Despite her new found status as the “Republican Front Runner” in next year’s Presidential Race after her performance in the Iowa Straw Poll this past weekend, we could never be described (much less accused) of being big Bachmann fans.
In fact, if providence (or more accurately voters) intervenes and she ends up winning the prize she seeks, we might seriously consider picking up stakes and moving to Canada before she and Marcus consider moving in to 1600 Penn.
That said, we would never describe Bachmann as “crazy.” Even if she might appear to be that way.
Inconsistent, certainly. Hypocritical, absolutely. But “crazy?”
That’s a different story.
There are several reasons why this analysis, so suggestively promoted by everyone from Newsweek covers to even Matt Taibbi’s recent (June 2011) story on her in Rolling Stone, is both incorrect if not morally wrong. It is also bordering on defamation. If not worse.
To accuse someone of being mentally ill where no evidence exists is in fact a violation of their fundamental rights, including due process – which is a Constitutional matter. Furthermore, the mere fact that someone MIGHT have a “mental” disability (of whatever kind) also does not disqualify one from holding public office (even the highest one).
Winston Churchill, among many other politicians who suffered the same malady on both sides of the pond, we hasten to remind readers, famously suffered from depression.
And the fact is that however stupid, inconsistent, if not enraging Bachmann’s stance if not record is, she has however, proved that she can successfully run for and hold federal elected office. Someone must like her. They are voting for her. And she’s been successfully showing up.
The issue therefore is not whether she is “crazy” but competent to be President. The fact that the media, in particular, are having so many problems with this distinction is also a very good illustration of how the issues surrounding disabilities make people profoundly uncomfortable. In fact, we don’t really have, as a society, much of a vocabulary to deal with it.
Issues surrounding Bachmann’s “mental state” if not health are not new. This spring it surfaced (through her Republican rivals) that she supposedly suffers from serious and debilitating migraines (a neurological condition that can be a disability). However, as Jon Stewart so aptly quipped, most of us who are watching this candidacy take on a life of its own as she maintains her “serious contender” if not “front runner” Republican nominee status, have other things to worry about in terms of Bachmann’s brain than whether she needs to take the occasional rest stop to deal with what is probably an excruciatingly painful, if not inconvenient reality in a very public life.
Gimps, of whatever sort, are rarely accorded respect, much less “reasonable accommodations” as is their right per federal law (the ADA).
That said, however, we find it rather odious (if not very dangerous) on many levels, including the demonization and stigmatization of mental illness in particular and disability in general, that the only female Republican presidential candidate is being subjected to what is a demand for a “clean” bill of health as a way of disqualifying her.
No matter how much she in turn tried to delegitimize Obama over his medical records (his birth certificate). That is one of the issues we presuppose voters will take into consideration before voting for her.
While McCain certainly faced a measure of “ageism” three years ago, we don’t remember a single reference to the fact that he was also a PWD. Much less a campaign to disqualify or discourage him because of wounds sustained as a POW.
We think there should be a consistency here.
The fact remains, whether or not one likes Bachmann one cannot discount or sideline her because of medical conditions. There’s a law about that, called the ADA.
There is also history. Some of our best politicians if not presidents had serious and very debilitating disabilities. Lincoln, FDR and JFK (if not Reagan).
So if you don’t like Bachmann, focus on her record as a politician. Not her medical records. Theoretical or otherwise.
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|Glazed and Confused|
- Bachmann talks like a front-runner: ‘It’s on to all 50 states’ (politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com)
- Michele Bachmann wishes Elvis happy birthday on anniversary of his death (guardian.co.uk)
- Jon Stewart Rips “Petty” Newsweek Over Michele Bachmann Cover (thehollywoodgossip.com)
- Late Returns: Bachmann Leads The 2012 Field In Number Of Iowa Family Reunions (huffingtonpost.com)
- Michele Bachmann gets Elvis dates all shook up (telegraph.co.uk)
- Michele Bachmann May Have Problem Winning Support Of Minnesota GOP Delegation (huffingtonpost.com)
- Kathy Griffin Recounts Her Chance Encounter with Michele Bachmann [Video] (gawker.com)
- What do Hillary and Michele Bachmann have in common? (thehill.com)
- Video: Michele Bachmann still won’t talk about gay rights (pinkbananaworld.com)
- Comment of the Day: Michele Bachmann’s Latest Gaffe Explained [We Read You] (gawker.com)
- Why Republicans Should Hate Michele Bachmann (businessinsider.com)
- Jon Stewart Asks: What About Ron Paul?!? (thehollywoodgossip.com)
- Bachmann Newsweek Parody Link (mightyfee.wordpress.com)
- VIDEO: Bachmann wins Iowa straw poll (bbc.co.uk)
- GOP presidential candidate Michele Bachmann to fundraise in Charlotte (charlotte.news14.com)
- Stephen Colbert: Michele Bachmann Got 80% Of The Iowa Straw Poll Votes She Paid For (mediaite.com)
- Michele Bachmann’s Victory at Iowa Straw Poll Pretty Much Guarantees She Won’t Be President [Politics] (jezebel.com)
- Ron Paul loses Iowa straw poll to Bachmann (seattletimes.nwsource.com)