Ever since Minnesota Republican Congresswoman Michele Bachmann’s poisonous comments on Hardball ten days ago, it has looked increasingly possible that her deep red district might turn blue next week.
Her Democratic-Farmer-Labor (DFL) party opponent, Elwyn Tinklenberg, a former mayor and state transportation commissioner, has raised more than $1.5 million since Bachmann channeled Joe McCarthy on MSNBC. The Washington Post reported today that Tinklenberg’s fundraising “in a single week, is more than what any other Democratic challenger has raised in a fundraising quarter in the entire two-year election cycle.”
Bachmann’s constituents seem to be rejecting her politics of division, distraction and demonization as well. According to a new Minnesota Public Radio/University of Minnesota Humphrey Institute poll, Tinklenberg – previously considered a long-shot – now leads Bachmann 45 to 43 percent. Approximately 40 percent of the district’s voters say that they have “re-evaluated [Bachmann] and are less likely to support her,” and two-thirds disagree with her comments.
The more Bachmann talks, the deeper she seems to dig the proverbial hole. One day after she claimed that she hadn’t questioned Barack Obama’s patriotism, Bachmann said on the Mike Gallagher radio show, “What are Barack Obama’s policies? Are they for America or will they be against traditional American ideals and values?…. The United States may be literally changed forever if Barack Obama becomes the next president.”
In a new ad Bachmann attempts a pseudo mea culpa, “I may not always get my words right, but I know that my heart is right. Because my heart is for you, for your children and for the blessings of liberty to remain for our great country.”
Really? And what are her notions of “the blessings of liberty” besides investigations and accusations regarding who is, and who is not, “pro-America”? In addition to Bachmann’s waxing philosophical on Hardball she let rip with this doozy a few years back: “Not all cultures are equal. Not all values are equal…. We are seeing that those who are coming into France – which had a beautiful culture – the French culture is actually diminished. It’s going away. And just with the population of France they are losing Western Europeans and it’s being taken over by muh…by a Muslim ethic. Not that Muslims are bad. But they are not assimilating.”
It’s possible that Bachmann’s politics have finally proven too toxic even for Republicans. As I reported last week, the National Republican Congressional Committee has pulled its resources from the district, and former Republican Governor Arne Carlson said Bachmann’s comments were the deciding factor in his endorsement of Obama. Carlson also compared Bachmann to Joe McCarthy and said, “I don’t want Minnesota to continue to be seen in the national picture as some sort of a land that has these rather strange views – we don’t.”
Hopefully, on November 4, the voters in Minnesota’s 6th District will render their verdict that they have had enough of Bachmann’s gutter politics in America, and they will send Elwyn Tinklenberg to Washington to replace her in the People’s House.