Thursday, July 31, 2008

Normal, Minnesota

A visit to an outlier

U.S. Representative Michelle Bachmann of Minnesota was a guest on Laura Ingraham's show this morning. Bachmann and Ingraham together. It's a wonder the radio didn't melt in my car's dashboard. Bachmann claims to be excited by McCain's chances in the land of 10,000 lakes. The key to a McCain victory? “Normal people have to vote. The nation is full of normal center-right people.”

“Normal”? What does Bachmann mean by “normal”? She helpfully provides a counterexample: members of the Sierra Club are evidently not normal. Bachmann fears them because “The Sierra Club has been going door to door in my state for months.” No wonder Bachmann fears for the fate of our nation. Environmentalists are encouraging people to get out and vote. “Normal” people must rise up and save the country from them!

I am so scared!

It's a matter of perspective, of course. From where Bachmann sits, environmental extremism is extremely easy. I imagine that dropping a plastic bottle in a recycling bin would be enough to send her into a frenzy of finger-pointing, lip-frothing, and denunciatory shrieks of “eco-freak!” This is, after all, a woman who can't tell the difference between the conservationists of the Sierra Club, the militants of Earth First, and the saboteurs of the Earth Liberation Front. They're really all the same aren't they? I mean, just like all Republicans are bribe-taking influence peddlers who hang out in airport restrooms. Right?

Bachmann says that her “internal poll”—which I suppose is a euphemism for “guess”—is that McCain is five percentage points ahead of Obama in Minnesota and that he's going to win. (The Rasmussen poll currently has Obama up by 13 points over McCain.) Whatever demon resides inside Ingraham caused her to remind her guest of the 2006 general election and the assurances she had personally received from Karl Rove that private polling indicated a GOP win—mere days before the balloting wiped out the Republican majorities in both houses of Congress. Bachmann's optimism was thereafter badly deflated and had to be put on life support.

At least both women were happy that Al Franken was certain to lose his senate race against incumbent Norm Coleman. (Rasmussen has Franken trailing by only three points.) Ingraham declared that “Franken has failed on radio and now he's going to fail in politics.” She then cattily observed that Franken has a terribly whiny and nasal voice, a charge she delivered in mocking emulation of the supposed Franken sound. She hardly had to change her voice at all!


Anonymous said...

So Zeno, afficionado of politics and former legislative aide, what can us "normal" people do to encourage an Obama win in November? How do we reach out to those other "normal" people who are afraid of someone who's black, has a funny, Islamic-sounding name, and carries on without support from the right-wingnut media?

I despise politics and involvement thereof, but I'm getting very afraid for my country if we suffer one (and maybe two!) more terms of McDubya.

The Ridger, FCD said...

Wow. She must avoid the UofMinn campus then - every trash can on the place, so far as I could tell in my recent visit, was set up for recycling with different holes for different types of trash.

Anonymous said...

Oh her.. My uncle tells me all the best stories about Bachmann. We still can't figure out how she squares holding her office with her stated belief that women should be absolutely subservient to their husbands.

Anonymous said...

My favorite Bachmanism: "I am so proud to be from the state of Minnesota. We’re the workingest state in the country, and the reason why we are, we have more people that are working longer hours, we have people that are working two jobs."
Thank god the Bush administration gave your state the chance to prove it's the "workingest", Michelle.

trog69 said...

Good morning, Prof. Zeno.

Santorum's just as evil sister, Michelle Bachmann; Looking at her pic sets my teeth on edge. Jesse Ventura wasn't enough for you, Minnesota? Jeez.

I followed TPM as they watched her campaign, and it really showed how manipulative Bachmann and her husband were in getting her elected.