Michele Bachmann Finds Fortune's Favor

At least one person is happy about the downgrade

Cedar Rapids, Iowa—It's a steamy August day, and the candidate arrives shortly after high noon for an outdoor rally in full sun. But bounding off the campaign bus, she is smiling broadly, and no wonder: It's a good day to be Michele Bachmann.

That's because the credit rating service Standard and Poor's has downgraded U.S. government securities, just days after Congress and the president agreed to a plan to raise the federal debt ceiling—a plan that drew a "no" vote from Rep. Bachmann when it came to the House floor.

Most political rallies begin with some local functionary making a warm introduction, but Bachmann needs no assistance. To the thumping beat of Elvis Presley's "Promised Land," she mounts an empty platform, grabs a microphone, and begins flailing Barack Obama.

"This is the first president in the history of the country who under his watch, we've seen a downgrade of United States credit," she exclaims to an audience of several dozen, in a voice that would do service in a stadium. This historic setback, which two World Wars, a Great Depression, and the 9/11 attacks couldn't achieve, Barack Obama's policies managed to bring about.

The problem, in her view, is out-of-control spending and a soaring federal debt, which during her five years in Congress has risen by 75 percent. "If you're in a hole, you stop digging," cries Bachmann. "President Obama has done just the opposite. He decided to go out and hire a steam shovel, to make that hole bigger!"

Instead of reversing this pattern of fiscal irresponsibility, she says, the recent budget deal perpetuates it. "My position has been: You don't raise the debt ceiling, period," she declares, at a volume that could scatter birds from telephone wires.

Never before has the debt ceiling been raised by so much in one step, and her view is that instead of calming worries about the government's credit-worthiness, it fed them. Besides the S&P downgrade, she says, "we saw a historic, unprecedented fall in the stock market."

Obama, she charges, has yet to produce a plan to balance the budget. Bachmann, however, flourishes a pen to sign a pledge to support a plan sponsored by a group called Strong America Now, which would eliminate the deficit by 2017 without raising taxes. "We can't wait another day to solve our debt problem," she implores, "because the problems aren't in the future. The problems are today."

It's not a hard case to make at a time when unemployment is high and the economy is barely moving. The Obama stimulus plan and deficit financing have not restored the economy to its former vigor, and they may have slowed its recovery.

Bachmann is famous for her social conservatism, but abortion and same-sex marriage are absent from this speech. When the president is cursed with a dismal economy, he can't expect opponents to change the subject.

Spending, debt, and economic growth are the urgent concerns of the day, and she offers herself as the most fiercely uncompromising candidate on these issues. That's why the people around Obama "fear my candidacy more than any other," Bachmann exults.

Never mind the contradiction between the budget outline she endorses, which envisions five more years of deficits, and her opposition to a higher debt ceiling, which would be needed to finance such deficits.

When she accuses the president of tripling the deficit, she neglects to mention that the tripling took place in fiscal year 2009—which began months before Obama took office and was largely the responsibility of his predecessor. When she says that by some measures, the dollar has lost 12 to 20 percent of its value under Obama, she leaves out that in terms of its purchasing power, the change has been less than 7 percent.

Nor is Obama likely to blanch at the prospect of running against a Republican whose chief theme—that immovable resistance to bipartisan solutions and temperate compromise—will repel more voters than it attracts.

Bachmann assures her audience, "I am the unifying candidate who will beat Barack Obama," something you would not suspect if she didn't tell you. Hard-core conservatives can wear themselves out on Bachmann's applause lines. Voters closer to the center will find little to cheer.

Her fierce positions and persona may be a hindrance in the long run. But Bachmann has some conservative Iowans on her side—and an underpowered economy that, for the time being, will serve nicely as her electoral engine.

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  • ||

    Cedar Rapids, Iowa—It's a steamy August day,

    Oooooh, someone went to journalism school...

  • Ironic Cliché Guy||

    Fucking clichés. How do they work?

  • ­||

    Bachmann's guts oozed nice like a melted malted.

  • Hate Potion Number Nine||

    It is a historic and unprecedented cliche

  • Suki||

    Thank Gaia that it was not a dark and stormy night.

  • Neal||

    Too bad the weather here is far from "steamy" for the last 5 days. Low 80s high and low humidity. If he was here two weeks ago Chapman would have called it hell.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    I avoid cliches like the plague.

  • Aqua Buddha||

  • Ironic Cliché Guy||

    Fucking Morning Links. How do they work?

