What's worse than a mandatory vaccination that never actually came to law and, even if it had, contained an opt-out? According to Michele Bachmann, nothing. In fact, if you listen to Michele Bachmann these days, you'd think Governor Perry was strapping 12 year old children to tables to inject them when he takes breaks from using the other needle on inmates.
Bachmann is making the case that opposing vaccinations required by the state is fundamentally a conservative issue, which is news to many conservatives given that mandatory vaccinations have been around as long as they have, and, to my knowledge, we haven't made it a big part of the Republican platform to oppose them. But if you listened to Bachmann last night, it's clear that she believes this is the type of issue on which a presidential candidate must stand, must do the right thing, and cannot waver in putting this forth as a conservative principle lest we risk infecting millions of children with mental retardation.
Has this always been an enormous part of this warrior's soul? Apparently not.
By all appearances, she felt no need to mention, much less work towards stopping, a vaccination that, by her own standards, is an assault on liberty. Even more so actually. The HPV vaccination, while called mandatory, made available an opt-out provision so that the parental rights that she felt were so paramount could be protected in this decision. The Hepatitis B vaccination in Minnesota (state law since 1993) doesn't even require parental consent at all. And Hep B's communicability is similar to HPV in that it is primarily transmitted through intercourse, as opposed to being an airborne illness. Currently, no records can be found of Michele Bachmann sponsoring legislation in the Minnesota legislature to repeal the Hep B vaccination or to add a parental opt-out.
Congressman Bachmann served in the Minnesota congress for 5 years. In all that time, she never felt quite as driven by her parental instincts and conservative nature to decry or work to reverse what now she clearly consider to be an incredible breach of conservative values. I wonder what's changed? Were the children of Minnesota not important enough? Is it only robbing a childhood if it's vaccinations that her opponent supported but the one's back home are just fine? Did she lack the same leadership qualities then? She's been touting her leadership abilities in the Congress for months, but so far, other than a state record of not opposing or even mentioning laws that are even worse than the law she's now savaging Rick Perry over (which in his case, never became law anyway), a federal record of passing zero bills with her name on it, and campaigning with all of the tact and style of a 19 year old pop-music singer who overestimates her own importance, I'm failing to see what qualifies her for president.
But it's not quite enough for her to attack Governor Perry for his desire to put forth a vaccination program that is not at all controversial when compared to other vaccination programs that exist with little uproar in various states (including Pennsylvania Mr. Santorum). As Erick noted earlier today, she's going to take a minor rhetorical win and blow it up to insane proportions that stretch even the most ardent supporters' ability to excuse her behavior.
"BACHMANN: I'm a mom. And I'm a mom of three children. And to have innocent little 12-year-old girls be forced to have a government injection through an executive order is just flat out wrong. That should never be done. It's a violation of a liberty interest.
That's -- little girls who have a negative reaction to this potentially dangerous drug don't get a mulligan. They don't get a do- over. The parents don't get a do-over. That's why I fought so hard in Washington, D.C., against President Obama and Obamacare.
President Obama in a stunning, shocking level of power now just recently told all private insurance companies, you must offer the morning-after abortion pill, because I said so. And it must be free of charge. That same level coming through executive orders and through government dictates is wrong.
I've already gone through my thoughts on Rick Perry's actions and what they ultimately will mean to my support of him, so I feel no need to rehash it here, but having already heard a lot of discussion about candidates playing on the fears of voters, the quote in bold above is simply beyond the pale. To compare government subsidized abortion to the moderately normal and societally acceptable practice of mandating vaccines takes hyperbole into the stratosphere and was the moment I became more than happy to burn the bridge with this person. There is no issue of greater importance to me and many others, than the issue of abortion. Michele Bachmann has reached a new low of wretched politics by attacking a fellow Republican candidate as though his desire to protect children from death by cancer is in anyway similar to Obama's wish for abortions to be as uneventful as eating breakfast. By conflating these two items, she has only served to diminish the pro-life movement for her own political gain and for that, she should be ashamed.