Why I Wouldn’t Vote For: Michele Bachmann

I could be petty and say that my sole reason that I would never vote for Michele Bachmann is her annoying voice/accent, but, as I said, that would be petty.  It would also be completely untrue.  To me, Michele Bachmann is a prime example of what is wrong with the Republican party and its growing fetish for extremely conservative candidates.

One of the first things I can think of when it comes to why I wouldn’t vote for her is that I’ve never actually heard her say anything of value.  She acts like she is talking about the issues, but to me, she just speaks in sound bites.  Her speeches and answers for interviews and debates sound like they are made for a spot on the nightly news, but don’t sound truly researched.  She seems like that kid in an English literature class who thought that they could just read the CliffsNotes on a particular book and write a 10 page essay on that book based on the information in the study guide. I understand that she is trying to appeal to her base by saying what she thinks they want to hear, but she ends up coming off as fake and uninformed.

She comes off as a hypocrite on some issues. Bachmann is on record as being opposed to both federally and state-mandated health insurance laws, but, as far as I can tell, had no problem with the state of Minnesota requiring drivers to have not one, but four different types of automobile insurance.  As someone who worked as a State Senator for the state from 2001 until 2007, it would seem that if she was so opposed to the government forcing its citizens to purchase any type of item, product, or service, then she would have been vocal about the mandatory car insurance.  It could be argued that they are completely different, but they aren’t really.  Insurance is insurance.  Yes, car insurance keeps people from having to shell out lots of their own money to fix their cars when they’re involved in a car accident.  It keeps costs related to accidents considerably lower than they might otherwise be.  Health insurance could do the same for health care costs.  If every person were insured, then costs for procedures and medical care would go down.  So, why is she so okay with one and so against another?  Like I said, it seems downright hypocritical of her.

Michele Bachmann, like so many other candidates from her party, is supporting the idea of federal and state bans on same-sex marriage.  This is not only another example of hypocrisy by her, since she also wants a smaller government and less intervention in people’s lives, but an example of how ignorant the woman truly is.  Bachmann has called homosexuality a sexual dysfunction and has suggested that anyone who tries to teach children that it is completely natural and normal will be encouraging children to try homosexuality.  This stance makes it sound like homosexuality is like an addictive substance, instead of a natural type of relationship. Of course, to her, I’m sure that homosexuality just seems like a dangerous and addictive substance. After all, this is the woman who, along with her husband, has been accused of running a clinic that offers conversion therapy. (Both deny that conversion therapy is an offered service, but some of the quotes of Marcus Bachmann seem to indicate that they do offer it: “But if someone comes in a homosexual and they want to stay homosexual, I don’t have a problem with that.”) And her husband has suggested that parents of gay teenagers turn to religion for help by stating, “I think you clearly say ‘what is the understanding of God’s word on homosexuality,’…We have to understand barbarians need to be educated. They need to be disciplined and just because someone feels it or thinks it doesn’t mean we’re supposed to go down that road.” Bachmann herself has made other controversial remarks about homosexuality, suggesting that allowing gay marriage would lead to polygamy, group marriage, and “much worse” to happen. Bachmann was opposed to the end of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and has voted against enforcing against anti-gay hate crimes.

Michele Bachmann, unsurprisingly, is a “pro-life” candidate. What might be more surprising is the extent to which she denounces abortion. In 2008, Bachmann took to the House floor to voice support for the National Right to Life legislation. She is opposed to abortion and believes that raising the child or adoption are superior choices to abortions. She has tried to get Planned Parenthood defunded by the government and remove their tax exempt status from the group. She has cosponsored legislation to keep minors from travelling to another state to get an abortion, unless it is medically necessary. She cosponsored a bill that requires an abortion provider who knowingly performs an abortion on a “pain-capable unborn child” (defined as one 20 weeks or older) to (1) inform the woman of the probable age of the child, (2) provide an Unborn Child Pain Awareness Brochure (unless she says no), (3) provide information that pain medicine administered to the mother may not prevent pain in the child but that pain medicine can be administered directly to the child, (4) give the woman the provider’s best medical judgment of the risks and costs of that anesthesia, and (5) obtain the woman’s signature on a decision form and her explicit request for or refusal of the administration of drugs to the child. She co-sponsored a bill to prohibit taxpayer funds going to abortions, though that was already illegal. Another bill co-sponsored by her would require a woman to receive an ultrasound prior to the abortion. These bills, plus her history of sidewalk conseling, clearly emphasize that Michele Bachmann believes in bullying and harrassing pregnant women who choose to have abortions.

Bachmann is completely uninformed about the realities of the economy. Like many politicians, she assumes that the raising of the debt ceiling is an indication of a failure in leadership. The funny thing is that most countries have to raise their own debt ceilings, except for ones that have completely eliminated having a defined debt ceiling. Another odd thing is that there was a regular raising of the debt ceiling prior to Obama taking office, but no one really talked about it. They aren’t a new thing. She voted against regulating the subprime mortgage industry, one of the key factors behind the recession of 2008. She goes around claiming that the bailout cost the government $700 billion, despite the fact that it was actually only a cost of $25 billion. She voted against extending unemployment benefits and increasing the minimum wage, despite the fact that (for the former) so many people are still having so much trouble getting a job and (for the latter) the cost of living is clearly going up, which means people need more money to make it by in society. She voted against unions, which makes sense since the GOP has a history of siding with the employer over the employee. Bachmann wants to wean everyone off of Social Security and Medicare and wants everyone to pay some level of taxes. She wants to adopt a single-rate tax system, which might sound fair, but causes even more income inequalities to occur.

She voted against a bill that would provide $40 billion for green public schools, which is not all that surprising since she doesn’t believe that climate change is a legitimate science and wants to bar the EPA from regulating greenhouse gases. She also voted against enforcing limits of CO2 global warming pollution, tax credits for renewable electricity, incentives for energy production and conservation and renewable energy, and investing in homegrown biofuel. She voted against the Cash for Clunkers program and protection of free-roaming horses.

The candidate claimed that “ObamaCare” replaced the finest health care system with government coverage, instead of it’s actual ranking of 49th. She voted against regulating tobacco as a drug, despite so much information showing how dangerous it is. She voted against expanding the Children’s Health Insurance Program, which is almost too disturbing for words for me, because there is no way that you can expect a child to pay for better insurance. She voted against giving mental health full equity with physical health, which doesn’t make sense for a person married to a counselor. She should know that mental illness is not different from physical illness.

Bachmann is a firm believer in continuing the PATRIOT Act’s wiretaps, which is disturbing on a basic civil liberties level. She also voted against requiring warrants for domestic wiretaps, as well as voting for retroactive immunity for warentless surveillance. She also wants to end net neutrality. It is quite disturbing to see a politician in this country who is so willing to restrict access to information on the internet, while also giving the government a blank check on violating a person’s basic rights.

I’m sure that people could argue that Michele Bachmann’s stances on all of the issues are just a representation of her views and her values, but if that’s true, then her views and values suck. Her political positions make her look like a bully who refused to learn anything in science and history class, and like a Christian in name-only, given her tendency to judge people, advocate a life filled with ignorance, and her love of hypocrisy. I think the only country where Bachmann would find her ignorance to be acceptable for the leader of the country is in a place like North Korea, where people have been abused by their government for so long that they are afraid to speak up.

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Janet Morris

I'm from Huntsville, Alabama. I've got as many college credits as a doctorate candidate, and the GPA of some of them, too. I have a boss by the name of Amy Pond. She's a dachshund. My parents both grew up in Alabama.