Friday, August 12, 2011

Champion of Self-Promotion

It's not sinful to be a back-bencher or to flail against windmills, raising issues which fail to be resolved or legislation which is not enacted.

But a little humility is in order- or at least an absence of braggadocio. But Michele Bachmann disagrees, as she displayed (segment transcript, here; video, sort of, below) at last night's debate in Ames, Iowa:

This is what qualifies me, as a fighter and Representative of the people, to go to Washington, D.C. and the White House. People are looking for a champion. They want someone who has been fighting. When it came to healthcare, I brought tens of thousands of Americans to Washington to fight the unconstitutional individual mandates. I didn't praise it. When it came to cap and trade, I fought it with everything that was in me. I introduced the Light Bulb Freedom of Choice Act so people could purchase the ligh tbulb of their choice.

The great freedoms- among them, the right to vote; the right to worship as one chooses; the right to purchase a home regardless of race, gender, or religion. And the right of a corporation to manufacture and sell the light bulb of its choice. The latter would be the Light Bulb Freedom of Choice Act, introduced by a U.S. Representative virulently opposed to reproductive freedom of choice.

A moment later, the self-proclaimed champion continued:

I was at the tip of the spear fighting against the implementation of Obamacare in the United States Congress. Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and Barack Obama ran Congress, but I gave them a run for their money. Again on cap and trade, I was there from the very beginning giving Speaker Pelosi a run for her money. That's why i was Speaker Pelosi's number one target to defeat last year because I was effectively taking them on nearly every argument they put forward. I fought. When others ran, I fought and I led against increasing the debt ceiling.

Bragging about trying to bring the economy to its knees may be a little untoward but this was a Repub Party debate, after all. But a little perspective on Bachmann's run for Pelosi's money was provided in late June by Politico

Now in her third House term, Bachmann has never had a bill or resolution she’s sponsored signed into law, and she’s never wielded a committee gavel, either at the full or subcommittee level. Bachmann’s amendments and bills have rarely been considered by any committee, even with the House under GOP control. In a chamber that rewards substantive policy work and insider maneuvering, Bachmann has shunned the inside game, choosing to be more of a bomb thrower than a legislator.

Choosing to be more of a bomb thrower than a legislator. It brings to mind the campaign in Georgia in 1986 for an open seat in the House of Representatives when civil rights legend (and victim of police brutality) John Lewis faced off against civil rights legend Julian Bond. In a race featuring his on-ground experience against the fame of Bond, the lesser-known Lewis asserted he was "a race horse, not a show horse" (and won).

Michele Bachmann is no John Lewis- or even Julian Bond. But In the exceedingly unlikely event the Republican Party's spear tip impresses primary voters one-fourth as much as she impresses herself, she'll be on her way to a presidential nomination.

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