January 1, 2012

The reason why every not-Romney candidate but Bachmann has had a surge.

We're experiencing the Santorum surge now, and it seems that the conservatives looking for a way to stop Romney have simply converged on him after the sequential failure of their efforts to converge on Perry, Cain, and Gingrich. But why not Bachmann? She won the Iowa straw poll back in August. If she was that strong then, why was she denied her turn for a surge?

There was her blunder talking about the HPV vaccine causing mental retardation, but that was a single incidence of loose talk, relaying an anecdote, and I doubt if most people even remember that.

I think what has held her back is her husband. A candidate's spouse matters. It was recently reported that when Newt Gingrich was divorcing his first wife, he (supposedly) said to a close friend: "You know and I know that she’s not young enough or pretty enough to be the wife of a president." Now, Gingrich is on his third wife, and she's relatively young and pretty (though she strikes many people as weird). But Gingrich's decline coincided with some intense focus on Callista. I'm not saying his decline was all about Callista. He had his surge, and that drew all sorts of scrutiny and criticism, and there was plenty to bring him back down. Yet the wife — and the wives — have mattered.

My question is: Why did Michele Bachmann get passed over in the sequence of surges? And my answer is that once people saw what her husband Marcus was like, they excluded her from consideration. For a female candidate, the spousal question is quite complicated. We expect the candidate herself to live up to some of the expectations we have — consciously or unconsciously — of the wives of male candidates. But what of the husband? Who will be the first First Gentleman in history? What's he supposed to be like? The role needs to be invented. And it couldn't be invented with the raw material that is Marcus Bachmann. Once people noticed him and tried to imagine him as the first First Gentleman, they ceased to conceive of her as a possible President.

If you don't remember how Marcus Bachmann burst into the national consciousness, refresh your recollection:

113 comments:

Andy R. said...

This is too smart by a million. The woman is crazy and dumb. Her husband is an afterthought at best.

The question isn't why this particularly crazy dumb person got a surge in the polls, but why all the other ones did.

America's Politico said...

What I find appalling in our thrist for politics is that there is NO avenue for people to get a total view of the Sunday politics shows. I mean can you believe it? None of the Sunday shows are live broadcast. You can get British or Arab news live. But, no American politics. I mean, if I was a president of a TV channel, this would be the FIRST thing I would do. Get the Sunday shows live broadcast. We want our citizens to be informed where they want, where they are. NB: I have no TV.

Prediction after struggling to catch up on Sunday interviews on the IA caucus:

1. Romney (YES!)
2. Santorum (he is not going to matter)
3. Paul (the loony)
4. Who cares? (Perry, Newt, Bachman - all are bad).

Here is looking to GOP sense on Tuesday. If Romney is not the winner, Iowa will be the worst state in the Nation as far as intelligence of GOP voters is concerned. If Paul comes in 1st, not even God can help the GOP.

Andy R. said...

Also, what's the explanation for Huntsman? Does he have a problematic wife*? I've seen some of those youtube videos his daughters did, but never seen anything I can remember with his wife.

*I'm assuming he just has the one.**

** Oh no, anti-mormon bigotry! Liberals are such bigots against the mormons!

Wally Kalbacken said...

Leonard H. “Kip” Carter, a former close Gingrich friend, backed the contention that it was Newt Gingrich who wanted the divorce.


Jus' helpin' the blind to see.

Hagar said...

Nah, Professor,
I do not think anyone much has even noticed her husband.
I think she would have come across better if she had practiced speaking in a lower register and in a more relaxed manner.

Bill Harshaw said...

My impression is her surge was the straw vote. Around then she started getting attention for her flubs, like her knowledge of American history. Her marriage came up vis a vis her thoughts on the relative position of husband and wife in a marriage.

It's also true that Iowa has never elected a woman as Senator or governor, so their general social conservatism may have worked against her.

Rick said...

I liked Bachmann when the primary season started, but her factual misstatements and her unduly harsh criticisms of all but Mitt turned me off. I never once considered her husband.

Ralph L said...

I think Newt's deflation has more to do with taking millions from the corrupt Fannie & Freddie than his Lemon Tart.

ricpic said...

Conservatives and Communion

Everything That Rises Must Converge
Wrote brilliant Flannery O'Connor,
For without the willpower to merge
A crusade is surely a goner.

