2012 Tuesday: The efforts to brand Michele Bachmann a ditz

It’s Michele Bachmann’s turn in the spotlight as the fast-rising fresh face in the Republican presidential field, and so far she’s holding up better than Herman Cain did. Surely some of the difference comes from her experience as a successful political candidate. But a great deal of it comes from the fact that she is, as she told Fox News’ Chris Wallace after his lame question, “Are you a flake?”, a serious person.

That’s not at all to suggest Cain isn’t a serious person, only to point out that the reputation of Bachmann coming into this contest is at odds with how she’s performed as a candidate so far. At some point, the political and pundit class is going to have to notice her performance and life experiences and acknowledge it.

Too many people are still in denial, as the ridiculous amount of attention paid to Bachmann’s supposed gaffe Monday about John Wayne’s birthplace demonstrates. It’s not only that this attention is out of whack compared to President Obama’s most recent gaffe, about whether a particular Medal of Honor recipient was alive at the time the award was made. (The list of Obama’s misstatements is not short, even if it hasn’t spurred a book just yet so far as I know, but that’s understandable when someone speaks publicly as much as Obama has — which is one reason I don’t make a big deal of them.)

The Bachmann-gaffe reporters want to portray her not as a poor public speaker but as a dolt. No, it’s more gender-specific than that. They want to portray her — and I think this is the word Wallace meant when he said “flake” — as a ditz. As “Barbie with fangs,” as Washington Post columnist Colby King actually called her last week.

This narratives contradicts everything these reporters — let’s not pretend most of them don’t tend toward left-liberal politics — claim to believe about gender equality and sexism.

Not a single one of them would flinch at saying the sexes are equal. Such a thing doesn’t threaten to undermine their (alleged) objectivity; it underpins it. They would proclaim this belief proudly. And rightfully so.

But they don’t practice this belief when it comes to covering female politicians — excuse me, conservative female politicians. Even the gaffe-tastic Joe Biden doesn’t get the treatment Bachmann and Sarah Palin get.

Speaking of Palin, here’s a second point about Bachmann. What sense of gender equality is promoted by the perpetual linking of Bachmann and Palin? By the conventional wisdom that the 2012 Republican field isn’t big enough for two women? Can you imagine, back in 2008, rumors of a potential Nancy Pelosi run for president spurring such comments as, “Well, she can’t get in unless Hillary Clinton gets out”?

I don’t know whether the Bachmann and Palin haters resent the fact that both women have been successful at balancing their careers and family, or that both remain attractive well past age 40 (Palin is 47, Bachmann 55). But I am certain that they resent the fact that both women defy the left’s preference for — dare I say stereotype of — women who hold the line for abortion rights, among other left-wing policies.

And, getting back to Cain, none of this is even to mention the hatred and slurs directed at a black Republican running for president. (Go to Google and start typing “Herman Cain US Navy,” the branch of the armed services for which he once worked; before you can type the “S,” you’ll get the suggestion “Herman Cain Uncle Tom.”)

While a white guy (Mitt Romney) is the favorite in the nominating contest right now, and another white guy (Rick Perry) is seen by many as having the best chance of defeating Romney, the days of all-white, all-male fields are as over for the GOP as they are for Democrats. Besides Bachmann, Cain and Palin, the coming years very likely will see Republicans such as Sen. Marco Rubio or Govs. Nikki Haley, Bobby Jindal and Susana Martinez competing on the national stage.

Maybe one day, the so-called elites throwing barbs at “Barbie” candidates and tomatoes at “Uncle Toms” will notice.

***

Housekeeping note: Starting today, I’ll post a “2012 Tuesday” blog about the presidential race each Tuesday around lunchtime. That doesn’t mean I won’t comment on the election on other days, just that you’ll want to come back at this time each Tuesday to read about and discuss the race.

– By Kyle Wingfield

Find me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter

109 comments Add your comment

GW

June 28th, 2011
12:32 pm

Maybe one day, the so-called elites throwing barbs at “Barbie” candidates and tomatoes at “Uncle Toms” will notice.

Shouldn’t that be “elites” as well or maybe even “so-called elites”.

Sandy Springs=Speed Trap

June 28th, 2011
12:34 pm

Isn’t being branded a ditz by the media true of ANY Female Republican candidate, deservedly so or otherwise?

