Or, maybe just waiting for a pin to drop, to break the silence? Bill Prendergast at Minnesota Progressive Project has floated an interesting, if somewhat complicated, hypothesis. He notes that Michel Bachmann has been very silent, out of the news, since the election which is now (though it seems like yesterday) nearly a month in the past. He suggests that the GOP establishment has shut her down, something they may have wanted to do for some time but would have been able to do because of her independent support from the coalition of players in the Christian Religious Right and the Batshit Crazy People who seem to be sprinkled around everywhere. He also suggests that Bachmann's uncanny quietitude may be a test, that she is passing. Bachmann has been notably ignored by the GOP leadership in the House, which they still control, in the current round of doling out responsibilities. Bill Pendergrast's idea is that Bachmann is attempting to demonstrate that she can do something no one really has ever thought that she could do: STFU for several weeks at a time, avoid making over the top outrageous statements that cause all sorts of trouble.
All interesting ideas. I'd like to add to this one small twist: Bachmann could have been overlooked for positions of responsibility by the GOP establishment because she is a woman. The GOP engaged in a Gettysburg Level attack on women (and others) over the last year, and were summarily defeated. This led me to recently suggest that the war on Gay Marriage, at least, had reached it's "High Water Mark." In the case of the War on Women, having lost that, the GOP establishment may be taking out their frustration on their own women, the members of their own party who happen to have two X Chromosomes.
Anyway, back to Pendergast's point. When I read his post, I had to ask myself, being a scientist and all, if Bill was using the correct null model, or at least, the correct assumption. Might it be the case, I wondered, if CongressCritters are generally quiet this time of year, after the election? Is it possible that Michele Bachmann is not being unusually silent, just normal? As shocking as that prospect may sound, it is something that needs to be considered, to be fair, honest, and scientific. So, pursuant to that, I went back in time to the period in 2008 that corresponds to the last few post-election weeks, running a bit into December for good measure. It turns out, Bachmann was not being quiet.
And so, I give you here a sampling of post-election Michele Bachmann:
Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann appeared on FOX's Hannity & Colmes last night to spew some more great quotes to get everyone riled up. She knows what people hate to hear.
In her interview, she accused Al Franken of stuffing the ballot box. She then continued pushing the "ballots in the car" rumor despite it being proved false and clarified by Gov. Tim Pawlenty. Then she said her statements on MSNBC's Hardball were "urban legend" even as the host reads the transcript aloud to her. What is going on here?
November 19th, 2008
Bachmann rips Obama, Franken denies anti-American remark
Michele Bachmann, appearing Tuesday night on Fox News show with Sean Hannity and Alan Colmes, derided President-Elect Barack Obama as "more of the same" over reports that many of his new appointments are recycled Clintonistas.
The Minnesota Republican also accused DFL Senate candidate Al Franken of trying to â€œstuff the ballot boxâ€ in his recount struggle with GOP incumbent Norm Coleman.
All the while, Bachmann managed to reserve enough ammo to dismiss as an â€œurban legendâ€ reports that she had suggested on a pre-election episode of the “Hardball” show with MSNBC host Chris Matthews that Obama and other members of Congress were â€œanti-American,â€ and that the media should investigate them as such.
Resident Fox liberal Alan Colmes, who read a transcript of Bachmannâ€™s â€œanti-Americanâ€ quote from her appearance on MSNBC, offered to have her watch the video clip of her remarks on his own web site. But the segment ended before Bachmann could fully respond.
Not, however, before Bachmann pummeled Obama over some of his recent presidential appointments, including the pick of former President Clinton official Eric Holder as Obamaâ€™s new attorney general.
Novemer 20th, 2008
Bachmann can't stop talking about socialism
Rep. Michele Bachmann loves coming up with the zingers. Apparently she still loves talking about how the United States is slowly becoming a socialist nation. Run for your lives!
In her latest Fox News interview (which she won't let us embed on our site) she continues to scare Americans that the Democratic House and Senate will slowly suck our country into socialism and ruin our lives.
There's more, but that's probably enough.
Yeah, it seems that Michele Bachmann is being, relative to herself, quiet.
It's true. Somehow* I ended up on her mailing list this season and was getting an "OMG, my opponent is being so unfair by actually running against me. Send me money" letter every couple days and I haven't had a single email since Nov. 4.
