I don’t know what to tell you.
After redistricting this February, Michele Bachmann emerged with a better chance of being re-elected than ever. The courts cut greater Stillwater out of her district and added two new geographic areas from the conservative west and north instead.
That improves Bachmann’s already formidable conservative demographic in the Sixth District of Minnesota (the Cook Report had previously rated the district plus-7 Republican.)
The conventional political wisdom was that the only way to upset Bachmann’s incumbency in such a conservative district was with conservative Democrat. So her first electoral challenge as a Congresswoman came from Elwyn Tinklenberg, a self-described Blue Dog Dem. He lost (narrowly) despite massive injections of grassroots aid from liberals and progressives.
So much for the conventional wisdom; Bachmann comes back to Congress nuttier than ever. Her next challenger is liberal Tarryl Clark. Again, the massive injections of grassroots aid to Bachmann’s challenger–again a loss.
And now comes a Bachmann opponent who proudly touts her own support for Occupy Wall Street–running in this most ultra-conservative of Minnesota congressional districts.
Here’s a profile from Time Magazine. Not too much detail on Bachmann’s new challenger, so I’ll just edit out most of the commentary:
Anne Nolan formally announced her bid for Minnesota’s 6th-district House seat on March 9. The following Monday, she was still her own campaign manager and press secretary, a one-woman-show without an official website.
Nolan, a 52-year-old attorney who does workplace consulting, says her campaign slogan is, “This is what opportunity looks like.” In her case, the opportunity is using Bachmann’s national recognition to draw attention to the issues Nolan wants to discuss-how to help people in foreclosure, how to better deal with student debt, how to get Wall Street to pay for the financial crisis. In 2004 and 2010, Nolan unsuccessfully ran for a Minnesota statehouse seat. Now she’s running for a congressional seat in a remapped but still Republican-leaning district. “I understand that this is a heavy lift,” she says.
A “heavy lift?” For a liberal or progressive Democrat, the Sixth District is “the gravity on Jupiter,” dammit.
“If [Bachmann] wants to say we’re radical,” Nolan says of the 99%, “let’s have that conversation.”
What “conversation”? In the grand scheme of things, the conservatives of Minnesota’s Sixth District rate progressives just below “demons” (which many of them believe in.)
Time describes Nolan as an “anti-abortion” Democrat. That’s going to help, a little, during her conversations with the district’s religious right and ultra-conservatives.
But in a fundraising letter this week Bachmann’s already pegged Nolan to supporters as an “Occupy Wall Street” opponent. If Nolan becomes the nominee, Bachmann will make a financial meal of of a “radical” running against her in her district. That doesn’t help.
And Bachmann hasn’t changed the political paranoid style that brought her to office in the Sixth District and brought her funds from political paranoids around the country. She’s not “moderating” the nature of her lying smears. This week she began to spread the rumor that President Obama “could” use his power to limit the number of children in American families…
BACHMANN: …the President of the United States could say ‘We need to save health care expenses. The federal government will only pay for one baby to be born in the hospital per family, or two babies to be born per family.’”
It doesn’t matter that that’s nuts; “nuts” is what brought her into office in the Sixth and made her the hero of right-wing paranoids around the nation.
Nolan doesn’t want to talk about nutty, paranoid smears from the right. Nolan wants to talk about home foreclosures in a district that’s suffered horrendous home foreclosures. That’s conventional political wisdom; that says that voters vote to protect their economic well-being.
The problem is that too many voters in the Sixth District don’t want to talk about that: the real-world, negative economic impact of Bachmann on their local economy and family prosperity. Instead, too many voters in the Sixth District want to talk about the nutty, paranoid smears from the right.
And that’s Bachmann’s territory, her home field advantage. The crazy noise drowns out the reality, in the Sixth District of Minnesota.
And it’s not just Bachmann making the crazy noise–it’s all those voters making crazy noise. The voters who have returned her to office time after time, regardless of her hypocrisy on liberal big spending, home foreclosures, massive ripoffs from Wall Street, teen suicides due to bullying…
I don’t know that Nolan’s candidacy is a good thing. It may drain off progressive dollars– contributions coming in from around the nation this fall–being spent on a no-hope progressive candidacy in a nuthouse conservative district.
So I don’t know what to tell you.
“Time” on the Nolan candidacy:
Bachmann with another sinister Obama conspiracy: