Can space cadet Michele Bachmann provide any intergalactic insight into the Herman Cain scandal? Yeah, no — that hope is futile. In her most recent appearance, she not only successfully avoided answering any questions, but she also managed to prevent her face from contorting into an expression of primal rage and frustration for a full six minutes.
To her credit, Bachmann is not much more ideologically horrifying than other candidates who are getting much more attention than she is on the campaign trail. Rick Perry makes up legends about himself as a futuristic coyote assassin and Mitt Romney is an abortion clinic blocker who supports the Mississippi Personhood amendment. Herman Cain's tax plan is inane and Ron Paul wants to turn America into a Lord of the Flies style clubhouse. Yet, they're all polling better than she is. It has to be infuriating.
Bachmann was beamed into the Today Show this morning; poor, wincing Matt Lauer opened the interview with the Minnesota Congresswoman by asking her how the sexual harassment allegations against Cain made her feel, as a woman. Bachmann didn't take the bait, instead choosing to talk about how if she were President, she'd scold the economy back into shape by making poor people pay taxes. After her spiel, she flipped into Painful, Forced Banter Mode, attempting to joke around with Matt Lauer. Matt forced a few staccato laughs, Bachmann acted inappropriately familiar. It was like watching Giuliana Rancic interview George Clooney on the red carpet— after a couple of minutes, you just feel bad for everybody involved.
Her bizarre Today Show interview wasn't the only media appearance Bachmann's made on her recent whirlwind "I Am Wingnut, Hear Me Roar!" tour; yesterday she told Iowa State University students that the Occupy Wall Street protests shouldn't be blaming the dear, sweet corporations for the economic collapse. It's the government's fault for trying to keep corporate greed in check and causing the recession or some such, because government regulations just lead to Credit Default Swaps and buckbreaking and all those things Bernie Madoff job creation economy tax attorney working hard for you. Go America!
(Eventually the human brain loses its capacity to process Bachmann's Paranoid Right Wing Conspiracy Theorist Magnetic Poetry vocabulary and breaks it down into its smallest, most digestible chunks.)
Bachmann's refusal to sling mud could mean she's angling for a Vice Presidential bid, or it could mean that she knows that three male frontrunners— Cain, Perry, and Romney— are duking it out Three Stooges style and that she doesn't need to get involved. Or, it could mean that she's in denial over the fact that at this point she has very little chance of winning. Bachmann is nothing if not well practiced in the art of denial.