Politics

Bachmann Grayson Overdrive: Time Miffed As American People Get Moments of Comic Relief During Bush-Obama Tragedy

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God forbid that anybody in a country where two parties have controlled all power for the last 150 years, where citizens are prohibited from engaging in political speech during election campaigns, and whose most populous state is divided into districts that allow only marginal turnover even between the two ruling parties, should ever tell the "common man that politicians are against them or that the political process is a farce."

Michele Bachmann gets another message from the Lord.

That's the takeaway of this Time mag. dual profile of a pair of congressional back benchers who have attained celebrity in the past few years.

Always fair and balanced, Time's Michael Scherer and Jay Newton-Small run the gamut from A to B, profiling submissive Rep. Michele Bachman (R-Minnesota) and sepulchral Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Florida). Powered by the interwebs, Grayson and Bachman have become "breakout stars of partisanship." The article takes you through all nine stages of gateekper grief:

1) nostalgia for the grand old days of James Traficant and John Jenrette:

In another era, strident politicians on the ideological edges found themselves marginalized once they got to Washington, where power accrues to longevity–and longevity tends to mellow.

2) techno-terror:

The difference today is that politicians no longer need to broaden their appeal beyond a committed, activist base. And they know more precisely than ever what the base wants.

3) gobbledegook:

The soapbox, which became the sound bite, thanks to radio and television, has gone interactive. If you say it today, the audience will come to you.

4) we-tried-dammit-we-tried befuddlement:

The White House was forced to respond, condemning Bachmann in a blog post–which played exactly into her hands.

5) meaningless web statistic:

It was an instant online sensation, with more YouTube viewers than Grayson got votes in his home district.

6) you're television incarnate:

Cable news embraces this sort of stuff, having turned August into the summer of town-hall fury. [Examples follow from MSNBC and FOX, but not from Time-affiliated newsnet CNN.]

7) borg-baiting:

Their devoted followers respond to appeals.

8) on the other hand:

We still don't know whether this sort of fly-by-night notoriety of rhetorical bombast is sustainable or just diverting. 

9) not anger, just disappointment:

In the meantime, the Establishment is obligated to roll its eyes.

And at last, sadder-but-wiser headshaking:

"It's all theater," says South Carolina's James Clyburn, the House Democratic whip. "People have learned to speak in sound bites and look to generate headlines." That insight is key. The headlines are what matter most, not the substance. And in Congress today, the loudest carnival barker gets the crowds.

Which of course is why Newt Gingrich is still representing DeKalb County in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Alan Grayson prepares to flash a group of supporters.

The article doesn't explore what strikes me as the most interesting element here: the regional factor. Bachman represents the cool, windswept Gopher State (God's country) while Grayson represents hot, boggy Florida (Satan's). Yet all we learn of their home districts is that Grayson's borders Disney World and that Bachman "had to battle for her seat." It seems like you might add some value by consulting the voters who sent them to Washington. But that would involve leaving the Northeast Corridor.

Hey Time, your readers are almost definitely poorer and less contented this year than they were last year. They're watching one of the biggest financial swindles in the history of the country unfold, and they're helpless to do anything about it. They've seen the national political leadership pass directly from incompetence to incompetence, and there are several actual wars going on. You may think your readers should be more worried about a couple of populist madcaps. But do you have to suck out even the tiny bit of joy people might get from having slightly easier and cheaper access to old-timey political theater?

Related: Grayson as New Dylan. Grayson as Tarzan. Bachmann imprisoned by insatiable lesbians. Bachmann hoarding Ameros.

NEXT: "Distress Index" Says Things Still Terrible Despite GDP Bump

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  1. So it’s the Democrats and Republicans fault that Libertarians haven’t been able to so much as get one person in Congress over 150 years?

    That doesn’t sound very self-reliant…

    1. STFU asshole

      1. I’m starting to think this is the customary way that libertarians begin debate.

        1. It’s all you fucking well deserve. Have a nice night, obamabot.

          1. Again, brilliant insights.
            You sure can defend your beliefs intelligently.

            1. I’m sure with that name that you’re here for debate and not just to troll. Yep. Uh huh.

              1. No, I can articulate my disdain for libertarians just fine. Try me.

            2. Nothing to see here. I’m just trolling like a fag.

              1. You forgot to add the link to the Ron Paul/Bruno video, imitating-me fag.

      2. Don’t feed the trolls.

        1. It appears to be self feeding.

          1. The first self-sustaining-green-thumb ever! Hurrah! We’re all saved!

    2. Well, I don’t think people should be cussing at each other or calling each other retards or gaylords. So to respond to your point: Who said anything about Libertarians? There was no such party 150 years ago. And if you can make a cursory review of ballot access and campaign finance laws and not conclude their main purpose is to protect the duopoly from challenge, your powers of disbelief exceed my own.

