On Saturday, Republican Presidential hopefuls reconvened to debate foreign policy and tell America that they're the least-bad choice to lead the free world. America's Foremost Expert on Question Avoiding Michele Bachmann claims that she wasn't given enough questions during the debate, and that this was a planned effort on the part of debate organizers to suppress her. And for once, she's not totally wrong.
The New York Times reports that the trouble started during the hours leading up to the debate on Saturday. The Bachmann campaign inquired about getting their candidate featured on a post-debate web show. A colorful REPLY ALL conversation ensued, and culminated in one CBS News reporter errantly CC'ing the campaign's communication director a message about how the show would feature Bachmann if they had to, but that any other candidate would be preferred, as she wasn't going to get many questions during the event in light of her low poll numbers. The Bachmann campaign whipped out their Liberal Media Conspiracy cards. CBS responded by saying that they were well within their rights to limit the number of questions any candidate received, as Bachmann's not much of a factor in the campaign anymore.
The CBS News folk are right about the Minnesota Congresswoman's plight; in the last months, Bachmann's poll number have been going down faster than a drunk roller blader trying to navigate a Duluth snowstorm. The most recent CBS News poll has her support among likely Republican primary voters hovering around 4%, so unless something horrible is revealed about the other candidates and voters decide that it matters, she won't win the Republican nomination.
Michele Bachmann is also right. What CBS News did is unfair, but the network's decision to limit her questions wasn't evidence of any bias; to the contrary, refusing to give Michele Bachmann air time is only artificially prolonging her political life. Suppressing her opportunity to use Saturday's debate, the twelfth of this primary season's Republican circle jerks, to show America's political nerds and agoraphobic shut ins just how extreme her views are is doing the American voting public a disservice. If the media were truly liberal biasing Bachmann into oblivion, they'd ask her all of the questions, confident that Bachmann would hang herself if given enough rope. Between claiming that waterboarding is totally a-ok non-torture and calling Occupy Wall Street protesters smelly jerks, she's got plenty of colorful nonsense left to spout. Limiting her debate questions to reflect her waning popularity is only serving to preserve hope that she might leave a legacy that's anything but a future punch line, a durable and recognizable basis of comparison when assessing the truly deluded in politics.
The Bachmann camp's insistence that denying Bachmann the opportunity to respond to debate questions is akin to denying voters access to the truth reminds me of the typical Tea Party meme: if only enough Americans take the time to listen to the Tea Party message, everyone will find that they agree. If you don't agree, that's only because you haven't listened to enough angry white people in American flag hats compare paying taxes to getting raped. Bachmann's far right is excellent at universalizing their personal views, completely convinced that they've tapped into some secret, repressed truth. That's why Ann Coulter always looks like a kid who is proud of using her own shit to draw pictures of dinosaurs on the baseboards. She honestly believes that what they're saying is what everyone has really been thinking this whole time.
Well, everyone who isn't part of the liberal media-education elite conspiracy complex.