In the past week I have seen Michele Bachmann being attacked from both the left and the right. People are scared that Bachmann could win Iowa and South Carolina and be a true threat to Mitt Romney or another establishment candidate. This fear is well placed. No other candidate on the debate stage tonight lays claim to the strong foundation that Bachmann can bring to the table as she can unify foreign policy hawks, fiscal conservatives and social conservatives under one large tent big enough to beat Obama with the help of only a sliver of independents.
Soccer moms aren't going to vote for Ron Paul's foreign policy, and you can't go into churches next year to promote Mitt Romney. You have to unite the base! What have you gained if you have appealed to the middle but lost the enthusiasm of the base? John McCain. Without the base, we will lose. The casual political observer will never be enthused about a candidate the base of the candidate's party isn't enthused about. That is why, despite Michele Bachmann's over-the-top flair, she is a powerful player. Her candidacy is scaring people on both side of the aisle.
The attacks have begun.
First, the left was outraged because her husband, a Christian doctor helped men and women out of a homosexual lifestyle at his own private Christian clinic.
Next, it was headache gate 2011. Apparently Michele Bachmann sometimes gets headaches. I'm serious, this was a headline.
Next, Newsweek purposely placed an unflattering photo of her titled "the Queen of Rage" and put it on the cover in classic Matt Drudge fashion. This is frustrating but nothing that Bachmann or conservatives wouldn't expect from Newsweek.
What really bothered me was an attack I heard from the right last night. Some talk radio host that is so influential I have never heard of him before (he comes on really late) was attacking her for trying to bring stimulus package funds to her home district. It is intellectually dishonest to claim that someone's constituents are banned from receiving a government benefit simply because their elected representative did not vote for it. The assertion is that if you don't support the idea of legislation and vote against it, but it passes anyway, a representative is not allowed to ask that their district be given a portion of the funds for development, infrastructure and public pay . That is idiotic and this radio host knew it.
Do the Minnesotians in Bachmann's district not pay taxes? Do they not deserve what democrat districts are getting? What about the 45% of people in Bachmann's district that would vote her out if they could, do they not deserve money for roads and teacher salaries that dem districts are getting? Of course they do. A representative's mission should be to (1) look out for the well being of the Republic and (2) take care of his or her constituents. Both functions are essential and they aren't mutually exclusive. To assert otherwise would be to assert that anyone who votes against a bill in fact ensures that their constituents get nothing. This would force reps to vote for bad legislation to make sure the district gets counted. I thought we wanted to get away from earmarks?
The radio host knew this to be true but was in fact being intellectually dishonest in the hopes of derailing her campaign as he likely only supports establishment candidates. If you support a tea party conservative candidate, beware because our "leaders" are attempting to keep our political offices in the establishment family.
In any case, step off of Michele. Attack her for not wanting to raise the debt ceiling but don't attack her for doing her job.