And then this...it doesn't come close to actually apologizing. Clearly, she didn't want to repeat what she said, but polls are showing a significant slippage in her approval:
Nearly four of 10 likely voters in the Sixth Congressional District say they are less likely to support Rep. Michele Bachmann because of her comments about Barack Obama and Congress.[..]
Overall, the poll found that voters favored Tinklenberg over Bachmann 45 percent to 43 percent, with 5 percent supporting Independence Party candidate Bob Anderson. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.7 percentage points.
Today is one of them, and mostly because it's fraught with nonsense about what one person said or what another one didn't say, who signed what and how loudly the noise machine can amplify it.
For example, David Plouffe didn't say the unemployment rate wouldn't determine the outcome of the 2012 election. This is what he said:
I would make a general statement, though, because there is a lot of attention focused on the unemployment rate. The average American does not view the economy through the prism of GDP or unemployment rates or even monthly jobs numbers.
In fact, those terms very rarely pass their lips. So it’s a very one-dimensional view. They view the economy through their own personal prism. You see, people’s — people’s attitude towards their own personal financial situation has actually improved over time. You know, they’re still concerned about the long-term economic future of the country, but it’s things like “My sister was unemployed for six months and was living in my basement and now she has a job.”
There’s a — a “help wanted” sign. You know, the local diner was a little busier this week. Home Depot was a little busier. These are the ways people talk about the economy. They don’t talk about it in the terms of Washington.
And so their decision next year will be based upon two things, okay, how do I feel about things right now, and then, ultimately, campaigns are always much more about the future, and who do I think has got the best idea, the best vision for where to take the country?
I would submit to you that a healthy percentage of Americans, far more than a majority, believe the president has a very sound vision for where the country needs to go.
So, you know, people won’t vote based on the unemployment rate. They’re gonna vote based on, “How do I feel about my own situation? Do I believe the president makes decisions based on me and my family?”
But of course, Mitt Romney jumped on it right out of the gate and said Plouffe should have been summarily fired for such a thing. It's all bluster, posturing, and playing to the base and it gets old and boring because it's fundamentally dishonest.
Sarah Palin famously announced her debate strategy when she told Gwen Ifill that she only going to answer questions she wanted to answer during the Vice Presidential Debate in 2008:
And I may not answer the questions that either the moderator or you want to hear....
It appears Michele Bachmann has decided that whatever worked for Palin should work for her. She for the most part ignored or didn't answer Gregory's questions on MTP. She did come prepared with a visual aid however, a little hand held sign which had 105,464,000,000 written on it, signifying the $105 billion she claimed was "hidden" in the "Obamacare" legislation to fund the program. So she thinks that legislation shouldn't include how it would be funded? If not, what exactly were the Republicans threatening to defund? Undeterred by details, she immediately and proudly held up her prop for Gregory and the viewers to see.
She knew her talking points and kept repeating the number over and over again for almost two minutes until Gregory finally got annoyed with her.
MR. GREGORY: Congresswoman, you've made, you've made your point.
Crazytown Bachmann didn't fall in line with her tea party comrades and didn't bash Boehner as ineffectual as Speaker of the House, but finally addressed the question about the debt ceiling and said she was against raising it, which is the FOX News Judge Napolitano's position.
MR. GREGORY: The, the speaker has said that it would be irresponsible not to raise the debt limit, as will be called for soon. Will you agree with him on that and do that?
REP. BACHMANN: I am not in favor of raising the debt ceiling. In the last 10 years we have raised the debt ceiling 10 times. We are just giving the Congress a license to keep on spending.
Gregory tried to get her to reply to the WSJ's analysis of their own poll which said this about the Tea Party:
"`It may be hard to understand why someone would try to jump off a cliff' to solve the debt crisis, [pollster] Mr. [Bill] McInturff said of his fellow Republicans, `unless you understand that they are being chased by a tiger, and that tiger is the tea party.'" Is the tea party chasing the broader GOP off the cliff?
Bachmann's word salad response was that the tea party was made up of a broad-base coalition of people, not right and left and the Left is just afraid of it. No answer there.
REP. BACHMANN: You know, I think that the political left has been very afraid of the tea party movement because it is not necessarily political. It's not Democrats or Republicans. It's made up of a very broad-based coalition....
Then Gregory switched to foreign policy questions and I was waiting for her to hold up her sign again so that she didn't have to speak and make more of a fool of herself than she already had. Like Palin and Bush, when you don't know what to say about war or worldly events, just mention the great Petraeus.
MR. GREGORY: But, Congresswoman, my, my question, my question, is it in America's vital interest to remove Moammar Gadhafi from power?