Sandy Springs = SpeedTrap, USA

June 28th, 2011
12:36 pm

By the way, Republican or Democrat, I’d advise anyone with disposable income for goods and services to dispose of it ELSEWHERE than Sandy Springs.

Also, Liberal Women are U-G-L-Y.

Conservative Women? Not so much.

BlahBlahBlah

June 28th, 2011
12:40 pm

It’s not just one gaffe. It’s her slew of talk show appearances since she became a Tea Party favorite. She’s got an entire portfolio of stupidity available on YouTube for public consumption.

Churchill's MOM.....Ron Paul for President

June 28th, 2011
12:53 pm

I don’t understand how a thinking woman can be anti abortion.

BULLSEYE

June 28th, 2011
12:55 pm

Bachmann…save yer money honey.

griftdrift

June 28th, 2011
12:56 pm

A google search equals the political dialogue?

And here’s the difference. Politicians make flubs all the time. The difference with Bachmann is instead of acknowledging she misspoke, she doubles down on the stupidity even when faced with facts and reality!

But then again, I’m sure that’s some how the “left leaning” media’s fault too.

Jefferson

June 28th, 2011
12:57 pm

She the best of the rest of those GOP liars.

GA Voter

June 28th, 2011
12:58 pm

2012 Tuesday: The efforts to brand Michele Bachmann a ditz

It doesn’t take any “effort” – so much rubbish comes out her mouth, she kind of does it to herself. I used to refer to her as the Stepford Republican because she when she was on talk shows, she looked like a total idiot when she would espouse GOP talking points that were total fiction or distortions and smile while doing it. Even Palin looks intellectual compared to her – God help us if she gets close to being nominated.

Jefferson

June 28th, 2011
1:04 pm

Have you ever seen such a frustrated group as the GOP supporters, and they owe it to themselves…

emo

June 28th, 2011
1:14 pm

“Also, Liberal Women are U-G-L-Y.
Conservative Women? Not so much.”

So,how much was that full-length poster of Eva Galambos?

Scooter (The Original)

June 28th, 2011
1:14 pm

What does it matter when a “media” will focus coverage on Bachmann’s little gaffes and totally ignore The Obama’s big ones… like showing U.S. troops he doesn’t remember which living soldier he hung a Medal of Honor around? What a disgrace and insult to our fighting men and women.

Dick Cheney

June 28th, 2011
1:16 pm

Insidious things like “Politifact” and “spell-checker” are left-wing plots to undermine the GOP.

arnold

June 28th, 2011
1:17 pm

In the immortal words of Popye, “I yam who I yam”. She’s made her bed, now she has to live with it.

Bart Abel

June 28th, 2011
1:18 pm

Confusing John Wayne with a serial killer is the tip of the iceberg for Michelle Bachman. Today we learned that she’s under the impression that John Quincy Adams, nine years old when the Declaration of Independence was signed, was a founding father. She’s under the impression that Revolutionary War battles that took place in that Concord, MA and Lexington, MA were battles that took place in New Hampshire. She also believes that evolution is a hoax, that teachers are indoctrinating kids to turn gay, that the swine flu is an Obama conspiracy to take over America, that the Census would be used to put Americans into concentration camps, and that Congress should investigate President Obama to determine if he is “anti-American”. The list goes on.

Fox News’ Chris Wallace asking Bachmann if she is a flake has nothing to do with the “liberal” media or her gender and has everything to do with the fact that she’s a flake.

Jefferson

June 28th, 2011
1:21 pm

My, my, my — she a lady of the 80s….

jconservative

June 28th, 2011
1:26 pm

“2012 Tuesday”

Good idea Kyle, most of us political junkies will enjoy the give and take.

Interesting to note Palin and Bachmann as of today.

Bachmann started “presidential politics life” with the reputation as a “flake”. (Wallace used the word on purpose.) But she has turned her image around completely. The reports from the last debate had her looking and sounding presidential. She is on top of the issues. She is today a dead serious contender for the Republican nomination. She must be reckoned with in the campaign.

Since her unveiling by McCain I 2008 I thought Palin had the political skills to be a presidential contender. But she completely unraveled. She abandoned her post as Governor, abandoned
serious political discussion for cute Twitters and concentrated on making money. (Making money is a virtue where I come from.) But she looks the opposite of presidential. She has the command of the issues of a high school dropout.