  • NotSure||

    Honestly, does anyone expect things to change no matter who becomes US president ? The same empty promises, the same empty results.

  • Free Minds, Pessimism®||

    That's the spirit!

  • Name Nomad||

    You seem to have misspelled "realism."

  • Free Minds, Pessimism®||

    Libertarians are nothing if not pessimists "realists."

  • jacob||

    That's the spirit!

  • Mr. FIFY||

    No fans of unicorns, we!

  • ||

    Agreed...I think that a President can advocate and cheerlead, but 'doing things' is kind of what got us deeper in the ditch. The cult of personality imbues its subject with super powers...until they are revealed to be quite ordinary.

  • ||

    Really? Being jaundiced about both major parties is one thing, but playing Diogenes and saying you can't find one honest man? The Tea Party congressmen have done very well so far. Getting more of them there, especially in the Senate, would get us some real results as long as we keep the pressure on them.

  • NotSure||

    Nothing wrong with Diogenes, especially if the story about him and Alexander the Great are true. All I want is these people to get out the way and let me live my own life.

  • sarcasmic||

    Honest people do not seek the power to coerce.

  • Restoras||

    This may be the best comment I've ever seen.

  • Sorry Charlie||

    the power to coerce

    American government is granted the exclusive use of force through the Constitution and by the consent of the governed.

  • Mr Whipple||

    Read that again, Charlie.

    Honest people do not seek the power to coerce.

    The source of the power to coerce is irrelevant to the point that those who seek it are dishonest.

  • Sorry Charlie||

    All government workers are dishonest coercers!
    Gotcha.

  • ||

    No, but they're all the receivers of stolen goods.

  • George Washington||

    I beg to differ. Honest people use power wisely then voluntarily give up power.

  • Sorry Charlie||

    Two-term president! Coercer!

  • jacob||

    'Honest people do not seek the power to coerce.'

    In the main that is very true. But when there is true crisis, having a Cincinnatus step up, fix the mess and step down is what it may take for the nation to survive. Right now we are leaderless -- instead we have rulers.

  • sarcasmic||

    Sometimes I think we would be better off if we had lotteries instead of elections.

  • ­||

    And not a few inbred monarchs throughout history have led more effectively than our current political class.

  • sarcasmic||

    Unlike our current political class, many of those inbred monarchs honestly believed that they had a duty to the people.

    Now we've allowed ourselves to be ruled by the most dishonest scum known to man: lawyers.

    How pathetic is that.

  • ||

    a lawyer is only as dishonest as his incompetent adversary allows him to be.

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    Having lotteries might not be a bad idea. Do them every two years or so, to limit the amount of damage any one individual can do. You only get two terms, if by some miracle your name gets pulled out of the basket three times.

  • Swamp Think||

  • ||

    That is a good point. And that means you probably should vote for the person who will make the people you don't like the most miserable. By that standard, Bachman is the choice.

  • Tony||

    100% agreed on Bachmann. She makes me so very miserable, I'm soo scared if she wins the primary.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Choosing between Bachmann and Obama is like choosing jumper cables to the testicles or being raped by rabid baboons.

  • DLM||

    Honestly, does anyone expect things to change no matter who becomes US president ?

    The big problem is that too many people think some savior is elected who will cure all ills and 'fix' everything, then they are disappointed when reality kicks in. It happens every four years. People need to understand that without their personal involvement, politicians (of any stripe) will continue to behave like....politicians.

  • sarcasmic||

    She is a lawyer. An attorney.

    A professional liar.

    Look at her bio and it's a laundry list of rent seeking.

    She's nothing but another disingenuous power seeking coercer.

    Can we stop putting lawyers into political office already?

    Please?

  • Ice Nine||

    I don't think so, because it is such a natural match. Politicians and lawyers have a fundamental element in common: you pay them and they do anything you want regardless of its outrageousness - something they share with another age-old profession. The primary difference among the three is the progressive degree of overtness.

  • John Lennon, Esq.||

    Lawyers are the niggers of the world.

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    Ron Paul is an obstetrician...

  • Devil's Advocate||

    To be fair, there are some lawyers like those at the Institute for Justice, Pacific Legal Foundation and the Goldwater Institute that do good work in defense of liberty. I would vote for someone like Clint Bolick or Chip Mellor if given the chance. Alan Ackerman in Michigan is another one that has made a career out of fighting eminent domain abuse.

  • Foster Child #27||

    She didn't care a hoot about raising us.

