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September 7, 2011

Did Bachmann Get Boring Overnight, or Did Mediatocracy Deem it So?

Bachmann Yawn

I find this an oh, so clever photo from Getty Images. At face value, it shows Bachmann boring the audience to death at Sunday’s candidate forum in South Carolina. Just beyond that surface, however, the photo is a wonderful commentary on how quickly the candidate has been X’d. If this guy is yawning, it seems the interpretation, since M.B. has been at least as much a curiosity as the next GOP wannabe is that he, and the rest of the audience, is taking its cue from the media after it put a fork in Bachmann’s candidacy two weeks ago. (Then, there’s the matter of Jim DeMint’s format, regardless of who held the stage, putting the audience to sleep.)

Now, if Perry (the presumptive overnight front-runner and current bright shiny object) wasn’t as crazy as Bachmann, there might be some merit to the Kool-Aid conventional wisdom that his entry into the race had substantively, somehow, “knocked her into the second tier.” The way the media and Washington insiders take the liberty so assuredly and definitively, however, to pass judgement on who’s in and who’s out, however, based on a couple of flimsy polls, Bachmann’s evisceration (faster than you can say “Dean’s scream) might make some sense.

In the meantime, I have a couple of questions. First, did Rollins bail out because of some longer-developing split with the campaign, or because the mediatocracy — of which Rollins has also been a prime, card carrying member — scared him off too? And second, if Bachmann was a man, would she still have been dispatched as quickly as she has been, immediately upon winning the Ames Straw Poll?

(photo: Stephen Morton/Getty Images caption: Members of the audience listen to Republican presidential candidate Rep. Michelle Bachmann (R-MN) speak during the American Principles Project Palmetto Freedom Forum, September 5, 2011 in Columbia, South Carolina. Mitt Romney, Herman Cain, Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich are also scheduled to attend the forum hosted by Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC). Texas Governor Rick Perry was scheduled to attend as well, but he decided to return to Texas because of the wildfires burning across the state.)

  • Jason Smith

    It would appear that her novelty act was to get us through summer. Now that the fall is here it is time to love a Texas Republican.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t know about Rollins, but the answer to your second question is no. The John Birch Party likes to stand up those perky Christianist cutie-pies and let them recite the talking points, but in the end they’ll always send a man to do a ‘man’s job’ – and preferably, a nice Texas he-man.

  • Anonymous

    Bread and circuses minus the nutrition and entertainment. These exercises are completely irrelevant, important to their sponsors only in that they appear to hold our attention, important because this attention must *never* be allowed to discover and follow its own interests. 

    (WARNING: chess analogy.) In chess some of one’s most important moves come in “quiet” positions, when there are no pending threats nor any obvious tactical targets to exploit. This political season is a mutant form of chess where your opponent has an endless supply of resources, an endless supply of pieces and pawns, and can control the game by throwing pieces madly into the fray with the sole purpose of diverting your attentions from developing your own position. With unlimited resources it doesn’t matter how wildly and poorly the opponent plays, he’ll eventually win. No quiet positions, no thinking, just a continuous cycle of meaningless “action”.

    • Anonymous

      I find the exercises *mostly* equivalent to what one hears on, say, the Tweety Matthews show. For example, you invite someone like Pat Buchanan, you might as well just show his photo and run a tape from any of a thousand previous appearances.

      But I do find it interesting to look for what the performers will or won’t say about one another, St. Raygun, etc. Like Ron Paul’s saying he still worships the the guy who made important diplomatic decisions based on what his wife’s astrologer advised — before he slipped into dementia, after which…? — but thought the saint’s economic policies might actually have been misguided.

      ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞

      Strange chess game, bdb! :-) But white does always get the first move, right? Proactive/reactive? Intriguing, but I gotta think about it.

  • Suburbanite

    The guy yawning is the SC Treasurer.  He recently endorsed Romney.

    • Anonymous

      Good catch!

  • Anonymous

    Lots of intelligent comments ahead of mine. Anyhow, my first impression was that MB et al. have said the “SOS” so often, in so many venues, that the “act” has become totally boring — even when they’re preaching to members of their own choir.

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