Bachmann looks presidential. Palin looks like Kyle’s “ditz”.

Bachmann has passed Palin who is yesterday’s news. And the speed with which this happened is stunning.

I am not a Bachmann fan but I gotta give her a ton of credit for what she has done in the last few months.

Under the Bachmann column put me down as a “remote possibility” as a supporter.

arnold

June 28th, 2011
1:31 pm

Kyle,

Do you stay up nights wondering where the next liberal conspiracy is that is going to blind side you? There’s more to life than being obsessed about a different political persuasion. I certainly don’t wish ill will on conservatives nor liberals. I want the fools to come to their senses and work together. No, they are not doing it now. Ultimatums are not getting anything done.

emo

June 28th, 2011
1:32 pm

Chris Wallace’s mistake was in not phrasing the question according to Fox protocol: “People say you’re a flake. How do you respond to them?”

Reuel

June 28th, 2011
1:42 pm

LIST OBAMA’s GAFFE’s FIRST
He is already a nominee not just a primary candidate.
try:
http://bungalowbillscw.blogspot.com/2011/06/another-obama-gaffe-claims-dead-soldier.html

BE FAIR & SQUARE.

finn mccool

June 28th, 2011
1:48 pm

“Her experience as a successful political candidate.”

And that’s it, that’s all she’s done – no legislation. Isn’t that what conservatives berated Big O about????

Dave R.

June 28th, 2011
1:49 pm

The key phrase here, Kyle, is “how well she’s performed”.

She’s being severely coached this past month or so, and that coaching shows she can learn (rather than a certain former Alaskan governor), but in this case it’s masking (for now) the “flake” or “ditz” factor with Bachmann.

I remain much more impressed with Cain who doesn’t compromise or mute his statements, rather than with one who does in order to seem more electable.

In the end, no one moves from the House to the White House, so all she’s doing is setting herself up for a possible VP slot on the ticket.

Reuel

June 28th, 2011
1:49 pm

@emo
Wallace intentionally used the evil tactics he condemned & highlighted in 2005
http://archive.newsmax.com/archives/ic/2005/10/16/80900.shtml

He has just exposed the truth the the media is bias.

Where are the apologies of the other biased journalists?

“Vengence are mine, I will repay said the Lord”.
Perhaps the bad economy is a curse from God for the evil by O. and the biased media.

VOTE for Bachmann 2012 to bring back blessings.

finn mccool

June 28th, 2011
1:52 pm

More of the conservative’s “whoa is us” victimization. “If you don’t agree with us you’re an elitist liberal jerk. If you agree with us, you are fair and balanced”

Fletch

June 28th, 2011
1:52 pm

I think Brit Hume said it best ” She could probably win the nomination, but I doubt she could win the election”

Bachmanns biggest problem is that she doesn’t bring anything to the table for the INDEPENDENT voter. Die hard Dems arent going to vote for her, Die hard GOPS arent going to support her, so that only leaves the independents. Who, since they have no party affiliation, tend to seriously analyze every candidate before casting their vote. In that regard, Bachmann just doesn’t pass muster.

finn mccool

June 28th, 2011
2:03 pm

Kyle,

Can you also give us a day of the week you want to devote to conservative victimhood?

Whimps
Mwuauauauuauauau

ATF

June 28th, 2011
2:19 pm

bachmann is too far to the right to win the nomination for the presidency. Even the GOP knows they have to appeal to the independents to win the election. That leaves her as the potential vice-president nominee; the one to “get-out-the-evangelical-vote”. And, again, I think the independents won’t put someone so extreme a heart-beat away. She will defeat the ticket the same way Palin did for McCain.

What she does do is make someone like Romney look reasonable, although if he keeps denying the good things he did while governor in order to appeal to the far right, he could lose it too.

We really need someone in the middle – not as it is defined by the far right – but as it is defined by independents. And that means someone who will compromise to get things done. It also means someone who has enough belief in the role of government to see to it that it runs well. And, guess what? We need someone who actually recognizes that 50% of the people of this country would actually support higher taxes on the well-to-do and support gay marriage.

Kyle Wingfield

June 28th, 2011
2:19 pm

Fletch: I wouldn’t disagree with that and, truth be told, at this point don’t plan to vote for her myself. But I think she ought to be judged on what she’d do as president rather than whether she refers to John Wayne or John Wayne Gacy, or John Adams or John Quincy Adams.