  • Sam||

    Bachmann is a neocon acting like a conservative/libertarian for political reasons. Ron Paul for President.

  • ||

    Sorry but if you are going to use the word "neocon" in a post, you must show your work. What does the word mean? Why does it apply to her beyond the fact that you don't like Bachman?

  • Michele Bachmann||

    Just because I want to wage war all over the world, does not mean I cannot be a libertarian. I mean torturing terrorists fits very well with libertarian thinking.

  • sarcasmic||

    She's a strong social conservative who supports using military force around the world while giving lip service to economic liberty.
    Isn't that the definition of a neocon?

  • OO||

    Neoconservatism refers to the political goals and ideology of the "new conservatives" in the United States, characterized by hawkish or jingoist views on foreign policy and a lesser emphasis on social issues and minimal government than other strains of American conservatism. The "newness" refers either to being new to American conservatism (often coming from liberal or socialist backgrounds) or to being part of a "new wave" of conservative thought and political organization

    http://www.dkosopedia.com/wiki.....ervativism

  • Mo||

    OO is right. What you're describing is a pretty standard issue conservative. If you halved Bachmann's IQ, you'd describe KLo.

  • sarcasmic||

    I don't think neo-conservatism is very neo anymore.
    It has become the standard.

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    We need neoneocons.

  • DLM||

    If people can't agree on the definition of "fascism" or "liberalism", is it any wonder they can't agree on "neoconservatism"?

  • Realist||

    Neocon = warmongering thumper. Or neocon = killer fundie.

  • ||

    Didn't Old Mexican really dislike Gary Johnson for some reason? Wonder why.

    And thanks, Bachmann, but no thanks -- I prefer Ron Paul.

  • ||

    I've made donations to both.

  • ||

    Paul and Johnson, that is.

  • Tony||

    Isn't her being a lawyer rather beside the point compared to her being a dominionist?

    "Christians, and Christians alone, are Biblically mandated to occupy all secular institutions until Christ returns."

  • sarcasmic||

    I would rather be governed by an honest Christian than by any lawyer.

  • NotSure||

    I would rather be governed by the devil than any lawyer.

  • OO||

    but are fundies, like bachmann, really "honest christians"? she supports the death penalty & military mayham overseas. WWJD?

  • sarcasmic||

    Bachmann is a lawyer.
    By definition she is dishonest.

  • Reason||

    sarcasmsick: Reason, none for me, thanks. I'm prejudiced to my boner.

  • Tony||

    You'd rather be governed by a person with explicitly theocratic motivations than a person whose job is to understand the law? Lawyer bashing, how fresh.

  • sarcasmic||

    person whose job is to understand the law

    You really believe that is what lawyers do?
    Oh you naive little child.

  • Tony||

    I think there are all types of lawyers. Yeah some are really scummy. So are some CEOs. Who do you think would make the best lawmakers and leaders?

  • sarcasmic||

    Legislation != law, so legislator != lawmaker.
    They could write legislation to repeal the law of supply and demand, but the law would remain.
    Also, they are not leaders. They are rulers.
    Go suck a dick.

  • NotSure||

    Contrary to popular belief, not every head of state in the world is a lawyer. I am not even talking about the CCP, the current Indian head and Angel Merkel are both not lawyers, both are quality leaders, infinitely better than the garbage you support.

  • Tony||

    I'm not saying all politicians ought to be lawyers, I just think there are bigger issues with Bachmann than her being a lawyer.

  • sarcasmic||

    there are bigger issues with Bachmann than her being a lawyer

    Being a lawyer is enough.
    Shouldn't you be sucking someone's dick?

  • Tony||

    Shouldn't you be clubbing a female and dragging her back to your mobile home?

  • Sarc of shit||

    Can't I just be a prejudiced redneck w/o simPleton assholes like Tony PWNing me?

    I have another snappy rejoinder: go suck my dick!

  • ­­­||

    Honest Christian. Like JFK, Tony.

  • ||

    LOL, protestants.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Dominionists are just as disgusting, theology-wise, as... oh, say... Black Liberationists.

  • Anomalous||

    "President Obama has done just the opposite. He decided to go out and hire a steam shovel, to make that hole bigger!"

    She could have said "backhoe" but someone with bad hearing could have thought she said something else.

  • ­­­||

    Geithner?

  • ||

    I never even thought about it like that before. Wow.

    www.real-anonymity.us.tc

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    You said that yesterday, anonbot. At least be original.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    At this point, I can't see why the press would be giving her so much attention except for the potential lulz of having Obama give her a Christine O'Donnell style-ass whipping on election night.

