Tevlin: We will miss Michele Bachmann

  • Article by: JON TEVLIN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: June 1, 2013 - 10:20 PM

Now that Rep. Michele Bachmann is calling it quits, who is left to save our incandescent light bulbs? No one, that’s who.

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U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann

Photo: GLEN STUBBE * gstubbe@startribune.com,

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She hid in the bushes to protect us from the gays, launched an inquisition into the government to protect us from the Muslims and promised to break the law to save us from the ­census takers.

But now that Rep. Michele Bachmann is calling it quits, who is left to save our incandescent light bulbs?

No one, that’s who.

Is it just a coincidence that the incandescent bulb will be phased out in America this year, just as Bachmann fades out?

I think not.

And now our world will be just a little bit dimmer, a little more blue. At least I know mine will.

It’s not that Bachmann hasn’t tried. Her Light Bulb Freedom of Choice Act, a plank of her short but dazzling presidential bid, fell victim to the same assassin as all of her grand schemes and big ideas: the pesky but persistent fact.

Facts have plagued Bachmann like a flesh-eating virus, nibbling away at her statements with reckless abandon, making short work of the skeleton of her ideas.

I remember with fondness Bachmann’s debate claim that “there are hundreds and hundreds of scientists, many of them holding Nobel Prizes, who believe in” creationism.

Alas, no.

Or how about her insistence that comatose Terri Schiavo, who had suffered massive brain damage, was “healthy?”

Turns out not so much.

Or when she proclaimed that a vaccine against HPV caused mental retardation or that carbon dioxide was “harmless” or that “The Lion King” might be a gay propaganda thing?

No, no and, sadly, no.

Over the years, the website PolitiFact has relentlessly checked the veracity of many politicians from both parties, but none needed as much due diligence as Bachmann.

Indeed, my favorite Bachmann sleight-of-mouth may have been when she said this: “After the debate that we had last week, PolitiFact came out and said that everything I said was true.”

PolitiFact rated that statement a “pants-on-fire” fib.

My own experience with Bachmann’s legendary duel with reality came when I wrote about her son. Back in 2009, Bachmann decried the federal AmeriCorps program as sinister “re-education camps” for young people. I then discovered that one of her sons had joined the program, in which they actually teach disadvantaged children. So I wrote about it.

The day the column ran, she sent out a fundraising letter saying that I had savagely attacked her son.

Here’s what I said about her son:

“[He] must be a smart kid, a caring kid. Must have been raised well.”

I guess we had a little miscommunication there.

But it is the simple beauty of her miscommunications, elegantly delivered — in pumps and dancing backward — that I will cherish most when she’s gone.

So happy birthday, Elvis. Hello Waterloo’s most famous son, John Wayne (Gacy). So long, Congress, now raise your hand if you are anti-American because it’s off to the death panels with you.

You be da man, Michael Steele.

No, Michele, you be da man. You be da man.

In the end, Bachmann left us as only she could: looking fab-u-lous in purple satin and a string of pearls in a soft-focus video somehow shot in the 1950s and released just after 2 a.m. as she fled to Russia, where Sarah Palin could no doubt see her from her house.

 

jtevlin@startribune.com • 612-673-1702

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