It’s the same way I won’t vote for Obama because of his policies, not because he misspoke about his uncle liberating Auschwitz or his birth being in part the result of civil-rights marches that happened after he was born.

Fletch

June 28th, 2011
2:28 pm

ATF @ 2:19

That’s exactly what Independents do. They don’t vote along party lines, and are just as likely to vote GOP as they are DEM. They look at the individual, and weigh the pluses and minuses. If a candidate pushes too far Left, no vote. If a candidate pushes too far Right, no vote. Any candidate that is seeking office has to realize that independent voters are not going to be swayed by simply bashing Obama and laying the destruction of America at his feet any more than they will be by a candidate claiming that the down fall of America rests solely on Republican policies. Compromise and Balance is what independent voters look for. When a candidates only hope of victory rests on throwing as much dirt as possible on their opponent, the independent voter typically will withdraw and wait for the most qualified candidate to emerge.

GW

June 28th, 2011
3:10 pm

You Republicans should quit calling your candidates all sorts of names. Set an example, Kyle. You called your own candidates more names than anyone I know has done. It’s either that or you hang out with the wrong crowd. Might I suggest you avoid people like Limbaugh and Hannity and Beck…

DebbieDoRight

June 28th, 2011
3:19 pm

Kyle: The Bachmann-gaffe reporters want to portray her not as a poor public speaker but as a dolt. No, it’s more gender-specific than that. They want to portray her — and I think this is the word Wallace meant when he said “flake” — as a ditz. As “Barbie with fangs,” as Washington Post columnist Colby King actually called her last week.

wow talk about hitting the nail on the head……..

Kyle: the days of all-white, all-male fields are as over for the GOP as they are for Democrats.

Sure they are….. wink, wink….

Bullseye: Bachmann…save yer money honey.

:lol: Amen to that!

Quote of the day

Insidious things like “Politifact” and “spell-checker” are left-wing plots to undermine the GOP.

hAHHAHAHAHA :lol:

Road Scholar

June 28th, 2011
3:20 pm

She has done better than I had expected, but I still cannot stand the sound of her voice!

Bullwinkle

June 28th, 2011
3:23 pm

Why did Chris Wallace feel the need to apologize? I wouldn’t be offended if he asked me, “Are you a moose?”

DebbieDoRight

June 28th, 2011
3:28 pm

Kyle: It’s the same way I won’t vote for Obama because of his policies, not because ………………his birth being in part the result of civil-rights marches that happened after he was born.

Kyle FYI – there were civil rights marches in the 40’s, 50’s and yes, the 60’s. You can even claim that the first nationally recognized march was done in 1957 (Little Rock 8, SCLC) and in 1958 the sit-ins started.

Facts & History, it’ll screw up Republican talking points every time………

Kyle Wingfield

June 28th, 2011
3:42 pm

GW: Show me one example where I’ve called any candidate of any party “a name.”

Debbie: I’m not the one who specified the 1965 Selma march at an event commemorating it. Obama is. Tell it to him.

Shawny

June 28th, 2011
4:14 pm

And right on cue, Bookman’s blog does Bachmann.

Ayn Rant

June 28th, 2011
4:18 pm

Here’s a great idea! Raise politics to the level of issues and not personalities.

The height of groundless ridicule is the continuous, generously-financed slander of President Obama; the Republican ladies you mention participate in it, then whine when someone makes a big deal of their minor gaffes involving nothing of importance.

But wait! Can it be that Palin and Bachmann, like the other Republican candidates, don’t grasp the issues and have no solutions to the problems of the American people? Bachmann is all for cutting the federal budget deficit, but hasn’t a clue about how to fill the economic hole left by gutting the GDP by 14%.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

June 28th, 2011
4:19 pm

I think that – so far – any of the Republican candidates appears to be more substantial than a “community organizer.” And so far, all demonstrate a better grasp of economics than the current space holder in the oval office.

td

June 28th, 2011
4:22 pm

I think all you libs are scared of a strong, politically conservative woman. I can still remember the way the media treated Thatcher (sp?). She was one of the toughest leaders the world has ever seen and the left wing media lost their minds. They are trying to do the same thing now with Bachman. They must be scared.

