So long, Michele Bachmann…

OK, now that she’s made her exit speech, we are reminded of two things:

  1. Just how useless the Iowa Straw Poll is — she mentioned having won it — as if we didn’t already know.
  2. That the country is probably better off without her leadership.

I base the latter on her hyperbolic explanation of why she ran. She explained that Obamacare “endangered the very survival of the United States of America.”

So, in our lifetime, that makes two existential threats to our country: The Soviet Union, and a health care plan that is a timid, pale shadow of that provided in practically every other advanced nation in the world.

You know, I’m thinking it would be great if the GOP would now concentrate on finding a nominee who knows what a real threat is. Because the most critical part of the job description is, after all, commander in chief. Maybe that process began in Iowa last night.

The painting to which the ex-candidate referred: "Scene at the Signing of the Constitution of the United States," by Howard Chandler Christy.

33 thoughts on “So long, Michele Bachmann…

  1. Rose

    PROBABLY better off? More like “definitely and thank you Lord she’s out, and please oh please let us never hear from her again.”

  2. bud

    So what IS a real threat? Here are my top 5:

    1. High Unemployment. Without work people lose their homes, medical insurance and dignity. It may result in desparate measures and in certain cases health issues. This must be the nation’s top priority.

    2. Lack of universal health insurance. Up to 45,000 people per day die from this outrageous situation. Obamacare may help to some extent. Let’s hope the GOP fails in their zealous mission to defeat it. And perhaps a better version can eventually become the law of the land.

    3. Accidents. Generally speaking preventable accidents kill more young people than all diseases combined. Yet there is such little attention devoted to this national tragedy. We touched on this with the ATV crash and the DUI that claimed the 6 year old girl. Hopefully our politicians will see this problem for the tragedy that it is.

    4. Pollution. Threats to our environment from global warming to oil spills, water pollution from attempts to produce more fossil fuels and many others are a threat to our health that should not be understated.

    5. Crony capitalism. This would include things like big pharma, big banking, big oil and especially the military-industrial complex. The continued concentration of wealth through the many avenues of crony capitalism is a genuine threat to our long-term viability as a nation.

    Overstated problems include anything related to military threats (terrorism), illegal immigration, short-term budget deficits and inflation are all issues that are not of great concern. Yet in the American world of focusing on the wrong things these and other issues garner a lavish amount of attention. We should all take a step back and re-evaluate all the stuff we talk about.

  3. bud

    Perry may be staying in after all.

    That can only be good news for Romney since the right-wing crazy vote will continue to be divided. Not sure what the point is. He’s polling poorly in SC and with Santorum surging I don’t see a path forward for Perry. Then again, this nominating process has been very bizarre so anything is possible:

    Romney 1-3
    Santorum 4-1
    Gingrich 6-1
    Paul 6-1
    Perry 12-1
    Huntsman 15-1

  4. Ralph Hightower

    I haven’t been watching Saturday Night Live. Has she been parodied like Sarah Palin was? If so, who was the Bachman double?

  5. Doug Ross

    Have you ever spoken with any Canadians about their system (you know, the one they choose to spend tax dollars on instead of wars)?

    You know they also have to have private insurance on top of the government insurance, right? You know they understand there are long waits for things like MRI’s, etc.?

    Same for England… I work with a guy who is a recent immigrant from the U.K. He tells me the real story about the two levels of service – those on the government plan and those who can pay more for good care.

    There is no well run pure government healthcare system… and there will never be one here as long as we spend more money on bombs than on medical care. And until you can explain how to eliminate the insurance companies and transition millions of workers for those companies, you’re just playing fantasy games.

  6. Doug Ross

    It’s Romney. The rest are 1,000,000-1 shots.

    Santorum has no money and no organization. He shot his wad in Iowa. He can’t compete when they get to Super Tuesday without cash and staff, he hasn’t had to go through any negative attacks yet, he won’t be on the ballot in Virginia, he has no major endorsements (aside from the reality show Duggar family with 20 kids).

    Hopefully Paul will run as a third party candidate.

  7. Steven Davis

    If there were a Romney/Santorum ticket, I think the Obama/Biden camp may just fold their hand.

