Over at FiveThirtyEight, Nate Silver has some graphics which don't bode well for the Michele Bachmann for President campaign.
We see that Mrs. Bachmann’s numbers have faded a bit — to an average of about 8 percent, as compared with a peak of roughly 12 percent that she achieved in mid-July. It’s not a catastrophic decline, but since we’re now seeing quite a few polls of Republican voters, it’s larger than can be explained by statistical noise alone.
I confess, I'm torn on this. There was a small piece of me that would have relished it had Congresswoman Bachmann gotten the nomination. It'd have been a disaster for the GOP. Of course, it was never going to happen (to be fair to Nate, he does see a scenario in which Bachmann can get to the nomination, but it's a long, tough, complex road).
The other -- admittedly, much larger -- piece of me is glad she's fading. Good riddance.
I only just finished the Ryan Lizza piece in the August 15 edition of the New Yorker on Bachmann. It should give any sentient being chills.
Bachmann belongs to a generation of Christian conservatives whose views have been shaped by institutions, tracts, and leaders not commonly known to secular Americans, or even to most Christians. Her campaign is going to be a conversation about a set of beliefs more extreme than those of any American politician of her stature, including Sarah Palin, to whom she is inevitably compared. Bachmann said in 2004 that being gay is “personal enslavement,” and that, if same-sex marriage were legalized, “little children will be forced to learn that homosexuality is normal and natural and that perhaps they should try it.” Speaking about gay-rights activists, that same year, she said, “It is our children that is the prize for this community.” She believes that evolution is a theory that has “never been proven,” and that intelligent design should be taught in schools.
These folks aren't politicians. Hell, they don't even like government. These are rabid, two-bit charlatans whose sole agenda is to push their twisted version of Christianity into whatever unfortunate corner of our broken, beat-up world they set their collective eye to.
Please don't get me wrong. I don't feel any better about Rick Perry, down in Texas presumably praying the wildfires away. He's as crazy as Bachmann. Any human being with even a modicum of decency would cower in shame if they stood by the serious (and profoundly absurd) proposals of secession of their state followed by the statement that climate change is a hoax after helplessly witnessing the ravaging of their own state by wildfires that have burned an area the size of Connecticut.
Will Perry now accept federal disaster funds? And how will the merciless scorching of his state speak to the power of prayer?
Nevermind, of course. You'll notice in that chart up there that he's the red line rocketing towards the ceiling.
I'm not so sure Perry, like Bachmann, won't fade as well. I remain unclear on the case for Perry, much like I always remained a little foggy on the case for Bachmann, except that she hated gay people, loved god, was somewhat articulate in her hatred of Obama, and that was about it. It certainly wasn't her legislative accomplishments, such as they were.
I am also not sure Bachmann is totally out of the picture just yet. If an "establishment" candidate -- say, Romney -- gets the nomination, he may need a wingnut to balance the ticket for the tea partiers.
Bachmann may just be the answer.