The GOP Anti-Bachmann Campaign Begins

Fox News/Pravda has sent the word out from the RNC: Kill Bachmann’s campaign.

A few weeks after the midterms, the Republican Party elite started sending out unmistakable messages that Sarah Palin was not going to be the candidate.  She’s useful to them, but only to rouse the base.

Well, now it’s starting with Michele Bachmann:

[W]hile some on the right consider [Bachmann] an “intellectual” and a potential danger to President Obama’s incumbency, Bill O’Reilly is skeptical of her experience and appeal….

[O’Reilly noted] that, despite her economics background, “she doesn’t know where Lexington and Concord are,” referring to comments she made in New Hampshire recently confusing the towns with places in that state and not Massachusetts. “Her frame of reference is questionable at this point,” O’Reilly noted, adding that he didn’t see her having the type of experience to take on the presidency, either.

Bachmann is useful to the GOP, but the billionaires leading the party know very well she would get destroyed in the general, so they are trying to scotch it now, and sending out not-so-subtle messages through the Official Party Organ.

You might remember how, during the Soviet Union’s existence, “Kremlinologists” would try to glean who was up and who was down in the USSR by the degrees of applause in the official transcript of Party Congresses.  (“Applause…sustained applause…overwhelming applause — all rise.”).  It’s the same now, except that you glean it from the comments of Fox News hosts.  We’ll soon be seeing the same sorts of things from Cavuto and Doocy.

Author: Jonathan Zasloff

Jonathan Zasloff teaches Torts, Land Use, Environmental Law, Comparative Urban Planning Law, Legal History, and Public Policy Clinic - Land Use, the Environment and Local Government. He grew up and still lives in the San Fernando Valley, about which he remains immensely proud (to the mystification of his friends and colleagues). After graduating from Yale Law School, and while clerking for a federal appeals court judge in Boston, he decided to return to Los Angeles shortly after the January 1994 Northridge earthquake, reasoning that he would gladly risk tremors in order to avoid the average New England wind chill temperature of negative 55 degrees. Professor Zasloff has a keen interest in world politics; he holds a PhD in the history of American foreign policy from Harvard and an M.Phil. in International Relations from Cambridge University. Much of his recent work concerns the influence of lawyers and legalism in US external relations, and has published articles on these subjects in the New York University Law Review and the Yale Law Journal. More generally, his recent interests focus on the response of public institutions to social problems, and the role of ideology in framing policy responses. Professor Zasloff has long been active in state and local politics and policy. He recently co-authored an article discussing the relationship of Proposition 13 (California's landmark tax limitation initiative) and school finance reform, and served for several years as a senior policy advisor to the Speaker of California Assembly. His practice background reflects these interests: for two years, he represented welfare recipients attempting to obtain child care benefits and microbusinesses in low income areas. He then practiced for two more years at one of Los Angeles' leading public interest environmental and land use firms, challenging poorly planned development and working to expand the network of the city's urban park system. He currently serves as a member of the boards of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy (a state agency charged with purchasing and protecting open space), the Los Angeles Center for Law and Justice (the leading legal service firm for low-income clients in east Los Angeles), and Friends of Israel's Environment. Professor Zasloff's other major activity consists in explaining the Triangle Offense to his very patient wife, Kathy.

19 thoughts on “The GOP Anti-Bachmann Campaign Begins”

  1. This would be among the reasons the Tea party movement has come to view the Republican party elite as their enemy… A mutual opinion.

    Nor do I think this has a lot to do with their evaluation of whether she’d win the general election, however dubious their capacity to make such evaluations might be. In the last round of elections the GOP elite demonstrated a decided antipathy to tea party candidates who did manage to win general elections, or who came close enough one might presume that they’d have won had the party establishment not been working against them. While establishment candidates who triumphed over tea party backed candidates often failed.

    Rather, the interests of the GOP elite are rather divergent from the base, having more to do with preserving opportunities for rent seeking than achieving any ideological goals. They view even successful tea party candidates as a threat to this agenda, if they can not be promptly coopted after election.

    None of this is to say that Palin would actually make a good Presidential candidate. She’d suck at it. But who thought Bob Dole would run a winning campaign? The establishment gave him the chance anyway. Their choices are not driven by strict electoral calculations, and that’s the least of the reasons they’d reject Palin.