      1. Stop being gaytarded and proofread your shit

      2. Are you joking? The subtext (and, in places, the text) of this entire piece is just how bad the two parties are – which, again, begs the question:

        If Libertarians have so much to offer, how is it that they have been around for nearly 40 years without so much as one Congressional seat? If it’s such a superior philosophy, shouldn’t it have been able to overcome all these incompetents who keep beating them? Your answer to that is that it’s a conspiracy?

        The reality is that libertarians have no real interest in power, as they would have to actually stand behind their voting records — as opposed to what they do best, which is to lob insults from the fences they sit on.

        1. Libertarians – supposed champions of the free market – have lost and lost big in the marketplace of ideas. Only about 1% of the U.S. – at the very most – support their movement.

          And, their faulty thinking processes extends not just to their aberrant ideology but to failures at being able to use effective methods. Over two years ago, I posted a video showing how RonPaul supporters could make him a contender. It doesn’t even have 3000 views two years later.

          How do we know the stage at the libertarian convention is level? Because those on stage are drooling out of both sides of their mouths.

          P.S. Grayson is a clown, but at least he’s willing to question the Federal Reserve Inspector General, which is more than can be said of anyone at Reason.

        2. ” If it’s such a superior philosophy, shouldn’t it have been able to overcome all these incompetents who keep beating them? Your answer to that is that it’s a conspiracy?”

          A superior and consistent philosophy – you bet.

          But just like you, the vast majority of American voters are too fat, lazy, stupid, and shortsighted to vote for anything but a D or R.

      3. TARD.

        There is no question begging here; however, that’s a lovely straw man you are concocting. Love at first sight and smash?

        The point, as Tim explained, is how these two, Grayson and Bachman, represent good ole fashioned polarized partisanship. The stages presented can be applied to both sides fairly equally.

        If you can infer “libertarianism isn’t in the duopoly, therefore superior”, I wonder who is really th thick-headed ideologue?

        1. MAXI.

          So you’re saying libertarianism isn’t superior? Finally we agree!

          1. So you’re saying libertarianism isn’t superior? Finally we agree!
            TARD.

            And you stopped beating your wife/husband/straw man/meat when?

            I said no such thing. I simply stated you read something that isn’t there.

            And yes, I do believe the basic tenets of Libertarianism are logical, practical, and applicable to more political issues than either progressive liberalism or modern conservatism.

            1. I said no such thing. I simply stated you read something that isn’t there.

              ZERE VILL BE NO SUBTEXT AR ZE REEDING BETVEEN ZE LINEZ!

              1. Epic sarcasm FAIL.

                Time for you go fuck yourself with a diamond tipped chainsaw, you slack torn cunt raisin.

    3. I didn’t think the LP had been around 150 years. Doesn’t that reach back to the end of the Whig era?

  2. No, it’s the simple fact that most people on this planet are fucking idiots and should be murdered horrifically.

    And it’s too bad Bachman doesn’t always look like that pic you posted Tim. I’d ride her until her hips broke if that were the case. Seeing as how God tells her to submit to men.

    1. So, when we’re counting how many comments it takes for any woman pictured in an H&R post to have her do-ability evaluated, do we go by chronological order or threaded order?

      1. Any random horndoggery shouldn’t count until at least one post affirming it has been made.

      2. Her do-ability was not only evaluated, it was described using violent imagery.

        The sexism regularly expressed by commentators on this blog is usually juvenile and tedious. Sometimes, it is disturbing as well. It’s too bad. It didn’t used to be this way around here.

        1. What was it like before?

          1. exactly like this.

              1. vanessa is even more confused. i can recall comments about postrel back in the day…

                1. My comment wasn’t based on the premise that there was a time when no juvenile, sexual commentary about women was made in this forum. But I’ll grant it’s possible that my tolerance for it has simply decreased.

                2. vanessa is even more confused. i can recall comments about postrel back in the day…

                  HOW COULD ANYBODY SAY ANYTHING BAD ABOUT HER?

                  Even when I was leftminded I liked her.

    2. Surely you’re not among “most,” though.

      You must be a Bill Maher fan.

  3. I tend not to look at bylines until I’m at least partway through the article.

    When it’s Tim Cavanaugh’s article, I don’t have to look.

    Makes me happy.

    1. When it’s Tim Cavanaugh’s article, I don’t have to look.

      You know right away because it’s on the “un” side of “intelligible”?

    2. Tim’s headlines are usually a dead giveaway.

    3. Tim reads Time so I ton’t have to. That makes me happy.

      1. I hear we have a preview function now.

        Replace ton’t with don’t up there.

