National Commentary

Hoping Against Bachmann

Rep. Michele Bachmann – who is running for the Republican presidential nomination – has gone as far right in politics as she can go.


Her views are almost as primitively conservative as Attila the Hun. And she is the darling of the tea party members. The attractive 55-year-old, three-term Minnesota GOP congresswoman has thrown her bonnet into the ring with great aplomb.

A Des Moines Register poll showed her running neck and neck with former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. Bachmann founded the Tea Party caucus in the House of Representatives and is politically conservative on all social and fiscal issues. She is against abortion and Planned Parenthood. She also vocally opposes same-sex marriages. She has reportedly claimed that she was called by God to run for Congress.

Bachmann is the epitome of the Republican lawmakers, whose new code is “just say no” to all Democratic proposals. She has opposed President Barack Obama’s sponsored health care law, which she has referred to with others as “Obamacare.” Bachmann has also moved to repeal the law. She claims there are hidden costs in the law, which have been suppressed by the administration. Incredibly, she has also called for the phasing out of Social Security and Medicare.

As for those people who were already in the system and have no other options, she said, “We have to keep faith with them, and wean everybody else off.”

She attacked government health insurance and claimed it would squeeze out private insurance. Bachmann asked House Speaker John Boehner to give her a spot on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence to enhance her skill in foreign affairs. He did, making her one of the overseers of the CIA, the National Security Agency, and other parts of the intelligence community.

As for her views on foreign policy, Bachmann said that in dealing with Iran “diplomacy is our option” and she added, “there are other options, including a nuclear strike, that shouldn’t be taken off the table.” Bachmann has also been a long time supporter of Israel.

Bachmann believes that intelligent design should be taught along with evolution in science classes in public schools.

Bachmann has said she has “very serious concerns about the President’s views.”

In announcing her candidacy this week, Bachmann said “I seek the Presidency not for vanity, but because America is at a crucial moment.” She made the announcement in a quaint setting at the home in Waterloo, Iowa, where she lived until the age of 12, and before a crowd of old friends and fans.

Bachmann won’t have it easy. Sarah Palin is still expected to jump into the fray, along with a rash of other GOP candidates beside Romney, including Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, Herman Cain, Tim Pawlenty, Rick Santorum and Jon Huntsman.

Bachmann is of Norwegian background and attended Winona University and Oral Roberts University. She also studied tax law at William and Mary College, and later worked as a tax lawyer for the IRS. She is the mother of five children and has fostered 23 teenage girls over the years.

It is quite clear where Bachmann became a devotee of the conservative causes and stuck to them. I don’t think it will be in fashion in 2012 if the American people wake up to her dismissive feelings about the suffering of people in the country during these hard times.

Oh for the days when the Republican senator from Maine, Margaret Chase Smith, stood up on the Senate floor and delivered her “declaration of conscience” at the height of the Joe McCarthy era – a point which led to his political demise.

Bachmann has made a few gaffs along the way. She referred to the actor John Wayne, saying he was from Waterloo, and told a Fox News correspondent during an interview “that’s the kind of spirit I have, too.”

The trouble is that the famous western movie actor was born in Winterset, Iowa – about 150 miles southwest of Waterloo. It was John Wayne Gacy, the serial killer clown who murdered and raped teenage boys in the 1970s, who came from Waterloo.

I hope that Bachmann’s views of our country and the world do not prevail in the next election. What a pity to have a woman aspire to the presidency with such a lack of compassion and heart for the least advantaged.