Bachman For President

Bachman For President

by digby

You know the field really is wide open when this happens:

Michele Bachmann, three-term congresswoman with no accomplishments beyond an ability to enrage Chris Matthews, will form an exploratory committee, according to CNN.

I think we can all agree that Bachman is one of the few generally acknowledged leaders of the Tea Party movement nationally. She started the Tea Party Caucus in the House. She gave the "official" Tea party response to the State of the Union.

So, it's useful to look at Bachman's background more closely to get a sense of what has really motivated her to become the leader of a small government anti-tax movement. here's a hint: it wasn't her reverence for the constitution:

She graduated from Winona State University and later received her J.D. degree from Oral Roberts University and an LL.M. degree in tax law from the William & Mary Law School.[8][dead link] She was a member of the final graduating class of Oral Roberts' law school, and was part of a group of faculty, staff, and students who moved the ORU law school to what is now Regent University...

While she was still a Democrat, Bachmann was involved in anti-abortion activism. She and her then-fiance Marcus were inspired to join the pro-life movement by Francis Schaeffer's 1976 Christian documentary film, How Should We Then Live?. They frequently prayed outside of clinics and served as sidewalk counselors in an attempt to dissuade women from seeking abortions. Bachmann was a supporter of Jimmy Carter and she and her husband worked on his campaign. During Carter's presidency, Bachmann became disappointed with his liberal approach to public policy, support for legalized abortion, and economic decisions that increased gas prices. In the next presidential election she voted for Ronald Reagan.

The first time Bachmann's political activism gained media notice was at an abortion protest in 1991. She and approximately 30 other abortion opponents went to a Ramsey County Board meeting where a $3 million appropriation was to go to build a morgue for the county at St. Paul-Ramsey Medical Center (now called Regions Hospital). The Medical Center performed abortions and employed abortion rights pioneer Dr. Jane E. Hodgson. Bachmann attended the meeting to protest public tax dollars going to the hospital; speaking to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, she said that “in effect, since 1973, I have been a landlord of an abortion clinic, and I don’t like that distinction.”

In 1993, Bachmann and other parents in Stillwater, Minnesota opened New Heights Charter School. The oversight of New Heights soon encountered problems when a group of concerned parents and the school district questioned if the insertion of Christianity into the school's curriculum amounted to using public tax money to fund a religious school.One such parent, Denise Stephens, a longtime Republican, charged the board of directors of the school (which included Bachmann) with trying to set up classes on Creationism and advocating that "something called '12 Christian principles' be taught, very much like the 10 Commandments." According to Stephens, school officials also refused to allow the in-school screening of the Disney film Aladdin, saying that it endorsed witchcraft and promoted paganism. Along with other directors, Bachmann appeared before the Stillwater School Board to address the parents' concerns. According to Stephens, Bachmann became angry and asked, "Are you going to question my integrity?", before she and four other members of the board resigned on the spot.

This is why we are seeing Planned Parenthood and abortion restrictions on the menu all over the country. The Tea Party and the Christian Right are not only not at odds, they are basically the same people. If the press is alert at all they will use the opportunity of the presidential campaign to explain that this time instead of falling for Dick Armey and his millionaires' marketing.

You think they'd at least have their interest piqued by the fact that Tea party triumph of 2010 has brought this:

State governments are grappling with massive budget deficits, overburdened social programs, and mountains of deferred spending. But never mind all that. For some conservative lawmakers, it's the perfect time to legislate the promotion of creationism in the classroom. In the first three months of 2011, nine creationism-related bills have been introduced in seven states—that's more than in any year in recent memory.

I would also warn against feeling too smug about the lowered popularity of Glenn Beck or the fact that some "Tea Party" gatherings are sparse these days.

That's sad. But remember, these events are still going strong:

Harvest Crusades, which for two decades has organized some of the nation's largest evangelical Christian events in Anaheim, is expanding to Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles.

The new location, and the presence of nearly 250 pastors who traveled to Dodger Stadium on Wednesday to hear the Rev. Greg Laurie discuss the crusade he leads, are signs that the Riverside-based ministry continues to thrive in the fast-changing world of evangelistic outreach.

There's a reason why Newtie and TPaw and all the rest are working this angle. It remains hugely significant in the GOP. And Tea party leader Michelle Bachman has the perfect resume for these people. She may not know where Lexington and Concord are, but she knows her Bible verses and that's what really counts.