Whatever mysterious reasons went into her decision, Rep. Michele Bachmann should be commended for deciding not to file for re-election next year. It may be the only intelligent decision she’s made in a very long time.
Her decision is good news for the people of Minnesota’s 6th Congressional District, and it’s good news for the Republican Party. In this predominantly conservative district, it’s likely a Republican candidate will be elected next year. But this time around, chances are the Republican winner will be reasonable, rational, open-minded, moderate and capable of compromising – the very qualities Bachmann so blatantly lacks. It’s also probable such a candidate will truly represent and work hard for the people in the district.
From the get-go, when she was first elected in 2006, Bachmann obviously loved the star-shine of celebrity more than the hard work of legislation. Time and again, she put her mouth in gear before her brain was fully engaged. It was one outrageous statement after another, including a barrage of distortions, misinformation and flat-out slanders against President Barack Obama and his administration.
Those kinds of attack-dog statements were her stock in trade. She knew they ensured her a center-stage place in the media spotlight; she knew such far-flung nonsense appealed to ultra-right-wing crazies; and she knew campaign money would keep rolling in to her from the paranoid Obama-haters.
In the U.S. Congress, Bachmann accomplished virtually nothing in seven years. Her entire modus operandi was to be an obstructionist, like so many of her Tea Party brethren. She had no solutions to the country’s problems; she had no clue; she was nothing but a high-profile Obama-naysayer. She was, however, talented at being a shoot-from-the-hip celebrity, much like her northern cousin, Sarah Palin.
Bachmann is just the latest of the ultra-right-wing radicals to be discredited in the past year or two. Voters, tired of their obstructionist mania and their lunatic notions, had sense enough to reject many of them at the ballot box.
In many districts in the country, those types of Tea Party radicals virtually held reasonable, moderate, mainstream candidates (including many incumbents) hostage, threatening to “primary” them – a new verb meaning to challenge someone in one’s own party through appeals to fear, intimidation and political machinations.
Bachmann’s decision not to run, along with other Tea Party defeats, might finally help give intelligent, rational Republicans the courage to run on their good convictions – and win.
The Grand Old Party can no longer afford radical, divisive, flash-and-shine “celebrities” the likes of Bachmann.