Kit said...

Bill, that was my impression, also.

Martin L. Shoemaker said...

For me, a major concern is executive experience. It matters. Even if Senator McCain weren't an ardent opponent of the First Amendment, he wouldn't have been my choice for the Republicans in 2008 because of his lack of executive experience.

And the past three years have only reinforced my view: executive experience matters.

Among the Republicans in this primary, executive experience is sadly lacking: Romney and Perry were about it. I might almost grant Gingrich, since Speaker of the House is something of an executive role. And Cain has executive experience in business, which isn't quite the same, but far better than most of the others.

And Rep. Bachmann is a prominent example of the lack of executive experience. She should run for governor and hold the office for a term or two. After that, I'll reconsider her.

rhhardin said...

A woman saying one stupid thing is a warning sign to all men. There'll be no talking her out of it, and who knows what else she believes.

Move on to someone else.

Men get a pass on saying stupid things because they're only tentative stands pending persuasion otherwise.

rhhardin said...

Obama would be the exception; he's too stupid to follow an argument.

Hagar said...

I would also say you are wrong because of Hillary.
I think Hillary repeated Bush 41's mistake of not taking her husband seriously with Obama and let the Chicago hucksters outmaneuver her.
If she had stayed on her toes, I think she would have been nominated and elected, despite both being a woman and having Bill for a husband.

JAL said...

Todd Palin.

Cleaned up looks good.

Working looks good.

Seems to guard his role and hers carefully.

Certainly would not be telling us what to eat and what not to eat.

Could outshoot Vladimir.

Could charm Carla and be respected by Andrea.

Wears jeans respectably.

And Robyn could snark about plaid shirts.

Maguro said...

I'm not sure she was ever a viable candidate for the nomination, but the husband and his pray the gay away stuff certainly didn't help.

Ann Althouse said...

"Also, what's the explanation for Huntsman? Does he have a problematic wife*? I've seen some of those youtube videos his daughters did, but never seen anything I can remember with his wife."

Huntsman doesn't count as a "not-Romney" for conservatives. He's more of a Romney-lite, worse than Romney for the people who are trying to avoid Romney.

Cedarford said...

I don't think "1st spouses" matter much at all in voters decisions. You could argue that both Hillary and Michelle Obama had high negatives when their "man" was elected..and seems to have been a non-factor. Maybe Hillary drew in as many "feminists idealizing an empowered woman" who traded on her husband's office in Arkansas to get business..as she lost in women that saw her as a presumptuous ambitious bitch, not a "Co-President".
If it does impact, it probably sways 1-2% of the vote at best - mainly from women that think the 1st Lady is some high, influential Office.

Craig said...

Nah. Wasn't the husband.

It was her verbal diarrhea. And many of us do remember the vaccine-causes-mental-retardation statement kerfuffle. Michelle's command of the issues is excellent and I don't disagree with most of her proposed solutions, but, every once in a while, she says something really wacky in a whiny, plaintive voice to boot.

Like that she'd drop the price of gasoline to $2. I mean, I like the sentiment, but please. That demonstrates an unrealistic assessment of the president's abilities at best and extreme, unctuous pandering at worst.

Oh, and there was that pledge that included protecting our young from porn. The First Amendment is a powerful law and, ultimately, parents should control the computer.

Terry said...

Maguro wrote:
but the husband and his pray the gay away stuff certainly didn't help
There are an astonishingly large number of people who believe that you can have the identity of heterosexual for dedcades and suddenly discover that your real "orientation" is homosexual.
But it can never, ever happen the other way around.
Not saying you believe this Maguro, but it's one of those things makes me think liberals lack the ability to critically examine their own beliefs.
That and the inevitable "is sexual orientation a choice?" question at the debates. The official position of the APA on the origin and mutability of sexual orientation is not as clear cut as people like Seinfeld and Stewart believe that it is.

What causes a person to have a particular sexual orientation?

There is no consensus among scientists about the exact reasons that an individual develops a heterosexual, bisexual, gay, or lesbian orientation. Although much research has examined the possible genetic, hormonal, developmental, social, and cultural influences on sexual orientation, no findings have emerged that permit scientists to conclude that sexual orientation is determined by any particular factor or factors. Many think that nature and nurture both play complex roles; most people experience little or no sense of choice about their sexual orientation.

http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/sexual-orientation.aspx

Ambrose said...