    As far as Huntsman, he might as well be Alvin Greene for all Republicans care… except they’re smart enough not to vote for him.

  8. Steven Davis

    One organization that loves the Canadian heath insurance program is large hospitals on US/Canadian border states. They see several Canadian patients simply because Canadians who can afford it don’t want to wait until they’re one foot in the grave to be seen by a specialist in their country.

  9. Steven Davis

    @bud – What country do we borrow money from next to pay for all these welfare handouts? We’ve about maxed out our China credit card, European countries area are broke themselves so it’s like panhandling in front of the Salvation Army, Canada has said we’ve reached our limit, Mexico drug lords aren’t going to give us any money… we can maybe count on India as long as we trade technology and outsource more jobs there. It’s time we pulled up our bigboy pants and take responsibility for ourselves.

  10. Karen McLeod

    @ Doug. Who’s trying to get rid of the insurance companies? The idea is to get basic health insurance for all (thereby saving money in the long run by cutting hospital costs and lost work days). There will always be those who want more and better, and who are able to pay for it. If insurance were transportation, public insurance would be the equivalent of a well run public transit. As far as I can see, that hasn’t put BMW, Lexus, et. al. out of business.

  11. bud

    I work with a guy who is a recent immigrant from the U.K. He tells me the real story about the two levels of service …

    These anecdotal stories are completely, utterly, thoroughly, totally, thoughly, 100% meaningless. Fact is the vast majority of folks in the UK and Canada are very happy with their healthcare system. And no one and I mean no one pays more for healthcare than the U.S. So please stop telling us about some guy we don’t know telling us how long he had to wait for a damn MRI. It has no relevance, none.

  12. Doug Ross


    Okay… you can ignore people who actually live with the supposed system you want. I spent three months in Canada working on a project last year and spoke with plenty of people who explained the reality of the perfect system you think exists. I also read the Toronto Globe and Mail frequently while there and saw the stories about the problems with the system – for example, the government deciding a breast cancer drug was too expensive to provide as part of the national health system. You think Americans will accept that?


    Brad is specifically for a single payer system that would replace the current system. It would be impossible to implement and if attempted would result in two systems – a lousy one for the poor and a better one for those willing to pay.

  13. Doug Ross


    And if you have any questions you’d like to ask of people who live in the U.K. and Canada, let me know and I will pass them on… or you can keep your head in the clouds and rely on liberal propaganda.

  14. `Kathryn Fenner

    I agree with bud–the plural of anecdote isn’t data.

    FWIW, I have several very good friends who still live in Canada and Britain, as well as ex-pat friends, and I have extensive first hand experience with the British National Health Service, and all of us think the two systems are vastly preferable to ours.

    Heck, Doug, we have a multi-tiered system here, as well. One for people with no insurance, one for people with some, one for people with good insurance, and a very high-end one for people who will pay a premium to have a doctor on retainer and who can simply pay out of pocket.

  15. Steven Davis

    “Fact is the vast majority of folks in the UK and Canada are very happy with their healthcare system”

    … until they get sick or hurt. They’re “very happy” with what they get for free, but that’s not much more than cold and flu treatments. You want a series of tests run, they might run the cheapest ones and you’ll have to get in line for the others.

  16. Steven Davis

    SC natives would be better off telling us about Mexico health benefits than Canadian health benefits. Most of the people spouting off here have never been to Canada, know anyone from Canada, spoken to a Canadian, and some would have trouble finding it on a map.

  17. bud

    Why is it that no one who supports the status quo (or at least the status quo until 2009) never explains why our healthcare system is so very, very expensive compared to everyone else. We have long waits for services. We have folks turned down for treatment. And yes we have a relatively short life expectancy. Given all the shortcomings the system we have is just too expensive and not particularly cost effective by any valid measure.

  18. Doug Ross


    Show me the stats for life expectancy of white males and females from other countries. Then we can discuss “relatively short”. If it’s a couple years difference, who cares? It’s more a product of the abundance of bad food than access to healthcare.


    Was your experience with the British National Health personal? Was it for a procedure that required surgery? Was it 100% free?

