Sunday, October 19, 2008

Bachmann In Trouble

I don't really believe in karma, but sometimes people get the rewards they richly deserve anyway. One case in point is Minnesota Representative Michele Bachmann (R)-MN-06. Yesterday, she said the following on Chris Matthews show:

MR. MATTHEWS: Well, let me ask you this. This country is roughly divided now over the last -- all our lifetimes between Republicans and Democrats and liberals and conservatives. Maybe 30 percent of the country, 30 to 40 percent, is conservative, and self- described -- people tell you what they are -- and 30-some percent are liberals. Do you think those 30 percent liberals are anti-American? The 30 percent of this country that calls itself liberals, are they anti-American?

REP. BACHMANN: I think the people that Barack Obama has been associating with are anti-American, by and large, the people who are radical leftists. That's the real question about Barack Obama -- Saul Alinsky, one of his teachers, you might say, out of the Chicago area; Tony Rezko, who is an associate also.

MR. MATTHEWS: He's a leftist? I thought he was a business guy.

REP. BACHMANN: These are very concerning figures that are in Barack Obama's past.

MR. MATTHEWS: I thought Tony Rezko was some business guy. I didn't know he was a leftist, anti-American guy.

REP. BACHMANN: Yeah, that's troubling too. Well, that's troubling too. Take a look at these associations, Chris, and add them all up --

MR. MATTHEWS: Well, let me --

REP. BACHMANN: -- and this is the totality of the package that Barack Obama has been, in Sarah Palin's words, palling around with. These are his friends. These are his associates. Very troubling.

Rep. Michele Bachmann tells Chris Matthews on "Hardball" media should probe Congress for "anti-America" views. Transcript

Matthews is right about Antoin Rezko. He's a businessman. He's also a crook. Obama associated with him far longer than he should have, to the point where I found the relationship unseemly and troubling. In Obama's defense, though, in a career in politics, particularly Chicago politics, it's hard to avoid having a Rezko in your closet somewhere. John McCain certainly hasn't avoided such entanglements, even after he was caught the first time.

Jeremiah Wright is a different story. Even his "God damn America" speech, a contrast to "God bless America", was a condemnation of how American society treats its minorities. Wright came of age during the Sixties, when civil rights were anything but guaranteed for those Americans who weren't of European extraction. He has certainly been given cause to be angry. Wright has some bigoted and stupid ideas. That doesn't make him anti-American.

Actually, Jeremiah Wright is a lot like Michele Bachmann, if you disregard what it is they get upset about.

Bachmann's ranting gets even worse, if you can imagine:

MR. MATTHEWS: Well, he's a United States senator from Illinois. He's one of the people you suspect as being anti-American. How many people in the Congress of the United States do you think are anti- American? You've already suspected Barack Obama. Is he alone, or are there others? How many do you suspect of your colleagues as being anti-American?

REP. BACHMANN: What I would say -- what I would say is that the news media should do a penetrating expose and take a look. I wish they would. I wish the American media would take a great look at the views of the people in Congress and find out, are they pro-America or anti-America? I think people would love to see an expose like that.

Rep. Michele Bachmann tells Chris Matthews on "Hardball" media should probe Congress for "anti-America" views. Transcript

As the title of the article states, Michele Bachmann called for the news to "take a look" at whose views might be considered disloyal to America. Anyone who has even heard of the McCarthy hearings should be appalled at such a suggestion. Needless to say, it's pretty clear that people who don't agree with Michele Bachmann's view of America are the folks who would be found disloyal in such a witch hunt.

So, it was with some pleasure that I discovered the trend chart that appears below at Pollster:

As you can see, there have only been two polls conducted publicly in the district. Both are by a Democratic polling organization, Grove Insight. Nevertheless, a couple of very interesting things are obvious:

  1. Bachmann, the incumbent, is pretty unpopular with the voters. In neither poll did she garner more than 42 percent. Even adding the margin of error to that total, she has less than 47 percent, according to the polls. As I've discussed before, that's a troubling sign for an incumbent.

  2. Tinklenberg is growing on the electorate. While I don't necessarily trust the magnitudes all that much, the trends in a poll are always interesting. Here, Bachmann's is no appreciable gain, and her opponent's is that he's gaining ground.

  3. Even if no Bachmann supporters change their minds thanks to her latest bigoted tirade, her opponent Elwyn Tinklenberg is only behind by about 4 percent, with 15 percent undecided.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) smells a potential victory here, as the Minnesota Independent notes:

The poll was released as the DCCC, which added Tinklenberg to its Red to Blue list, begins pouring money into the race, and as a pardon letter Bachmann wrote for Petters scandal figure Frank Vennes Jr. raises questions.

DCCC Poll: Bachmann’s Lead in the Sixth is Down to Four Points Over Tinklenberg

One thing Bachmann's tirade has affected is the support Tinklenberg has received from Democrats around the country. PZ Myers noted this surge in campaign money the evening after Bachmann's appearance on the Matthews show:

Michele Bachmann is a great fundraiser…for Democrats. Since that creepy video of her calling everyone who isn't a rightwingnut "anti-American" has spread all over, money has been pouring into the Elwyn Tinklenberg campaign. Check out Tinklenberg's ActBlue page: he has received over $100,000 since yesterday. I opened the page a few hours ago and just checked again, and it had shot up about $20,000.

Whoa... This Is Better Than Crashing Polls

I don't think Bachmann's reactionary views are those of mainstream America. I certainly hope that they aren't. If those views are part of the reason that she loses this election, then I think America will be a better place for her loss. She certainly deserves it.

UPDATE (Oct. 25): I've written a follow-on article, with new poll results.


Taylor Marsh said...

I think Bachmann seriously underestimated Obama's reach, but also the mood of the electorate, which is always deadly.

Cujo359 said...

She has a lot of company in that regard, Taylor. There are several campaigns in battle ground districts or generally Republican districts that show a similar trajectory. The mood out there is ugly, and it isn't just because of the bigots. There's real economic hardship out there, and there are lots of people looking for someone to blame.

I think you can put a lot of the Republicans' rhetorical ugliness down to the fact that they'd rather not be the ones to blame.

Dana Hunter said...

She's definitely tone-deaf when it comes to the electorate's mood this cycle. I think we'll all be watching her walk out of Congress with a box this winter.

Good riddance.

Cujo359 said...

Amen to that, Sister Dana.