Right-wing caricature Michele Bachmann received a whopping 6,000 votes in last night's Iowa caucuses, which put her solidly in third-to-last place, in front of a guy who didn't even campaign in the state, and "other." Discouraged by this insurmountable setback, she'll be suspending her campaign, saying, "I have decided to stand aside." (Also, she has "no regrets.") And so the LeBron James of homophobia shall take her talents back to Stillwater. All is as it should be.
Depending on who you ask, yesterday's Iowa caucuses, which were only decided by an 8-vote margin in favor of Mitt Romney, were either a reflection of a field of super competitive Republican all-stars or of voters' abject indecisiveness over the bowl of socially awkward soba noodles who each think they would be a good, in-charge kind of President-type person. Human joke Rick Santorum received the second highest number of votes, for chrissake, simply by virtue of being a guy who looks like he could have costarred opposite Bing Crosby in a movie about surfing. Ron Paul and his army of girlfriendless conspiracy theorists came in third place, Newt Gingrich and his army of wives placed fourth.
Bachmann's poor showing isn't due to lack of effort on her part; she just finished what must have been an exhausting 10 day, 99-county bus tour of Iowa, shaking hands of thousands of people who had touched Lord knows what without washing their hands. She's made decent showings in the debates, if by "decent showing," you mean "didn't forget her name on TV" and "stuck to the strange paranoid goulash speech patterns to which the American public is now accustomed."
The Washington Post's Patricia Murphy hints that there may be sexism at the root of Bachmann's last place finish; she quotes several conservative Iowa voters who say they like Bachmann's policies, but just aren't sure that America's ready for a female President. But isn't that the Catch-22 of being a "Mamma Grizzly?" Running as a woman on an anti-woman platform can only take one so far; at a certain point, those who would support an extreme conservative agenda can no longer justify supporting a woman for President. In other words: if your popularity is due to getting people who don't like ladies to support you, then best make sure you're not a lady. Among a certain subset of the population, it's never going to be time for a female President. Conservatives, in spite of all their posturing in the form of support for the likes of Michele Bachmann and Sarah Palin, will never be "ready."
To add insult to injury, yesterday, while Michele continued her futile gladhanding, her husband Marcus spent the day buying sunglasses for their dog Boomer. Ouch.
We haven't seen the last of Iron Shelly, though. Bachmann's still up for reelection to her congressional seat back in Minnesota, and she's currently leading in polls despite the fact that she's spent most of her current term campaigning for President rather than doing her job. She'll be back, ego bruised but undaunted, to continue the fight to prove that facts never stood in the way of a good political career.