One would think that in politics, the process of running campaigns, with all of their public scrutiny and glare from the press, would have a way of weeding out the nut jobs. And usually, that’s the case. Most of the time the process works, and it works well. Case in point: most Republican senatorial candidates. Most of them were just too nuts, and didn’t pass muster.
But every once in a while, there’s a candidate that somehow, despite all of their aggregated nuttiness, manages to make it past the post and into office. And even more rarely, do those figures manage to establish for themselves a national reputation. These figures come along about once a decade and their ascents are about as meteoric as their inevitable crashes back to earth are messy and swift. By definition, these are candidates that do not attract broad levels of support, but rather an almost cult-like following among certain segments of the population. And just one such candidate is Michele Bachman.
Despised by the gays (and pretty much anyone else with a modicum of either common sense or decency) Michele Bachmann is an extremely conservative Republican Congresswoman from Minnesota. Her presidential campaign in 2012 was in the lead in Iowa for a minute in late 2011, a prospect over which Democrats salivated, for reasons which will shortly be presented. Her policy positions were the expected laundry list of fundamentalist Christian bullshit, a visceral hatred of the government over which she wanted to preside and the certainty that the Muslins are coming to get us.
After she dropped out of the race, her public profile receded, as would be expected, and she faced unusually still competition from a Democratic challenger for her House seat. And now, there’s some allegations that, throughout the course of her campaigns, both presidential and congressional, that she may have had some ethical ‘lapses,’ shall we say. These include, but are not limited to, stealing a contact list from an Iowa home-schooling organization and failing to pay staffers even after an invoice was presented to the campaign.
These allegations, in and of themselves, are nothing fatal. But the fact of the matter is that these sort of things do not happen in isolation. Candidates, and, by extension, their campaigns, do not just do one unseemly, possibly illegal act, and then go back to their otherwise God-fearing, law-abiding ways. What this indicates, is that the more money, attention and influence that Bachmann obtained, the more that she wanted, and the more willing she became to do what was necessary to get it. And when one matter warrants attention, other matters, previously unscrutinized, are suddenly unearthed by people, either investigators or journalists. These stories are still in their respective infancies, and they may (or may not) have legs, but they are certainly worth watching in the near future.