Friday, April 17, 2009

How Could Anyone Vote For Michele Bachmann?


If Texas secedes, let's hope she moves to Lubbock or Odessa

Despite McCain's claims that Minnesota was a battleground state, it never really was. The state's 10 electoral votes went to Obama, 54-44%. There are 8 congressional districts in the state and they are represented by 5 Democrats (if you want to count reactionary Blue Dog Collin Peterson as a Democrat) and 3 Republicans. In 2008 two of the Republicans squeaked by with less than 50% of the vote-- Erik Paulsen (48%) and Michele Bachmann (46%)-- and the third, John Kline, had the lowest percentage of any incumbent other than Bachmann. Obama carried all but 3 of the districts, McCain picking up 50% in the two represented by Kline and Peterson and carrying Bachmann's 6th CD with 53%, the Republican's only decent outcome in the state. Bachmann's very gerrymandered, very white district just north and northwest of the Twin Cities has the worst PVI in the state, R+7; it increased in its reactionary bent since 2006.

Last year the Democrats ran a very flawed and hard-to-support Blue Dog against the execrable Bachmann who was on TV every other day making a jackass out of herself and making any non-Limbaugh dittohead cringe with embarrassment. But the DCCC is getting ready to back the same failed Blue Dog again. Tomorrow the Blue America guest at Firedoglake is Francine Busby, who ran for Congress in 2006, skipped 2008, and just declared that she's going to go for it again in 2010. When I asked her why Blue Doggish Democrat Nick Liebham lost last year she explained that even in Republican areas (like her own and Bachmann's) if a Democrat wants to win she has to stand up for core Democratic values and principles, not be a Republican-lite. "Given a choice between a Republican-lite and a real Republican, real Republicans go for the real Republican." The only thing Elwyn Tinklenberg had going for him was that his opponent was Michele Bachmann. He lost anyway and unless he's had a change of heart and comes out swinging for Democratic values, we might as well save the money and spend it on another race.
In recent weeks Bachmann has continued to draw national headlines for her often daffy pronouncements. She derided a proposed expansion of Americorps as “politically correct re-education camps” and called on Minnesotans to become “armed and dangerous” in resisting President Obama’s energy policies. Her recent antics once again have Democrats salivating at the prospect of knocking off Bachmann.

At the top of the list of possible contenders for 2010 is her 2008 DFL opponent Elwyn Tinklenberg. The former state transportation commissioner, who lost to Bachmann by three percentage points, is all but declaring himself a candidate.

“I continue to be concerned about many of the things that Rep. Bachmann is saying and espousing, and kind of the approach she has taken on so many of the issues,” Tinklenberg says. “I think people in the Sixth District are the real losers in all of this, and I think that’s unfortunate.”

Tinklenberg has been testing the waters for a 2010 campaign both in Minnesota and Washington. He’s been courting the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) and national labor unions whose financial support would be key if he decides to take another run at the post. Tinklenberg has also kept his name in the mix by doling out contributions to other Democrats and sponsoring the DFL’s Hubert H. Humphrey Day dinner.

He would have an advantage with the groundwork he has laid over the last four years, but not everyone is enthusiastic about the prospect of another shot for the former mayor of Blaine. There’s been considerable grumbling about the effectiveness of the campaign he ran two years ago. Most notably, political observers question why Tinklenberg ended the race with nearly $500,000 still sitting in the bank.

“They ran a piss-poor campaign,” says one veteran DFL insider, who didn’t want to be named criticizing a member of his own party. “They were trying to bio Elwyn two weeks out. You want to establish your identity before the media market gets so cluttered.”

Other possible contenders include state Senator Tarryl Clark, the Assistant Majority Leader, who would have a far better chance of beating Bachmann, but is undecided about making the run. Whoever does run, needs to take Bachmann on aggressively and call her on her Limbaugh-like lies. She's one of the ugly faces of unfocussed, brainwashed conservative rage. She's all about teabaggery but the same way the teabag demonstrations turned off independents and moderates, Bachmann's extremism is not very attractive to anyone who isn't a confirmed extremist. It's too important to the country to leave her defeat to a third rate, inept candidate like Tinklenberg.

Listen to Bachmann; tell me if there's even one thing she says that's remotely true:

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