  4. Yet all we learn of their home districts is that Grayson’s borders Disney World

    Apparently it’s an open border.

  5. If these two are representative of ideological warfare, then we may a well get high, deconstruct and screw our brains out with the time we have left.

  6. Get to the ‘workin overtime’ part!

  7. Jay Newton-Small

    We’re in the stage of the apocalypse where all the random wanker names from Monty Python sketches come to life and bore us.

  8. Michele Bachman? Didn’t she write The Long Walk and The Running Man?

    1. No, dumbass. She wrote Taking Care of Business.

      Sheesh.

      1. Really, douchelord? I wonder if she got to meet Jim Belushi and Charles Grodin on the set.

        1. She’s a fine piece of work!

          Now, if can just get out of this spandex jumpsuit….

          Enter Prof. Turo Tanaka

  9. But that would involve leaving the Northeast Corridor.

    It doesn’t bother me so much that the MSM is biased. It’s that they are lazy and biased that really irks me.

    1. It’s a lot easier to be biased if one is lazy. For proof, read any post by LiberTARDian. Not one second of intellectual effort went into any of them. If any effort HAD been expended, it would know that Ron Paul has been elected several times and is a libertarian; he merely uses the Republican branding to overcome ballot blocking laws and corral some suckers that vote for anything with an R next to it.

  10. Well, I don’t think people should be cussing at each other or calling each other retards or gaylords.

    Good to know there are some who agree.

  11. Libertarians – supposed champions of the free market – have lost and lost big in the MarketplaceOfIdeas. Only about 1% of the U.S. – at the very most – supports their movement.

    And, their faulty thinking processes extends not just to their aberrant ideology but to failures at being able to use effective methods. Over two years ago, I posted a video showing how RonPaul supporters could make him a contender. It doesn’t even have 3000 views two years later.

    P.S. Grayson is a clown, but at least he’s willing to question the Federal Reserve Inspector General, which is more than can be said of anyone at Reason.

    P.P.S. How do we know the stage at the libertarian convention is level? Because those on stage are drooling out of both sides of their mouths.

    1. oooh, oooh, can i do it this time? i can? thanks, guys!

      shut the fuck up, lonewhacko.

  12. Gosh Lonewhacker, how have those anti-immigrant candidates done in the past few elections? Oh, the whirlwind that was Tom Tancredo! And it’s funny you should mention Paul, he had plenty of anti-immigrant ads – that came out right as his campaign tanked.

    As for a “faulty thinking process”, how about the one that keeps a stupid, racist cuntsore coming back, over and over, to a place where he is almost universally hated? Why not stick around LGF and Stormfront.org and whore your shitty blog there? Maybe then your stupid fucking videos will get more than 3,000 views in two years.

    Fuck off and die, Lonewhacker.

    1. Jeez, BP what did LoneFartknocker ever do to you? It’s not like he’s annoyed you for years with his racist bullsh…oh, wait.

  13. Newt Gingrich was from Cobb County, not DeKalb.

    Cynthia McKinney was from DeKalb.

  14. “In another era, strident politicians on the ideological edges found themselves marginalized once they got to Washington, where power accrues to longevity–and longevity tends to mellow.”

    So Congressman for life who meekly settle into the culture of Washington insiders is better? How?

    I don’t really know of Bachman except the name, but Grayson is an embarrassment and already corrupt to boot. He openly held out on voting for cap and trade until he secured a mess of pork for a redundant hurricane research center in Florida.

  15. I’m not sure what to make of Grayson, anymore. On one hand, he was responsible for getting over 100 dems to co-sponsor HR 1207, and he made Bernanke look like an idiot when he questioned him about the Fed loaning money to foreign central banks, and accused the Fed of manipulating the stock market.

    On the other hand, the “die quickly” rant, was just fodder for the left.

    O’Reilly seems to have taken issue with Grayson.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v…..r_embedded

  16. The reality is that libertarians have no real interest in power

    If you had stopped right there and actually thought about it, TARD, maybe you’d have learned something. Libertarians have no interest in power over other people, and don’t think anybody else should either. Since political solutions require power over others, libertarians tend to opt out of politics. This, unfortunately, leaves authoritarians and their fellators (such as yourself) in control of everything.

    1. win.

  17. I know that H&R has a fondness for unflattering pics of pols, but Bachman still looks pretty hot in that one. I’d totally take a dump on her chest.

    1. Bravo, Michael.

  18. Mrs. Bachmann isn’t perfect but I’ll gladly take her voting record over all but a select few in congress.

  19. At first I thought the headline said ‘Batman Grayson Overdrive.’

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