REP. BACHMANN: Well, that, that question, I think, is one that, as, as Defense Secretary Gates has said, we need to be very careful about putting an army on the ground in the Middle East. We are extended now in Afghanistan and Iraq, and I think for us to consider further penetration at this time, we need to listen to General Petraeus and what he has to say.
Do I need to say anything about her gasoline ignorance?
Just consider, the day before the president took office gasoline was $1.83 a gallon. There are places today in the United States where it is over $4 a gallon.
The instability in the Middle East never affects oil prices, it's just Obamacare, people.
Oh, Michele Bachmann. I take it you really, really didn't read that bill before you voted against it. Minnesota voters, how does that make you feel, knowing that your elected representative couldn't be bothered to read something before voting against it?
Michele's solutions are either in the bill already or are just restatements of the same old arguments with different words. After explaining just how difficult it will be to repeal health care reform, she then enumerates how the country can best cover the "thirty-thousand uninsured". Here is her list:
Sell across state lines - That's already in the bill in the form of regional co-ops that can form with regulatory approval by all involved states. What ISN'T in the bill: Basing operations in a US territory or state with very little in the way of insurance regulation and selling into states that are heavily regulated. If Bachmann had her way, insurers would move their base of operations to the Cayman Islands and insure only those who made more than $250,000/year. The rest of us could be screwed, but hey, at least we could buy insurance across state lines!
Make insurance 100% deductible - This is in the bill, too. Of course, for those receiving subsidies, the insurance is not 100% deductible because the government is picking up all or part of the cost. What Bachmann fantasizes about is having everyone skip off to their friendly offshore insurer and shelling out big bucks up front that they might be able to get some tax benefits from on the back end. That's how the wealthy folks live, not the rest of us.
Make health care costs 100% deductible - Strange. Wouldn't that be like the government picking up all of our health care costs by reimbursement on the back end? What happened to that Health Savings Account idea where contributions are limited to a fraction of what might actually be paid in a year? I'm sure glad the Democrats are the fiscally responsible party.
Tort reform - The bill provides funding and incentives for states to innovate around liability and tort issues. Bachmann and the rest of her Republican cronies should know that tort reform is a state-by-state issue. Jurisdiction for how torts are litigated belongs to the states, not the federal government. After all, isn't that part of the argument for repealing health care reform?
What struck me about Bachmann's list of includes was what she excluded. Nothing about pre-existing conditions exclusions. Nothing about lifetime caps. Nothing about rescissions. Nothing about stopping insurers from excluding children born with pre-existing conditions.
She didn't mention even one of those. They didn't cross her mind. It wasn't an accident. The battle lines were always drawn at pre-existing conditions. It's driving the Republicans crazy that the middle class actually might be able to get health care without selling their souls, homes and assets to do it.
Bachmann: Take this into consideration. If we look at American history, between 1942 and 1947, the data that was collected by the census bureau was handed over to the FBI and other organizations, at the request of President Roosevelt, and that’s how the Japanese were rounded up and put into the internment camps. I’m not saying that’s what the Administration is planning to do. But I am saying that private, personal information that was given to the census bureau in the 1940s was used against Americans to round them up and put the Japanese in internment camps.
But now some on the right are raising concerns that the partial boycott could hurt their own cause. Since governments at all levels base their funding decisions and political redistricting on population, fueling the fire against the census could rob heavily conservative districts and suburbs of needed funds and services.
The Houston Chronicle's report looks specifically at Texas, which is counting on the census to gain additional House seats, electoral votes, and federal funding relating to transportation, agriculture, health, education, and housing
But some anti-government types are shooting themselves in the foot.
The national average on the return rate for census forms is 34%. In much of Texas, the more Republican the area, the lower the return rate. In Briscoe County in the Panhandle, McCain/Palin won nearly 75% of the vote -- and 8% of locals are sending in their census materials. In King County, near Lubbock, McCain/Palin won nearly 93% of the vote -- and only 5% of locals are answering the census.
They apparently have no idea that they're acting against their own interests.
Due to the ongoing hatred and vile nature of the McCarthy McCain/Palin campaign and Republican politicians and pundits, Keith Olbermann is moved yet again to another Special Comment. This time, Olbermann castigates the entire notion 'Us vs. Them' notion that the Republican Party mouthpieces have been perpetuating in their support for John McCain's candidacy. And worse, for someone who has made his ability to reach across the aisle in a bipartisan manner a mainstay of his campaign, John McCain's allowing his proxies to divide Americans into "good" and "bad" camps shows how far he has slid from his "maverick" days.
(Senator McCain,) I disagree with you on virtually every major point of policy and practice.
And yet I do not think you "anti-America." I would not hesitate to join you in time of crisis in defense of this country.
Fortunately you did not echo this chorus of base hatred.