Tuesday, June 28, 2011


This from Michele Bachmann is far more significant than any stray comments about John Wayne or Lexington and Concord (or, for that matter, John Quincy Adams):

Michele Bachmann says we should look at nixing minimum wage: If Michele Bachmann's presidential candidacy is going to be the focus of so much chatter today, let's hope her comments about the minimum wage on Good Morning America just now get some of that attention.

Pressed repeatedly by George Stephanopoulos to say whether she stood by her 2005 claim that nixing the minimum wage "could potentially wipe out unemployment because we would be able to offer jobs at whatever level," Bachmann did not back away from it, and seemed to confirm that ending the minimum wage should remain on the table.

"I think we need to look at all regulations--whatever ones are inhibiting job growth," Bachmann said. "All regulations, George. I think every department."

Ordinary Americans like the minimum wage. They like it a lot. In a 2010 poll, two-thirds of Americans supported the notion of gradually increasing the minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to at least $10 an hour, and indexing it for inflation. This isn't one of those deals where a plain-talkin' fiscal conservative says something that makes us East Coast elites titter behind our well-manicured hands while rough-hewn Real Americans stand up and cheer (I'm not sure how many of those there really are, but never mind) -- this is the kind of policy position that would make Bachmann absolutely unelectable as a 2012 candidate even if the economy were so horrific that Obama's approval rating fell to Carter-in-1980 territory.

Oh, and of course she's also said that, apart from current seniors, "basically what we have to do is wean everybody else off" Social Security and Medicare. Those are rather popular programs as well.


This makes me daydream about a scenario that turns the Beltway elitists' Jon Huntsman fantasy on its head. Matt Bai explains why, in his opinion, Huntsman could get the Republican nomination:

...it's vital to remember that next year's primaries will be the first since 1996 where Democrats haven't had their own nomination fight going on. In other words, in the last two contested Republican primary seasons, independents in "open states" like New Hampshire split their votes between Republicans and Democrats. But this year, all of them will be voting for a Republican.

... this suggests, I think, that a less doctrinaire candidate might have a real shot in New Hampshire

You know what it suggests to me? That if Democrats and liberal-leaning independent voters could get their act together, they could make trouble for the GOP by turning out as a bloc to vote for a very, very unelectable top-tier Republican candidate -- someone like possible Iowa caucus victor Michele Bachmann. It would be our version of Rush Limbaugh's unsuccessful attempt to hobble the Obama campaign by urging his listeners to vote for Hillary Clinton in Democratic primaries, in what he called Operation Chaos.

It's extremely hard to imagine this working, but I'd be quite pleased if it did.

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