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Let the church bells peal somberly, for we progressives have suffered an unexpected and tragic loss that leaves an awful void in our movement. I speak, of course, about the recent passing from America's political scene of a lady who truly was a shooting star: Michele Bachmann.

michele bachmann

So perkily quirky, so ridiculously right-wing, so piously hypocritical, so incoherently pontifical – the Minnesota Congresswoman, tea party sparklie, and flash-in-the-pan presidential pretender was a gusher of good news for the progressive cause every time she opened her mouth. Alas, though, faced with likely defeat in her own district next year and an ethical mess involving her campaign finances, Bachmann has announced she'll not run again, prompting a nationwide pity party among progressives.

Even in her passing, however, she left us with some typical Bachmann bon mots, including this promise: "I will continue to work vehemently and robustly to fight back against what most [Democrats] want to do, to transform our country into becoming." Yes, "Stop America from Becoming!" is her battle cry, which I think means she's robustly against the future and will vehemently fight to stop it.

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The good news for progressives is that as Michele fades into the past, several new tea party popinjays in Congress have emerged as top contenders for Bachmann's Silver Tongued Babbler crown. One has spurted to an early lead: Rep. Steve Stockman of Texas. He warns that sex education classes are teaching bestiality to school kids and insists that, "The best thing about Earth is if you poke holes in it, oil and gas come out." Oh, Steve also asserts that, "If babies had guns they wouldn't be aborted."

jim hightower

Now that is deeply Bachmannesque! So, take heart, progressives – Michele may be dearly departed, but her spirit will still be with us.

Jim Hightower
America's #1 Populist

Sunday, 16 June 2013