    The easiest way to undermine and expose Obama is to get under his skin, because he can't handle it emotionally when people don't genuflect to what he deems his own magnificence. Treat him like the know-nothing glorified graduate student that he is, and he becomes considerably diminished. Bachmann doesn't have the wit or the chops to play that game without sounding like a goofball.

  • The Donald||

    You want a piece of me?!!!

  • ||

    btw I'm not gay but when I eat a banana or a whole cucumber I like to pretend it's a man's penis and make love to it with my mouth.

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    So, bisexual?

  • Resto Druid FTW||

    Didn't the Diceman have something to say about that?

  • Realist||

    "President Obama has done just the opposite. He decided to go out and hire a steam shovel, to make that hole bigger!"
    That's so 1920's

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    Hydrogen bombs are the way to go.

  • ||

    This is completely beside the point, but I think Bachmann (and women candidates generally) are handicapped by their public speaking voices. The male candidates either don't raise their voices, or if they do, its not abrasive.

    But Bachmann can't seem to give a speech without screeching into the microphone. I find it irritating as hell.

  • ­­­­­­Howard Dean||

    That can be a problem for a candidate, I've heard.

  • ||

    Oh snap.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Gary Johnson seems like the man to me. As far as who they fear the most I think it may still be Palin, especially now that she's seemingly rejected the neocon nation building BS.

  • Tiny Tim Pawl||

    And he has such a soothing, non-aggressive voice.

  • yofed2||

    if he could only get some play...

  • ||

    You know what would be ideal? If a highly militant, fully black female minarchist joined in and won over shitloads of support.

  • ||

    She needs to be hawt, milf material.

  • ­­Nanker Phelge||

    A sweet black angel. Not a sweet black slave.

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    What libertarians need to win an election is a female pres and VP candidate. One needs to be a minority, the other needs to be a lesbian.

    That'll get some media attention, if nothing else will.

  • ­­­||

    One should be a cancer survivor, too.

  • قبلة الوداع||

    ThaNkS

  • ||

    "Never mind the contradiction between the budget outline she endorses, which envisions five more years of deficits, and her opposition to a higher debt ceiling, which would be needed to finance such deficits." Her budget envisions much smaller and shrinking deficits, rather than the wildly expanding budgets from Obama. Actually, Chapman's sentence sounds like a cut-and-paste, DNC release. Team Obama member Steve Chapman must have had a migraine when he put together his latest anti-Bachmann screed. The ad hominem attacks against Bachmann by the media jackals have boomeranged against the Left and hugely helped Bachmann.
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/....._blog.html
    Whenever the press attacks Bachmann, she "gets a flood of support and money. She becomes ‘Every Woman,’ a misunderstood Tea Party mother of five facing down an elitist, arrogant, Obama-leaning press corps." The dogs bark, but the caravan moves on.
    8/2/11 Rasmussen Poll: Romney 44% vs. Bachmann 42% in a two-way race.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Yeah, if she's not a threat than why the hit piece? You can always tell how well popular a conservative candidate is by how much negative attention they get in the media.

  • ||

    Being right does not necessarily make one happy.

  • T||

    Just ask Cassandra.

  • CE||

    Bachmann's support has plummeted in the latest CNN national poll. Bachmann down to 7 percent, Ron Paul up to 12 percent. When they leave out non-candidates Giuliani and Palin, Paul gets 14 percent to Bachmann's 9.

    http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2.....12poll.pdf

  • ||

    Whenever the press attacks Bachmann, she "gets a flood of support and money. She becomes ‘Every Woman,’ a misunderst­ood Tea Party mother of five facing down an elitist, arrogant, Obama-lean­ing press corps." The dogs bark, but the caravan moves on.
    8/2/11 Rasmussen Poll: Romney 44% vs. Bachmann 42% in a two-way race.
    CNN's audience is the far Left. Conservative Republican don't watch CNN.

  • Swamp Think||

    And this fantasy 2-way in which Bachmann loses to the corporatist takes place where? When?

  • Nikolaj||

    "Nor is Obama likely to blanch at the prospect of running against a Republican whose chief theme—that immovable resistance to bipartisan solutions and temperate compromise—will repel more voters than it attracts."

    Wow, the Reason magazine now likes bipartisanship and moderation. Whatever poor Bachmann does it will not do: when she emphasizes social conservatism we need more free market and less divisive social issues; when she omits completely social issues and insists on economic freedom, then she is too divisive because voters do not like free market extremism. And she is unjust to poor Obama to boot, who just inherited the mess from Bush. There's nothing she could do to please phony libertarians.

