October 2010 Letters to the Editor

Michele Bachmann: Blasted

Our profile of U.S. Representative Michele Bachmann (September) drew a strong response from readers. Here’s a sampling of the comments.

While I thought writer Andy Steiner’s approach to the Bachmann piece was interesting, I was shocked to find only two negative adjectives (“irritating” and “hurtful”) among the eight used as category headings for this study in perspectives. There are many Minnesotans who would use much more critical language than this to describe “our” congresswoman. While clearly an attempt was made to balance out the article
within each section, I still consider it to be a rather complimentary portrait.

I appreciated the following quote: “Why is Michele Bachmann just showing up for the rallies and the bonfires?” [Arne] Carlson says. “Where is her performance on the field? She’s there to criticize, blast, and twist the policies of the current administration, but what real solutions has she offered?”

This seems to be the harshest criticism of Bachmann in the piece.

I found it surprising that there was no mention of her tendency to blatantly disregard facts to the danger of many who live in this state (and country). Indeed, a “dangerous” category would have provided a more complete study in perspectives (in this educated liberal’s mind, at least).

Jen Westmoreland Bouchard

As Bachmann becomes more and more famous, she cares less and less about her district. Flattering articles about Bachmann like this one will probably just serve to burden those in her district, like me, with her for another two to four or more years, and that would be a tragedy. She is a terrible representative, not caring about us at all, but simply pursuing her own fame and power. It’s really nauseating that articles like this give her such a pass.

shellinaya via mnmo.com

“You forgot an important adjective that describes a perspective about Michele Bachmann held by many Minnesotans: insane. The woman doesn’t believe in evolution, has denied the Holocaust, and supports the kind of legislation that should be considered a hate crime. Minnesota,
you’re better than this.”

Molly Glover via email

The piece also drew the attention of blogger Bill Prendergast, who responded on mnprogressive.com:

“Are Bachmann’s constituents better off now than they were without her representation? The answer is no, if you look at the facts in the sixth. They’re worse off and their situation is not likely to improve so long as Bachmann is their congresswoman. But there’s no look [in Steiner’s article] at the statistics, the facts about the business climate, about whether or not Bachmann’s constituents are seeing some of their federal taxes coming back into the district…. The people who love her, love her despite the fact that their neighbors are losing their homes—in part because Bachmann won’t do anything to help them….

I have to give this one a ‘D,’ given the fact that it’s this lengthy, appears this far into Bachmann’s career, and is this devoid of new facts and existing context. But Bachmann and her mentors would, I think, give it a ‘B minus.’ A piece like this will actually help Bachmann, a little…it’s so ‘even-handed’ it actually distorts reality.”


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