In which I defend Michele Bachmann

It’s funny sometimes how the plastic, contrived world of national politics can mimic the real world. While it is surely of little interest to the readership at large, I have a friend who is a local musician. I don’t know if he’s ever going to be showing up on any top ten lists, but as a local blues / folk guy he’s pretty good. Last summer he had a show scheduled at a local bar which is fairly popular with the denizens of our area.

Unfortunately, the date coincided with an annual street festival in the city which features a major music event in the park with many talented groups. The bar wasn’t expecting much and went so far as to offer two for one drinks for ladies in a vain effort to draw in a crowd. My friend was resigned to playing to an empty room, but I said I’d drop by anyway in a show of moral support. (Even if I didn’t qualify for the free drinks.)

That summer, the weather gods turned a dim eye on the festival with rain drenching the area for two days before and predictions of more to come for the next 48 hours. The local paper’s “scene” reporter happened to catch up with my friend and half jokingly asked if a major rain-out of the street festival might help attendance for his show at the bar.

“Gee, I sure hope so,” he quipped.

Later he admitted to me that he felt awful about saying it. (Particularly after it was printed, though nobody really made a fuss over it.) He didn’t really want anyone’s good time ruined. But if it was going to be too rainy and miserable for folks to be out in the park anyway, they might as well come hear him, right?

I was reminded of that story for some reason when I saw this headline today.

Bachmann: ‘I Hope’ Higher Unemployment Will Help My Campaign

Appearing on CNBC this morning, presidential candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) was asked about this morning’s dismal jobs report and whether higher unemployment rates might help her chances of winning in 2012. “Does it strike you that as the unemployment rate goes up, your chances of winning office also go up?” host Carl Quintanilla asked. “Well, that could be. Again, I hope so,” Bachmann replied.

That’s a pretty provocative title and lede, isn’t it? What a horrible thing to say! So this POTUS candidate is actually cheering for American’s to suffer more just so she can edge out a couple more points in an electoral battle? You… You… #(*&#ER#

But… no. You won’t have to look far around these digs to discover that I am far from one of the “Bachmanniacs” in terms of the 2012 GOP field, but things are once again not as they seem. That headline and now widely touted story (I already saw it on MSNBC) is actually far from an accurate report. If you watch the entire video, Michele Bachmann is answering in very much the same way as my musician friend did last year. Nobody – including Bachmann – wants to see high unemployment numbers. But if government policies continue to fail to correct this critical issue and it works to the benefit of the challenger, no candidate would fight to drive off voters. They would remind them that high unemployment is a bad thing, then go on to point out the policies they would implement in office which would hopefully correct that situation.

That’s all that’s happening here, folks. Move along. Nothing to see.

Oh, and if you have a chance to hit any jazz / folk festivals this summer and it’s not raining, stop by. You’ll be doing yourself a favor.