Saturday, June 19, 2010

Michele Bachmann-- Worse Than Joe Barton?


There are very few members of Congress as widely detested as Michele Bachmann, not just in her own suburban Minnesota district, but across the country. You have to work hard for years-- the way Steve King does-- or get really "lucky"-- the way Joe Barton just did-- to become a national figure of complete opprobrium. Whether it's Rand Paul practically weeping and moaning about how unfair to the property rights of slave holders emancipation was (or, more recently, sticking up for B.P.), Virginia Foxx insulting-- even spitting-- on the memory of Matthew Shepard or Mean Jean Schmidt managing to insult every veteran who ever served our nation, only a few kooks ever rise to national political celebrity as an actual fiend. And no one has worked that field better than Michele Bachmann.

Next weekend, Blue America will officially endorse Tarryl Clark, the progressive state senator running against Bachmann in the sixth district and Tarryl will join us at Crooks and Liars for a live blog session. It should be lots of fun. Why do I think so? Watch Tarryl's brand new ad that makes it clear how Bachmann isn't just supporting Joe Barton-- she's even worse:

Steve Benen, could claim that a bank-bench bomb-throwing charicature like Bachmann is really just the tip of the spear for the systemic reactionary policy agenda of the GOP. In fact, yesterday his Political Animal column at the Washington Monthly made that case... and without ever once mentioning her name!
GOP TO OBAMA: LEAVE BP ALOOOOOONE... As astounding as Rep. Joe Barton's (R-Texas) groveling public apology to BP was yesterday, there's a much larger, more relevant truth to keep in mind: President Obama is getting tough with BP, and the Republican Party wishes he wouldn't.

For weeks, much of the criticism of the White House was centered around the idea that the administration wasn't pushing BP hard enough. But on Wednesday, the president went into a meeting with the company's executives, told them how it was going to be, and BP quickly agreed. The result: a $20 billion pot of money that will bring much-needed help to workers, businesses, and families who've been victimized by a devastating oil spill. This was no small task for Obama, and Americans have every right to be pleased. (One poll this week found 82% of the public supports the creation of the escrow fund.)

And yet, Republicans seem to be outraged. We talked yesterday about GOP officials and candidates sticking up for BP, and today, ThinkProgress put together this compilation video of Republican media figures doing the same thing. It's all quite breathtaking, and the result of a strategy the party really hasn't thought through.

Indeed, the rhetoric is almost comical. Fox News' Brian Kilmeade suggested this morning that Obama is being "too tough" on BP. Talk of a "shakedown" is ubiquitous in conservative media circles. Some Republican media personalities have described the president's securing of funds for the Gulf Coast as "illegal" and "unconstitutional." Even after party leaders said Barton was "wrong," leading party voices, including Rush Limbaugh, continue to insist he was right.

Now, it's possible that Republicans in Congress and in the media are simply offering a knee-jerk response-- Obama secured funding for spill victims, so the funding must be bad-- but there seems to be more to this. Republicans on the Hill and in the media just want BP to be treated with kid gloves. A foreign oil giant is responsible for the worst environmental catastrophe in American history, and the GOP would prefer that Obama go easy on the company. In Rand Paul's words, for the president to even criticize BP is "un-American."

It would be better, Republicans are arguing, if aid to help spill victims didn't exist, and if the president didn't take the lead in getting resources for the region.

Every day, it seems to get a little easier for Democrats to characterize Republicans as "The Party of BP."

And the whole Republican Party really and truly is Michele Bachmann.

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At 6:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why doesn't Blue America help Matt Campbell IA-CD5 against Steve King?

At 8:46 AM, Anonymous Bil said...

Bachmann defeated in MN06 would be change that I can believe in...

FYI, the Bat Guano lobby has pointed out that their product is far more useful than the "hot for god" congresscritter, and asks for a little more respect...

At 1:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love Bachman. Finally a conservative with some backbone. GO TEA PARTY!!


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