I think she had her surge after the straw poll in May or whenever In some ways she has come the furthest in the campign. She was a fringe congresswoman from a safe district who was delightful in her ability to drive Chris Matthews and his ilk crazy. While I do not think she will be President, she is probably a serius VP candidate and will be a prominent voice in the GOP going forward.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

I voted for Obama in the CA primary just because I couldn't imagine Bill Clinton as the first First Husband. (I mean, after Edith Bolling Galt Wilson.)

Whatever happened to the Denis Thatcher model? There's a lot to be said for a First Spouse so inconspicuous that s/he can take public transit wherever s/he likes without anyone being likely to recognize her/him.

Terry said...

Ambrose, Bachmann's district ain't that safe. 52% in the last election, and the state is being redistricted this year.

traditionalguy said...

Bachmann created a perfect storm of reasons to reject her as a person.

First she claimed to be The Church Lady who could find the religious flaws in everyone else, on demand.

Then she claimed as the Female all of the privileges due to a pure women by impure men, on demand.

Then she added the anti medical profession candidate who could spread belief ins nonsense, on command.

Finally had used the perfect nasal whine to issue all of her commands.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Ack. Sorry. I mean that Edith Bolling Galt Wilson was the first de facto female US President, and her husband the de facto first First Man. For the best part of a year the POTUS was basically incapacitated, and his wife basically running things. And they were married while he was POTUS, at that.

wv: lagsms. (No comment, except that I am a notorious sufferer. I have an overdue CD review half-written right now, of a two-disc set whose cover art is a 1931 Soviet propaganda poster titled "We Smite the Lazy Worker." OK, already: I'll get the review in, as soon as you lay off with the crimson sledgehammer, and airbrush out the beard, stubble, and sideburns you know perfectly well I haven't got. And, oh, please take that menacingly ticking clock off the side of my head. Many thanks.)

Seven Machos said...

Harshaw is right. Bachmann was actually the first surge candidate. Then it was Cain, Gingrich, and anybody I've forgotten. Now it's Paul and Santorum.

That Tim Whatshisname from Minnesota has to be kicking himself. Then again, I don't want some guy who takes his football and goes home as our president.

Jose_K said...

Like that she'd drop the price of gasoline to $2.. she can. Cut taxes on gasoline, allow the Keystone Pipe from Canada and the explotation of gas in North Dakota. And cut the red tape ( Clinton signed it in his last day on the presidency)that create a delay on one year in the refieneries.And change Epa rules to put them in line with the europeans one( they are far less stringent).
Allowing sugar cane ethanol from Brasil to be imported without punitive taxes has already been done

Ambrose said...

Terry: Point taken. I did not mean to disparage MB, only to say she has come a long way - to her credit - in the campaign to make herself a prominent national figure.

Maguro said...

Terry - In this case, it's not the empirical question of whether adults can change their sexual orientation that matters. What matters is that Marcus Bachmann appears to be a pretty weird dude to most people. Not good for a political spouse.

edutcher said...

Mrs Bachmann, with only 2 terms in the House, was a little light on experience, and, at times, it showed.

I always had the feeling she was seen by a lot of people as a placeholder until Perry, Mrs Palin, or someone else with a little more clout jumped in.

PS She's not crazy and she's not dumb, but she's still geared to local politics and she needs to get beyond that.

She was also badly hurt by Ed Rollins.

AprilApple said...

Bachman's husband looks like a gay Bill Clinton.

AJ Lynch said...

IMO, very very few voters even know who Marcus Bachmann is. Except, of course, libruls who worship Daily Kos, DU, TPM etc or somewhat defensive relatives of gays.

Alex said...

What I'd like to know is there a single GOP candidate that garage mahal would vote for, otherwise I'm not interested in his opinion of OUR field.

AJ Lynch said...

That said, Michele Bachmann screeches a bit when she talks. So does Hillary Clinton. It makes Bachmann sound strident 24-7s. Bachmann should have studied how other prominent women speak more calmly but with authority i.e Carly Fiorino or DiFi.

AprilApple said...

It is a gift to comedians that Michelle Bachman's anti-gay husband is so gay.
Smart? Nah. Just easy.

Alex said...

oh and Andy R - thanks for the concern trolling. Remind me how much you appreciate it when conservatives opine on Obama.

pbAndjFellowRepublican said...