Kyle, Do not forget about 57 states.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

June 28th, 2011
4:24 pm

Dear Ayn @ 4:18, the error in your economics is your assumption that Federal spending contributes to economic efficiency. It does not, it is simply a black hole expenditure. Leave that money in the private sector, and the roses will bloom.

GW

June 28th, 2011
4:31 pm

Kyle,

Let’s not play semantics, k. You used the names ditz and dolt without a citation. If you want change then do your part with a simple non-partisan post condemning name calling.

Ayn Rant

June 28th, 2011
4:57 pm

Ragnar, there is no error in my math or my economics: the current federal deficit is 14% GDP, and it’s spent on jobs that pay the American consumers of products and services.

Capital is readily available, interest rates have never been lower, large corporations are sitting on billions of dollars, yet roses are not blooming in our economy. There is a shortage of consumer demand due to 9% unemployment and the lowest labor participation rate among the developed countries.

The deficit is financed by American investors and foreign sovereign funds. These investments will be diverted to new opportunities that offer security and good return. That is not likely to be business ventures in an economy depleted of 14% of its jobs and consumer resources.

Halftrack

June 28th, 2011
4:59 pm

Kyle; Contrast Rep. females against the media’s treatment of Hillary. How does the contrast of the 2 playing fields look among the media? Bias & Prejudice is the only answer. When are real journalist gonna show up and ask good questions about issues and principles???

gm

June 28th, 2011
5:30 pm

Hermain Cain, reality is setting in with your party, these people have no intention of making you a party leader, hello, Michel Steele, it looked good on paper for a minute, African American conservatives and every one is going to rally behind you, but conservatives rep are who they are a bunch of bigots who will never change, please Hermain do yourself a favor and leave now, before you look as sad as Richard Steele, who fox news wont even allow back on their nework.

Bachmann, has no chance, this women wants to cut benefis from the vets, this is the same hypocrite who claims she hate goverment but tried to get money for her state.

Bac

saywhat?

June 28th, 2011
5:35 pm

Olympia Snowe. Ann Richardson. Christine Todd Whitman. Nikki Haley. Have any of them been portrayed as ditzes, wackos, nut jobs, flakes? Not that I can recall. Perhaps Bachmann and Palin suffered this fate by their own hands. After all, while the gaffes are more fun to laugh at, its the serious statements they make regarding idiotic extreme right wing policies they would like to see in place that condemn them as unviable candidates.

At least neither of them have been accused of orchestrating a murder.

Moderate Line

June 28th, 2011
6:04 pm

corner of the United States. I’ve now been in 57 states? I think one left to go. Alaska and Hawaii, I was not allowed to go to even though I really wanted to visit, but my staff would not justify it.”
+++++
If she knows how many states there are she already has beaten Obama.

I Report (-: You Whine )-: Thee Magnificent!!! mmm, mmmm, mmmmm! Just sayin...

June 28th, 2011
6:12 pm

“I’m not only a lawyer,” Michelle Bachmann told Wallace on “Fox News Sunday.” “I have a post-doctorate degree in federal tax law from William and Mary. I’ve worked in serious scholarship and worked in the United States federal tax court. My husband and I raised five kids. We’ve raised 23 foster children.”

She went on: “We’ve applied ourselves to education reform. We started a charter school for at-risk kids. I’ve also been a state senator and a member of the United States Congress for five years. I’ve been very active in our business. As a job creator, I understand job creation, but also I’ve been leading actively the movement in Washington, D.C., with those who are affiliated with fiscal reform.”

liberals can’t understand big words like these^^, so they throw their feces in a mindless rage (see bookman.)

Ignore them, yo.

ND

June 28th, 2011
6:50 pm

As an independent voter with good taste, I resent the implication that either Palin or Bachmann is attractive.

MrLiberty

June 28th, 2011
6:54 pm

In 2008 plenty of folks thought Ron Paul was crazy with his principled ideas about the economy, freedom, sound money, our foreign policy, etc. The only difference is that Ron Paul has been right about EVERYTHING.

Cain is a former Federal Reserve director and Bachman is a former IRS lawyer. These two represent everything that is WRONG with the big government in this country. Why would anyone consider them as presidential material.

Ron Paul 2012.

scott

June 28th, 2011
7:15 pm