Friday, February 23, 2007

Bill Prendergast opines on Bachmann

From Dump Bachmann and cross posted at Minnesota Campaign Report.

Many people have been saying that Bachmann is a "one term-er;" that she's basically "over" after the people in her district find out how poorly she's going to represent them in Congress.

Well, it's true that she's one of these special interest hacks; that fact is written all over her campaign contribution filings. And it's true that the special interests who are most interested in Michele are from outside the 6th district-James Dobson and the national religious right, wingnut "education reform" groups based outside the district who are pledged to ending all public school funding, and many rich Minnesotans from outside the district (Taxpayers' League types who wouldn't be caught dead in Stearns County.)

All true, as far as it goes. But I don't think the fact Michele will probably do a rotten job of representing the district means that Michele is a one term-er. Remember: she did a rotten job of representing Stillwater, but she was returned to office again and again.

And you also gotta remember: the kind of politician that Michele is, doesn't depend of "performance for the district" to get herself elected. She's kind of like Joe McCarthy: her core issues-and thus her base of support-are not the issues of the district, they extend beyond its boundaries. They are religion in politics issues, talk-radio issues, federal taxation issues, abortion, support for the Iraq war and the conservative program issues.

If Michele can obtain national conservative support by following the conservative line on these non-6th district issues, she can largely ignore problems specific to her district--and still rise. Her career in Stillwater is evidence of that.

And Michele *is* going to get the support of the national conservative movement. She was getting it before she was elected to Congress and now they are preparing to give her the `big push,' to introduce her into the national spotlight. If she get that kind of promotion, she will have effectively reached the next "plateau" and will become the darling of national conservative talk-radio hosts, pundits and funding people-not just our local Minnesota ones.

A web page advertising the upcoming Conservative Political Action Committee in Washington, D.C. shows Michele as one of the featured speakers at the conference. She will appear shortly after the conference opens and will be sharing the dais with conservative luminaries like Phyllis Schlafly and R. Emmett Tyrell of the American Spectator.

That's the big leagues, folks--Michele has arrived! Look at some of those other guests: Vice President Dick Cheney, Sean Hannity, Senator Mitch McConnell, Ann Coulter, David Horowitz, Newt Gingrich, and of course, Wayne LaPierre. And many more. Flyin' with the conservative eagles-that's the big money, the big network, the really big promotion. Given that, do you think it's really "over" for her if she ignores the 6th district of Minnesota for the next two years?

And, as we know, we've got local press professionals back here who refuse to acknowledge she's an extremist, and Jason Lewis and all those other conservative guys who'll continue to pimp her to the rank-and-file. The bottom line is: if Bachmann isn't brought down by a major scandal in the next two years, she's likely to go higher; not lower, not "out."

There is another way to take her out, short of a major scandal. To see how that would work, you have to return to her career in Stillwater again.

At first, Michele could win Stillwater because a majority of people there were trending GOP and they accepted her pose as a Ronald Reagan Republican conservative. Gradually, the facts about her extremist connections and beliefs came out, the conservative economic policy she slavishly followed caused property taxes and "fees" rocket on her watch, and it came out that she'd actually voted against spending that would have benefited the voters of her district. So the voters got wised up, and she lost her hometown in last year's congressional election.

If the voters get wised up, Michele loses. We are trying to wise up voters at Dump Bachmann; dogging her finances, recording her most extreme statements and outright lies. Our problem has always been getting a supposedly "biased liberal media" to print the most alarming facts about her; it's like they're running interference for her.

That may change; look at the stuff Keith Olbermann ran about Bachmann--people outside Minnesota politics aren't afraid to identify her for what she is. Michele's a closeted extremist, a John Birch Society/conspiracy theory type posing as a mainstream conservative. Get the mainstream media to pick up on that fact--and that, along with her pathetic record of representing the people of her district, means she loses.

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