"Once people noticed him and tried to imagine him as the first First Gentleman, they ceased to conceive of her as a possible President."


Althouse must be suggesting that the "people" were tuned off by Marcus claiming that gay folks can change their gayness w/ prayer.

If not that, Althouse must be suggesting that the R voters where opposed to Marcus because he compared gay folks to uneducated barbarians.

crosspatch said...

What eliminated Bachmann in my mind was an interview I heard either on Hannity or Levin. She was talking about her faith. Now I have no problem whatsoever with someone who prays to God for strength, vision, and/or wisdom when faced with a difficult choice or even in a more general sense in their approach to all things in their life. But she said something that scared me.

She said that she put questions on important issues to God implying that God gave her the answers in a fairly literal sense. That is when I had this vision of her waking up one morning and bombing Iran because God "told" her to. At that point I realized I could not consider her as a serious candidate for the Presidency. God is NOT a magic 8-ball.

Andy R. said...

How is me calling Bachman crazy and stupid concern trolling?

Is that idea that I secretly think that Bachmann would be the most formidable candidate for the Republicans and I'm trying to talk Republicans out of picking her?

Because that is also stupid and crazy.

chickenlittle said...

Seems to me she got foisted and then hoisted.

But, there are second acts in politics.

Andy R. said...

She said that she put questions on important issues to God implying that God gave her the answers in a fairly literal sense.

I'm trying to decide whether I think such a thing is more stupid or crazy. It's definitely some of both, but I think crazy wins out.

Andy R. said...

But, there are second acts in politics.

Just ask Sarah Palin!

chickenlittle said...

Well Andy, you being the resident Sullivanist-in-chief--I'm not surprised you'd say that.

I was more thinking Richard Nixon or Jerry Brown.

Chuck66 said...

Andy R, have you ever heard Congresswoman Bachmann speak live? I have a few times. She is quite different in person than how she is portrayed by Big Media.

About 3 years ago she gave an excellent talk at the Stand With Israel rally at the Minneapolis Jewish Commmunity Center. Wish I could have recorded it. She even had liberal Jews complementing her.

William said...

All varieties of human sexuality must be tolerated. The sole exception is Republican men with delicate mannerisms who believe that sexuality can be shaped by religious beliefs. Such people are abominations and should be ruthlessly mocked.....I never had any interest in Bachmann, but I think that the ridicule her husband has been subjected to is extremely unfair. Anne Heche has switched teams several times. Is it ok to do that for ditzy reasons but not for religious ones? Our sexuality is determined by our culture, and that includes religion. I don't think Bachmann's form of treatment would be 100% percent effective, but I would be equally surprised if it didn't work for some people.....I myself have a large collection of Justin Bieber memorabilia. I agree that the shrine in the front room with the votive candle is a little overboard, but it is foolish snd wrong to make any assumptions about my sexual orientation on the basis of my admiration for this talented young man.

Seven Machos said...

How is that Occupying working out, Andy? Did you accomplish your "goals"? Still camping out?

Chuck66 said...

What's bizarre is that St Paul is represented in Congress by a woman who really is incredibly stupid. Her handlers don't let her do debates as they know she will make an ass of herself. And Minneapolis is represented by an anti-Semetic Louis Farrakhan stooge. Yet we don't get a media obsession over these two Democrats.

ic said...

"You know and I know that she’s not young enough or pretty enough to be the wife of a president."

He is too creepy, too arrogant, too repulsive to be a president.

How old were Eleanor, Bess, Mamie, Lady Bird, Nancy, and Barbara?

The Crack Emcee said...

I never focused on her husband. With me, she lost because she was a loon.

Not because her husband is gay,...

Seven Machos said...

I had never seen the husband before in my life. I never took Bachmann seriously because she obviously is too inexperienced to be president.

EDH said...

For many of the reasons already stated, I disagree with Althouse's theory that it's Bachmann's husband that explains her lack of a surge.

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Mary Beth said...

Today Bachmann said (regarding the Iowa caucuses), “We’re believing in a miracle because we know, I know, the one who gives miracles."

This seems awfully presumptuous to me, the idea that not only does she deserve a miracle, but that she deserves it more than the other candidates.

Joe Schmoe said...

So if Ann's proposition is accurate, why not the converse? Or is a spouse only something that can hurt you, not help?