  19. Doug Ross

    And we have a perfect example of what a U.S. national healthcare system would look like: Medicare. It’s a monopoly that cannot sustain itself without perpetually increasing taxes. The first thing even Obama spoke of in 2008 was how much waste, fraud, and abuse was in Medicare (his estimate was in the hundreds of billions of dollars) and now I sit here wondering how he’s done on eliminating that waste.

  20. `Kathryn Fenner

    Yes, bud, We have the most expensive system in the world and far from the best life expectancy or other measures of value for service.

  21. Karen McLeod

    Bud, you are right about our current health care. so are you Katherine.

    Doug, isn’t minimal insurance better than no insurance?

  22. Doug Ross


    Again, Brad is not talking about insurance. He is talking about single payer – free healthcare. There’s a big difference. I have no issue with the government cutting defense spending to provide vouchers for people who cannot get insurance to purchase it. No problem at all.

    What I do not want is for the government to become the middleman. That doesn’t work as Medicare has proven.

  23. Doug Ross

    I worked for three companies in 2011. Left one to work for another which was in turn bought by a third. The transition for insurance going from one large multinational to a tiny firm back to a different multinational was a piece of cake. The majority of Americans have insurance that they like and do not want to change. Those that don’t need to figure out a way to get what they want without causing the rest of us to have to accept a worse solution.

    If the Occupiers could do ONE THING, it would be to address that issue. Get the government to allow anyone, any time to purchase the same insurance that the politicians have access to. That one change would fix a big part of the problem. But can you find any politician who will push that idea? Nope. How about Vincent Sheheen? Steve Benjamin? Lindsey Graham?

  24. Brad

    No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, NO!

    I have never advocated for “free health care.” Not at any time. And I’m really getting tired of you repeating that canard.

    What I want is for the money I pay for health care coverage to go into one, good, national plan that I can never lose if I change jobs, or decide to start a business.

    As for all this moaning about insurance companies… As Ed Sellers said awhile back — while insurers like Blue Cross don’t WANT single-payer, they are well-positioned to be the contractor the government turns to to implement it. That’s a growing sideline for such companies, you know. A HUGE sideline. (Look up, for instance, Palmetto GBA.)

    All those jobs would still exist — and who else would do them? Well, most of those jobs would still exist. They could get rid of the people whose job it is to delay, deny, obfuscate and frustrate people with legitimate claims until they just give up and go away. That’s a key part of their business model, currently.

  25. Doug Ross

    So everyone will pay the same for coverage in your system, Brad? It won’t be like Medicare where you pay in based on income? And those that can’t pay $700 or so a month, what do they pay?

    Sounds like all you are looking for is a way to funnel money through the government back to current insurers (with a cut taken out for “overhead”). We would need to set up a huge Office of Inspector General to handle all the kickbacks that would be part of that system.

    If you can’t guarantee those of us who have good insurance that your solution will either be cheaper and equal service or better service at a slightly higher cost, why would the majority of Americans who have good insurance buy into it? You think there are politicians who will stake their careers on such a radical transition to 1/6 of the economy? Won’t happen.

  26. `Kathryn Fenner

    If Medicare is so bad, why do Tea Party members want government to keep its hands off it?

  27. Steven Davis

    So is “free health care” better than “mandatory health care” where you pay regardless whether or not you can afford it or go to jail? I bet in jail you’d get “free health care”.

    I’ve changed jobs a few times, I’ve never worried about losing health care coverage. What you want is a USPS version of health care, and we see how well the USPS system is doing these days. In your case, doctors would be talking about only seeing patients Monday, Wednesday and Fridays.

  28. Brad

    Can any of y’all hear my eyes rolling at Doug’s thing about everybody having to pay in exactly the same amount, or it can’t be legitimate?

    As y’all know, property taxes that require the owner of a mansion to pay more than the owner of a hovel are completely illegitimate, in Doug’s eyes.

  29. Brad

    And by the way, the majority of Americans do NOT have good insurance, because they have insurance that they will lose if they lose their jobs.

    If they still think, in light of that, that they have good insurance, then they are too deluded for me to place a very high value on their opinion in this matter.

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