How did a mouthy back bencher parlay ignorance that made Sarah Palin look like Winston Churchill into such prominence? And does her downfall amid murky misuse of campaign funds portend a continuing descent of the GOP into a diehard faction of the major party it once was?
From early 2007 when as a newly elected Congresswoman she groped GeorgeW. Bush after his State of the Union and would not let go, Bachmann was clearly more of a mental case than a rising political star, but the endless GOP 2011 debates allowed her to appear presidential alongside the likes of Herman Cain and Rick Perry.
The political system that produced FDR, JFK, Ike and Reagan was disgorging a freak show of anti-Obama venom that overrode all such mundane qualifications as wisdom, political knowhow and sanity. Even after Republicans settled for an Empty Suit Wall Streeter and failed to take the White House, the Tea Party held its grip on Boehner’s redoubt last November, but the signs of slippage keep coming.
Former GOP Sen. Lincoln Chafee is changing party affiliation to Democrat in his bid for reelection as Rhode Island Governor. Tea Party icon Jim DeMint has left the House of Representatives in favor of reformed Latin lover Mark Sanford, and now Bachmann steps aside to allow Minnesotans to vote for a candidate from planet Earth next year.
If the trend continues in 2014 voting, Barack Obama’s last two years in office as a lame duck could turn out his most productive—-and rational-—of all.