Michelle Bachmann rubbed me the wrong way a while ago and I still have never seen or heard her husband.

If spouses mattered that much Abe Lincoln would never have made it to the White House. By all accounts Mary Todd was a whack-job.

Sue D'Nhym said...

If she was that strong then, why was she denied her turn for a surge?

Is this a trick question? Her popularity then *was* her surge.

She came first.

Greg said...

Actually, Ann, Bachman did get her surge -- when she won the Iowa straw poll

edutcher said...

Andy R. said...

She said that she put questions on important issues to God implying that God gave her the answers in a fairly literal sense.

I'm trying to decide whether I think such a thing is more stupid or crazy. It's definitely some of both, but I think crazy wins out.


And Hatman is the guy who's our resident expert on crazy and stupid.

Actually, he's just a walking parody of all the other trolls who fancy themselves so much smarter and more sophisticated than anyone who sees things differently.

Andy R. said...

You're really defending the idea that when Presidents have touch decisions or issues they are unsure about they should ask God and do what he/she/it says?

Do you know how crazy and stupid this sounds?

Peter Hoh said...

I'm with the rest who think that Bachmann's surge coincided with the straw vote.

Seven, Pawlenty pulled out because he put most of his chips on the straw poll and didn't do well. It didn't help that he was running out of money.

This hardly counts as taking the football and going home.

Chris said...

Like #6 Bill said, I think she was the first of the non-Romney surges. You haven't made a convincing claim for why her strength and decline was somehow different from those of other candidates, beyond the fact that they all failed in personally idiosyncratic ways, which makes each of them unique.

R. Chatt said...

I agree with Ann's thesis and I thought all along that Marcus sank Bachmann's ship. And as far as her annoying voice and how Hilary's voice was responsible for her losing the D nomination, somehow Hilary managed to be voted the Most Admired Woman of 2011.

Regarding Bachmann's gaffs, all the candidates make stupid mistakes. We really don't expect politicians to be the smartest people, just the most attractive and reasonably intelligent.

I find it suspicious that conservative Republicans, particularly who are stridently anti-gay, appear to be gay blind and unwilling to even admit Marcus Bachmann fits the gay stereotype. While it is admirable not to judge people by their appearance, these Republicans appear in denial of the obvious. Thus they are subjected to ridicule.

Frankly, Dr. Bachmann could be the poster "man" for the argument that you can choose your sexual orientation. But that is a taboo topic on the left and apparently on the right as well.

AJ Lynch said...

R Chatt:
It's kinda difficult to even hear Hillary screeching when she is overseas. That probably explains her poll position.

Donald Douglas said...

Bill Harshaw is correct. Bachmann did get a short-lived poll bounce following the Ames straw poll. But Perry entered the race that weekend and she never had a chance to consolidate. The Gardasil comments blew for her entirely.

Lem said...

I heard that there was an attempt to sabotage the campaign by making a google surge linking a "Santorum" search to a homoerotic site.

Something to do with the way google ranks web pages or something.

wv formo

edutcher said...

Andy R. said...

You're really defending the idea that when Presidents have touch decisions or issues they are unsure about they should ask God and do what he/she/it says?

Do you know how crazy and stupid this sounds?


Since Presidents from George Washington to George W Bush have done exactly that, does Hatman know how crazy and stupid (and ignorant) he sounds?

BT said...

Bachmann will make a fine Speaker of the House

T J Sawyer said...

W-H-I-N-E-Y!

Jason (the commenter) said...

I have to wonder why Althouse went to such extreme rhetorical lengths to cover up her homophobia.

If Althouse wanted to comment on how "gay acting" she thinks Bachmann's husband is, she should have just said it. But there is no support for her claim that Bachmann is only disliked because of her husband, Marcus. The pretense here is not fooling anyone.

...it seems that the conservatives looking for a way to stop Romney have simply converged on him after the sequential failure of their efforts to converge on Perry, Cain, and Gingrich. But why not Bachmann?

Bachmann already had a surge, she had the first one.

There was her blunder talking about the HPV vaccine causing mental retardation, but that was a single incidence of loose talk...

She claimed to have evidence, in the form of a mother it happened to, who has never been shown to exist. She did the same talking about waitresses being let go because of Obamacare (she said she personally met them, even though that part of the law isn't in effect yet).