* Actually I know how. Famous homo-hater Eugene Delgaudio sold her his mailing list. He also sold it to Rand Paul, which gave me some very interesting election season reading. I have no idea how I got on Delgaudio's list.
Ha. I put myself on Eugene Delgaudio's list (for a while) to see what he was up to. That could explain why I got on Ron Paul's list and Michele Bachmann's list.
I would counter with the GOP is ignoring her because she is a woman and not that they are taking things out on women, but much of the lunatic right feels the reason they lost was they weren't insane enough. They had to ramp up the anti-gay, the anti-women, the anti-immigrant, etc stuff in order to win. It might just be a part of the ramping up.
Or maybe, they realized Bachmann is a liability because the crazy doesn't appeal to most Americans.
Or maybe it's just revenge for running against Romney and presumably taking a few shots at him while she was campaigning.
Another option: Bachmann's trending downward spiral might have finally penetrated her thick skull. Nah.
Michele B and Mitt Romney have both dropped out of the public eye and I suspect the reasons are much the same. Michele got thrashed as a presidential candidate and barely kept her seat despite outspending her opponent 12 to 1. The republican party as a whole got their @ss handed to them by a Kenyan Marxist Socialist Muslim Atheist. For the"Chosen of God" who think they know gods plan and think they have part to play in it,--well, that is just not how things were supposed to play out.
Most of the conservative echo chamber are having to come to grips with a reality they cannot comprehend, but for the people like Michele and Mittens, who thought they were major players in God's plan, the fall from Grace is even more difficult to embrace. Is their faith being tested? Did they misinterpret the signs they were shown? They are having to construct a new rationale that explains to themselves why they were so completely wrong --and allows them to move forward with the same clueless self confidence they had before reality d#ck slapped them up the side of the head.
Well said. They god-loons had ample warning that they were about to be taken down though. At least 4 of the GnoP candidates had god's direct backing. Perry, Cain, Bachmann and Santorum all referred to god's plan driving them forward. Mitt had his magic underwear and a mormon prophesy to fulfill.
None of them are president. That should be taken directly as god's will.
Sarcastico, I agree withi what you are saying generally but I think the loser in the presidential race traditionally disappears for a while.
It's always a little treacherous to read something into the absence of data.
Could be she's taking the time for the nonpolitical aspects of her life - she surely has some - and tabling her political whatnots until after Xmas. It's not necessarily her handlers making her not-do things.
It's also equally possible she *is* doing things, just not in the public eye. Speeches and gladhanding and closed-door meetings aren't necessarily absent. Reporting requires that journalists are paying attention and getting access to their subject.
Any and all of the reasons given above for Ms. Bachman's silence are plausible. The Republicans, stricken with terror and doubt over God's Plan For America, are are currently blasting away in a circular firing squad. Since the arid waste that constitutes the Republican hive mind (such as it is) is impenetrably hostile to normal earthly life, there's no telling what's going on in there.
I've been wondering about George Dubya Whatshisface's radio silence for the last couple years. Have they got him in a witness protection program? Failing health? Did he finally put down the bible and pick up the bottle? Is it some sort of omerta thing with Cheney and the gang? Is everything OK at home George? As a citizen I'm concerned.
I have long suspected that Bachmann was the designated the 'cat-swinging crazy lady' of the GOP intended to highlight just how serious and reasonable the rest of the GOP was. They set her up in a rock-solid GOP district and told her to play the part and give her a general direction to aim the crazy. Well ... the district kept her in office, as designed, despite her braying, but the crazy cannon didn't work out the way the GOP directorate wanted. It didn't win them the votes and suppress the Democratic vote. The association of the GOP with lunacy was too on-point and clearly contrived, like Romney's Etch-a-Sketch talking points, it backfired.
So they told her to cool it a while. She is awaiting her next set of orders. She is nowhere near as unintelligent as people assume. It is just a part she plays.
That sounds good in part, but do keep in mind that the national party has little to no say in who runs for office within a district, and any give new Member probably got there based on a combination of their own strength and the activities of the district itself, and the state. Once in, the national party still has only a certain role. I don't think there is a much planning in electoral politics as some may be assuming here. The national level activities have to do with appointments once in Congress, which indirectly but powerfully influences what happens, and the national committee (for each party) for candidates in each house of congress, which I believe did not come into play for Bachmann this year, but Graves got some money from the Dems, IIRC.
she is just recovering from having a new chip installed.