For those worried about me after positive critique of Bachmann debate performance

This is what I saw, and how I saw it.

This is what I know and why I don’t buy it:

[U.S. Rep. and Republican primary candidate for president Michele] Bachmann is now the vanguard of the rightwing populist movement—particularly with the more genial Mike Huckabee out of the race and her sister-nemesis Sarah Palin not yet in it—she will be the voice of this strand of social conservatism in the campaign.

While her followers portray Bachmann as a “modern woman,” never forget that what she really represents is a retro throwback to a kind of American that is intolerant, bigoted and out of step with the best instincts and possibilities of this country.

Add to that, many blog posts I’ve written over the last three years indicating how scary and wrong I find Bachmann’s statements and re-defining of terms to suit her political positions.

Finally, watch The Nation’s Katrina vanden Heuvel explain more about noting Bachmann’s presentation versus her positions, last night on MSNBC (zip to 2:35 mark in the video):

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Maybe some argue that it’s just bad politics to ever give anything to someone you simply do not ever want elected. But that’s just not me – and I don’t think we serve voters, or potential candidates, well if we don’t make these distinctions, especially so long as campaigning remains a completely different skill than governing.

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