Bachmann--her career at the cost of her party--posted by Tony Garcia on 3/30/2006
I have been critical of the slate-fixing (within the rules, but slimeballish nonetheless) by the Bachmann campaign. There is a long term consequence to her tactics.
First, what is she doing?
In a nutshell she mobilized many people to attend the caucuses with one intention: become delegates to become delegate to endorse Bachmann. The mobilization part is great. The problem is that these people are not party activists. They are robots being led to do one thing: endorse Bachmann.
On the surface that seems like an innocuous thing. But the cost will be the destruction of the BPOUs in the 6th district.
Bachmann's lemmings are succeeding in one thing...kicking out as many people as possible that to not support Bachmann. The people that are getting kicked out to the streets are the longtime grassroots people. The people who man the executive committees, the chairs, secretaries, treasurers and even state legislators. That leaves these single-minded drones in those positions. Since their sole purpose of being a delegate and being in the process is to endorse the least electable candidate, their objective will be completed by mid-summer. They will not be filling and or performing the roles they are supplanting. They will also have chased away a few of the activists from continuing their role (myself and a few others that I have talked to will be either inactive or leave the party as of the convention if Bachmann wins).
I know, I am assuming quite a negative aspect on these people. From what I have heard from many eye witness accounts the Bachmann sheep are rude, impolite, nasty, and disinterested except for voting for each other.
Bachmann is undermining the grassroots of the GOP. Each claim in the future of being a "grassroots candidate" will warrant a deduction on the scoreboard. Bachmann's tactics to serve her own personal ambition will severely damage the GOP from July 2006 through March 2008 at the least (I think the damage will take many election cycles to overcome). The damage to the GOP in the 6th will be felt regardless of if Bachmann wins or loses the endorsement simply because her method is to remove the very party foundations that make the party run...simply because they do not pledge their support.
For that: - 5. Her ambition to be the GOP endorsed candidate for Congress is so strong that she is willing to destroy the very GOP she wants to be embraced by.
Now, for the analysis of why.
She knows that she cannot win on her own GOP credentials within the party activists and I believe is ignoring the fact that she cannot win in the general election at all.
The only way she can win the GOP endorsement is to remove the people who actually look at the candidates. She is NOT the fiscal candidate (though she brazenly lies about that). Krinkie is THE fiscal candidate. She is rivaled by Knoblach as the social conservative and thus will split that vote. She can win the bible-thumpers (the people who would support the Bible becoming the law of the land and believe in the separation clause EXCEPT when it comes to Christianity) but cannot win the majority of the religious people (people who believe in a higher being AND also understand the importance of the separation of church and state). All four candidates will split the religious people as that is the majority of the pre-Bachmann coup GOP delegates.
The antics of the past few weeks have angered much of the grassroots (with the exception of the ones who were already on the Bachmann wagon...to these people their ox is not being gored so they see nothing wrong).
As for the general election Bachmann will be facing stronger opposition money than the other three candidates would combined. (Eva, correct me if you think I am wrong here, please.) There are boat loads of pro-gay money from all over the country that will be dumped into any DFL candidate if Bachmann is the GOP candidate. While money does not guarantee a victory or defeat, it does guarantee lots of negative exposure for Bachmann.
Since the grassroots already are upset with Bachmann there will be a supression of GOP turnout. The "overwhelming support" that Bachmann soups up in the BPOU process will be only a drop in the bucket compared to the general election. There will be a substantially smaller base for her and that translates to a very poor "getting out of the message".
I believe strongly that coattails go up the ticket. This means that in what could be very close statewide elections for Senate and Governor there will be a longer road to travel. 6th District GOP turnout will be somewhat supressed because of what Bachmann is doing right now. Those people WOULD have voted for Pawlenty and Kennedy. Many of them may simply stay home.
Furthering this demise is the fact that negativity also typically supresses turnout...and with Bachmann as the GOP candidate there will be tons of that negativity.
Bachmann may be able to supplant opponents in the GOP ranks to gain a feather in her cap and an addition to her political career resume. She is in the process maiming the 6th GOP, the grassroots of the GOP, Mark Kennedy, Tim Pawlenty and the very thing she claims to believe in: the conservative cause.