First of all, let us try to keep the politics out of this. Supporters of Michele Bachmann’s very conservative, tea party politics are entitled to like her, just as those who veer to the left are entitled to dislike her. That is democracy, it is healthy and it is morally sound.
But there is a bigger issue here, something that affects all parties if it is allowed to continue. Since Bachmann’s campaign really kicked off over the weekend as she started rolling into towns and onto stages, she has been relentlessly accused of “campaigning like a celebrity” and “behaving like Madonna”.
It is very difficult to not see this as blatant sexism, an attempt to discredit a politician who, for better or worse, believes in what she preaches.
So what is she being accused of? Apparently, she walks on stage to loud music and bright lights. Excuse me? Bachmann certainly isn’t the first politician to employ “showmanship” tactics while campaigning. In fact, it is difficult to recall a politician who DOES NOT walk on stage to loud music and bright lights. So why is Bachmann taking more of a hit on this than anyone else? Because she is a woman, and she actually looks good walking on stage to loud music and bright lights. How dare she.
That is not all though. Apparently, Bachmann also planted people in the crowd to ask her the right questions, and stayed in her bus until show time, rather than mingle with her people. Again, while this behaviour is not particularly likeable, Bachmann is hardly the first politician to tread so carefully on the campaign trail.
The quote from a “member of the public” that has been reprinted over and over again that she appeared at the Ames fundraiser “like Madonna” is absolutely ridiculous and offensive. It is an obvious, telegraphed attempt to belittle Bachmann by attaching her name to the most famous and notorious of pop princesses by gender alone.
Attack Bachmann for her policies, for her beliefs and for her apparent disdain for those less fortunate than herself. Dislike her for any number of political reasons. But do not attack her because she is a woman. Nobody deserves that.
— Steven Anfield