She claimed that she's a Doctor, told lies about her district and reasons for entering politics. She said PolitiFact supported her statements when in fact they said she was a liar.

She's attacked the Tea Party and Newt Gingrich, who she's each heaped praise on in the past.

And Bachmann has at time behaved dismally in the primaries, with her identity politics and childish behavior. The way she's attacked many of her opponents, it's no surprise their supporters would end up endorsing anyone but her.

Peter Hoh said...

Lem, Dan Savage's smear campaign goes back to 2003, long before Santorum started to run for president.

From what I've read, it used to be fairly easy to manipulate Google search result rankings. Since then, Google has done a better job of making sure that search rankings can't be tricked.

ricpic said...

William said...

...I myself have a large collection of Justin Bieber memorabilia. I agree that the shrine in the front room with the votive candle is a little overboard, but it is foolish and wrong to make any assumptions about my sexual orientation on the basis of my admiration for this talented young man.

I'm still trying to come to grips with William's obsession with Justin Bieber. The only thing I can come up with is the awe in which those who have had it hard - if memory serves, William worked for years in a hospital laundry - hold those who have barely lifted a limp wrist and had it all handed to them.

Anyway, that's my guess. What's yours?

John Stodder said...

Would all of you politically active folks be surprised that residents of a post-incarceration Halfway House (where I am currently spending a lot of time), heavily populated by blacks, Latinos and Pacific Islanders, seem to believe unanimously that being gay is a choice? Someone here has a lesbian daughter and when I said, unpedantically, that she was born that way, I was hooted down as someone who didn't understand nature or God. I would guess the folks here are 95 percent Obama voters BTW.

madAsHell said...

I dunno.

She flips me switch.

I'm pretty sure that I could make her forget all of her previous commitments.

AJ Lynch said...

Stodder:
Is that where you went? Hope you are well- your comments are missed here.

somefeller said...

Would all of you politically active folks be surprised that residents of a post-incarceration Halfway House (where I am currently spending a lot of time), heavily populated by blacks, Latinos and Pacific Islanders, seem to believe unanimously that being gay is a choice?

No. Ex-cons aren't known for being the sharpest tools in the shed.

John Stodder said...

A.J. Yep. My little political prosecution finally got me. Spent most of 2010 in Kern County Jail, Taft Federal prison camp and Lompoc federal prison camp. Now for a few weeks of halfway house, and then it's over.

Somefeller--weak answer. But you are confirming for me one reason why both libs and conservatives have allowed the feds to accumulate so much power via the criminal justice system. You slavishly believe the prosecutors only prosecute guilty people. And that the system is fair to the accused. Hence, of course all of us in the system are stupid criminals.(But that's OT, sorry.)

Seven Machos said...

Why can't being gay be both something that you are and be a choice? It's not either/or -- not at all given the obvious continuum of human sexuality.

People who are for whatever reasons against or uncomfortable with homosexuality would be far better off making a sort of community health argument. It would be better for society if everyone were straight -- for the gene pool, for the lesser amount of anal sex, for the greater number of families, etc., etc. These are not bad arguments, and they would have some appeal.

John Stodder said...

Correction, I spent 2011 in stir, not 2010.

I do agree that as far as I could tell, there was something "off" about both Bachmanns, quite apart from her extreme social conservatism. I never saw him on TV, but from what I heard on the radio and read, one could not imagine either of them near executive power. Santorum is too far right for me, but he's plausible. She has never been plausible.

Seven Machos said...

Welcome back, John Stodder! I missed you and this place missed you. I feel terrible for what has happened to you.

somefeller said...

I didn't say that I believed that prosecutors only prosecute guilty people (though I thInk it's safe to say that's the case most of the time, even most criminal defense attorneys will acknowledge that). I simply pointed out that ex-cons aren't known for their brilliance, so it's not surprising that they hold unenlightened views on a lot of topics. You're the one that acted like you were exposing some surprising bit of knowledge to the rest of us.

Andy R. said...

Does God talk to you, edutcher? Does he answer your questions?

Does God talk to any of the other commenters here?

Seven Machos said...

Andy -- God told me you are an idiot and a tool, and He asked me to tell you to leave Althouse immediately.

I didn't even pray for this guidance, either. He must not like you.

AJ Lynch said...

