Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Riding the train to Damascus

Alternate title: Gettin’ your ticket from Saul

George Will’s puff piece in the Strib about Michele Bachmann contains all the stuff we’ve heard before: the accidental politician who went to a caucus on the spur of the moment and was drafted to run for office, raising a gaggle of foster kids, being Gretchen Carlson’s nanny, etc. But there was one thing that Spot hadn’t heard before:

Born in Iowa but a Minnesotan by age 12, Bachmann acquired what she calls "her family's Hubert Humphrey knee-jerk liberalism." She and her husband danced at Jimmy Carter's inauguration. Shortly thereafter, however, she was riding on a train and reading Gore Vidal's novel "Burr," which is suffused with that author's jaundiced view of America. "I set the book down on my lap, looked out the window and thought: That's not the America I know." She volunteered for Reagan in 1980.

the-train-to-conservatismTakin’ the train to conservatism

Bachmann says she read a novel about early nineteenth-century America and concludes it’s not the American she knows? And it turns her on her head politically?

Pray for the Republic, boys and girls. If this is how the avatar for the Republican base determines her political philosophy, we’re all in a helluva lot of trouble.

George Will’s well known antipathy toward Gore Vidal is really the only explanation for why that story could possibly ring true to Will.

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