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Finally, a Constitutional Conservative Enters the Race

27 June 2011

Chris Wallace’s “ham-handed” (William Bennett’s assessment) questioning of Michele Bachmann on Fox News Sunday is all over talk radio this morning. As a rule, I avoid TV political talk; it’s too painful to watch, and this would have been no different. But now having heard the exchange about Ms. Bachmann as a putative “flake,” qb is grateful for it.

First, it shows how deftly Ms. Bachmann can handle boorishness. She’s apparently used to having to deal with it.

Second, along the same line, it contrasts her style somewhat with Mr. Christie, who has recently showed us how HE deals with female boorishness, in the form of his “none of your business” response to the woman who questioned him about his right to send his own kids to parochial schools while making state education policy for NJ’s public schools. Where Mr. Christie brings a true Jersey pugilism, Ms. Bachmann brings a measure of finesse.

Third, qb has kept Ms. Bachmann at a distance for no other reason than the mainstream media’s template on her: she is a bomb-thrower, a loose cannon, an ideologue, an unserious person. The Wallace interview has forced qb to engage her directly rather than letting the media template run interference. And qb likes what he sees and hears. As regards conservatism, she is the real deal.

Fourth, although qb is a huge fan of Sarah Palin and believes the media template on her is equally unfair, Ms. Bachmann brings a stouter intellectual pedigree than Ms. Palin and will have no trouble establishing street cred among the illuminati. The Wallace interview gave qb his first chance to see it on display.

qb will not vote for BHO – period – so the GOP primary is the only race that matters. Like many, qb maintains a slot for a sort of “default” candidate, the candidate for whom qb will vote if no better candidate enters. Thus far, qb has probably been cornered into putting Santorum in that slot even though it’s pretty clear he won’t win the primary…and Santorum seems a bit sanctimonious anyway. With the entry of Ms. Bachmann into the primary field, qb heaves a sigh of relief: this is someone qb can support with some enthusiasm.

Her entry accomplishes more, too:

1. I hope it blunts Rick Perry’s momentum toward entering the primary. However formidable Perry might be as a political campaigner, the pistol-toting swagger is going to get tiresome and will remind people of Bush 43. That will be a liability in the general election, and Perry gives no indication he could subdue that imagery (nor that he would see the need to). I like Rick Perry, and he would have become qb’s default had he entered already, but Bachmann trumps him on both style and substance.  Plus, I’m suspicious of his commitment to secure borders as a prerequisite to immigration reform.

2. I hope it blunts the “draft Christie” movement most publicly led by Ann Coulter. (For the record:  in terms of conservative politics, doing your policy homework, and sheer rhetorical ferocity, qb LOVES Ann Coulter and understands why she has this fetish for Christie.)  For all of his no-nonsense virtues, and they are many, Christie is fatally wounded on anthropogenic global warming and cap-and-trade; his position on CO2 is hard to distinguish from Obama’s and Romney’s. If Christie were in the primary and were to win it, qb would have to pull the lever in November 2012 and then keep his fingers crossed that the House would never send him a cap-and-trade bill.

3. Ms. Bachmann’s resume is pretty impressive. Mother of five of her own, and foster mother to 23 (!); Master of Laws degree; tax attorney; William and Mary sheepskin; and successful conservative Representative from one of our bluer states, the state that gave us Hubert Humphrey and Paul Wellstone and Garrison Keillor, top-rank liberals all.

4. Newt Gingrich represents the old GOP; Ms. Bachmann emphatically represents the new, Tea-Party-driven GOP. Politically speaking, hers is a face that will wear well over time. She is tough and courageous, but not gratuitously so. And her conservative credentials are simply not in question.

5.  Ever since I had the chance to read Secretary Rumsfeld’s memoir, Known and Unknown, I’ve decided that I should begin applying the Rumsfeld Test to candidates:  can I imagine Donald Rumsfeld agreeing to serve in this person’s Cabinet or in the White House as a policy advisor?  If the answer is “no,” that’s a BIG strike against the candidate.

She’s not perfect. But politically, she strikes me as an ideal fit for a primary that heretofore lacks an electable conservative. She can fire up the base; she commands the respect of the Palin wing; and she will not be intimidated by the Rockefeller-Rove wing of country-club pragmatists. And when it finally becomes apparent to the libertarians that Ron Paul will NEVER be the nominee and will NEVER be president, I think they’ll come around and pull the lever – even if they have to hold their noses – for someone like her instead of staying home and helping BHO win another term.

So qb has a new default candidate for the GOP primary: Michele Bachmann, U. S. Representative from Minnesota.

As it pertains to the horserace for qb’s vote, it’s Ms. Bachmann’s to lose. And she might lose it; we’ll have to see how she does. But given today’s slate, it’s Bachmann, hands down.


4 Comments leave one →
  1. Jeff Slater permalink
    27 June 2011 12:25 pm

    Good stuff. I’m with you this.

  2. 27 June 2011 12:44 pm

    Look, qb. Stop gooseing the media with this template nonsense. Obviously you’ve been smoking the printouts from Conservapedia. What Bachmann brings us is Banshee the Sequel or Channeling Palin. Constitutional conservative? Hardly. Originalist? Whatever that means. (Slavery anyone.)

    As to anthropogenic global warming: maybe not, but enough anthropogenic haze and pollution to choke urban dwellers. Cap and trade would improve things marginally.

    Re Ann Coulter: ideological PMS on steroids.

    And having you associate him with Rove poor Nelson Rockefeller is doubtless spinning in his grave.


  3. 27 June 2011 2:55 pm

    That’s right, Coop, qb is utterly incapable of independent political thought.


    Nancy Pelosi

  4. 27 June 2011 8:33 pm


    Like most politicians, including Bachmann, she’s been known to stretch a point. Not utterly.


    P. S. I’ve tried channeling Pelosi and all I get is my jowls being tugged upward.

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