  • yofed2||

    she doesn't please this "phony" libertarian because she has been living off the tit of the government her entire adult life. since you are such a big fan, i shouldn't have to go into why that statement is so true... she is indeed a crackpot, a manufacturer of "historical facts", well, just a liar outright in order to suit her watery, cliche ridden arguments, who wants to impose her stupid social agenda on everyone in every facet of life she can get her hands on. as far as the economy goes, she is an idiot who simply screams "no tax increases" when every reasonable person knows, that the economy is struggling not because of tax RATES, but because of the uncertainty of current tax law and the potential adding to the complexity of that law. closing loopholes would allow for marginal rates to actually GO DOWN but she is too much of an ideological idiot who parrots whatever will keep her in office for another two years, instead of actually being a problem solver. additionally, i don't ever hear her mention anything about govt regulation and how it is choking the crap out of business, and that THAT is the reason why this economy is garbage. what is she going to do about that? get rid of the department of agriculture and get rid of her family's precious farm subsidies? doubt it. if she is the best that "conservatives" have to offer, i say, no thanks, i'll move to canada until she is out of the white house. gimme a freakin' break, dude.

  • ||

    There is no "contradiction between the budget outline she endorses..." This is an outright fabrication by Team Obama propagandist Steve Chapman. Bachmann's budget envisions much smaller and shrinking deficits, rather than the wildly expanding budgets from Obama. Actually, Chapman's sentence sounds like a cut-and-paste, DNC release. Team Obama member Steve Chapman must have had a migraine when he put together his latest anti-Bachmann screed.

  • ||

    I always find Reason a troubled publication. Fiscal restraint of government is the key to it's limit and leaving people alone. Chapman is a "big government libertarian.". Those that claim to be "social libertarians" but tell you what you have to believe are collectivists. 

     Everytime I think about subscribing I see articles like this and I wretch. I realize that Reason supplies few rational reason to pay attention to it and subscribe. 

    Chapman and the many " social libertarians" embraced by the Reasonites means embracingtheir collectivism. 

    It is about defunding government. That takes away control. Forcing anyone to abide by government sponsored beliefs is collectivism, even when the collectivist whine my intention were good. No, they were not. 
    I will check back in, in another year. 

  • Dan Mage||

    Although it's a good idea, there is nothing about cutting government spending that will inherently increase individual liberty; whatever money they have left, they will use it for purposes of social control. If they don't, they will lose control, something that those in control very rarely do voluntarily. Meanwhile, how can you honestly think that your right to the contents of your bank account has any significance when you don't even have the right to your own body? All this "left vs. right" crap diverts attention from what matters, the "vertical axis" totalitarian vs. libertarian. The right of the capitalist to do business without governmental interference, and the right of the individual to reject the authority of both state and capital, the right to live as one chooses to, including drug use, sexual practices others might find distasteful, unpopular religious beliefs and atheism, cannot exist independently of each other.

  • Tony||

    The Christians have never expressed a problem with control. If anything, secular government is a problem because it's too lax.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Like liberals don't seek control...

  • Liberal Mindset via WaPo||

    the individual mandate is an unprecedented but reasonable — and constitutional — intrusion on individual decision-making

  • Steve Chapman||

    I shot John Lennon. I'm still mentally unbalanced.

  • andy tkr jesus 1||

    Thank you to the usa. I and a lot fear that she would become clumsy and not listen and or fail. I am excited about her. I felt like hoping then push down barriers at a rally and go kiss her butt or behind and tell her to spit in my mouth. Palin, you coward abortionist idiot. I hate abortionist. Heil Lord Jesus. Prosecute 70s druggy gang barack and others. Prosecute suspected us attorney gov. fraudfor not stoping church fraud(supposed to help others). Gangs and ripoffs have won there. Thanks rev1 2:9kjvz col 3:11kjvz Gal 3;3kjvz.

  • yofed2||

    huh?

  • David Rasner||

    The dollar has only dropped 7% in terms of purchasing power? I purchase food, and food is up way more than 7%. How much is gold up?

    People need to remember that it doesn't matter what stance the president has on social issues. The president can't do anything about gay marriage or abortion. You could argue court picks, but right now, the situation is dire economically. We should be focused on economic freedom and the debt.

  • قبلة الوداع||

    thank u

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