Michele Bachmann is on a roll, says Noreen Malone in Slate. She kept her Minnesota House seat by a wide margin and raised more campaign cash than any of her colleagues. "Her savviest move of the year, though, was turning her anti-tax rhetoric into Tea Party stardom and forming the Tea Party Caucus in the House...." But then House Speaker John Boehner failed to bring "Bachmann's fringe" into the GOP tent by granting her request for a leadership post. If he hadn't pushed her away, "Bachmann might have been tempted to move past Mama Grizzly extremism." Now she's sticking with it, writes Malone, and GOP leaders may have "created their own worst nightmare." Here, an excerpt:
The new dynamic is already in effect: After the GOP put the less tea-stained Jeb Hensarling of Texas in the conference chair position, Bachmann moved rapidly from faux-graciousness to promising an insurrection "against our own leadership" if it failed to accomplish what the Tea Party had asked for....
In some ways, Bachmann is quite workmanlike: She is a tax attorney who wears sensible shoes, one who got to be a demagogue the hard way, by doggedly showing up to throw flames at appearances large and small. But when it comes to the bigger picture, she, like [Sarah] Palin, has figured out that putting her nose to the grindstone won't get her where she wants to go all that quickly and that she can make better use of that appendage by keeping it out of joint — and on cable news, preferably. Had Boehner and company given Bachmann a seat at the table, they might have contained her. Ambulatory, she'll run amok.
Read the full article in Slate.
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