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Michele Bachmann’s Views, Not Her Headaches, Make Her Unfit

There is no doubt that Michele Bachmann gives many of us a headache. But to attack her, as Tim  Pawlenty has done in such a sexist way, as unfit to be president because of  migraines is absurd.

Many of our presidents have had health problems much more  serious than headaches—Roosevelt,  Kennedy, Taft, to name a few.

The problem with Michele Bachmann is not her migraines, it’s  what is in her head. It’s her ideas that  matter.

Just as Republicans who pay attention to politics were  terrified of a possible Sarah Palin nomination, they are equally petrified that  Bachmann might catch on in Iowa, South Carolina, and among the Tea Party  wing. Could she, in fact, squeak by and  actually win the nomination? Most think  not, but they are nevertheless nervous when they watch her poll numbers rise,  her bank account fatten, and the attention she is getting from the “lame stream  media” increase.

There is no question about her misstatements and problems with facts (John Wayne’s birthplace, associating Jimmy Carter with swine flu,  Founding Fathers working “tirelessly” to end slavery, maintaining that Obama  issued “one oil drilling permit” when he issued 200, etc., etc.). Check out the Pulitzer Prize winning website Politifact for a disturbing list.

The real problems we should be focusing on are her  outlandish and dangerous views on the issues.

Some are becoming very well known. Her views on gay and lesbian rights, for  example. She believes gays and lesbians are “part of Satan.” She and her husband have mounted campaigns  against gays and lesbians, beginning in Minnesota and now on the campaign  trail.

She was against TARP and proudly proclaimed her opposition  in the New Hampshire debate. Most  economists believe that this saved the American economy from complete meltdown  and a severe depression. Plus, most of  the money is being paid back, and we have a strong American auto industry  because of the actions of President Bush and President Obama.

She believes we should not only abolish the entire tax code,  but we should abolish the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Education,  the Department of Energy and the Department of Commerce. (Politico 4/18/2011, among numerous other  sites) This is irresponsible,  shortsighted, and destructive to the United States.

I find it extraordinary that Michele Bachmann should be  even considered for the office of the presidency. Her views, her lack of competence and  experience, and her minimal leadership skills all are much more worrisome than her  headaches. Actually, just watching her out there makes my head spin.

By: Peter Fenn, U. S. News and World Report, July 25, 2011

July 27, 2011 Posted by | Conservatives, Debt Ceiling, Democracy, Economic Recovery, Economy, Education, Elections, Equal Rights, GOP, Ideologues, Ideology, Iowa Caucuses, Politics, Republicans, Right Wing, Teaparty, Voters | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Questions About Michele Bachmann’s Migraines Aren’t Sexist

Questions about whether Michele Bachmann’s headaches should disqualify her for office may be of dubious validity, but are they sexist? I don’t think so.

In case you’ve missed the media storm du jour, the Daily Caller reported Monday night that Bachmann suffers from incapacitating migraines, and engages in “heavy pill use” to combat them. This has spurred, among other things, cries of sexism.

Fox News Channel host Martha MacCallum, for example, said that “it does feel sexist … Has anyone asked this of the male candidates out there? Do you have any medical issues that you think we should know about?” (As a side note, asking candidates such questions about medical issues is, I think, fairly routine and legitimate.)

Monica Crowley, a conservative talk show host appearing with MacCallum, chimed in, “This does smack of that old school ‘Woman As Hysteric’ kind of thing.”

Well not so fast. Here’s what the Caller reported:

The Minnesota Republican frequently suffers from stress-induced medical episodes that she has characterized as severe headaches. These episodes, say witnesses, occur once a week on average and can “incapacitate” her for days at time.’

Here’s a simple sexism test. Replace reference to Bachmann with references to, say, Mitt Romney. Would a story saying that Romney “frequently suffers from stress-induced medical episodes” that “incapacitate” him for “days at a time” get the same attention? I should think so.

Now, does that mean that the Caller story has merit? That’s trickier. It’s legitimate … if it’s legitimate. In other words if she really is “frequently … incapacitated” for days at a time then, yes, that’s a legitimate line of inquiry. But if it’s a case of occasional migraines getting blown out of proportion by anonymous, embittered former staffers, that’s something else entirely.

Then there are the pills. “The migraines are so bad and so intense, she carries and takes all sorts of pills,” a source tells the Caller. “Prevention pills. Pills during the migraine. Pills after the migraine, to keep them under control. She has to take these pills wherever she goes.”

Well. “Pills” could be anything from aspirins to greenies. Lots of people take pills on a regular basis—taking pills is not in and of itself disqualifying or even troubling. If there were any evidence to suggest that these pills could affect her judgment that would be a different question, but the Caller story doesn’t have it.

One final issue here that the Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza notes, that this isn’t the first time former Bachmann aides have badmouthed her to the press:

A cavalcade of disgruntled former aides (are there ever “gruntled” former aides?) willing to go public with questions and criticisms of Bachmann is decidedly problematic for her presidential candidacy.

After all, if those who know (or knew) her best lack faith in her ability to do the job effectively, it will almost certainly force voters to re-examine their first, generally positive impressions of her.

Indeed, with friends like that, who needs migraines?

By: Robert Schlesinger, U. S. News and World Report, July 20, 2011

July 21, 2011 Posted by | Conservatives, Democracy, Democrats, Elections, GOP, Health Care, Journalists, Media, Politics, Press, Public Opinion, Pundits, Republicans, Voters | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


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