Somefeller:

Stodder's comments suggest prisoners do get enlightened. But I guess it's not the doctrinaire enlightenment that you would prefer.

Maguro said...

Sorry to hear that you thrown in jail over some political bullshit, Stodder. Welcome back.

Andy R. said...

God told me

Seriously though, is there anyone here that God talks to? Is this a rare thing or does he talk to, like, all Christians?

somefeller said...

I'm not surprised to see that you find the views of ex-cons on homosexuality or other topics to be thoughtful, enightened or particularly interesting, AJ. Water finds its level.

Seven Machos said...

Andy -- What Western people who profess to the god Yahweh do is they pray before making a decision for guidance in making the decision. Then they think about it, or just go about their business and do what they feel, or look around for signs in the world, or do whatever it is that anyone does when making a decision. Then, they attribute part or all of the decision-making process to God.

The fact that you can't get your head around this is obviously a sad limitation that results from your highly closed worldview.

Seven Machos said...

Feller -- You don't really believe that. I would venture to say that felons lead much more interesting lives than a typical non-felon, if only because those lives are so non-typical.

Any perusal of movies and books will show that people are tremendously interested in crimes and people who commit them. If you weren't so interested in scoring points, you'd just admit this and move on.

Andy R. said...

So people don't think they can ask God a question, such as "should I invade Iraq?" and then God will give them a simple answer?

No one thinks that God directly talks to them? You can never ask him a simple question and then get an answer?

Seven Machos said...

Andy -- I am not here to educate you. Robert Alter's translation and commentary on The Five Books of Moses is a good place to start your long, arduous trek to anything approaching knowledge. There's also a very good class on the New Testament from Yale at iTunes (from an ultra-liberal, gay professor).

Meanwhile, your stupidity, lack of finesse, and tediously shallow understanding of the world are your sad problems.

somefeller said...

Seven - felons may lead interesting lives in the sense that their lives are so full of drama and are atypical. But that doesn't mean that most felons are particularly insightful or intelligent. In fact, most books and films about crime (which can be quite interesting) aren't written by criminals. There's lots of reasons for that, including the factors I mention. Let's put it this way, The Shawshank Redemption was a great film, but it doesn't mean America's prisons are filled with innocent men and Stoic philosophers.

Andy R. said...

One more question, if you'll indulge me. Do you think there are people who think they can ask God a question and get back a quick answer, magic eight ball style?

[I happen to think there are people who think this can happen, and since God isn't around to answer their questions, we should keep them as far away as possible from positions of power, not to mention polite society.]

JAL said...

Ditto having your thoughtful voice back here John Stodder (even if you did vote for BHO. But we're a diverse and tolerant group here. ;-))

Wondered where you were. Glad you're back.

wv kingshe
? The Magic 8 ball says the king will be a she? The king is a she?

somefeller said...

Also, let's not fall into the trap of romanticizing criminals or glorifying the transgressive. And in any case, I was talking about the average brainpower in prison (notice I didn't use the term IQ - I have doubts about that concept as it relates to real intelligence), not whether prisoners have some interesting stories to tell or to have others tell for them.

Seven Machos said...

Feller -- I also disagree that prisons are full of stupid people, or that criminals are stupid. But I'll leave it at that. I do appreciate your thoughtfulness in avoiding the goofy, wholly constructed and artificial shorthand of IQ for intelligence.

somefeller said...

Seven - We'll have to agree to disagree on that, at least with regard to criminals in prison. It may well be true that criminals who don't get caught are pretty smart (maybe that's why they don't get caught), but from what I've seen, the average prisoner isn't a mastermind and is usually someone with low intelligence and a lack of impulse control. Not usually anyone to look to for wisdom. That of course doesn't mean they don't have rights or shouldn't be treated fairly, but that's another topic. I'll close with that. Good night.

JOhn said...

I don't think her husband has anything to do with it. Bachman just doesn't come off as presidential. We need a president, not a cheerleader. I hope she drops out of the race after Iowa.

Chip S. said...

Bachman just doesn't come off as presidential.

I for one think it would be pretty cool if the first female prez kind of looked like Octopussy.

Christy said...

I had high hopes for Michelle Bachmann at the time of the Iowa Straw Poll, but she lost me completely with the HPV/autism fiasco. Not only did it place her firmly in the processed-but-not-educated camp, but it also demonstrated her tendency to go with the latest argument she heard. Not something I want in a national leader.