  2. So Brett, what do you look for in a Republican candidate? It’s hard for me to imagine what the world looks like to Teapartiers, but why would someone pick Bachmann over this Ryan person, for example?

    Of course, all I know about her is that she says outlandish things about the president, apparently to get attention. Are you saying she has actual depth as a thinker, or are you just trying to defend the GOP against what you perceive as a Zasloff attack?

  3. Despite my economics background, I couldn’t have told you what state Lexington and Concord were in. I would have guessed Massachusetts for Lexington, New Hampshire for Concord. That said, I probably would have looked it up before talking about it in a public speech.

  4. “. . . the interests of the GOP elite are rather divergent from the base, having more to do with preserving opportunities for rent seeking than achieving any ideological goals. They view even successful tea party candidates as a threat to this agenda, if they can not be promptly coopted after election.”

    I don’t see much ideological coherence in Michelle Bachman or Sarah Palin; really I don’t see much coherence at all, so it is hard for me to credit “ideological goals”. I really don’t know what term to use for their “ideas”; mostly, it seems to me that they just channel anger and resentment and a general, albeit ill-informed resentment of “liberals” — or their Fox-News-filtered concept of liberal.

    The rent-seekers, it seems to me, are doing just fine with Obama, and that might dull their enthusiasm for a candidate, who might actually win; it might be better to let the Tea Party have its way, in choosing or shaping a candidate in ways that make him or her unelectable in competition with Obama. Still, it would be safer, if that candidate was a practiced liar-chameleon like Romney, image mis-shapened by catering to the Tea Party primary voters, than a true-believer like Palin.

  5. Alex F,

    Not too surprising that you didn’t know. After all, hardly a man is now alive who remembers that famous day and year.

  6. She is an economic historian of the first caliber. How many of you so-called “intellectuals” even know that the Great Depression was triggered by FDR and the Hoot-Smalley tariff? Or that the recession Calvin Coolidge inherited was much worse than the one inherited by FDR when he took office? Lexington and Concord are out of her area of expertise, so give her a break.

  7. What justifies the snigger quotes for “Kremlinologists”? If the data are thin, you go with what you have. It was never a true pseudo-science like astrology. Or should us “intellectuals” write “astrology”?

  8. Ed, you forgot your sarcasm tags.

    Brett: “Rather, the interests of the GOP elite are rather divergent from the base, having more to do with preserving opportunities for rent seeking than achieving any ideological goals. They view even successful tea party candidates as a threat to this agenda, if they can not be promptly coopted after election.”

    Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight. The guys who whooped up a big,astro-turfed fuss as soon as the other party got power are in it for ideology, and aren’t wh*res who had no problem with rent-seeking under Bush.

  9. The conviction that every group that opposes you is nothing but astroturf generated by some shadowy conspiracy seems a bit questionable to me.

  10. Brett Bellmore says:

    “The conviction that every group that opposes you is nothing but astroturf generated by some shadowy conspiracy seems a bit questionable to me.”

    Which I have never stated, and neither has any liberal here.

    Furthermore, the salient fact about the Teabaggers is that they seemed to pop up *after* Bush left office, while claiming outrage about things which Bush and the GOP happily did while in office.

  11. I love your comparison to the the old Soviet Analysts and the surprising accuracy of the system. You are on to it with GOP version of Pravda and looking back at other issues only further supports your idea. Now if I can only figure a way to tie it into feeder cattle prices I will improve my lot in life whilst these blood suckers continue their games.

  12. Dearest Ed Whitney,

    I always have problems with individuals who state that any major event was the result of some other single event. For example the Great Depression was triggered by FDR and the Hoot-Smalley tariff, That and that alone triggered the depression? If you belive that then what about when Archduke Ferdinand gets capped by Gavrilo Princip and his Serb wacko friends and that and that alone results in World War I? That is out of her and your area of expertise too? Must we embrace mediocrity now and only find leaders who lack even fundamental knowledge of their own country and curiosity about anything outside some narrowly defined area of expertise.

  13. Bachman or Palin CANNOT GET ELECTED….Please don’t waste our time or money…PLEASSSSSSSSSE!

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