Good Riddance To Bad Rubbish

English: US Representative Michele Bachmann (R...

English: US Representative Michele Bachmann (R-Minn) addressing a Tea Party Express rally outside the Minnesota state legislature (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have defended her against those that use unflattering pictures out of context to paint her as crazy (what public figure doesn’t have pics like that out there?) I have challenged those that attack her lack of eloquence rather than her policy ideas to debate in a more mature fashion. I have called out those who disseminate misogynist memes with her picture on them. All that said, I am very glad Michelle Bachmann is leaving Congress.

An obvious part of my joy is the fact that perhaps now someone with a more mature understanding of policy, whether they are Democrat, Republican, or a third-party, may actually take her seat. Representative Bachmann, and her political peers, subscribe to a false populism. No, strike that, they invoke a false populism that they clearly do not actually believe in. They and their Tea Party allies claim to fight for individual liberty, but would sacrifice real liberty for a corporate state that just twenty years ago most of their fellow Republicans would have found unthinkable. So I am glad for the people of Minnesota’s 6th Congressional District. Maybe they will have a grown up representing them now.

Mostly I am glad, however, that we have a chance to undo some of the cultural damage she did. While LGBT rights, or more importantly  opposition to them, have been part of the Tea Party platform, it was Michelle who was at the forefront of this. Many of their candidates and pundits avoid the issue altogether. Also, I have a problem with any representative that would say they are subject to another human being, in her case her husband Marcus. Don’t get me wrong, seeking advice from those you respect and trust is one thing. That, however, is not what she suggested when describing their relationship. They take the evangelical hard-line that the wife is subservient to the husband. The People of Minnesota-6 did not vote for Marcus Bachmann, they voted for her.

The past four years politics in America have become angrier, and drifted ever right (I refuse to call them polarized since, other than social issues, Democrats and Republicans are not as far apart as their fan bases would have you believe.) Michelle was at the forefront of that. She encouraged the acceleration of incivility in our political culture. She was not the only person to do so, but she was one of the most ardent. More than any of his other detractors holding office she pushed for the American people to question the President’s legitimacy, rather than the substance of his ideas. I will not be sad to see her go.

I suspect, though, that even if the people of her home district do wise up, the corporate backers of the Tea Party will find someone equally polemic to provide a distraction to the masses. They will find a new elected leader to whip the frustrated and angry into a furor against those that would actually fight for them. Like Michelle, like Paul, and like so many others who espouse their austerity-hawk zealotry, this person will likely have a treasure chest full of hypocritical handouts from the government while demeaning those that truly need assistance. As with Michelle, enough noise will be made that their supporters will forget this. I could be wrong, though, and fervently hope that I am.

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