Michelle Bachmann will be awful for the country. The fact that she’s even in contention is worrying. Her policies will be bad for working people, bad for the environment, bad basic decency. She may be the worst person to run for president with any chance of winning in my lifetime. A lifetime that includes Pat Robertson’s George W. Bush’s Newt Gingrich’s run and many other horrible people. Please don’t vote for her. Believe me when I say that I hate the fact that I’ll be defending her for the rest of this post.
I somehow missed a lot of the Newsweek cover when it came out. So I didn’t comment on it. But it’s still pretty awful. Then during the last GOP debate I noted that she was asked a sexist question. And now this! Seriously, everybody, stop with the sexist bullshit.
Let’s start with the pictures. Everybody takes bad pictures and good pictures. And there’s nothing inherently sexist about choosing an unflattering picture. We’ve all seen men politicians with bad pictures taken of them. The main problem with Newsweek is that it was a studio shoot. Generally in those they pick better pictures of the subject. Newsweek chose that picture to look strange in a way that I can’t recall them doing to a man in a cover shoot.
In the picture of her eating a corn dog, well if you can’t spot what’s wrong with it, perhaps I won’t explain it here on a nice family blog. I’ll just say that I don’t recall similar pictures of men on the campaign trail.
Finally, the question York asked at the Republican debate:
In 2006, when you were running for Congress, you described a moment in your life when your husband said you should study for a degree in tax law. You said you hated the idea. And then you explained, “But the Lord said, ‘Be submissive. Wives, you are to be submissive to your husbands.’”
As president, would you be submissive to your husband?
Seriously, what does that even mean in context of the presidency? One time your husband said you should go to law school and you did, therefore will he decide the cabinet? What treaties to sign? There’s no evidence whatsoever in her time in the MN legislature or Congress that she’d submit her public policy decisions to her husband. And while I don’t think women should submit to their husbands in their personal lives, I don’t see how that’s relevant to her qualifications for office, nor do I see this sort of question being asked of a man.
All of this isn’t to say you can’t criticize her on a whole range of things. Nobody’s above criticism and she’s got a particularly awful track record. Just let’s try to keep sexism out of our criticism.