Every time I turn on the news, I'm blown away that Michele Bachmann is still thought so highly as being a viable presidential candidate for the Republican Party next year. During her interview today on Meet the Press
, the policy questions she was asked pertained primarily to those dealing with the economy and the debt ceiling (wherein she maintained her party's stance on cutting spending and not raising taxes on big corporations, and continued to go against her party by defending her position of voting against raising the debt ceiling). When asked to justify her position on the debt ceiling (voting to not raise the debt ceiling and thereby opening our country to the economic fallout of going into default), she stated that she voted the way the people of the country wanted her to vote - that because polls showed that many Americans were against raising the debt ceiling (synonymous with allowing us to accumulate more debt), she would stand by what the people want.
It seems like a virtuous tack to take, too; politicians are elected to be the "voice" of the people in essence, but in practical terms, it's completely unrealistic. People vote for politicians to make important decisions based on all of the facts of a situation - many of which us "ordinary" people are unaware of or do not take the time to fully understand. In the case of the debt ceiling, while I'm a person for whom my elected officials are working, I am also not
an economist. I don't think my opinions on an economic decision can be taken as directives. My opinions may not be based on all of the facts of the situation, and I may be (actually am) ignorant of all of the machinations of the financial world. So in essence, I find Bachmann's response that her vote was reflecting the will of the people to be a complete cop-out. In fact, it's fairly insulting: the vote to not raise the debt ceiling was not the right decision because it could have caused more havoc for our economy, but because she can't go back and change her vote, she can blame her decision on her constituents. "Well, it's what they
wanted" doesn't strike me as being competent decision-making; instead, it's playing a blame-game.
Today's interview then shifted gears to ask Bachmann personal questions about her religious and social views (the answers to which, while important, were not new, and something that, if I were to write about it, would just make my socially-liberal blood pressure go up). But what I wanted to see was a question or two about her ideas on foreign policy. Because if there's one thing that many people can agree on about President Obama is that he has achieved much in the way of repairing our image in the international community. Aside from bombing Libya with drones and straining relations with Pakistan over killing Bin Laden (oh well!), President Obama has been a leader in restoring confidence in the United States for our allies. Let's be clear: under President Bush, we became a laughingstock on the international scene, and that viewpoint has been changed overseas within the last three years. And I just can't see an uber-socially-conservative, right-wing-focused candidate like Bachmann making the same headway on the international stage. Her inability, as demonstrated this morning, to straightforwardly answer questions posed to her about domestic
issues and policies will not sit well for those of us who require a president who can think fast on his or her feet in the face of an international crisis.
And this is just how I feel about Bachmann - just wait until we get more sound bites and clips from George Bush 2.0... er, I mean, Governor Rick Perry! Because another term or two with a guy who is a W-wannabe is exactly
what we need... :P