I've never seen, read about, or care about her husband.

MayBee said...

Straw poll was her first surge.
The mental retardation comment killed her. It made her appear gullible, uneducated, and desperate. Even a person of below average intelligence could tell you that in this country, a shot that turned a 13 year old girl into a retarded girl would not be a secret story whispered from a mother to a congresswoman. It would be a huge deal.

Andy R. said...

I'm flabbergasted that so many of you are shocked that Bachmann would pass along some crazy stupid fear-mongering about how a vaccine could turn a 13 year old retarded.

There was absolutely nothing surprising or out of character for her to say that. Everyone who is claiming that they turned on her because of that comment, are you just covering up for some other reason? What's going on?

MayBee said...

Andy- I have, on a few occasions, been praying and suddenly "knew" something was going to happen in the future. And it did.
You can go ahead and think it is ridiculous if you like.

As for Althouse's idea that the spouse matters, Oh I hope not.

MayBee said...

Andy- I don't see many here saying they personally were shocked to hear Bachmann make that comment, or that they personally turned on her for it.

Seven Machos said...

Go to school, Andy. Learn something.

MayBee said...

I guess for some it would be like saying "Hillary lost me when she made up the story about dodging bullets on the tarmac" or "Obama lost me when he signed a law which may allow indefinite detention".
You know they aren't perfect, but sometimes there's a final straw. Something just too bad to get over.

James said...

You're really defending the idea that when Presidents have touch decisions or issues they are unsure about they should ask God and do what he/she/it says?

Do you know how crazy and stupid this sounds?


Ever heard of Jimmy Carter?

Phil 3:14 said...

Bachmann is to 2012 Republican primary season as Kucinich was to 2008 Democrat primary season.

Mr. D said...

What's bizarre is that St Paul is represented in Congress by a woman who really is incredibly stupid. Her handlers don't let her do debates as they know she will make an ass of herself.

This is 100% correct. I live in Betty McCollum's district and she's pretty much kept in shrink wrap during campaign season, but she always gets at least 65% of the vote because St. Paul would send anyone to Congress as long as they have the letters DFL after the surname.

The local politicos are trying to draw the lines so Bachmann's residence is no longer in her district, by the way. If the plan goes as follows, the seat would remain a likely Republican seat, but someone else would fill it. In some respects, this is why Bachmann has been out there running for President. This was her only chance.

MarkD said...

Bachmann is a little too much like Obama for my liking, and would likely turn out the same. No real record. Check. No accomplishments. Check. Associatiated with out-of-the-mainstream characters. Check.

The advice to seek a candidate with executive experience is good, and valid.

Curious George said...

"crosspatch said...
She said that she put questions on important issues to God implying that God gave her the answers in a fairly literal sense. That is when I had this vision of her waking up one morning and bombing Iran because God "told" her to. At that point I realized I could not consider her as a serious candidate for the Presidency. God is NOT a magic 8-ball."

Love to see this interview, because I'm guessing this "...implying that God gave her the answers in a fairly literal sense." is of your creation.

We see the same level of idiocy in crooked hat boy. "put questions on important issues to God" does not imply "that God gave her the answers in a fairly literal sense."

AprilApple said...

Hey Andy R.- Maybe we can round up all them Christians and put them in jail. Would that make you feel better?
Luckily, the fake Christians, like certain *wink* politicians of the correct political persuasion, will be spared. We wouldn't want people who believe in God walking around in polite society.

Andy R. said...

Maybe we can round up all them Christians and put them in jail.Maybe we can round up all them Christians and put them in jail.

My hope is that people hearing voices in their head would voluntarily check themselves into a mental hospital or seek appropriate therapeutic care.

Freeman Hunt said...

I didn't forget about the vaccine comment.

knox said...

When I found out Bachmann's husband was actively trying to "cure" homosexuality, I absolutely counted that against her. But... the fact that she has taken in so many foster kids is truly loving and generous. The two cancel each other out, for me.

##

John Stodder, glad to see you back!

John Stodder said...

Very glad to be back. I'm writing here furtively on a smuggled smartphone. When I have a little handier internet access,looking forward to reading all about Ann vs. the Wisconsin labor zombies. I wondered how Madison's most famous resident fared amid the days of rage.