Saturday, November 20, 2010


What quality would you ascribe to a public official who is willing to toss out any lie or unfounded accusation to whip the extreme fringe of her party into a frenzy?  One political scientist, perhaps a little too immersed in the political culture he studies, has an answer (my emphasis):
“Michele Bachmann does not have a strong record as a legislative strategist, and that’s never been her forte,” said Lawrence Jacobs, a University of Minnesota political science professor. “She says things that are kind of off the wall, but these are often calculated statements on her part, to register with conservative, grass-roots people, and that’s very hard for folks who are not grass-roots conservatives to understand,” he said. “Some of the things she says are zany and embarrassing to other Republicans, but that’s part of what has given her this authenticity.”
"Calculated statements" -- like accusing your political opponents of "un-American values" or conjuring "death panels" out of thin air or retailing invented cost estimates for presidential travel -- confer "authenticity."  I'm afraid the good professor has caught the zeitgeist.

1 comment:

  1. Well, I think he means it gives her authenticity as being "one of their own" in the eyes of that fringe base who are prone to believing the silly stuff that we've been hearing for some time, like regarding death panels, Obama's birth certificate, and all these other fear-filled conspiracies.