectiveness as a legislator. ("...(the) lack of respect (for Bachmann in the GOP and Democratic Party) undercuts her ability to pass bills...")
We could infer that Strib editors would have no serious objection to Bachmann's crackpot attempts to sow panic via circulation of lies if she was good at getting legislation through.
It doesn't matter, because Bachmann has never been good at getting legislation through. Her record as a legislator (in the State Legislature and then in three terms in Congress) is a vast wasteland. She practically admitted this when she refused to meet with the Strib editors for an endorsement interview.
Her refusal to meet with the Strib endorsement board shows that she believes she has no achievements to show them--nothing to persuade the most influential paper in the state that she's done anything on behalf of her district or the nation after twelve years in government.
Ducking the endorsement meeting was also cowardly. It puts the lie Bachmann's regular claim that she has "a titanium spine" when it comes to standing up for her politics.
The Strib also notes another lack of spine: Bachmann wouldn't agree to debate opponent Graves until one week before the election. That supports the Strib contention that Bachmann's been "running scared" this year.
Bear in mind that "a record of legislative achievements" could have included Bachmann delivery on her regular promises of conservative reform to her conservative supporters. She hasn't delivered any conservative reforms either--despite the fact of a GOP Congress under tea party influence.
On the contrary, Bachmann's regular efforts to secure federal deficit spending in her district represent her sellout of conservatives and tea party principles. She attempted to evade the GOP moratorium on earmarks--after signing on to it. She damned the Obama stimulus as wrong and dangerous at the same time she sought stimulus money--many requests for stimulus money, signed by Michele Bachmann.
This is a "big secret" in the conservative/Fox News/tea party universe. But it's a matter of record, in Bachmann's own hand: she's regularly attempted to enact the liberal policy they damn; she backed the tax-and-spend liberalism via the federal government that they hate. And according to her own stated positions on liberal policy, Bachmann attempts to create jobs via government spending means that she is herself "an enemy of freedom, a supporter of big liberal government."
Worse--this tea party icon's ongoing attempts to increase deficit spending and the taxpayer's burden were fails. One major project did get through--federal support for a new bridge over the St. Croix river. Bachmann identified that instance of big government job creation as "her signature achievement." The editors of the Star Tribune says that Bachmann claim is BS:
While Bachmann touts the St. Croix River bridge as an achievement, the heavy lifting on its passage was done by others in the state delegation.That's right. But she continues to present the bridge as "her" achievement. Lacking any record of achievement after twelve years in government, Bachmann takes personal credit for a liberal policy achievement that would have gone through without her, via the support of liberal Dem senators and congresspeople.
So the Minneapolis Star Tribune supports Graves. I should note that this paper's daily coverage of Michele Bachmann--sucks. Most of the daily coverage of Bachmann's controversial politicking comes from sources outside the Star Tribune--Minnesota's political blogs, papers outside the state, national television news. The Star Tribune's take on Michele Bachmann is schizophrenic--damn her at endorsement time, but keep the hard evidence of her extremism out of their reporting.
If you believe that right wing extremism in government is dangerous, you'd rather the Star Tribune do daily coverage of Bachmann's extremism than endorse her opponent at election time. But they won't do that: they spike Bachmann stories that papers outside the state do run, and their "profile pieces" on Bachmann are embarrassing for what they leave out.
The editors of the Strib know what she is, and have known all along (because they read and watch those "outside-the state" news reports.) They've known all along that Bachmann's an extremist (but I think this endorsement piece is the first time they've actually used that term to sum up Bachmann.) So the cowardice they've displayed in their news reporting on her is especially disgusting. Their failure to regularly publish the hard evidence of Bachmann lies, hypocrisy, and nuthouse claims--has kept this particular extremist viable in Minnesota and powerful in American politics.
These editors know that.
ACTION LINK: The lesson of Bachmann history: stop the crazy, or pay for it later--again and again and again, in Congress and other government bodies. Act Blue, and contribute what you can to Bachmann's opponent Jim Graves.
LINK: Strib endorses Graves: